Jeff T. Green, the main enforcement of a exertion firm, said helium was leaving due to the fact that of the church’s wealthiness and stance connected societal issues specified arsenic cheery rights.
Dec. 21, 2021, 3:25 p.m. ET
A billionaire from Utah, Jeff T. Green, said helium was resigning this week from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints successful an unusually high-profile rebuke of the church’s wealthiness and presumption connected societal issues.
Mr. Green, who runs an advertizing exertion steadfast and is believed to beryllium 1 of the wealthiest radical from Utah, did not accidental what caused him to marque specified a nationalist exit this week. But helium said successful a missive to Russell M. Nelson, the church’s president, that helium was acrophobic astir the church’s history, finances and advocacy.
“While astir members are bully radical trying to bash right, I judge the religion is actively and presently doing harm successful the world,” helium wrote successful the letter, which was reported Monday by The Salt Lake Tribune.
In the letter, a transcript of which was dated Dec. 23, helium said helium had stopped believing successful the church’s teachings much than a decennary agone and had spent respective years reflecting connected his issues with it. “I judge the Mormon Church has hindered planetary advancement successful women’s rights, civilian rights and radical equality, and L.G.B.T.Q.+ rights,” helium wrote.
The church’s property bureau did not respond to a petition for comment.
In the letter, Mr. Green, 44, asked for his records to beryllium removed from the religion and for his lone different interaction from the enactment to beryllium a missive confirming that helium was nary longer a member. One of his friends and 11 of his household members were besides resigning, helium said.
Kathleen Flake, a prof of Mormon studies astatine the University of Virginia successful Charlottesville, said this benignant of ceremonial exit from the religion was akin to a renunciation of citizenship. To instrumentality to the church, a idiosyncratic would person to beryllium rebaptized.
“Renouncing it is simply a governmental act; it’s a mode of making a governmental statement, not conscionable a spiritual statement,” she said.
She said it was improbable that the church, which has much than 16 cardinal members, would respond.
“I deliberation they care, but I don’t deliberation they are amazed by specified nationalist statements,” Professor Flake, a religion member, said. “They’ve simply had excessively overmuch acquisition with it to deliberation that they volition flight this benignant of nationalist engagement with their motivation standards.”
Mr. Green, who present lives successful Southern California, was besides captious of the church’s wealth, which includes an concern money paid for with contributions by members. The money had $48 cardinal worthy of stocks arsenic of Sep. 30, according to SEC filings.
“This wealth comes from people, often poor, who wholeheartedly judge you correspond the volition of Jesus,” Mr. Green wrote. “They give, expecting the blessings of heaven.”
The absorption of the money has travel nether scrutiny successful caller years aft a erstwhile manager accused the religion of misleading members astir the usage of the funds. Church officials told The Wall Street Journal past year that the wealth was to beryllium utilized during imaginable economical downturns.
Mr. Green, the main enforcement of the steadfast The Trade Desk, is worthy $5.2 billion, according to Forbes. In November, helium pledged to springiness distant much than 90 percent of his wealthiness earlier oregon astatine his death.
This week Mr. Green besides announced helium was donating $600,000 to Equality Utah, a radical that advocates L.G.B.T.Q. rights successful the state.
He told The Tribune that astir fractional the wealth would spell to a assistance money for students successful Utah, including those who “may request oregon want” to permission Brigham Young University, which is sponsored by the religion and has an honor code that prohibits same-sex “romantic behavior.”