Robert Kirby: How I would spend all that Mormon mad money

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Kirby

Although the vast wealth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a reported $100 billion in a rainy day fund) is still a matter of great interest, there were no official comments about it during last week’s General Conference.

OK, so that stash has probably taken a hit during this market-sapping pandemic. But the church still has a lot of money. And that money eventually will make money off interest.

It’s none of my business how the church spends its cash, just as it is none of your business how I spend mine. The difference is that I don’t mind my finances being made public.

My wife keeps what we refer to as a “stupid money account.” There’s never more than $100 in it. I can do whatever I want with it, provided that it doesn’t end in extra debt.

But a hundred bucks? That’s nothing compared to the money my church has socked away for a rainy or even and end-of-the-world day.

People have opined on what the church should do with all this money. Personally, the church should give at least one year’s interest to me. If anyone knows what to do with, say, $7 billion, it’s me.

First thing I would do is let my wife go shopping.

Don’t worry. I know her. She would spend less than $300, nearly all of it on the grandkids and the rest on sick friends. She might buy a new blouse for herself, but it would have to be on sale first. Call it $299 total.

That still leaves $6,999,999,701 for me to dispose of. I have plenty of good ideas how it should be spread around.

Since I have no outstanding fines or anything I desperately want that I don’t already have, the rest would go to help those most impacted by the pandemic.

First out of the gate is my favorite charity, the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial. I’d give it a million bucks to bank and help the families of our state’s fallen police officers, some of whom don’t yet know that their lives will be required of them to keep the rest of us safe.

I would give the same amount to firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

That’s $3 million total. Minus another $11 million to help front-line medical personnel with food, day care, bills and other pressing financial needs caused by their heroic efforts to care for us, that leaves 6,985,999,701.

You might consider this next donation selfish, but another $10 million would go to Sonny and me. We would set up a security agency dedicated to tracking down those trying to bilk money from the public via coronavirus hoaxes.

These people and anyone working for them would be captured, soundly beaten, and chained to trees in areas where large predators are going hungry, thanks to the decline in tourism.

Note: This could pay for itself with the installation of pay-per-view cameras. Due to social distancing, there are lots of bored and hostile viewers out there right now. Is this brilliant or what?

Sounds perfectly awful, too. But I just don’t want anyone thinking I’m going soft because I have a lot of money to throw around.

Now we get to the heart of the matter. Two billion would go toward the research for a coronavirus vaccine. Four billion would go to the top relief organizations around the world.

That leaves a few hundred million to spend. Most of this would go to local charities, my personal favorites being the Utah Food Bank, The Road Home and wherever Pamela Atkinson says.

I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no. I would not tithe 10% of this money to my church. A teensy bit of this was mine in the first place.

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.