Everyone knows that Idaho has a large Mormon population, but did you know that the Mormon Church owns a bunch of for-profit businesses that operate all over the United States, including Idaho? These businesses are owned through various holding companies like Deseret Management Corporation, which manages publishing, hospitality, insurance, agriculture, and more businesses.

Why does the Church of Latter-Day Saints own so many businesses?

Through various holding companies such as Deseret Management Corporation, which manages businesses in industries including publishing, hospitality, insurance, agriculture, and more. There are four main reasons why they own these businesses:

  1. Financial Diversification: Like any large organization, having a diversified investment portfolio can help ensure financial stability.
  2. Income Generation: The income from Church-owned businesses helps to fund Church operations, humanitarian efforts, educational programs, temple work, and missionary work, among other things.
  3. Employment Opportunities: Church-owned businesses provide job opportunities for members and non-members.
  4. Self-reliance Promotion: Aligning with Church teachings on self-reliance and independence, owning businesses reflects these values at an institutional level.

The annual income from these businesses is not a matter of public record, as the Church has not disclosed its financial statements in the United States since 1959. However, an independent analysis from 2012 estimates that the Church brings in approximately $7 billion annually in tithes and other donations. While this figure does not exclusively represent income from businesses, donations are a primary income source for the Church.

While a lot of people think that the Church owns Coca-Cola, that's a myth.  The company is publicly traded, and the largest shareholder is Berkshire Hathaway.

In addition, The Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints also invests Billions of Dollars in non-Mormon businesses that aren't even run by church members that almost every Idahoan interacts with every day.

What businesses does the Church of Latter-Day Saints invest in?

Through its investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisors, here are some of the companies the LDS Church owns a stake in:

  1. Apple - The Church has a stake in Apple, reportedly topping $3 billion.
  2. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. - Ensign Peak Advisors has a $395 million stake.
  3. Meta Platforms (Facebook and Instagram) - The stake is valued at $669.3 million.
  4. Johnson & Johnson - With a market value of $682.5 million.
  5. Mastercard - Ensign Peak Advisors' investment is valued at $710.8 million.
  6. Nvidia - With an investment totaling $720.0 million.
  7. Exxon Mobil - Holding a market value of $807.9 million.
  8. Amazon - Having an investment of $967.4 million.

They also own significant shares of Alphabet (Google), Visa, Marriott, and more. It's clear from Ensign Peak Advisors' investments that the Mormon Church prefers blue-chip, large-cap stocks across various industries. It avoids "sin stocks" like casinos, tobacco, and adult entertainment.

The Jesus Christ Church of Latter-Day Saints Owns These Businesses

Gallery Credit: Marco

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