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  TITHING - SECTION 1
Total Articles: 25
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.
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Mormonism And Tithing
Saturday, Apr 8, 2006, at 08:06 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
In Mormonism, tithing is not optional - it is mandatory for salvation. Any Mormon that chooses not to pay tithing will be denied access to the Mormon Temple. Mormons who pay a full 10 percent gross tithing are given a "Temple Recommend" - a barcoded membership card. Without access to the Mormon Temple a Mormon cannot perform the Mormon Temple Ceremonies that are essential to salvation. A Mormon who does not perform these ceremonies will forever be relegated to the lowest of the three Mormon heavens known to Mormons as the Terrestrial Kingdom. In addition to this any Mormon that does not hold a temple recommend will be unable to enter the temple in any way - meaning they will be denied access to weddings, ordinances, etc.

In Mormonism any Mormon that does not pay tithing will not be allowed to hold any "Callings". Callings are positions in the Mormon Church such as Primary Teacher, Teacher, Scout Master, Counselor, Bishop, Stake President, etc, etc. In addition to this, Mormons who do not hold a "Temple Recommend" are not even allowed to bless their own children - nor participate in any other blessings.

Tithing always comes first in Mormonism - it is the top commandment. All blessings, privileges and callings in the Mormon Church are centered on tithing. Without paying a full tithe - 10% gross - a Mormon member will not be considered a "member in good standing". Mormons are counseled that unless a full tithe is paid - blessings from God are withheld.

Mormons that are not full tithe payers are counseled to pay "back tithing" and are issued temple recommends immediately upon payment. Many Mormons pay back tithing in order to attend temple weddings - and many take out lines of credit to pay the large sums due.

Mormons are counseled to pay tithing on all forms of income - including wages, social security, trust funds and/or annuities, unemployment insurance, child support - or any other form of income.

Mormons are counseled that tithing comes before all other needs. In Mormon General Conference April 2005, Mormon General Authority Lynn G. Robbins stated:
"If a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing."
Lynn G. Robbins also stated:
No bishop, no missionary should ever hesitate or lack the faith to teach the law of tithing to the poor. The sentiment of "They can't afford to" needs to be replaced with "They can't afford not to."
Mormons are taught that Jesus Christ will appear in what is referred to as "The Second Coming" - and any Mormon that has not paid a full tithe will be burned:
"Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming."
See Mormon Doctrine and Covenants Section 64:23-25.

Every year in December Mormons are summoned to the Bishop's office where a review of all of the tithing paid by the Member is examined. Mormons who do not identify themselves as full tithe payers have their temple recommends revoked - unless back tithing is paid.

Utah has the highest rate of bankruptcies in the United States. Mormon Republican Orrin Hatch passed legislation that allowed Mormons to pay a full tithe even while they were in bankruptcy court - see S. 4044.

In Mormonism tithing is not optional or a "personal choice" - tithing is mandatory.
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The Changing Law Of Tithing
Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Okgivens
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
"The celestial law requires one-tenth part of all a man's substance which he possesses at the time he comes into the church (See D&C 119:1), and one-tenth part of his annual increase ever after (See D&C 119:4). IF IT REQUIRES ALL MAN CAN EARN TO SUPPORT HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY, HE IS NOT TITHED AT ALL. The celestial law does not take the mother's and children's bread, neither ought else which they really need for their comfort. The poor that have not of this world's good to spare, but serve and honor God according to the best of their abilities in every other way, shall have a celestial crown in the Eternal Kingdom of our Father." (The Millenial Star, 1847. Orson Hyde, editor)

The first scriptural definition of what exactly is tithed, was given by Joseph Smith in his inspired translation (“Joseph Smith Translation” or “JST”) of Genesis 14 (about 1830, see D&C 37:1), which included new verses. Verse 39 states: “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.” (Emphasis added.) Abraham paid tithes on the amount "more than that which he had need".

Franklin D. Richards explained the meaning of SURPLUS as it appeared in verse 1 of D&C 119: "I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop" Let us consider for a moment this word 'SURPLUS.' What does it mean when applied to a man and his property? SURPLUS CANNOT MEAN THAT WHICH IS INDISPENSABLY NECESSARY FOR ANY GIVEN PURPOSE, BUT WHAT REMAINS AFTER SUPPLYING WHAT IS NEEDED FOR THAT PURPOSE. Is not the first and most necessary use of a man's property that he feed, clothe and provide a home for himself and family! . . . WAS NOT 'SURPLUS PROPERTY,' THAT WHICH WAS OVER AND ABOVE A COMFORTABLE AND NECESSARY SUBSTANCE? In the light of what had transpired and of subsequent events, what else could it mean? CAN WE TAKE ANY OTHER VIEW OF IT WHEN WE CONSIDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH IT WAS GIVEN IN FAR WEST, IN JULY, 1838? "I have been unable in studying this subject to find any other definition of the term 'SURPLUS,' as used in this revelation, than the one I have just given. I find that it was so understood and recorded by the Bishops and people in those days, AS WELL AS BY THE PROPHET JOSEPH HIMSELF, WHO WAS UNQUESTIONABLY THE ABLEST AND BEST EXPONENT OF THIS REVELATION." (Emphasis added, Franklin D. Richards, Nov. 6, 1882. JD 23:313.)
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Tithing Tidbits
Thursday, Feb 24, 2005, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Silverfox
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
One of the things I learned while exiting the church that I wish I would have known all along were a few things about tithing. For those of you who are married to a TBM or have TBM family and friends and are under the magnifying glass regarding everything Mo...consider this.......
  • The church handbook does not state any percentage to be paid in tithing. I will try to find the excerpt.
  • You do not have to pay tithing directly to your bishop. For privacy reasons the church will allow tithing payments to be mailed to the COB. They DO NOT report the dollar amount to your bishop. They only notify your bishop that you have paid tithing. So when you go to tithing settlement or are asked if you pay a full tithing you can answer yes and they have no way to question the amount. You can pay just a dollar a month. It is up to YOU to decide if you are a full tithe payer or not.
Gosh knowing this over my nearly 30 years as a member would have saved me a lot of money. I never liked being forced to pay a percentage. I always felt it should be and is a personal decision.

Not only can you discretely pay your tithing directly to the Church (something that was particularly instituted for the very wealthy who don't think the Bishop needs to be nosing into their financial status...isn't that interesting...), but you can also transfer stock to the Church by this method in lieu of tithing. They don't want eggs, milk or hay any longer, but they're happy to relieve you of your Microsoft...

I have also heard, though only second hand, that the very wealthy who have contributed an ungodly amount of tithing can receive an exemption from any further tithing (sound like a particular political party to anyone?) Anyway, I have HEARD, that a particular man in our town had received notice from the Church Office that he was considered paid in full and didn't need to pay any more. Apparently the mortgage for his mansion on high has already been paid. Anybody else ever heard that, or should I add it to the Urban Legend thread?
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If A Destitute Family Is Faced With The Decision Of Paying Their Tithing Or Eating, They Should Pay Their Tithing
Thursday, Apr 7, 2005, at 09:14 AM
Original Author(s): Argar Largar
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
The transcripts of General Conference talks are now available. This is the title of a talk from Saturday afternoon by Lynn Robbins who says:
Among those who do not sacrifice there are two extremes: one is the rich, gluttonous man who won't and the other is the poor, destitute man who believes he can't. But how can you ask someone who is starving to eat less? Is there a level of poverty so low that sacrifice should not be expected or a family so destitute that paying tithing should cease to be required?

One reason the Lord illustrates doctrines with the most extreme circumstances is to eliminate excuses. If the Lord expects even the poorest widow to pay her mite, where does that leave all others who find that it is not convenient or easy to sacrifice?

No bishop, no missionary should ever hesitate or lack the faith to teach the law of tithing to the poor. The sentiment of "They can't afford to" needs to be replaced with "They can't afford not to."

One of the first things a bishop must do to help the needy is ask them to pay their tithing. Like the widow, if a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing.
I don't even have words to say how pissed off this makes me feel.

Another fine example of Mormonism: PAY, PRAY, OBEY.
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Tithing Rip-off Not Historical LDS Position
Friday, Apr 29, 2005, at 07:58 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
When the LDS Church began, tithing was handled much differently than it is today. Instead of requiring 10% of gross income as the Church does today, the Church only required 10% of what was leftover after all necessary living expenses had been deducted from income. The current LDS method of tithing is unscriptural and gives way too much power and money to the Church while robbing the poor and middle class of necessary living expenses.

"The celestial law requires one-tenth part of all a man's substance which he possesses at the time he comes into the church (See D&C 119:1), and one-tenth part of his annual increase ever after(See D&C 119:4). IF IT REQUIRES ALL MAN CAN EARN TO SUPPORT HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY, HE IS NOT TITHED AT ALL. The celestial law does not take the mother's and children's bread, neither ought else which they really need for their comfort. The poor that have not of this world's good to spare, but serve and honor God according to the best of their abilities in every other way, shall have a celestial crown in the Eternal Kingdom of our Father." (The Millenial Star, 1847. Orson Hyde, editor)

The first scriptural definition of what exactly is tithed, was given by Joseph Smith in his inspired translation (“Joseph Smith Translation” or “JST”) of Genesis 14 (about 1830, see D&C 37:1), which included new verses. Verse 39 states: “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.” (Emphasis added.) Abraham paid tithes on the amount "more than that which he had need".

Franklin D. Richards explained the meaning of SURPLUS as it appeared in verse 1 of D&C 119: "I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop" Let us consider for a moment this word 'SURPLUS.' What does it mean when applied to a man and his property? SURPLUS CANNOT MEAN THAT WHICH IS INDISPENSABLY NECESSARY FOR ANY GIVEN PURPOSE, BUT WHAT REMAINS AFTER SUPPLYING WHAT IS NEEDED FOR THAT PURPOSE. Is not the first and most necessary use of a man's property that he feed, clothe and provide a home for himself and family! . . . WAS NOT 'SURPLUS PROPERTY,' THAT WHICH WAS OVER AND ABOVE A COMFORTABLE AND NECESSARY SUBSTANCE? In the light of what had transpired and of subsequent events, what else could it mean? CAN WE TAKE ANY OTHER VIEW OF IT WHEN WE CONSIDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH IT WAS GIVEN IN FAR WEST, IN JULY, 1838? "I have been unable in studying this subject to find any other definition of the term 'SURPLUS,' as used in this revelation, than the one I have just given. I findthat it was so understood and recorded by the Bishops and people in those days, AS WELL AS BY THE PROPHET JOSEPH HIMSELF, WHO WAS UNQUESTIONABLY THE ABLEST AND BEST EXPONENT OF THIS REVELATION." (Emphasis added, Franklin D. Richards, Nov. 6, 1882. JD 23:313.)
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The Mormon Church Does A Masterful Job At Masquerading As A Charitable Organization
Wednesday, May 11, 2005, at 07:51 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
The church does a masterful job at masquerading as a charitable organization. The members fall for it hook, line, and sinker. The idea that the church does so much good in the world has become firmly ingrained into LDS thinking. The reality is shocking and sickening when you digest it all:

The LDS church takes in well over 14 million dollars PER DAY in tithing, which amounts to OVER 5 BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR (these were estimates from nearly ten years ago, so they are likely higher now).

According to Gordon B. Hinckley in a talk a few years ago:

"Last year alone we sent humanitarian aid to assist with 829 projects in 101 countries, giving 11.2 million dollars in cash and 44 million in material resources for a total $55.2 million."

Assuming we can take the prophet's word for it--and assuming this wasn't an extraordinarily charitable year for the church (which, considering the fact that most years go by without the church releasing any such financial numbers, seems unlikely)-- this means the church spends about 1% of its annual income, or, to look at it another way, LESS THAN $5 PER MEMBER PER YEAR, on charity.

Bill Gates, by contrast (and whose net worth is probably in the same neighborhood as the church's), has a charitable foundation that gives away over ONE BILLION DOLLARS each year to charity, or ABOUT TWENTY TIMES AS MUCH AS THE LDS CHURCH, even taking a conservative estimate for tithing intake and a liberal estimate for the church's charitable givings. Bill And Melinda Gates Foundatation TBMs, your tithing money would do more good for the world if you were to instead give it to BILL GATES. Alarm bells should be going off in any reasonable person's head right about now.

Clearly the $55 million per year (which was probably a banner year for the church) is nothing more than advertising/marketing for new members, and what a bargain for their advertising dollar when you look at the tithing income resulting therefrom!

I find the mere thought of giving money to an organization like this repugnant. The thought that I gave money to this organization makes me want to puke. I would feel better about giving my money away to BILL FREAKING GATES FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!
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A Bill For Tithing?
Monday, Jul 18, 2005, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
The first time, I'd been out of the church for about six or seven years. I'd married a nevermo, changed states, and never attended the ward where the bill originated.

One day I came home from work to find an envelope in my mailbox from the local ward. I was annoyed because I'd been telling them to leave me alone. My husband was pissed because they kept visiting, phoning, and sending ward newsletters as if I was a part of their cult.

Once inside the house, I opened the letter. It was from the local bishop, saying he and the other bishop-prick guys wanted 100% tithing participation. They knew I didn't want contact and would probably not attend some stupid "settlement," so they had prayed and decided to ask for a minimal amount of tithing, something like $200. I turned over the letter and wrote back that I was not mormon and wanted them to leave me alone and sent it back.

A year later, I received a similar bill. Mormons can be such weird fanatical zealots. They actually think they can force some "Lord" in the sky to manipulate a person they don't know or care about into paying money to a detestable organization, one so bad as to pull a stunt like this one.
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Stake High Councilor Interview
Wednesday, Aug 3, 2005, at 11:12 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I had an interesting experience at church yesterday.

Minutes before SM (last hour) while we're running around trying to collect our kids from primary classes, DW comes up to me and says that this high council guy wants to meet with us. I've never met the man, and even now I don't remember his name, but I do recognize him as the guy who occasionally gets up in SM to talk about stake callings, etc.

So DW and I and our three boys crowd into a little classroom with high council guy, and he proceeds to tell us that 1) the stake maintains a list of endowed members who do not currently hold TR's, 2) our names are on that list, and 3) he wants us to do whatever we need to do to get our names off of that list by the end of the year.

Standard mormon crap, right? Well, there are a number of things that strike me as fishy about this little encounter.

First of all, has anyone ever heard of high councilor conducting an interview like this? I never have. He said that he had talked to both the SP and my bishop before talking to us, so we didn't need to worry that he was "stepping on any toes," but he didn't say who initiated the meeting. Also, he would start to say something, or ask a question, and then stop himself, as if he was venturing beyond his authority. He said his only purpose was to motivate us, not to hold us accountable or whatever.

Secondly, our names should not appear on any list because our TR's are current. They don't expire until the end of September. I wish I had pointed this out to him at the time, but I didn't. I think the whole lapsed TR thing was just a pretext to talk about tithing anyway, which brings me to the final example of weirdness.

He never asked us to confirm that our TRs had indeed lapsed. He only said, "Now, I can guess why that would be the case," and then went on to talk about paying tithing. He went on an on about tithing, without ever actually asking us if that was, in fact, the reason that we supposedly allowed our TRs to lapse. I'm thinking that he really just wanted to let us know that he knows that we're not paying tithing, and made up the whole TR thing as a pretext because he doesn't want to openly admit that ward and stake leadership keep tabs on who's paying and who's not.

Here's what I think happened: the bishop knows we're not paying tithing because he looks at the finances, and he asked the high councilor to talk to us about it because he thinks we might be motivated by the thought that we're on some stake hit list.

The whole thing ruined DW's day, and pisses me off as well. Fucking cult. The one good thing was that the interview made us late to SM, so we just decided to head home.

- -

The annual report on Tithing and Offerings of each Ward/Branch is supposed to be reviewed by the Stake President before signed and transmitted to church HQ. When I was in Chicago I caught the Stake Clerk reviewing our report too a few times. This report shows subtotal amounts by Tithing, FO, Mishie fund and the grand total of the year per family. When I was an Assistant Stake Clerk I was privvy to all that info whenever I helped the Ward-level clerks figure out FIS and its details. But I treated the info like I would any business customer data and tried my best to forget it. I'm a software developer and I take seriously the ethics to not misuse customer data.

Frankly if I were still active and trying to maintain TR status then I'd just donate a few shares of near-worthless pennystock to L-dS, inc. headquarters with a 2-part letter. Part 1 would spell out that I'm making a tithing-in-kind gift. Part 2 would spell out the numbers details to be included in my tax planning file folder. Then I'd give a copy of Part 1 to the Bishop. A lot of wealthy L-dS, inc. members do this so the clerks won't know how much they are earning and for better tax planning purposes.

Just remember that L-dS, inc. collects a lot of data. If you ever slack off on tithing or other requirements then they've got the data in their system to track much of this. Seeing what they are doing to restrict the sales of temple garments tells me that we can expect future real efforts at monitoring & evaluating the membership on an individual basis. As long as their growth trend continues downward and the media bias more negative I believe they'll get more paranoid and work harder to "protect" their reputation and the good name of Joseph Smith & other key marketing symbols. I wouldn't be surprised one bit to see the GA(s) using more exhaustive statistical metrics on individuals/couples whenever they choose new Seventies, MP(s), SP(s), Bishop(s), etc. If your score-rating is low then you'll certainly doom your chances at getting important callings in the kingdom and the highest rank you'll ever achieve will be as Assistant Chairman of the Sh*t-scrubbing subcommittee on the Temple Janitors Council. And ifyou don't keep your recommend current then you won't even get the blessings of cleaning up Jesus's holy sh*t at the temple.

- -

In my experience as stake and ward assistant clerks, the stake president did receive a record of tithing receipts at least annually. This report include a declaration of full/part tithe-paying status.

This was an official report, generated by FIS.

I also think that it would be entirely possible that a SP could request bishop's to produce ad-hoc reports of those not paying tithing, if that was a kick that a particular SP was on.

Anything is possible. Any report an SP asks for from the wards, he is going to get it.
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Elder Robbins' Talk On Tithing Contradicts The D&C
Thursday, Aug 25, 2005, at 07:25 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph and Sydney produced D&C 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://65.66.134.201/cgi-bin/webster/...)

Webster's defines "advantage", in pertinent part, as

"Interest; increase; overplus".

Both refer to a surplus or overplus.

Joseph and Sydney also produced the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible. It is in Sydney'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.)

Therefore without doubt, titing in Mormon scripture means "one-tenth of their surplus advantage annually", which means "more than that which they have need".

If you doubt this, the First Presidency still has a letter from 1970, quoted in the current General Handbook of Instructions, that states:

“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.” (Letter from the First Presidency, dated March 19, 1970).

What do you think?
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Tithing Messages And General Conference
Monday, Oct 3, 2005, at 07:09 AM
Original Author(s): Sarony
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I am curious to see what comes out of General Conference about tithing.

There has been a progression in the last few years to hit the topic harder. The series of speeches includes Jeffrey Holland, Earl Tingey, Robert Hales, Sydney Sperry, and most recently, Lynn Robbins.

Not one of these people have quoted the only passage of Mormon scripture that defines, once and "for ever" (D&C 119), what is to be tithed.

I wrote an essay a couple years ago that included analysis of the first four above-mentioned people and their conference talks. It was getting a little long to add what Robbins to it, with analysis. But the post has been archived on this board.

So here is a "modern" version with just the talks by Robbins and Holland analyzed.



Elder Lynn Robbins delivered a speech on tithing in the April 2005 General Conference. The title of the speech, as it appeared in the May 2005 Ensign Magazine was entitled: "Tithing?a Commandment Even for the Destitute".

I. Introduction Elder Robbins stated, "Among those who do not sacrifice there are two extremes: one is the rich, gluttonous man who won't and the other is the poor, destitute man who believes he can't. But how can you ask someone who is starving to eat less? Is there a level of poverty so low that sacrifice should not be expected or a family so destitute that paying tithing should cease to be required?"

But does Mormon scripture support the notion that the destitute must pay tithing?

No.

Is there any scripture that suggests the Elders can abuse the poor?

Yes.

From Isaiah 3:14-15. "YHWH will enter into judgment with the elders of his people, And their leaders: "It is you who have eaten up the vineyard. THE SPOIL OF THE POOR IS IN YOUR HOUSES. What do you mean that you crush my people, And GRIND THE FACE OF THE POOR?" says the Lord, YHWH of Hosts.

II. Mormon Scripture Mormon scripture states plainly that tithing is to be paid on any excess beyond a person's needs.

Joseph Smith and Sydney Rigdon produced D&C 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://65.66.134.201/cgi-bin/webster/webster.exe?search_for_texts_web1828=interest)

Webster's defines "advantage", in pertinent part, as

"7. Interest; increase; overplus".

Interest refers to a surplus or an "overplus" in antiquated English.

Smith and Rigdon also produced the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible. It is 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.)

Therefore without doubt, tithing in Mormon scripture means "one-tenth of their surplus advantage annually" (D&C 119), which means "more than that which they have need" (JST Genesis 14).

III. Official Mormon Policy What about official Mormon Policy?

On March 19, 1970, the First Presidency sent the following 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 ate Month="3" Day="19" Year="1970">March 19, 1970ate> letter from the First Presidency as its 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 D&C 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.

But even the First Presidency statement fails to define "INCOME". Hence, one must look to the scriptures for a definition. They state INTEREST income (D&C 119:4), which means SURPLUS of OVERPLUS income (D&C 119:5) MORE THAN THAT WHICH [THE TITHE PAYER] HAS NEED (Genesis 14:39, JST).

IV. Statements by General Authorities that Support "Surplus" Apostle James Talmage published a brochure entitled "The Lord's Tenth" It was misquoted by Apostle Jeffrey Holland in a speech he delivered in the October, 2001 General Conference.

Holland's lengthy quotation of Talmage is so riddled with ellipses and square brackets, one wonders what Talmage actually wrote.

I checked.

Holland's "quotation" is not what Talmage meant, particularly regarding the amount to be tithed. Talmage referred to surplus. Holland referred to ten percent. Could Holland's quotation of Talmage cause one to misunderstand Talmage? Perhaps.

The amount to be tithed is and remains one tenth of a person's increase after needs are met. (Genesis 14:39, Joseph Smith Translation, D&C 119:3-5). The First Presidency letter dated ate Month="3" Day="19" Year="1970">March 19, 1970ate> states in part, " 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." (As cited above.)

Talmage's writing supports current official policy and the two scriptures cited above, but does Holland's quotation of Talmage do the same?

Below is a full text, alternating-paragraph quotation of both Talmage and Holland. I have highlighted differences with ALL CAPS, and I have set forth enumerated comments. Talmage's text comes from "The Lord's Tenth, Pamphlet, 1968, as cited by Holland.

(1)TALMAGE: "You have need of many things in this world-food, clothing, and shelter for your family AND YOURSELF, the common comforts of life, AND THE THINGS THAT SHALL BE CONDUCIVE TO REFINEMENT, TO DEVELOPMENT, TO RIGHTEOUS ENJOYMENT. YOU DESIRE MATERIAL POSSESSIONS TO USE FOR THE ASSISTANCE OF OTHERS AND THEREBY GAIN GREATER BLESSINGS FOR YOURSELF AND YOURS.

(1)HOLLAND: ?You have need of many things in this world?food, clothing, and shelter for your family ... , the common comforts of life. ...

(1)COMMENT: Holland leaves the individual out: "YOURSELF", and the following needs: "THE THINGS THAT SHALL BE CONDUCIVE TO REFINEMENT, TO DEVELOPMENT, TO RIGHTEOUS ENJOYMENT". In harmony with the above-cited scriptures, Talmage taught these are legitimate needs. But lest Holland give a hint that tithing should be calculated after needs are met, he has dropped these lines. In other words, it appears the Church used to semi-officially (Talmage) clarify the tithing requirement based upon a recognition that personal and other legitimate needs were not to be tithed. Semi-officially (Holland), no more.

(2)TALMAGE: Now, you shall have the means of acquiring these things; but remember they are mine, and I require of you the payment of a rental upon that which I give into your hands. However, your life will not be one of uniform increase IN SUBSTANCE AND POSSESSIONS; YOU WILL HAVE YOUR LOSSES, AS WELL AS YOUR GAIN; YOU WILL HAVE YOUR PERIODS OF TROUBLE AS WELL AS YOUR TIMES OF PEACE. SOME YEARS WILL BE YEARS OF PLENTY UNTO YOU, AND OTHERS WILL BE YEARS OF SCARCITY.

(2)HOLLAND: You shall have the means of acquiring these things; but remember they are mine, and I require of you the payment of a rental upon that which I give into your hands. However, your life will not be one of uniform increase ...

(2)COMMENT: Holland truncates the phrase "increase in substance and possessions" probably because it fleshes out the meaning of an increase, that tithing should be paid after a calculation of "surplus properties" (D&C 119:5).

(3) TALMAGE: AND, NOW, instead of doing as mortal landlords do-require you to CONTRACT WITH THEM to pay in advance, whatever your fortunes or your prospects may be-you shall pay me NOT IN ADVANCE, BUT when you have received; and you shall pay me in accordance with what you receive. If it so be that in one year your income is abundant, then YOU CAN AFFORD TO PAY ME a little more; and if it be so that the next year is one of distress and your income is not what it was, then YOU SHALL PAY ME LESS; AND SHOULD IT BE THAT YOU ARE REDUCED TO THE UTMOST PENURY SO THAT YOU HAVE NOTHING COMING IN, YOU WILL PAY ME NOTHING."

(3) HOLLAND: [so] instead of doing as mortal landlords do?requir[ing] you to ... pay in advance, whatever your fortunes or ... prospects may be?you shall pay me ... [only] when you have received; and you shall pay me in accordance with what you receive. If it so be that in one year your income is abundant, then ... [YOUR 10 PERCENT will be a] little more; and if it be so that the next year is one of distress and your income is not what it was, then ... [YOUR 10 PERCENT will be] less. ... [WHATEVER YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE, THE TITHE WILL BE FAIR.]'

(3)COMMENT: FIRST, Holland deletes the phrase "not in advance" since that contradicts current declarations to "pay the Lord first" or even as Gordon B. Hinckley suggested to pay even in the face of disaster; the story of the woman who needed to pay her tuition, but paid tithing instead. SECOND, Holland inserts "YOUR 10 PERCENT" where Talmage clearly did not say "ten percent". Rather, Talmage's statement is in harmony with the First Presidency letter dated March 19, 1970 which states in part, " 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." THIRD, Holland pulls the following "quotation" out of thin air: "whatever your circumstance, the tithe will be fair". The problem is his text in the Ensign makes that statement appear to be paraphrased from Talmage. It is not. And how can a tithe be fair for a destitute individual who is struggling to support themselves and their dependents? FOURTH, Holland drops the phrase, "you shall pay me nothing." The reason is this would have destroyed impetus of the story he told of the destitute Mary Fielding Smith. Because, to quote Talmage, she was "reduced to the utmost penury so that you have nothing coming in". An anecdote like the Mary Fielding Smith story, even delivered by an apostle at General Conference, carries less authority than scripture, as cited above and less authority than a signed statement of the First Presidency, as cited above.

(4) TALMAGE: Have you ever found a landlord of earth who was willing to make that kind of a contract with you? When I consider the liberality of it all, and the consideration that my Lord has had for me, I feel in my heart that I could scarcely raise my countenance to his heaven above if I tried to defraud him out of that just rental.

(4) HOLLAND: "Have you ever found a landlord on earth who was willing to make that kind of [EQUITABLE] contract with you?" Elder Talmage asks. "When I consider the liberality of it all," he says, "... I feel in my heart that I could scarcely raise my countenance to ... Heaven ... if I tried to defraud [GOD] out of that [WHICH IS RIGHTFULLY HIS]."

(4)COMMENT: Holland's insertion of "EQUITALE", "GOD", and "WHICH IS RIGHTFULLY HIS" may inspire awe and guilt. It also minimizes the thought that one might have an "indifferent" landlord (See Matthew 5:45).

Summary. Talmage meant "pay on your surplus". Did Holland mean "pay ten percent across the board, regardless of your income"?

IV. Back to Elder Robbins' talk.

Robbins appeals to one's sense of shame by equating all who are unwilling to pay tithing with Dicken's infamous, but fictitious character, Scrooge. Robbins next tells the extreme story of the widow of Zarephath, and insists that the "Lord often teaches using extreme circumstances to illustrate a principle".

But do these examples matter if they contradict Mormon scripture and official policy?

No. They are misleading. Robbins also states that "[n]o bishop, no missionary should ever hesitate or lack the faith to teach the law of tithing to the poor. The sentiment of "They can't afford to" needs to be replaced with "They can't afford not to." Maybe the principle can be taught, but it cannot contradict Mormon scripture. Robbins also uses the term "firstfruits" extensively to bolster the notion that the destitute should pay tithing. But this contradicts Mormon scripture and the previous teaching of Apostle Talmage, misquoted by Apostle Holland that "you shall pay me NOT IN ADVANCE" (Talmage as quoted above). V. To give one one's substance, whether one is rich, poor, or neither, is a sacrifice in fact, but what remains in Mormon scripture and official policy regarding tithing is that the official interpretation of tithing remains "one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually". "Interest" is a surplus (D&C 119:4-5) of income "more than that which [one] has need." (Genesis 14:39, JST.), and

"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." (March 19, 1970 letter from the First Presidency, and current official policy).
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On Tithing
Tuesday, Nov 15, 2005, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Yesterday in the course of my business I was confronted with the real world problems of tithing.

One of my clients recently lost her husband to cancer. She is TBM. He left her with a substantial amount of money. Some 401k benefits. Some life insurance. Close to $ 1,000,000 in total.

Some of it has been tithed as it was earned and taxed. But some is in the form of non-taxable death benefits. The tithing on this would be more than many make in annual wages.

She asked me ( as she does not know of my dissafection) if I thought she should tithe the death benefit money. I said no as I thought she should not, and asked her to consult with her bishop to make a final decision. I do not want to overstep my bounds.

Folks this is a situation that would be detrimental to her. The money that would be tithed would be gone forever. No gain possible on it, and no income to be derived from it.

She is relatively young with three children at home, and two of them are young. She will need every bit of this money if she is to be able to recreate her husbands income of over $ 100,000 per year.

I thought immediately about the shopping mall being built in SLC. It was a moment of realization of the control tscc has over it's members, and the real world consequence of that control.

Now I wait to see what her bishop will say. I can only hope he is not a damn fool.
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I Would Like To Bear My Testimony Of The Power Of Not Paying Tithing
Saturday, Nov 19, 2005, at 08:36 AM
Original Author(s): Garry
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
This afternoon someone I lent money to two years came over and repaid me. I "lent" it to them because they were having tough times and I never expected it to be paid back. I had actually completely forgotten about it (I am a great person to borrow money from, I always forget LOL). We are about to go on a holiday and really "needed" the money.

Now if I was still TBM there is absolutely no doubt I would have said it was a blessing for paying tithing, absolutely no doubt at all. It just goes to show that you decide what you believe then make everything else fit, not the other way around when you are raised TBM.

I want to make a comment on the "blessings" of paying tithing. I have often thought how often the tithing blessing stories I heard involved a TBM gaining some financial advantage (blessing) of some sort that when you think about it involved someone else losing out by the same amount. I recall recently a friend who sold his house for too much. He claimed it was God helping him but then goes on to say that the guy buying it realised he had paid too much a few days later and my friend would not renegotiate or allow him out of the sale. I don't think he should have let him out necessarily because a contract is a contract but is he saying that God blinded this guy until after the sale or that he inspires stupid people to buy things off tithe payers? Or when people who pay tithing suddenly find $50 lying on the street. Someone else, maybe poorer than them, would have had to lose it.

I have had two pay rises since leaving the church and stopping my tithing and now this. I am so glad I have been able to see the church for what it is. Many of the people are good, dedicated people but the church , its founder, its prophets and its doctrines are a self perpetuating sham.
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Selling The "Magick" Of Tithing
Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006, at 06:15 AM
Original Author(s): Nao Crer
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I got a call from my mother last night. She was very excited about how they are presenting tithing in her mission. To me, it is disgusting. It is inherently fraudulent.

You give the investigator(ie mark or pigeon) a small bag with 10 pieces of candy in it. You make sure to explain you are giving it to them to use as they see fit. You then ask for one piece back. When they give one to you, you dump a whole bag of candy in their lap, saying that these are God's blessings if you do what he asks and give 10% back to the Lord.

This is wrong and lying on so many levels.

First of all, the money people get is from their own work effort, and some amount of luck (good or bad). To infer that a person's entire means of support is a free gift from God is simply a lie. How did they live before the missionaries showed up at their door? This is one more case of giving God (or the Morg) credit for good things that happen, but if the person then loses their job it is because of their failing, not because of God.

My experience is that if you give the 10%, you have 10% less and life rolls forward. I have never been tremendously blessed because of paying my tithing. I got jobs, changed jobs and moved forward through a tremendous amount of effort. I have watched my mother scrimp and save, and now she is spending her money on a mission. When she returns from the mission she will live with one of my sisters because she does not have savings to buy a decent house. She has talked about giving the balance of her savings to the Morg because she feels guilty for having a little bit from the sale of her house. Where is this "bag full of blessings"? I have never experienced anything like this.

My mother is currently giving lessons to one woman. The woman is on disability because of schizophrenia. My mother says she is better when she takes her meds, but even then she has a lot of problems. They are currently giving the indoctrination on tithing to convince her to give up 10% of the $603 per month that she is trying to live on.

It is really sad to see my mother so deluded by this organization. She will work for the rest of her life for them and be happy doing it. She will never have any value to them, she is just one of the workers that carry the burden for them. Work them hard, tell them that they are not ever quite good enough. Take credit for the good and blame them for the bad.
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Tithing And My Family
Monday, Sep 25, 2006, at 08:02 AM
Original Author(s): Trixie
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I have been lately thinking about the impact tithing has had on my entire family. I suppose it has to do with observing my parents in their retirement, and pondering my own retirement in the future. This time of mid-life seems to encourage introspection, and analyzing our past decisions and how they impact our current life. So bear with me for making this personal.

I joined the church at the age of 19, a year after my older sister and her husband had joined. Within the next two years, due to our proselytizing efforts, my parents and two remaining sisters also joined the church. My parents and one sister remain very active. One of my other sisters, like myself, is an atheist, although she has never bothered to have her name removed from church records, which I have. My other sister is inactive, but very private and doesn’t discuss her current beliefs. My inactive sisters and I were all very active for more than a decade of our adult lives, during which time we faithfully paid tithing, like my active sister and parents still do. While I understand that we are all adults who made the choice to pay tithing, albeit under certain false impressions, the decision to pay ten percent of one’s income to any entity is one that will have long term impact. So here is the story of how it has impacted my family.

My parents have made a good living throughout their lives, despite coming from practically destitute families in the depression. My parents have been mormon for almost twenty years now, full tithe payers the entire time. My mother was a teacher in the highest paying district in our area, my father was the personnel manager of a clothing manufacturing company. Together, their income – not counting my father’s bonuses – was probably around 150,000 a year, in an area of the country where that is an upper-middle class income. My father also received hefty bonuses every year – in fact, his bonuses sometimes were almost as much as my yearly income as a beginning teacher. Together, my parents tithed probably as much as I made in a year, not counting the extra money they donated for building funds and fast offerings.

My parents live in a nice home in a nice neighborhood. They are both retired. Yet, they are still paying off this house, due to the fact that they kept borrowing on it. Of course, with the expenses of raising four children, a large percentage of their income was not disposable. But what was “disposed” was ten percent of a very comfortable income, and if that ten percent had, instead, been used to pay on their mortgage and other loans, they would have paid off that house long ago. Instead they look forward to paying a mortgage probably until the day they die.

My oldest sister, the one who is still active, raised four boys, active in the church, along with her husband. He has worked hard all his life, but without a college education, was not able to find jobs that paid good benefits including retirement. She did not go to work until their children were grown, at which time she went into teaching. They have no retirement. If they had put ten percent of their income all these years into a retirement fund instead of into church coffers, they would have a nice retirement nest egg. Instead, they realistically look forward to working until the day they die.

My atheist sister also paid regular tithing when she was active and still married. Her husband unwisely chose to quit the military just four years away from full retirement, and never was able to make a decent income since then. They divorced, partly because he became a full fledged religious nut involved with polygamy. He rarely paid child support and moved out of state. Had they saved ten percent of their income all those years they were active, perhaps she would NOT have been literally left destitute with dependent children after their divorce.

My younger sister was active her entire adult life until a couple of years ago. She is eleven years younger than me, so isn’t 40 yet. She went into debt in order to finance her post graduate college education. Despite having always had fairly decent paying jobs (more than I make as a teacher), being single without financial obligations to children, she has never even been able to afford to buy a new car due to the fact that she continues to be drained paying off her college loans. Had she put ten percent of her income towards her college loans instead of tithing, they would be paid off by now.

My story – I was married to an irresponsibly self employed man, so that is a factor I must consider in my finances. We always struggled, and he hid money from me. I often had to use my credit card to purchase food and diapers for our three children. Had I used ten percent of my income towards helping my family survive instead of paying tithing, perhaps by the time we divorced I would not have been left with such a huge credit card bill I had to file bankruptcy.

There is nothing to be done about all this – it is water under the bridge. We were all adults who chose to write those checks. Yet, we also wrote those checks under false impressions, deliberately fostered by the LDS church. One is that paying a ten percent tithe to the LDS church is a prerequisite to being able to be with your family throughout eternity. Another is that God would open the windows of heaven, and any financial struggle that losing ten percent of your income in tithing would be more than offset by his blessings.

It turned out to be utter bullshit, and I can’t help but resent all the money my family has paid the LDS church so they can build fancy hotels monuments to Joseph Smith, and buy malls in Utah.
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House Passes Bill To Allow Tithing During Bankruptcy
Thursday, Dec 7, 2006, at 06:52 AM
Original Author(s): The Salt Lake Tribune
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Looks like Orrin Hatch has won the battle to make sure the Mormon Church always gets the required tithing monies.
WASHINGTON - Congress has passed legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that would allow a person to contribute to charity or pay religious tithing during the course of a consumer bankruptcy. The bill, also sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., passed the House on Wednesday; the Senate approved the measure in September.
http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_4794296

Let us remember the words of Lynn Robbins from the April 2005 General Conference:
No bishop, no missionary should ever hesitate or lack the faith to teach the law of tithing to the poor. The sentiment of "They can't afford to" needs to be replaced with "They can't afford not to."

One of the first things a bishop must do to help the needy is ask them to pay their tithing. Like the widow, if a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing.
http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_ti...
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Tithing Horror Stories - How Did You Suffer From Paying Tithing?
Monday, Dec 18, 2006, at 12:12 PM
Original Author(s): Kimberlyann
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn't a joy to it's members, it's a leech sucking the life-blood out of hard-working families financially, spiritually, and emotionally. One of the more insidious ways the cult oppresses it's victims is by making tithing mandatory for a temple recommend. No tithing, no temple recommend. No temple recommend, no celestial kingdom. No celestial kingdom, no eternal family. It's a sick religion that CHARGES families to be together in heaven.

Many members suffer terribly in order to pay tithing. We've read the horror stories of hungry people scraping together the last of their money to pay tithing instead of buying food. I lived a life like that many years ago.

When I was first married my husband was in the service and stationed in Coronado California, a little piece of heaven on earth. He was a pitiful Lance Corporal and our paycheck totaled about $1,000. a month, and that included a housing allowance because no military housing was available for us. If you've ever lived in southern California, you know how expensive apartments are. We paid $475. a month for a flea-infested dump in a gang infested neighborhood of San Diego where drive-by shootings were par for the course and I was literally afraid for my life. We had $525. a month left for groceries, gas, car insurance, utilities and tithing. We didn't have a dime to spare.

When we went in for our first tithing settlement together, the Bishop didn't think we'd payed enough tithing - we were paying ten percent of his gross check, but the Bishop felt we needed to calculate the free meals DH ate every day on base and the cost of our health insurance. He said we needed to pay about $150. a month, or 15% of our gross check. My husband, being a convert, said to me after we left the Bish's office that the Bishop was "full of shit". I chastised him and said we'd make the necessary sacrifices to pay our tithing as we should.

I was often hungry after we began paying that extra money in tithing. DH ate on base, so I stopped buying very many groceries. My father came to visit and thought I had anorexia. We were so broke that I took some silver dollars that had been given to me by an uncle and placed in my baby book the day I was born and used them to pay the toll it took to cross the Coronado bridge to pick up my husband from work. We were BROKE! But we paid our tithing. And I feel sick about it now. What an asshole of a Bishop we had - he knew how bad off we were, but he didn't care.

Things eventually got much better for us financially, and I shudder to think of the thousands and thousands of dollars we paid into that cult. Since we've left the church, I've found several of those little yellow tithing slips tucked away written for large sums of money and I feel a surge of anger every time it happens. Hopefully, they're all cleared out by now because I don't want to discover another one.

So, if you have high blood pressure, make sure you've taken your medicine and share your outrage at having been duped out of your hard earned money and how it affected your life.

Not being coerced into paying tithing - another benefit of leaving Joe's cult.
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Good Reasons To Pay The Prophet
Monday, Apr 2, 2007, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Razrsharp
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Protects a person from spending their hard-earned money on themselves:

“The covenant of tithing weans the faithful from the love of money and its attendant trappings.” (Keith B. McMullin, “An Invitation with Promise,” Ensign, May 2001, 61) “But without a testimony of tithing, [children] are vulnerable. In their teenage years, they become attracted to clothes, entertainment, and expensive possessions and risk losing the special protection that tithing provides.” (Robert D. Hales, “Tithing: A Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings,” Ensign, Nov 2002, 26)

Protects a person from being a thief:

“What is so important about tithing? If you don’t pay tithing, you are stealing from the Lord (see Mal. 3:8), and that’s contrary to the eighth commandment, and no one has ever prospered doing that.” (Hartman Rector Jr., “The Resurrection,” Ensign, Nov 1990, 76)

It’s a debt:

“Tithing is not a free-will offering; it is a debt...” (Marion G. Romney, “Concerning Tithing,” Ensign, Jun 1980, 2) “The most important step toward achieving financial well-being is to pay tithing first–no excuses and no exceptions.” (Lane V. Erickson, “Five Steps to Financial Well-Being,” Ensign, Mar 2004, 66–71)

More important than eating:

“As I pondered the significance of life and death, I thought, ‘What last words of counsel would I leave my children if I knew the time had come to leave this world?’ I could not think of anything better than the counsel I had received from my father: ‘Even if you don’t have anything to eat, always pay your tithing.’” (Jorge Luis del Castillo, “Lessons from the Old Testament: My Father’s Last Words,” Ensign, Dec 2006, 52–53) “[I]f a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing.” (Elder Lynn G. Robbins, "Tithing–a Commandment Even for the Destitute," April General Conference, 2005)

Essential for purchasing salvation:

“Failure to pay tithing by those who know the principle can lead to heartache in this life and perhaps sorrow in the next.” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts,” Ensign, May 2004, 40) “Without tithing there is no exaltation…Tithing, then, is one of the bedrock foundation principles of exaltation.” (Hartman Rector Jr., “That Ye May Have Roots and Branches,” Ensign, May 1983, 25)

Preserves family relationships:

“I learned in serving almost twenty years as bishop and stake president that an excellent insurance against divorce is the payment of tithing.” (James E. Faust, “The Enriching of Marriage,” Ensign, Nov 1977, 9) “Then those who walk in holiness before the Lord, which includes the payment of tithing, will have an eternal family at the last day. And those who do not pay tithing will have none.” (Hartman Rector Jr., “That Ye May Have Roots and Branches,” Ensign, May 1983, 25)

Buys answers to prayers:

“Would any of us intentionally reject an outpouring of blessings from the Lord? Sadly, this is what we do when we fail to pay our tithing. We say no to the very blessings we are seeking and praying to receive.” (Robert D. Hales, “Tithing: A Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings,” Ensign, Nov 2002, 26)

Keeps a person from being burned alive:

“The payment of tithing is also worthwhile as fire insurance.” (Marion G. Romney, “Concerning Tithing,” Ensign, Jun 1980, 2) “A further reward for paying tithing is a guarantee against being consumed in the burning which is to accompany the second coming of the Savior.” (Marion G. Romney, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, May 1979, 40)

Makes you more attractive:

“It is a fact that we even look better when we pay tithing. There is a happiness that comes into the heart of the tithe payer that even reflects in his countenance.” (Hartman Rector Jr., “That Ye May Have Roots and Branches,” Ensign, May 1983, 25)

Sick, sick people.
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Tithing - Just In Time For General Conference
Monday, Apr 2, 2007, at 08:06 AM
Original Author(s): Sarony
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I have been tracking the various tithing speeches since about 2002, as they have been delivered in Gen. Conf.

The main speakers have been Holland, Tingey, Hales, Sperry, Robbins, and most recently, Elder Daniel L. Johnson in October 2006. Holland and Hales probably delivered the most misleading talks, but as I have written on these talks and commented on them, it seems they are getting closer to what is both scriptural and Official Policy.

Take a look.

What amount is a proper tithe? And where can one find binding authority within Mormonism, to determine this?

I. Introduction

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 D&C 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://65.66.134.201/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". Logical harmony existed back then 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"?

Yes.

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 D&C 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", has antecedent basis only 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.)

Scriptural harmony between D&C 119, and JST Genesis 14:39 also resides in the concept that "interest" (D&C 119:4) is expounded as "surplus properties" (D&C 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 logic and Mormon scripture; "interest" (v. 4) means "surplus properties" (v. 5). Mormon tithing is defined as "one-tenth of their surplus properties annually" (D&C 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 D&C 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 D&C 119:4-5.

IV. What about Elder Daniel L. Johnson's speech on tithing from the October 2006 Conference?

Elder Johnson went directly to D&C 119:4.: "So what is a tithing? The Lord has given us His definition: "And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever.' "

So far, so good.

But when he expounds on this verse, does he skew the meaning?

No. Not yet.

He states "Please note that the tithe is not just any freewill offering, nor is it a 20th or some other fraction of our annual interest or income."

That is acceptable, as he is focused on "one-tenth" (D&C119:4) not meaning "a 20th or some other fraction ...."

Elder Johnson diverges from our elegant harmony between logic and Mormon scripture, by quoting Howard W. Hunter back from 1964:

"President Howard W. Hunter stated it this way: ‘The law is simply stated as ‘one-tenth of all their interest.' ‘Interest means profit, compensation, increase. It is the wage of one employed, the profit from the operation of a business, the increase of one who grows or produces, or the income to a person from any other source. ‘The Lord said it is a standing law ‘forever’ as it has been in the past.’ (In Conference Report, Apr. 1964, 35).”



This quotation has significant problems. Howard W. Hunter may have "stated it" that way, but how has Mormon scripture "stated it"? Nowhere in Hunter's original words, is there a statement regarding "interest" or more generically, "surplus", and more specifically, "surplus properties".

Hunter's definition (“Interest means … etc.”), is sandwiched between two portions of Verse 4, including the quotation of “a standing law unto them forever” (D&C 119:4) as if his definition is THE scriptural meaning. Is Elder Hunter's definition harmonious with Mormon scripture?

I don't think so.

If Elder Hunter's definition, from a 1964 speech, is current policy, why then does a more authoritative source, the 1970 First Presidency letter, state each member should "be ENTITLED TO MAKE HIS OWN DECISION as to what he thinks he owes the Lord"? How can each member make his own decision, if Hunter's definition takes that privilege away? Is Elder Hunter's statement harmonious with current Mormon Policy?

I don't think so.

Did Elder Johnson make an unjustified statement?

You decide.

V. Epilogue

Does willingly paying a tithe require faith, and if not faith, a benevolent heart?

Certainly.

If the Saints should pay the tithe according to the "standing law forever" which is seen by the scriptural and logical harmony of the word "interest" to mean "surplus properties", should not the Brethren also consider having the faith to let the Saints pay their tithes according to scripture? Will not the Lord bless both the Saints and the Brethren for exercising faith in the scriptural definitions of tithing?
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How The "Pro Family" Church Charged My Dad $4000 To Attend My Wedding
Monday, May 14, 2007, at 07:02 AM
Original Author(s): Racer
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
My dad is hard working, honest, blue-collar guy. The world hasn't always been to kind to him. He found himself out of a job many times as I was a child. You could say we grew up poor. We qualified for welfare and free school lunch, but my dad had too much diginity and pride to accept the freebies. He busted his ass and made every penny count.

By the time I was in high school things were working out for my dad and he had stable work with benefits. Our lives improved, but it wasn't like we were rolling in cash. We had moved out of poverity status into the lower middle class status. Money was still tight.

I was never one of those kids who saved for a mission because honestly I never considered it until I was a SR in HS. My dad was proud when I decided to serve; I was the first in my family to serve a mission. The mission would cost $365 a month. My Dad's monthly tithing was about $365 a month. If he paid for both it would be over $700 a month and he just couldn't afford to do that.

My dad decided to skip out on tithing and fund my mish. The Bishop chastised him for this and told him tithing always came first. He should pay his tithing no matter what, and the ward would pay for my mission. My Dad had too much dignity to do that. Also, my Dad reasoned that it was sixes. He tithes $365, and the church turned around and gave him $365 back to pay for my mission. How is that any different than skipping tithing and just paying for my mission?

2 years later I arrived home, and a month after I got home, my brother left on his mission. So basically, my dad did not pay tithing for 4 yrs because he was funding missions.

About a year into my brother's mission I got engaged. I was going to be sealed in the temple. My dad's TR had lapsed, so he went to get it renewed a couple of days before the wedding. Of course, he hadn't been paying tithing for 3 years because he was funding missions. The Bishop knew this and told him he had to at least pay a years worth of back tithing before he would renew the recommend. This came to roughly $4000. My dad went out and got a loan and paid the money. I was pissed at the whole situation. My dad just said: "It was worth it to be able to attend my son's wedding." The sad thing is; in any other situation no one would have to pay 4 g's to be able to attend their kid's wedding.

I want everyone who is teeter-tottering on whether the LDS church is for them or not to understand this story.

Forget JS marrying a bunch of teens, forget about the uneasy history of Mormonism, forget about DNA and the BOM, and the contradicting doctrines. All churches have these things in common to some degree.

The worst thing about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the way it treats its own members and families. It claims to be pro family, but it splits up families and screws with people's lives. It makes them pay large sums of money in order to see a loved one's wedding. It takes, and takes, and takes. Whether it is your time, money, or sanity. It sucks you dry and does not give back anything of value except some pipe dream of a perfect afterlife. An afterlife which the church makes you feel is impossible to obtain, and uses this to heap unecessary guilt upon it's members.

It's not the doctrine that makes the church a damaging cult. It's the way they screw their members over. Such as not letting a father attend his child's wedding unless he pays $4000.
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BYU TV Trotted Out An Old General Conference Tithing Talk
Wednesday, Oct 3, 2007, at 02:02 AM
Original Author(s): Sarony
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
Robert Hales’ gave a speech at the October 2002 General Conference on tithing. I viewed it again last weekend on BYU Televsion.

By the way he delivers his speech and the official transcript in the November 2002 Ensign one must wonder if Hales believes in the Mormon God, why is Hales treating God's scriptures with contempt?

And treating beleiving Latter-day Saints with contempt as well?

What amount is a proper tithe? And where can one find binding authority within Mormonism, to determine this?

I. Introduction

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 D&C 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://65.66.134.201/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"?

Yes.

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 D&C 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 refer only to the word “law” as found 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.)

Scriptural harmony between D&C 119, and JST Genesis 14:39 also resides in the concept that "interest" (D&C 119:4) is expounded as "surplus properties" (D&C 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" (D&C 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 D&C 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 D&C 119:4-5.

IV. What about Elder Robert Hales' speech on tithing from the October 2006 Conference?

Here are pertinent parts of Apostle Robert Hales’ October 2002 General Conference Speech

Let us review Hales’ pertinent statements regarding tithing. They are listed as (1)Hales through (7)Hales:

(1)Hales: In the Old Testament, Abraham proved his faith by paying tithes to the great high priest Melchizedek. (See Genesis 14:20.)

(1)Comment: The amount Abraham paid is not clear, and this statement oversimplifies that Abraham paid tithes of his excess. See JST Genesis 14:39, as cited above.

(2)Hales: Abraham's grandson Jacob vowed to the Lord, "Of all thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee." Genesis 28:22.

(2)Comment: This verse indicates Jacob vowed to pay a tenth. What he actually paid is not stated. But to harmonize Jacob's statement with D&C 119:3-5 and Joseph Smith's inspired translation of the Bible, since it is clear Abraham paid a tenth of his excess, Genesis 14:39 JST, if Jacob was paying what Abraham paid, it was a tenth of his excess.

(3)Hales: The strict observance of the law of tithing not only qualifies us to receive the higher, saving ordinances of the temple, it allows us to receive them on behalf of our ancestors. When asked whether members of the Church could be baptized for the dead if they had not paid their tithing, President John Taylor, then of the Quorum of the Twelve, answered: "A man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be baptized for his dead. . . . If a man has not faith enough to attend to these little things, he has not faith enough to save himself and his friends." (History of the Church, 7:292–93.)

(3)Comment: This paragraph is targeted to the youth who are being taken to the temple almost monthly nowadays.

(4)Hales: The law of consecration was then withdrawn. In its place the Lord revealed the law of tithing for the whole Church. (See historical introduction to D&C 119.) On July 8, 1838, He declared:

"And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.

" . . . Those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever." (D&C 119:3-4).

(4)Comment: This passage has been dealt with, as cited above. The scriptural meaning of "interest" is surplus properties or surplus advantage. But take a closer look at THREE different meanings of what is a proper tithing: First, in D&C 119:1, it was "all their surplus property . . and after that, those who have thus been TITHED . . . ." Hence, a proper tithe at one time was all surplus property. The second and third proper tithes were set forth in verses 4 and 5, at paragraph 2d.

Here is more of verse 1: "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 . . . "

Did "tithed of their surplus properties" mean all of their surplus properties? Just look at what Hales does with his next statement, which cites to a reference. And then, for a surprise, read what the reference actually says.

(5)Hales: The law of tithing prepares us to live the higher law of consecration–to dedicate and give all our time, talents, and resources to the work of the Lord. Until the day when we are required to live this higher law, we are commanded to live the law of the tithe, WHICH IS TO FREELY [endnote reference affixed here] GIVE ONE-TENTH OF OUR INCOME ANNUALLY. (Emphasis added. See Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 3: 120.)

(5)Comment: There are two significant problems with the statement and the endnote reference.

FIRST, the 1970 letter of the First Presidency, as a newer pronouncement from an authoritative source, supersedes a 1946 book such as Church History and Modern Revelation.

To repeat, the 1970 First Presidency letter states:

"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.”

SECOND, even the book Church History and Modern Revelation, from which Hales quotes, indeed from the same page, indicates a tithing is a tenth of the surplus and not a tenth of gross income:

"In more recent times the Church has not called upon the members to give all their SURPLUS property to the Church, but it has been the requirement according to the covenant, that they PAY THE TENTH." (Emphases added. Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 3: 120.)

What could this passage have meant? The implication is that less is required than in previous times. Look to D&C 119:1 and 4, as cited above, for an authoritative historical confirmation of a previous "all their surplus", and a current "pay the tenth". Is there any scenario where the statement by Joseph Fielding Smith would imply to "pay the tenth" is to pay more than all one's surplus?

No.

It appears that this concept was believed and practiced earlier. Here is a statement from Orson Hyde in 1847.

"The celestial law requires one-tenth part of all a man's substance which he possesses at the time he comes into the church (See D&C 119:1), and one-tenth part of his annual increase ever after(See D&C 119:4). IF IT REQUIRES ALL MAN CAN EARN TO SUPPORT HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY, HE IS NOT TITHED AT ALL. The celestial law does not take the mother's and children's bread, neither ought else which they really need for their comfort. The poor that have not of this world's good to spare, but serve and honor God according to the best of their abilities in every other way, shall have a celestial crown in the Eternal Kingdom of our Father."

(The Millenial Star, 1847. Orson Hyde, editor)

Let us now return to Elder Hales’ talk. Since Elder Hales’ talk does not quote from the 1946 book Church History and Modern Revelation, rather it only lists a citation to it at page 120, he did not make clear what he was referring to on page 120. No similar statement was found, "to freely give one-tenth of our income annually". But this statement was found:

"We call it a free-will offering, and so it is, for everything in the Gospel is by free will, but nevertheless it is a law of God which to us is everlasting. (As cited above. pp. 120-121).

In Hales’ General Conference text, his endnote reference follows the word "freely". This is a well-placed endnote reference regarding a "free-will offering", as cited above, not a definition of the amount to be tithed. But the verbally delivered speech, shows Hales' contempt for the scriptural meaning.

(6)Hales: Members who freely give a full 10 percent of their annual income receive all of the promised blessings of tithing, whether the amount is a widow's mite or a king's ransom.

(6)Comment: This is a difficult statement that needs parsing. This essay and even Hales’ cited reference in the book, Church History and Modern Revelation, make it clear a proper tithe is scripturally defined as a tenth of surplus. A tenth of surplus is probably always less than "a full 10 percent of their annual income". Perhaps members who pay "a full 10 percent of their annual income" will be blessed as Hales indicated, but will not also members who freely give a tenth of their surplus "receive all of the promised blessings of tithing"? They are complying with the letter of the law, after all.

In defense of Hales’ statement, the question must be posed, "Why pay ‘a full 10 percent’ of one's annual income if that is more than what is scripturally and officially required?" Perhaps Hales is repeating Bishop Brown's suggestion: "Pay your tithing on the basis on which you wish to be blessed." (April 1974 Ensign, Bishop Victor L. Brown)

(7)Hales: When a friend of President George Albert Smith asked him what he thought of his friend's personal plan to take what would have been tithing and donate his tenth in charitable donations of his own choice, President Smith's counsel was:

"I think you are a very generous man with someone else's property. . . .

" . . . You have told me what you have done with the Lord's money but you have not told me that you have given anyone a penny of your own. He is the best partner you have in the world. He gives you everything you have, even the air you breathe. He has said you should take one-tenth of what comes to you and give it to the Church as directed by the Lord. You haven't done that; you have taken your best partner's money, and have given it away." (Sharing the Gospel With Others, sel. Preston Nibley (1948), 46; see also 44–47.)

(7)Comment: This is an interesting anecdote, but since it is not controlling authority over the scripture: " . . . when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God", Mosiah 2:17, the issue must be considered that one is not taking the tithing money away from God by tithing outside of church channels.

In any event, the following is attributed to Jesus of Nazareth. Regarding a man who did good works in the name of Jesus, but the man would not follow his apostles when commanded to by the Apostle John. Jesus said, "Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us." (Luke 9:49).

Does willingly paying a tithe require faith, and if not faith, a benevolent heart?

Certainly.

If the Saints should pay the tithe according to the "standing law forever" which is seen by the scriptural and logical harmony of the word "interest" to mean "surplus properties", should not the Brethren also consider having the faith to let the Saints pay their tithes according to scripture? Will not the Lord bless both the Saints and the Brethren for exercising faith in the scriptural definitions of tithing?

Based on what Hales said and then published, apparently not!
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Things I Did Without While My Dad Paid Tithing
Friday, Oct 26, 2007, at 09:43 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I was thinking about this while I was taking a shower this morning. My dad has always been fanatical about paying tithing. He has always paid on his gross income, and without fail. I figure that he paid at least $200 a month during my childhood to the church while we kids did without:
  • medical care: I fractured my wrist in a skating accident in 3rd grade. I didn't go to the doctor. My teacher was upset because I was going around with a homemade sling on my arm made of ace bandages. As an adult, I had to have surgery to fix the damage.
  • dental care: I had a cavity that hurt for weeks. Finally my dad took me to a dentist he found who had agreed to charge a minimal rate in exchange for a no-frills filling. It was incredibly painful. I thought no novacaine (or very little) had been used.
  • food: I recall opening the fridge once, and all we had were condiments, a loaf of bread and a pitcher of water. Sometimes the RS Pres would bring us food. Other times not.
  • clothes that fit: If only I had a dollar for every time I heard "expecting rain today?"... Luckily we didn't eat much, so I was able to button up pants that were two sizes too small. I also didn't have a warm winter coat. When the military moved us to Hawaii, my dad was thrilled because the wardrobe needs were even less - Hanes t-shirts, shorts, and keds (not real Keds, knock-offs from Woolworths) year round.
  • school field trips: yep, I was the kid who either had to sit alone at school in the classroom or rely on the generosity of teachers.
Of course the list could go on from basic necessities to wants, but you get the picture. I think my childhood life experience taught me "there is never enough", and I can see how that affects me today. I have an inordinate anxiety about money and about ensuring that all of my family's needs and reasonable wants are taken care of.
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Tithing And Kids With Holey Shoes
Thursday, Dec 27, 2007, at 12:41 PM
Original Author(s): Kc
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
And no, I don't mean HOLY shoes.

When I was a single mom (divorced due to abuse), I had four young kids. I was working for $7 an hour and getting child support. I was NOT making ends meet. We were eating from the food bank.

I had asked the bishop for help, and he never "got back to me." Well, eventually he did, and let me go to the LDS Food pantry a couple times. But I mean, I was so broke!! Had my power shut off in winter.

So I had always been a full tithe payer AND made fast offerings. My bishop had also told me I had to tithe, not only on my $7/hour gross, but also I had to tithe on my scholarships and grants, and had to tithe on my child support (which was paid by my LDS ex who had already tithed on it). So I did. One year it was just too hard and I got behind on the tithing because my little kids needed some clothes. It was Christmastime, I didn't have any presents bought for them and they had holes in their shoes. I wanted to get them shoes for Christmas.

I went to tithing settlement, ashamed. I hung my head and told him my dilemma. I HAD paid tithing, for about 7 months of the year. I said, "I'm sorry, you'll have to mark me as a partial tithe payer this year. I would have to pay $500 to be a full tithe payer, and I only have $510 in the bank right now and haven't paid the bills yet or bought my kids shoes or food." He just looked at me, all disappointed. Asked me something about faith and trusting the Lord. I said, "I can't afford to pay it." and he said, "You can't afford NOT to pay it." After a minute of silence, I pulled out the checkbook and wrote him a check for $500. He smiled and checked the Full Tithe Payer box, and said, Merry Christmas.

My kids did get a couple things for Christmas, from Salvation Army, but they didn't get shoes. They did get a Christmas turkey from their elementary school who was giving them to the "needy" families, but honestly, we suffered. I have to wonder about a bishop who would ask such a thing of a single mom.
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How Much Money Does An Average Ward In The East Rake In A Year?
Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008, at 08:22 AM
Original Author(s): Still In, But Hanging On By A Thread
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I live in the Northeastern United States and am my calling allows me to view some of the stake financial data. The Stake Auditors in our stake just finished the year-end audits for 2007. For those interested, I thought I'd pass along some figures for two "average" wards in our area.

WARD 1: Covers some inner-city areas. Maybe a couple professionals in the ward. Mostly average income families or families who struggle financially.

2007 donations: $280,892 (includes tithing, fast offerings, missionary, etc)

2007 expenditures: 28,234 (includes welfare assistance, budget reimbursements,etc.)

So, if you subtract the expenditures from the donations, you will get how much goes to Salt Lake: $252,658. That means that for this ward, the local area only keeps about 10% of what they rake in each year!

WARD 2: Covers suburban and rural areas. Maybe a couple professionals in the ward. Slightly more retirees than Ward 1. Mostly average income families. Very few families or individuals who struggle financially.

2007 donations: $331,873 (includes tithing, fast offerings, missionary, etc)

2007 expenditures: $13,681 (includes welfare assistance, budget reimbursements, etc)

So, if you subtract the expenditures from the donations, you will get how much goes to Salt Lake: $318,192. That means that for this ward, the local area only keeps about 4% of what they rake in each year!

Amazing how much Salt Lakes gets compared to the local units. I have also found that retirees tend to give more in donations outside of the regular tithing and fast offerings. (i.e They are more likely to give to the perpetual education fund or temple building). Too bad, I bet their grandchildren could use that extra money!!
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Tithing Settlement
Monday, Mar 24, 2008, at 08:01 AM
Original Author(s): Recovered Brainwashed Morgbot
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
I know most of you have had really bad experiences with Mormonism, but I just have an experience I want to get off my chest regarding TSCC.

April 2006 I went to sacrament meeting one day. At this stage I was barely attending, and as have stated in previous posts left once and for all 8 months ago (July 2007), never to return.

Anyway, I decided to go to church one Sunday. After sacrament I was still sitting in the sacrament room, near the front, waiting for the Sunday school lesson to start. While I was waiting the bishop of the YSA ward (I was visiting a family ward, but the YSA ward used the same building and my records where in the YSA ward) came up to me and asked me to pop into his office briefly.

When I arrived he said he wanted to conduct a quick tithing settlement. In a polite way (I know I was not rude) I said I did not wish to participate in tithing settlement. I stated the temple recommend questions cover the issue of tithing, and we don't have to make extra written declarations throughout the year on matters such as the Word of Wisdom or Chastity, so I don't see why we have to have an official tithing settlement. (I didn't say this to be difficult, it was something I had been thinking about for awhile).

His demeanor immediately changed. He was incredibly irate that I didn't accept his supposed "authority" blindly. He asked me for my temple recommend back. I stated the temple recommend interview does not ask whether we voluntarily participate in tithing settlement. He stated raising his voice. He was furious and asked for my recommend back again. It was at this point I (maybe being a woman and maybe already feeling emotional about being at church again when even attending a meeting would make be feel miserable about myself) became upset. I said yes I had paid a full tithe that year (even when I hadn't, wasn't attending the temple, and was barely attending church and really would have had no shame in saying no!).

Afterwards I thought how downright rude. In a democratic country (Australia) with a separation of church and state, I am under no obligation whatsoever to do anything any church tells me to do. If they want to withdraw a temple recommend that's their choice (and legal right too I guess), but there should be no getting angry with any member who chooses to exercise their basic democratic rights and say no to participating in a tithing settlement. Their refusal to participate shouldn't garner any emotional reaction at all, other than respect for their right to do so.

I can understand people may want to check all contributions were received and processed for individual tax return purposes, and that temples etc cost money, but the LDS cult uses these tithing settlement interviews to emotionally manipulate people into doing their bidding by threatening them with loss of recommends and eternal family ties.

I am so glad I am out of that cult.
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How Much Does Mormon Forgiveness Cost?
Sunday, Apr 6, 2008, at 08:55 AM
Original Author(s): Grubby Gert
Topic: TITHING - SECTION 1   -Link To MC Article-
The real "Miracle of Forgiveness" is just how much money some people will fork over to TSCC to feel forgiven.

Last year my then TBM wife was disfellowshipped. Because it is tax time we recently got together and worked on our taxes. So I'm digging through some folders and stumble onto her statement of '07 contributions to TSCC.

She's sitting right there at the same table but doesn't know what I'm looking at. I didn't say anything to her about it because it's not my problem anymore - our divorce is almost finalized.

The month she was called into her Bishop's office she paid DOUBLE tithing - the next month, the month of her church court, she paid TRIPLE tithing. The remaining months of the year she went back to paying a double tithe.

When you see the 12 month breakdown with the numbers all lined-up in a nice row like that it's really, really obvious what's going on. She paid the exact same amount for most of the year (a conveniently round number) and then the numbers jump-up in exact multiples of the original monthly payment.

Assuming she keeps this up and assuming she again kicks in some extra just before her 1 year hearing (whatever it's called) she's going to have given them a hell of a lot of money. I mean, 10% of anyone's income is a lot but 20 plus per cent is just sick. I'm not sure how she can afford it but . . . whatever.

And another thing - it's not like she's getting anything back - all she's getting for her money is the hope of someday being declared forgiven. So even if she wasn't doubling-down it'd still be an obscene transaction.

This could drag on for more than a year, too. I doubt that they'll give her a temple recommend when they reinstate her as a member so it's possible the extra money will continue for an additional six months or so.

How many people would be gullible enough to write out a check to their Bishop for many thousands of dollars for immediate forgiveness? I assume not many would fall for that - the extortion is too obvious.

But give those same people an installment plan and keep dangling that forgiveness just out of reach and somehow the same scam is A-okay.

Amazing to me how much some people will pay to be allowed to eat 52 bite sized scraps of Wonder Bread a year . . .

Stupid cult.
 
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Archived Blogs:
Mormonism And Tithing
The Changing Law Of Tithing
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If A Destitute Family Is Faced With The Decision Of Paying Their Tithing Or Eating, They Should Pay Their Tithing
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The Mormon Church Does A Masterful Job At Masquerading As A Charitable Organization
A Bill For Tithing?
Stake High Councilor Interview
Elder Robbins' Talk On Tithing Contradicts The D&C
Tithing Messages And General Conference
On Tithing
I Would Like To Bear My Testimony Of The Power Of Not Paying Tithing
Selling The "Magick" Of Tithing
Tithing And My Family
House Passes Bill To Allow Tithing During Bankruptcy
Tithing Horror Stories - How Did You Suffer From Paying Tithing?
Good Reasons To Pay The Prophet
Tithing - Just In Time For General Conference
How The "Pro Family" Church Charged My Dad $4000 To Attend My Wedding
BYU TV Trotted Out An Old General Conference Tithing Talk
Things I Did Without While My Dad Paid Tithing
Tithing And Kids With Holey Shoes
How Much Money Does An Average Ward In The East Rake In A Year?
Tithing Settlement
How Much Does Mormon Forgiveness Cost?
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  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING - SECTION 1 (25)
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  · TITHING - SECTION 3 (22)
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  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 3 (37)
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