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TITHING - SECTION 2
Mormons are required to pay 10% of their gross income to the Mormon Church in the form of tithing. Mormons cannot enter the temple nor hold important positions without paying annual tithing. Each year Mormons are interviewed in December to make sure they are paying a proper tithe.
Mormons must pay tithing on employment and unemployment insurance, student loans, Pell grants, Social Security, Trust Funds and any other form of income. In Oct 2013, Mormon Apostle David Bednar stated "For those that pay their tithing, I thank you. For those that do not: repent!" he then added "Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.".
Mormons are counseled that if they do not pay their tithing then they will be burned alive with fire when Jesus Christ comes for the second time - Mormons often refer to this as "fire insurance". In Mormonism all blessings start with tithing. If a Mormon does not pay tithing - they cannot hold leadership positions - and worse - cannot attend the Mormon temple. If a Mormon cannot attend the temple - then a Mormon cannot reach the Celestial Kingdom. In essence, tithing in Mormonism is a form of Extortion.
The Mormon Church in the United States is protected by law and refuses to disclose where tithing money is used. In other countries such as the UK, Canada and AU where the Mormon Church is forced to disclose finances - it is clear that millions of dollars are collected in tithing. Much of that money is funneled through Mormon Church owned Brigham Young University. Less than one half of one percent of the money is used for charity.
| Sixteen years ago, when my husband (now ex) and I were quite young and had only been married a few years, we wanted to go to the temple and be sealed. We had gotten civily married at first.
At that time, we were VERY poor. We scraped from paycheck to paycheck, and we still couldn't make ends meet. (we had lots of debt at the time). I shopped discount stores, got my clothes at Deseret Industries, and I only had $40 to spend on groceries every TWO WEEKS. We were forced to go on welfare. (thankfully, a couple of years later he got an excellent job). For Christmas we would get a special slip of paper from the Bishop so we could go to Deseret Industries and chose some Christmas presents for ourselves and others...used things.
Moving forward: Okay, so we go interview with our Bishop, and tell him we want to go to the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity. We had not paid tithing in quite awhile...we didn't have ANY money. To pay tithing would have meant we would have had to give up an essential living expense (or two...or three). Of course, we were always made to feel guilty about this.
Our Bishop sat back in his chair, looked us over, and then questioned us about our tithing. He then leaned forward and told us that he couldn't allow us to go to the temple because we were behind in our tithing payments. He told us that in order to be allowed to enter the 'holy building', we would have to be square with the Lord, and square with the church. We asked him how much "back" tithing we owed. He looked at a paper, and then told us we owed...are you ready for this???
$$$$$$$$$$$$ OVER FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!! $$$$$$$$$$$
We asked him if we could make payments (hahaha!!) ...like we could afford to...sheeesh....and he seemed angry and stern, and told us that there was "no way he'd allow us to go the temple" unless we paid our back tithing. (@#$%!!)
So guess what we did? We TOOK OUT A LOAN, on top of the other loans we had that we couldn't afford (for our home, our furniture, credit card bills, car payment, etc.) so we could pay the mormon church to 'allow' us into their temple. Yes, a loan. We could NOT afford the payments. If I remember right, we had to consolodate later on and paid outragious interest to get that done. We paid for years on that ridiculous loan, and of course spent a couple more years (before the good job) scraping worse than we ever had before. What's worse is I had a daughter already, and we just had a baby boy, too. My children suffered so the mormon church could line their pockets more.
What makes this whole thing even worse is that our temple experience TOTALLY SUCKED...the temple workers were rude, rushing us around, and didn't make my "real" wedding day special. It was all about rushing us in and out so they could bring in the next couple.
I can't even explain the anger and frustation I feel when I think of how poor we were, on WELFARE, scraping to eat, struggling to keep clothes on our backs, and having to GO INTO DEBT so we could PAY for our temple recommends. Yep, God is poor and he needs our money. Not only that, but he expects us to go into debt for it, even though he also expressely forbids us to go into debt (according to his "prophets"). Kind of reminds me of Adam and Eve...eat that apple, but don't eat it.
| One time when mu husband and I went in to renew our temple recommends, we told the bishop that we were about $60 behind on our tithing. We were really young, had just moved to the area, 2 babies at the time etc. Money was really tight to say the least. Well, the bishop put both of our recommends in his shirt pocket and said that we could have them as soon as we could get the $60 to him. He actually came over to our apartment after the interview so that we could write him a check...........which we dutifully did.
Now I look back and see what a crock the whole thing was. We never went back to the temple again.
| My last tithing settlement was Dec. 2007. I was TBM, but DH was not. We'd been meeting with the Stake Pres., and others, under the pretense of getting DH's questions and concerns answered, but what DH was really doing was giving me small doses of lessons in Mormon history, etc. So one day when I realized our tithing was behind and asked DH about it (DH usually always paid that "bill"), DH asked if we could hold off paying it until we had his issues resolved. I respected his wishes but things dragged into months and by the time Dec. rolled around I went to tithing settlement by myself knowing that DH was going "inactive", at best. I told the Bishop I paid tithing on the money I had but not on DH's earnings. He said since we were listed on the tithing settlement as a couple we had to be considered together and therefore that would make me only a partial tithe payer. I didn't see why we couldn't each have our own statement, but whatever. Then Bishop says "Now for the hard part... I have to ask for your temple recommend back." I couldn't believe it and started crying! He said I just needed to talk to DH and explain the situation (in other words pressure him to pay tithing so I could have a recommend!). I asked about part-member couples--how could you expect a non-member to pay tithing so his/her spouse could have a recommend? I was dumbfounded but gave him my recommend. In the end he gave it back and said I was "worthy" (but at that point I really didn't want it anymore and I don't think I ever used it again).
I'm a pretty mild-mannered person but looking back I wish I would have given him that recommend and told him he could shove it up his a$$!
When I got home DH said he wished they were as interested in answering our questions as they were in getting our money. Point taken. I was actually embarrased, on behalf of TSCC, for the Bishop's handling of this situation. Now, I realize $money$ is just a small part of what the Morg stole from my life.
I wouldn't consider myself a very vindictive person, but I wish there was some sort of retribution or accountability for that D*** organization. There is a lot of pain inside me when I start realizing all the ways it's affected my life to grow up Mormon and be TBM.
| The deepest regret I have re. my 30 years as a TBM was the ongoing guilt I suffered because DH and I always had trouble paying a "full" tithe. About 15 years ago we lost money in a series of failed business ventures and have struggled financially from that point on. Being heavily in debt, we choose to pay the creditors instead of a "full" tithe but continued to contribute what we could. The BP finally said to stop using our temple recommends until we "paid up". The shame and guilt I felt because we were no longer "worthy" was humiliating. Being in a small branch it quickly becomes apparent when one of the flock falls from grace. When temple assignments were announced, I would cringe knowing we would be asked to go on the next temple trip. I learned to have a handy excuse ready.
One year during tithing settlement, the BP suggested that instead of buying groceries at the local store, we could get a food order from the bishops storehouse and use our grocery money as tithing. I realized he was testing our faith but there was no way I would ask for a food order. We continued to pay what we could afford in tithing, but have hever been temple "worthy" since . I have suffered much quilt, anxiety and depression that resulted from feeling of "unworthiness". I feared losing my family FOREVER! I began to see the class distinction between temple recommend holders and the "not so worthies". We were no longer a part of the "elite".
Then one day a light bulb went off in my head! I started thinking about all the COMMITTED, DEDICATED SERVICE that DH and I have given over 30 years...the hours spent in callings (in a branch you have 2 or 3 each); the hours of service projects; the miles traveled to meetings; a son who served a mission; and four years as a foster home for LDS Social Services (we had 6 babies in 4 years). I now realize all this was way more than enough to compensate for the tithing we were never able to pay in full, even tho that isn't the way TSCC sees it. The personal guilt has evaporated (mostly) due to the realization that even tho we were unable to write out that tithing check every month, DH and I both gave 30 yrs of our hearts, minds and souls in service to the MORG!
| On a thread by "anon" about conference-for-Easter in the midwest area, the brilliant insight from church leaders was shared that people need to pay their tithing - no matter what. Oaks apparently told members, "The church is not here to help you". While that sounds shocking, it's good in a way because at least he now admits that harsh fact that many may not have realized before.
One poster's story is almost unbelievable:
"can't log in here" said:
"...when my house was destroyed by a tornado and a flood and a few months later I got into a serious car accident and then lost my job...
the church did not help me, at all. They promised to. They insisted on getting a tithing check from me as a condition, even when I told them that it was literally my last dollar. I was honest with them and paid a full tithe. When the check cleared, they called and said they decided not to help me."
I think the church leaders, including local bishops, have completely gone insane over this tithing thing. It is irrational to give your last dollar to a rich corporation. And before getting to your last dollar even, it is irrational to give them money you need for your own living expenses. Yet we hear about this all the time, that you must pay, pay, pay, as if it is the most important principle of the gospel. Indeed, it seems that it has become so in today's Mormonism.
When I first joined the Mormon Church and the bishop was talking to me as a new member, going over the WoW, LoC, and tithing, I said that I could not give 10% of my gross income or even 10% of net unless I didn't need it for living expenses. I said that that was 10% that I would have to take out of my contributions to my household and it wasn't fair on the others who also made their contributions. Yes, I had been told about tithing by the missionaries but nobody said it was mandatory (or at least I did not have that understanding prior to baptism). I knew about tithing from attending other churches but nowhere is it so prominently stressed and certainly is not enforced in any other church of my acquaintance (and I've been to quite a few across the spectrum of denominations).
The bishop's face got red and he told me in no uncertain terms that it's 10% gross to the church first, no matter what. I said you want me to pay the church before I contribute towards the household bills? Yes! was the reply.
Other churches in my experience teach the principle of "good stewardship", which is taking care of business so as to be self-sufficient, looking after your obligations in the world, paying your debts and bills, and if you tithe, it's on your net, not gross, and is not policed. Certainly, "blessings" are not contingent on how much money you give. In fact, nobody keeps track of that other than the church bookkeeper if you want a tax receipt. The pastor at my last church deliberately did not look at the tithing receipts by name so he wouldn't know who gives what.
News flash: If people didn't feel obligated to give 10% of gross as one of the first principles of the Mormon gospel, they may not ever get in the position of needing to ask the church to help them out financially.
It's warped, skewed, weird and irrational to enforce tithing and especially to knowingly take someone's last dollar and then cast them aside and refuse to help them in their need, as if their situation was entirely of their own making (more judgement) when that is usually not the case at all.
How does it make any sense to "pay" the church (pay God?) when you can barely make your rent?
This is no different to me than the Indulgences handed out by the Catholic Church in the bad old days with the common folk scrambling to pay for supposed blessings, giving their pittance to a rich organization and their heartless masters. It's beyond sick. I wish people could take a step back and see how insane it is, twisted, upside down, merciless, wicked - and unnecessary.
Too, that whole concept of paying the church your tithing so that if you ever need help it will be forthcoming is way off the mark too. First, there is no guarantee they will help you, as in the example above. But second, if you were only giving what you could afford, if you wanted to, you could just help yourself and not need to seek out the stingy bishop.
Besides, what about the adage that "God loves a cheerful giver"? How merry do you feel handing over your last dollar, in some cases literally? It makes no sense. Who would ask that of anyone?
| ...with the amount of $400 in tithing and fast offering on the dining table.
Huh? My parents are already to their eyeballs in debt with a semi-failed small business (makes little $ then and now), impending house sale after 12+ years of ownership, and bills to pay including automobile payment and cell phone.
In other words, my parents are somewhat impoverished, who barely keep up with their mounting debt. My mother had to write the letters to the mortgage lenders pleading with them to give them time to catch up with the bills.
My father works a FT job in Vernal. My mother works a FT job in graveyard shift, sometimes double shift.
Yet they are obliged to pay more tithes and offerings despite being mired in debt? Is this typical behavior among TBM people who go broke yet believe that they must "pay, pray, and obey" in hope of attaining the prize that is CK?
I find this "tithe for glory" behavior disturbing.
It seems that to them it's best to always pay by forking over a certain amount consistently every month so they continue to earn 'socio-religious' communal respect, even if one has regressed to near-poverty wage from middle-class.
I feel pity for my parents. Brainwashed beyond reach and worked to the bones having to scrape by to pay tithes FIRST before everything else including debt reduction, bills, and even forgo "regular" grocery for dollar store grocery and DI food.
It's a wonder Utah has one of the high rates of bankruptcy and foreclosure. Because tithes is a first financial priority for the devout TBMs.
| Just had a TBM friend call me for advice. For the last several years, he has worked two jobs to make ends meet. Due to the economy, he lost one of his jobs. The job he still has is as an employee at BYU-I.
So, funds are very tight. He doesn't have enough money to pay all his obligations. When he had two jobs, he could do it. But now, he's in the hole, big time.
One of the first things he stopped paying was tithing. I think he still pays a little, but in his TBM mind, he justifies that with his lack of income, he really doesn't have any "gains" right now to pay on. Of course, the church sees it differently. They don't care about your obligations, just your income.
To keep his job at BYU-I, he has to have an endorsement from his Bishop. He just received a certified letter from his Bishop, stating that if he doesn't start paying a full tithe, then he won't endorse him to stay employed at BYU-I. The bishop knows their financial circumstances, but it doesn't matter.
My advice: As soon as you can, find a new job where the church can't blackmail you. If that's impossible, hopefully BYU-I will have more compassion than the Bishop, and keep him on because he's a good employee. Doubtful, but you never know.
I did ask him: "So, have you found that in the past when you paid tithing on your gross income, you received gross blessings?" He muttered "No, not even close".
| I have a brother with Downs and a sister with Angelman's Syndrome (infant marionette), both profoundly handicapped. My TBM mother, a pensioner and their carer, was guilted into paying 10% of money given to them by the Government exclusively for their needs. This money is carefully calculated to cover wheelchairs, laundry and clothing replacement (constant), nappies, special dietary needs etc.
When mother was in the hospice, dying of cancer, the vultures visited her for the purpose of ensuring that their places in the CK would remain secure, by taking tithing contributions from her. She would open up her purse, being careful not to disturb the syringe driver etc., hand over the money, after which they would present her with her 'receipt'. These offerings and the rest were taken on behalf of herself and my brother and sister.
Power of Attorney was eventually passed to her executors (non-mormon family members) when she became too ill to take care of her bills. That is when we discovered the scale of the rip-off.
After her death, on clearing her personal effects, we discovered thousands of tithing slips and other evidences of high contributions to the church.
We ring-fenced money set aside for my brother and sister, as they were still people of record. They are now living in small MENCAP units, as unaware of mormonism as ever, and we protect their funds and have banned mormon visits.
Of course, baptism was never necessary for them. All the church wanted was their money.
The mormon church is evil.
| In the October 2009 Ensign, Monson hints it is "the true meaning of tithing" to pay "twice the tenth consistently".
That is odd.
What amount is a proper tithe? And where can one find binding authority within Mormonism, to determine this?
Binding authority in Mormon doctrine and policy, to declare what is a proper tithe, can probably be prioritized as first: the canonized scriptures and second: signed statements of the First Presidency.
II. MORMON SCRIPTURE states plainly that tithing is to be paid on any surplus beyond a person's needs.
Joseph Smith and Sydney Rigdon produced DandC 119:4 (1838). It states:
"And after that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually; and this shall be a standing LAW unto them FOREVER, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord." (Emphases added.) Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "INTEREST" as
"5. Any surplus advantage." (http://184.108.40.206/cgi-bin/webster/...). Webster's defines "advantage", in pertinent part, as "7. Interest; increase; overplus". In the 1820's, the word "interest" was synonymous with the phrase "surplus advantage". A plain reading of the text leads to a harmony of meaning between the word "interest" and the phrase "surplus advantage".
But what about scriptural harmony? Can one find the scriptural meaning of "interest" to be "surplus"?
There are at least TWO passages of scripture that explicitly teach a proper tithe is one-tenth of surplus.
1. The FIRST passage of scripture is DandC 119:5, which is the next verse:
"Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be TITHED OF THEIR SURPLUS PROPERTIES, and shall observe THIS LAW, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you."
Significant meanings should be observed from verse 5. The phrase "THIS LAW", can only refer to the previous usage of the word “law” in verse 4, which states in pertinent part, "and this shall be a standing LAW". And the phrase "THIS LAW", namely "one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually" in verse 4, is expounded in a clarifying manner as "SURPLUS PROPERTIES" in verse 5.
2. The SECOND passage of scripture comes from the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible. Smith and Rigdon also produced the JST. It is mostly in Rigdon's handwriting.
"Wherefore Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him MORE THAN THAT WHICH HE HAD NEED." JST Genesis 14:39. (Emphasis added.)
This passage of scripture from the JST is not a mere relic of early Mormonism. The passage can be found in the Quadruple Combination, on page 798, after the Bible Dictionary, in the section JOSEPH SMITH TRANSLATION. Although the church avoids several of Smith's translations in the JOSEPH SMITH TRANSLATION, the church has included this one in its official and current book of scripture as authoritative commentary.
Scriptural harmony between DandC 119, and JST Genesis 14:39 also resides in the concept that "interest" (DandC 119:4) is expounded as "surplus properties" (DandC 119:5), or in other words, "more than that which he had need" (JST Genesis 14:39). To understand the meaning of what is to be tithed, we are fortunate to find a simple, elegant harmony in meaning, between a plain reading of the text and Mormon scripture; "interest" (v. 4) means "surplus properties" (v. 5). Mormon tithing is defined as "one-tenth of their surplus properties annually" (DandC 119:4,5), which means "more than that which he had need" (JST Genesis 14:39).
III. What about OFFICIAL MORMON POLICY?
On March 19, 1970, the First Presidency sent a letter to presidents of stakes and missions, bishops of wards, and presidents of branches in answer to the question, What is a proper tithe?
"For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually, which is understood to mean income. NO ONE IS JUSTIFIED IN MAKING ANY OTHER STATEMENT THAN THIS. We feel that every member of the Church should be ENTITLED TO MAKE HIS OWN DECISION as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly."
The General Handbook of Instructions quotes from the March 19, 1970 letter from the First Presidency sets forth a definition of what is tithed. Here is a portion of the General Handbook of Instructions from that section: "The simplest statement we know of is the statement of the Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should pay ?one-tenth of all their interest annually,' which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this." (First Presidency letter, 19 Mar. 1970; see also DandC 119:4).
Because the General Handbook of Instructions quotes the 1970 letter from the First Presidency, the 1970 letter remains the official written policy on tithing.
Can one harmonize the statement of the First Presidency with canonized scripture?
Let us try.
The phrase "one-tenth of all their interest annually, which is understood to mean income", has harmonious meaning with "one-tenth of all their surplus properties annually, which is understood to mean surplus income."
Is this an unjustified statement?
I would venture, not if one does a plain reading of the text in DandC 119:4-5.
| To this day, hubby and all of his siblings remember the "stale pancakes trial". Their parents were TBM and full tithe payers. Their family was always broke, but they reached a point where they were so poor, they only had a giant bucket of stale food storage flour to use for meals. They literally ate stale pancakes for *every* meal for 6 weeks. Hubby mentioned this once at a family gathering, and his mom said "oh, but that was an adventure!" like it was so much fun. Hubby was like "whitewater rafting is an adventure. Eating nasty stale pancakes for a month until you think you'd rather just die is not."
I had my own bad experiences with tithing and poverty that I won't reiterate. I will probably forever associate the mormon church with fear, helplessness, depression, debt and desperation.
| When I used to be the financial clerk I soon realized that the fast offering was always used to help others in the ward or community not the church tithing. What made me very upset and sick was how much pressure they put on us to make sure that we did not give out more in funds than we collected in fast offering. If we did then we usually got a nasty letter from the stake to get it straightened out. I remember the 1st year that I was the fiancial clerk I went over our branch budget by about $250, our budget for the year was only $4000. I was given along lecture and felt like a piece of shit for doing the best that I could with no experience and over $250. The tithing not including FO was about 165 thousand that year with all of it going to Salt Lake.
I am sure that the members will step forward and donate a generous fast offering to help with the people in Haiti but the lds church will take credit for it. For example if I were to collect money for the homeless shelter or something then I would turn around and donate the money on my behalf and take the credit for it all even though I donated absolutely nothing.
| Tithing is actually more like extortion. According to the LDS church, there is this guy we call "the Father" who plans on starting a gigantic fire, much like the arsonists of late in California, with the intention of killing as many people as possible. The extortionists, the LDS prophets, claim they are an intermediary, and if you pay 10% of your income to them, the Father will figure out a way to get you out of the woods before lighting his match.
| It occurred to me a few years back that one aspect of the church's overall policy toward anything can be viewed through the lens of what I call 'Tithe Maximization'.
Seriously, take any issue. Look at what the church does and says about it. Then ask yourself why they chose that policy? One possible answer for whatever you happen to be contemplating is 'Tithe Maximization'.
How apostates are treated. They are excluded in such a way so as to not infect the believing tithe paying members.
Children are conditioned from a very young age, to pay 10% in an unthinking way, never questioning what the money gets used for, always with great personal blessings that rain down from heaven.
Members are given encouragement at all times to get all the education they can (a good policy, but it could be viewed cynically as a tithe maximization strategy).
Policy changes only happen when it a particular policy affects tithe revenues. Blacks and the priesthood is a good example of this. The first manifesto is an even better example. From official declaration 1 in the doctrine and covenants - 'The question is this: Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue–to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the Temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the heads of families in the Church, and the confiscation of personal property of the people'
See? Tithe maximization.
Annual tithing settlement? Sure, getting something for tax purposes is necessary, but why don't we do that through the mail, or electronically? Subtle pressure my friends, and a big hassle for the bishop.
Tithing recommend interviews? Er, I mean temple recommend interviews? Tithe maximization.
Want to learn how to budget your money? You may think rule number one is not to spend more than you earn. You'd be wrong. Rule number one is to pay your tithing first, then pretty much everything after that will magically take care of itself because of the blessings raining down due to your faith and whatnot. I know people who are under a great deal of stress because of this attitude. I even know people who are behind a year or two on their taxes, but faithfully write a check for their tithing. Why isn't the local leadership given some training to stop members from crazy self-destructive behavior like this? Oh, right... Tithe Maximization
You get the feeling by reading statements from church leaders that there is this huge drive to be as efficient and lean as possible using the widow's mite sacrifice of the tithes of members. I could give you examples of entire departments that are total dead weight on the church dime. Doesn't the widow have some say in that? Don't concern yourself with such problems. Just send in your checks. You don't see the big picture.
| To a true believing mormon, tithe paying is not optional. It is required of all faithful members of the Lord’s true church– the only ‘true’ church on the face of the Earth. You are to pay it gladly with a heart overflowing with gratitude– nothing less. Even if you follow every commandment, sacrifice all of your time, read the scriptures, parrot church authorities, clean the chapel, faithfully do your HT/VT, keep the Sabbath holy, avoid the appearance of ‘evil’, dress appropriately, magnify your callings, do temple work and genealogy, you will be burned to a freakin' cinder at the last day by your wise, loving heavenly father if you decide NOT to pay tithing.
Giving your hard-earned money to strangers when your family has unmet needs is immoral. It is selfish. People pay tithing out of fear. They pay it to avoid the wrath of God. It is a selfish act by those whose fear of God outweighs their commitment to support their own family. It’s ironic when church members, who claim that their family is the most important thing, pay out big bucks in tithing, and deny their family things they need. Church members are counseled to stay out of debt, but not if it means paying your bills before paying tithing. Full tithe payers are committed to saving their own arses.
It is immoral for church leaders to put so much emphasis on family, and then demand money from families who need it most, like single mothers, retired couples, or young families struggling to get by. No one gets a pass. Everyone must pay. Older people on a limited income may have to go without medication because they’ve been taught to always pay their tithing first. A young family may have to turn the heat down or eat cheaper food because church leaders demand they get their cut first. Ten percent usually represents most or all of a family’s disposable income. That means that a lot of the little fun things must be forfeited because all the fun money went to pay tithing instead.
They abused my trust. I will NEVER give another penny to the Mormon Church.
| From the LDS Church "Home and Family", Lesson Topics on Tithing:
"Family Home Evening Resource Book, Lesson Ideas, Tithing, 227 - Lesson 3: Budgeting for Tithing and Offerings":
Prepare play money totaling $550 and give it to the child when he returns to the room.
Tithes and offerings (Tithing, $55; Fast offering, $7; Budget, $10)
Tell him to pay his bills as fast as he can. Observe what happens, and discuss the situation. There is not enough money to pay all of the bills and still pay a full tithing. What should he do?
Point out that you pay tithing first, and then you pay a portion of what you owe on each other bill. Talk about which areas you might be able to cut expenses in so that you can live within your budget. Paying the Lord first ensures his help and blessings in being able to budget the rest of your money successfully.
If you pay a portion on an insurance bill (Car, Home) your policy will be cancelled. If you pay a portion on your financial loan (Car, Home, Credit Card), you will be hit with late fees and your annual percentage rate will go up. If you pay a portion on your utility bills, you will be hit with late fees (directly based on the amount due) and the unpaid portion will be applied to your next billing cycle.
Continue with this and you will eventually be financially bankrupt.
Members of the Mormon church are also asked to sacrifice eating:
"If a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing." Lynn Robbins in General Conference, April 2005.
Tithing in Mormonism always comes first. Pay the church above all else is taught.
Meanwhile, the Mormon church continues to build a $3.5 billion dollar shopping mall in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.
| 3 years ago, My dad gave me part of my inheritance ahead of time. I did not want to tithe it. During the year, I'd paid what i'd considered a full tithe on my regular income. I saw no need for the church to have double what I normally paid. Well, come December and tithing settlement, the bishop asks the usual question, is this a full tithe. I meekly said no, its a partial tithe, knowing full well that I didn't pay on the inheritance. Not only did he want my TR on the spot, he wanted DW's recommend as well. I was like, "Wait a minute, DW paid a full tithing on her income, she's already told you as much." The bish then gave some BS about how tithing is a joint thing, that couples are in it together, blah, blah, blah. I made no mention of where the money came from. It didn't even occur to me at the time to mention that the money in question was my inheritance, and that legally, my wife had no claim to that money.(she has certainly enjoyed the fruits of the money since then anyway, I'm just saying legally) The bish just presumed that I had not tithed on all my income. So, in order to keep the peace in my already shaky marriage, I caved, and wrote a check for a few thousand dollars. Boy, that hurt. Its one thing to write a check for a few hundred every month, quite another for a few thousand.
The way I see it now, and the way I wish that I had seen it earlier, is that inheritance is not income. An inheritance is just that. An inheritance. Income is money earned through employment and investments.
Our ward has changed bishops recently, and he told my wife that her TR is based only on what she pays in tithing. He is fully aware of my feelings about the church, and he is fully aware that I have not paid a dime in tithing all year long. I've got a mind to tell him that that money that I paid in 2007 was from ill-gotten gains, like gambling or something, just to see if I could get a refund. In my mind, the money was an ill-gotten gain on the church's part, as the old bishop manipulated me into making an extra tithing payment.
| Paying Tithing Is A Privilege - We Need To Pay Tithing Much More Than God Needs Us To Do So |
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Vhainya
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 2 -Link To MC Article-
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| TSCC has systematically changed the definition of tithing over the years to no longer specify it to mean you pay on what you can afford, but to imply that paying on one's gross income is CRITICAL for salvation, even if you cannot afford it.
"Paying tithing is a privilege. ... We need to pay tithing much more than God needs us to do so..."
They have even gone to the point of taking a former first presidency statements and clarifications on this matter totally out of context to imply one should tithe on their FULL income regardless of essential needs. http://www.i4m.com/think/intro/mormon...
Please note the following story taught in the current manual "Lesson 29: Paying Tithing with the Right Attitude," Preparing for Exaltation: Teacher's Manual, 169 http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hid...
""I remember vividly an experience I had near the end of my mission. …
Please recall the story specifies that the son who almost solely supported the family and is only 8 years old. Essentially the church has manipulated a child into thinking tithing on his 8 year old income is necessary for his eternity salvation, regardless if this means this family does not eat, have no clothes to wear, or even a pair of shoes. Then they use the same story to manipulate every member who attends church meetings to pay with the same mindset.
"At that time I was working in the mission home with the president of the Mexico and Central America Mission. He called my companion and me into his office one day and told us that he was sending us to Oaxaca. He handed us a list of the names of all the people who had joined the Church during the brief time missionaries had served there; they had been withdrawn some months previously. Our assignment was to look up everyone on the list, see how they were getting along, and, if possible, arrange for a sacrament meeting so that the members could meet together and partake of the sacrament. Then we were to bring back a report.
"We made the overnight trip on the little narrow railway, arriving very early the next morning. As soon as we got off the train, we began tracking down addresses.
"The first place we went to was a street lined with long adobe walls with doorways in them. When we found the address we were looking for and walked through the doorway, we found a whole group of homes inside. Tucked back in one corner was the home of the woman we were seeking. She lived there with her eight-year-old son and infant daughter.
"As she came out of her small house, she recognized us by the way we were dressed, and rushed to give us a warm Mexican greeting. Then, without saying another word, she turned around and went back into her home.
"Moments later she returned, carrying a small clay jar. She reached into the jar and pulled out some pesos and centavos (Mexican money). She told us that her family had saved ten percent of what they had earned. Most of that tithing had come from her son, who worked at the plaza in the center of the city, shining shoes. When he returned each day, he immediately put his tithing into the little jar so that the money could be turned in to the missionaries whenever they returned.
"I can remember my feelings as that woman handed me the money. She was standing there in threadbare clothes and no shoes, and her children were in the same circumstances. I knew that there were things she would have loved to buy her children. I knew that there were many things that they desperately needed money for.
"At first I wanted to give the money back to her and to encourage her to spend it where it was most needed. But then I realized that that was not my right. She and her son had saved that money carefully, knowing that it belonged to the Lord and wanting Him to have it. I realized, too, that they would be blessed for it.
"I learned a great lesson that day about the importance of paying tithing and the blessings it can bring. I also learned a lesson about faith. That little boy and his mother had not known if missionaries would ever return to their home, but they were committed to the gospel principles, and they had faith that, if they were obedient, the Lord would bless them" (quoted by Kellene Ricks, in "Friend to Friend," Friend, Jan. 1991, 6)."
The canonized scripture they choose in this lesson read:
4 And after that, those who have thus been atithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.
The very following passage, which is pointedly ignored throughout the entire lesson, clarifies what a person's interest is:
5 Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you.
The rest of the lesson is then watered down with inspirational, personal stories to convince the member there are real and tangible benefits to paying tithing, although it becomes really vague when looking for what those benefits are outside of 'eternal blessings' or the 'promise to always be together.'
So pay pay pay and do it always with a smile on your face, because even if your family is starving on the street, the one doing the actual favor is really the one collecting the check.
| The theme of GC this year was tithing/temples...ok it was really, just tithing.
Tithing was called a "privilege" and was promised to lead to many blessings. Among them, fire insurance and divorce insurance were particularly stressed. You would think that garments would be enough to protect from the flames of grease fires and sexy co-workers, but it turns out it's not the case. Tithing is the real answer (and here I was thinking the answer to everything was 42).
Nelson talks about how tithing protects you from the day of "vengeance and burning," starting at about 9:15 of this video link -
Elder Pratt, a no name 70 trying to show he could play balls with the big boys, also droned on about the significance of tithing. He made it clear that paying tithing is much better than paying for marriage counseling. In fact, if you pay tithing, you'll never need marriage counseling.
Sadly (very sadly) I do not yet have a link to his talk.
So if I had to sum up what I learned at conference this year it would be...pay up or you'll end up with a divorced spouse that's flaming (pun possibly intended) all over the place, and we all no how hard it is to clean up that mess.
So pay, pray, obey, and go clean up a toilet (it's better than cleaning up a person running around in flames).
And with that I'm going to call it a night and top the Man in Black testimony thread, in hopes of restoring some sanity to the world.
| Just found this little "essay" I'd scratched out in frustration a few years ago.`
The Story of the Fast Offerings.
The rumor had been going around the stake for a couple of weeks. We had recently received a new Area President, and he was making some changes. He had been reading in the DandC and had come across the passage which tells of the duties of the “teachers.” They are designated to collect the fast offerings.
Well, this Area President wasn’t a slacker, and he didn’t want anyone else to be a slacker either. He directed all the Stake Presidents in the area to start having their “teachers” go to members’ homes to collect their fast offerings. After all, that’s what they were doing in Salt Lake City, the place where he had grown up and collected door-to-door himself. That’s where he learned about the doctrine and what was to be done and how it was to be done properly.
The Stake President, being a bit of a sensible man, was reluctant to tell his Bishops to instigate the plan. After all, things had been going right well with the procedure they had been using. Members of the congregation just wrote a check for tithing and added their fast offerings to the check, saving on checks, time, postage, worry, etc.
That was no good, said the Area President. The “teachers” need to learn their duty. How can they learn their duty if the little old ladies in the ward aren’t contacted right at their door and given a chance to hand the money directly to the “teacher?” So, the Stake President, who hated the idea, but wouldn’t say anything (Was he afraid of the Area President, or God, or was he afraid of making waves and not being “promoted?”), told all the Bishops that the next month they would have to send all the “teachers” out to collect fast offerings from members.
“Organize a plan detailing which boys will contact which members so that everyone is covered,” said the Stake President.
Well, that was a little difficult, since the “teachers” weren’t old enough to drive, and every ward covered several towns and cities.
“Well, that’s easy enough to correct,” said the SP, "you can send the teacher with his home teaching companion." So that’s how it happened that after Sacrament Meeting one Sunday I was informed that my son would be gallivanting miles and miles all over the area with some strange sort who I had never heard of. This very afternoon! At the same time, someone else’s son would be driven miles in one direction and miles in another, then driven to my house to pick up my check, then driven home.
When I heard this I was furious. After all, I’d had this conversation with my husband during the past week. He hated the idea, and I thought we had agreed that it wouldn’t happen. But, even though he was Bishop of the ward, he was a conciliatory fellow and didn’t want to ruffle feathers. Someone in the Young Men’s Presidency had been contacted by someone in the Stake YM Presidency and told that this is what the SP had decided.
"It's out of my hands,” my husband said.
“What!” I said. “You are Bishop. Doesn’t ANYONE have the sense they were born with? Doesn’t ANYONE have the gumption to say, “This is ridiculous.”
I had put up with a lot during my husband’s tenure as bishop, but this took the cake. I couldn’t imagine anything sillier than driving miles and miles, using up gas, taking boys away from their homes when they had just endured three hours of meetings and were hungry, when someone could simply write a check and hand it to the Ward Clerk or send it through the mail.
I was furious. When I quietly asked my husband why he had decided to do it, he grit his teeth and said, “Just DO IT! It’s out of my hands!”
Well, it’s not out of MY hands, I said. I’m not letting XXXX go. And if someone comes to my door, I’m not going to give them any money. This is just stupid!
Well, someone could probably make a Zion’s Camp story out of this. After all, those who followed the suggestion of the Area President who, of course, knew NOTHING of what we had to deal with and didn’t have a clue about anything---those people are probably leaders in the church now. That’s why the Zion’s Camp story is so stupid! I’m sorry to use that word, but it’s totally appropriate! Of course you are going to choose your leaders from those people who'll do any idiotic thing you tell them to. I never did understand how that story was inspiring to anyone.
Well, to finish off MY story…the “plan” of the Area President lasted exactly ONE month. I don’t know whether the Area President changed his mind, or whether he moved on, or whether someone had the courage to tell him it was a STUPID idea, or whether maybe God himself whispered in his ear that he had better let people bring their fast offerings in check form to the church building and hand the envelope over to the Ward Clerk. But, at any rate, my son never had to collect fast offerings three towns away on a Sunday afternoon.
| A few years ago our ward announced that they were going to be placing a new sign out in front of the building. They already had a nice brick sign that was working just fine. But they wanted a new sign, the type with the changeable letters like every other church in the south, one that now had a power bill associated with it, and required somebody to go out an change the message. I went on a YM activity with the bishop shortly after the announcement. I voiced my concerns that the sign would not get updated as frequently as they wanted. So the messages would be dated. I even predicted that after a while they would probably just put the meeting hours up and give up on trying to update the message frequently.
Well construction started on the sign and I was shocked at how close they put it to the road. I work for a major utility and I was concerned that they may have damaged some of our facilities. I didn’t see any of the spray paint indicating that they had marked the utilities. No sooner than they had the foundation poured a county inspector drove by and put a halt to the project. The new foundation was completely inside the DOT right of way and the county had already begun work to widen the road and put a turn lane in front of the building.
Of course the spin the local authorities put on it was that the church was being "persecuted" for wanting a sign. The county’s position was simply, “We’re putting a road here. If you build it we’ll pave over it in a few months.” It had nothing to do with the denomination of the church. Finally the church conceded, poured another foundation 20 back and built their new sign.
Currently the first foundation is buried under the new turn lane and newly relocated sidewalk. The new sign is black/dark
brown metal and looks like a sign for an office park. When the lights are turned on the contrast is so high that you can't read the smal gold letters on the dark background. The half with the light up letters was used for about a 3 months to announce local events but it was out of date more often than it was current. So, just as I predicted, the removable letters now just read the meeting times and “mormon.org”. The last letters are completely pointless since mormon.org is already printed on the sign, albiet hard to read.
I stopped paying tithing the day they poured the first foundation that I knew was going to be paved over and haven’t paid a dime since.
Now I realize that this is peanuts compared to the waste of money in downtown SLC, but this is what brought it home to me that the Church was not spending the tithing dollars wisely.
| First, start with LDS stats:
This kind of document is the only official source on the value the church gives to helping the poor. They do not disclose their financial worth, expenses, income or any other indication of financial responsibility.
The LDS church since 1985 has given a combined $1.3 Billion in cash and service value to the poor as humanitarian assistance. (this breaks down to about $350M in cash and about $950 in non-cash service and in-kind donations. In any event, $1.3 over 26 years is about $50 million a year in value.) That comes out to be, on average, about $3.5 per year per current member (# listed above). That’s extremely low.
Ask the bishop, is this all the church gives?
Let him know that just Sunday, it was reported that Elder Holland had this to say:
Holland: There is no money in our church except what the members offer.
That’s the source of the $3.5 per member per year donation? The rest goes to building campuses and other buildings. I found this one, that the church is building:
The $3-4 Billion mall is owned by City Creek Reserve, Inc, a company of the Church, according to their own website (http://www.downtownrising.com/ ) Selling penthouse apartments for $1.5M and stores that will sell liquor.
So if Holland says all the money comes from the members, and the church spends about $50M a yr on Humanitarian aid, and it spends $3-4 billion on a mall in a few years (2008-2012), where are its priorities?
Certainly not with the poor. What kind of steward would I be to give money to building a mall instead of helping the poor?
More research shows the church owns:
And MANY more
- AgReserves Inc. - the largest producer of nuts in America (circa. 1997)
- Hawaii Reserves, Inc. - Miscellaneous church holdings in Hawaii. Along with the Polynesian Cultural Center (the leading paid visitor attraction in Hawaii) and Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Hawaii Reserves generated revenue of $260 million for the Hawaii economy in 2005.
- Farmland Reserve Inc. - 228,000 acres (923 km˛) in Nebraska,; 51,600 acres in Osage County, Oklahoma; and over 312,000 acres (1,260 km˛) in Florida (dba Deseret Cattle and Citrus).
- Bonneville International Corporation - the 14th largest radio chain in the U.S.
- Deseret Morning News - a daily Utah newspaper, second-largest in the state of Utah.
- Beneficial Financial Group - An insurance and financial services company with assets of $3.1 billion.
The land alone is estimated worth $20Billion. The profit-companies are estimated worth another $15Billion. The Church owned land, campuses and temples are worth billions. When all is said and done, conservative estimates put the combined wealth of the church and its affiliated corporations at around $60Billion
This is not hard to believe. Tithing collected from 14,000,000 members, where say $2million are temple going, full tithed, active US workers, puts the estimate at ($50,000/yr avg US salary X 10% X 2M members = ) $10 Billion per year in tithing collection.
Over 25 years, that would easily make up $60 Billion, if not considerably more. Out of that, in 25 years, they gave $1.2 billion to the poor. That’s barely 2% .
How do normal, non-religious consumer-oriented corporations do in their giving?
If you look at the net profit before taxes, the companies that earn 1/20th what the LDS church gets in tithing each year, they pay MORE in donations that does the LDS church, which is supposed to be a charity in the first place.
I would do better to buy groceries at Target, Safeway or Smiths, donate the groceries to poor families in Provo and feel safe that more than 2% of the profits they earn from me are also going to the poor.
Until the LDS church provides me with more transparency on their financial operations, donations and expenditures, I don’t feel comfortable giving to them.
Why would I ever trust the owner of the City Creek Mall to wisely use my tithing donations?
| I worked for about 6 months for an insurance company/securities firm in Provo area in the late 90s. The guy who owned the firm was a high-up mormon and virtually all our clients were TBMs. There were quite a few clients who only paid tithing once a year, in December and paid with stock. That way they avoided the capital gains.
So they'd call Elder Penishood and give him the number that their accountant had figured they'd need to pay to cover their 10% for the year and my boss would decide what to pay with and take care of it. So tithing for these people was a simple once-a-year business transaction and they didn't even have to go to the trouble of filling out the form. The firm did more sacrificing to pay the tithing than they did (and I was the one doing all the administrative work). I thought I should have gotten the blessings.
But many of these people were bishops and higher and I'll guarantee they gave more than their share of talks about the blessings of tithing. Yes, they'd extol the virtues of "sacrificing" to pay tithing to people who had to choose between food or diapers or maybe even a roof over their heads and paying tithing. Just made me sick to even deal with them. It was when I was really questioning whether there was anything good in the church at all--just a couple years before I resigned. It certainly helped open my eyes.
| The LDS Church Teaches Financial Independence. Step One: Give Us Your Money. Step Two: Give Us More Money. |
Monday, Mar 19, 2012, at 08:17 AM
Original Author(s): The Man In Black
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 2 -Link To MC Article-
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| I bet you clicked that link expecting a punchline. Unfortunately the only joke here is on the members of the LDS church. Today's sacrament meeting topic was (surprise) tithing. Actually the topic was financial independence. Did you get the joke now? Was it funny? Yeah it's funny. Funny like hungry children funny. Hah!
The talk was based on a 2009 church-published Ensign story called Focus on Family Finances. The speaker was addressing these difficult economic times and what we, as the faithful can do to weather the storm. First and foremost: Give us your money. That may not be the exact wording, but that is unequivocally the meaning. This of course is nothing new, the church has been doing this for at least as long as I've been alive. Today however, I was hard pressed to not want to punch the speaker.
Not only does this advice make sh!t for sense as financial advice, it also underscores the absolutely insane lack of accountability demonstrated by the Mormon Church. This is an organization that financially bleeds its members in a self-admitted time of economic crysis, so that they can in turn, build a five billion dollar shopping mall.
This is incredulous enough, but the second peice of financial advice? Give us MORE money as, "fast offerings." And fast offerings--just in case you thought you'd get away with not paying unnoticed--are collected by sending twelve-year-olds to your house with an envelope, so that the only way to opt-out is to tell a little kid to piss off.
Is the joke funny yet?
So the first two steps to financial independence are to give your money to a milti-billion dollar corporation. Absolutely unbelievable.
Surely they must make exceptions though don't they? Surely those who are hungry, homeless, fatherless, penniless, or in poverty are exceptions right? Nope. They are not. And stop calling me Shirley. Members are encouraged to pay a multi-billion dollar corporation that builds five-billion dollar shopping malls with money that might have fed, housed, or clothed an impoverished child.
To see the hypocricy of Mormonism you need look no further than the financial counsel the church gives to its members--and then look at what they spend it on, a five billion dollar mall. It's a bit like Robinhood really. Rob from the poor to give to the rich and then tell the poor that the only way to escape their destitution is to pay MORE to the church. I'm sorry did I say Robin Hood? Silly me, I meant Satan.
| My dad told me an interesting story about my grandfather's death. My grandpa was not active at the time of his death and he hadn't been in years. At his funeral, the church bishop approached my grandmother and basically said, "You know...Elder Chapman hasn't been paying his tithing since 1992...blah blah blah."
My grandma took the hint. She took his life insurance policy, cashed it, and turned it over to the church. It was six figures! There was no way that my grandpa would ever agree to pay the church a dime, let alone six figures. The bishop accepted the check from a 73 year old lady.
She lost her home later that year and lived out her days in my aunts basement on a twin bed until she fell asleep during a prayer over supper and never woke up. The last ten years of her life were very sad. No vacations, weight gain, her mental health suffered, hours upon hours in bed, and she was never the same.
Six figures would have come in handy those last 10 years. My grandfathers children never inherited any money and the money he left to his wife was swallowed up by the church. It all went to the church. The story still makes my dad shake when he tells it. Mormons...I have no words.
| There is only one time a year when the Bishop meets personally with every family or individual in his ward. Appointments are made and phone calls are made. Even talks in sacrament meetings remind members that it is December and they must meet with the bishop for TITHING SETTLEMENT, not for Christmas chat or well wishes, not for spiritual growth or even worthiness interviews, but to tell the bishop if you had PAID a full tithe and to give more cash if you haven't.
When I was new in the church and would hear of people not renewing TRs, I wondered why, what were they not doing, most seem fine to me. Later I learned that a big problem in our stake was tithing.
When I was YM President, we had to be reminding our bishop about the girls' birthdays so hat we could interview them.
When I served as RS president, many times the bishop delegated to me to assess the needs of a family in need, he really didn't want to do this and appreciated when I was the intermediary. No time for people's affairs that someone else can look after or that can be postponed. However, any bishop I had made the time to do tithing settlement.
When families needed help, the first question was are they paying tithing? If not, they wouldn't receive any assistance, period, end of conversation.
When I stopped paying tithing I was serving in a calling, still had a TR, contributed to anything we were asked for in the ward, did my VT and because I was doubting the church I tried hard to enjoy whatever I did. I was at church more hours than the average member and did church things for a few hours every week. When the bishop asked if I was paying tithing and I said no, he got mad and released me at once. I know I was working very hard because one that is my nature and also because I didn't want them to think I was lazy, I loved my calling and I knew that would be my last calling. But that was not enough, if I didn't pay tithing I might as well not attend church. The day that bishop released me was my absolute last confirmation that money is the most important thing in the lds church, any doubts I still had were gone. Thank you bishop.
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