The Mormon Church In Argentina Was A Mess!!
On my mission to Argentina in the early 90's, I was working in a large city, basically like a state capital. They put in a new District Leader, who promptly got missionary discussions for 5 of his friends that he worked with in a construction company. I'm sure that you can all imagine what happened next; all his friends got baptized and within a short time, they were all Branch Presidents.
Suddenly, the Churches around the city needed a lot of remodeling!! So they were scamming money there, over charging, etc, and then on top of that....they were dipping big time into the tithing funds. Somehow, the stealing tithing got out to the press, made the local newspaper and everyone knew it.
At that point, people stopped coming to Church and we were lucky to have 20 people per branch in the 5 branches. Nobody wanted to get baptized of course and at the same time we got ripped apart for not having many baptisms by the President, the "ass"istants and the Area Presidency. The Mission President knew the entire situation as the First counselor to the Pres lived in our city. He had boxes and boxes of evidence against the man but the President wouldn't listen and refused to even look at what he had on this guy thus making me believe that he was involved as well.
The First counselor loved the Church deeply and he used to literally cry over what was happening to the Church that he had helped to build. He was one of the greatest men that I have ever known in the Church or out of the Church. He was a great man period!!
Finally, the counselor went to the Area Presidency with his evidence, since the President refused to do anything and they were shocked and contacted the President of the Mission and demanded that he go there and release the District President!! So we had a big District Conference and he didn't release him. Why he directly disobeyed the Area Presidency was never discussed. It was just mind blowing!! He came specifically to release the man and then didn't do it. Was he involved? So, he had to come back 3 weeks later, under direct order of the Area Presidency and do what he should have already done the first time. I wonder how much more money they were able to steal in that extra 3 weeks. It was truly bizarre!!
I also want to mention what an ass he made of all the missionaries who went and visited every member they could find to tell them that this evil man was being released. I believe that we had well over 1,000 people that came that day. The Church was overflowing out the doors, so you can imagine how they felt when the man wasn't released as we promised? When the President came back 3 weeks later, we had about half as many people. It was a disaster!! I was a Zone leader there, so I had to handle all the BS and the fallout. Oh yeah, when he finally released the ass that was stealing all the money, he praised him for 10 minutes and thanked him for all that he had done. It was nauseating!! My companion and I just kept looking at each other, not believing what we were hearing. There had to be something going on between those two the way the whole thing went down. I wonder what his cut was?
Anyway, that was my first real experience with exactly how "God" picks his leaders and it had nothing to do with "God." It's all about who knows who and money!! I had many more "eye opening" experiences while on my mission and I'll be sharing them all one by one. I would say that on my mission was the first time that I was subjected to the cracks and iniquity that exist within the Church that previously, I didn't even know existed. It was a real shock!!
Samuel the Utahnite
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