Utah’s wealthiest native son, who pledged final month to provide away at the least 90 p.c of his wealth, has formally damaged ties with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, excoriating the group on its hoarded wealth and civil-rights document on his method out the door.
In an explosive 900-word letter despatched Monday to LDS President Russell Nelson, Jeff T. Inexperienced lambasted the Mormon church, saying that whereas he believed most members have been “good folks making an attempt to do proper,” he additionally believed “the church is actively and at present doing hurt on the earth.”
“The church management just isn’t trustworthy about its historical past, its funds, and its advocacy,” Inexperienced, a former Mormon missionary and Brigham Younger College graduate, added. “I imagine the Mormon church has hindered international progress in girls’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights.”
Accordingly, Inexperienced’s subsequent main donation shall be $600,000 to Equality Utah. In his letter, Inexperienced famous pointedly that “virtually half of the fund will go to a brand new scholarship program to assist LGBTQ+ college students in Utah,” together with any who “might have or need to go away [Brigham Young University].”
Inexperienced, the 44-year-old CEO and chairman of promoting tech agency The Commerce Desk, is value an estimated $4.9 billion, in response to the Forbes Billionaires List. He at present resides in Southern California, having informally left the Mormon church “greater than a decade in the past—not believing, attending, or training,” in response to his letter, which he stated marked his official and fast withdrawal from the church.
“Though I’ve deep love for a lot of Mormons and gratitude for a lot of issues which have come into my life by Mormonism, I’ve not thought of myself a member for a few years, and I’d wish to clarify to you and others that I’m not a member,” he wrote to Nelson.
Taking the church, Utah’s largest nonprofit, to process over its “greater than $100 billion in property,” Inexperienced demanded the group do “extra to assist the world and its members.” Mormons, “usually poor,” give to the Church “anticipating the blessings of heaven,” he wrote.
“As an alternative, I believe the church has exploited its members and their want for hope to construct temples, construct buying malls, and cattle ranches… somewhat than assuaging human struggling in or out of the church.”
Inexperienced, a divorced dad to a few youngsters, is departing Mormonism together with 11 members of the family and a good friend.
His sister, Jennifer Gaerte, advised The Salt Lake City Tribune, which first reported on Inexperienced’s letter, that she had “that picture-perfect Mormon household” till the loss of life of her husband’s brother pressured her “into survival mode.” Along with her grief-stricken associate not attending church, she stated, the household was shunned, with different youngsters even throwing rocks at her’s.
Gaerte went to a church chief and requested him to launch her from the Younger Ladies, an LDS youth group. He argued that if he launched her, she would turn out to be an inactive member of the church. “In case you gained’t launch me,” she reportedly replied, “I’ll launch myself.”
A cousin of Inexperienced’s, Doug Whittemore, stated that points of Mormonism gnawed at him regardless of his “great” upbringing. “One thing was not clicking for me intuitively,” Whittemore stated. “It was pragmatic, however I might by no means purchase into the [religious] ideas, and the teachings have been about as far-fetched as you possibly can imagine.”
He selected to not serve a mission—a worldwide expedition to proselytize and recruit new members to the church—when he got here of age, surprising his household. “Quite a lot of them wouldn’t speak to me for years,” Whittemore, who now lives in Dallas, “and that also persists to at the present time.”
Inexperienced echoed Whittemore’s recollection of an idyllic childhood, and the way essential his religion had been to him rising up. “Essentially the most constructive a part of our childhood wasn’t the robust connection we had with our mother and father however to the group,” he advised the Tribune. “I’m deeply grateful to that group and its superb folks, together with my ancestors who made nice sacrifices within the title of God and the group.”
However Inexperienced reiterated in his letter that his thoughts was made up, including, “After in the present day, the one contact I would like from the church is a single letter of affirmation to let me know that I’m now not listed as a member.”