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  TITHING
Total Articles: 63
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   -Link To MC Article-
Tithing always comes first in Mormonism. Any member who is struggling in any way (job loss, broken down car, depression, etc) will always be counseled to pay tithing in order to receive blessings. All blessings, privileges and callings in the LDS Church are centered around tithing. Without paying a full tithe, a member cannot be a “member in good standing”.

Mormons are required by Commandment of God to pay 10% of all their GROSS income to the LDS church. This includes all income, including, employment, social security, Medicare, food stamps and trust funds and any other form of income, even including finding money on the ground.

The Church Of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints brings in an estimated 6.5 to 7.0 billion dollars a year in annual tithing revenues. The Church refuses to disclose to the public or its members how much money it receives annually and what those funds are used for. Because the LDS Church is a tax-exempt organization, it does not have to publicly disclose financial books.

In 2005 the LDS Church purchased two shopping malls in Downtown Salt Lake City for $500 million dollars. The Church plans to spend $1 to $3.5 billion dollars renovating them. In official statements from LDS Church, the Church claims that not one dollar of member tithing funds went into the deal.

Mormons are required to attend a Tithing Settlement with the Bishop each year. A member is questioned in a one-on-one interview with the Bishop to ensure the member is paying a full 10%. Those members who are not paying a full 10% loose their temple recommends and are prevented from entering the Temple.

Mormons who loose their temple recommends are in serious jeopardy of loosing their Celestial blessings. A Mormon who does not pay tithing cannot enter the temple. If a member cannot get into the temple, the member cannot learn the secret handshake, secret password, secret "new name" and special “sealings”. Without these, the member will be unable to pass Joseph Smith and the angels who guard the entrance to the Celestial Kingdom.

Mormons are commanded that tithing must come first before anything else. Utah has the highest rate of bankruptcies in the United States. Mormons often are told "I cannot pay my bills until I've paid my tithing." Mormons will even pay their tithing rather than give the money to a relative who is on the verge of eviction. Mormon published magazines (Ensign, New Era) constantly stress that tithing must always be paid.

Recently, Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch passed legislation that allowed members to pay a full tithe even while they were in bankruptcy court. (See S. 4044).

Mormons are told: "if a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing." (Lynn Robbins, General Conference, April 2005).

Mormons who have not paid tithing will be denied a temple recommend and will be considered "unworthy". However; Mormons who pay "back-tithing" (some as much as $5000 or more) are instantly found to be worthy and can receive their temple recommends back once the money has been paid. The Mormon Church uses this as an extortion method when it comes to temple marriages. Parents or family members who have not paid tithing are required to pay back tithing - sometimes in the thousands of dollars - which must be paid before a temple recommend can be issued in order to see their own children married.

Mormons are further threatened that if they do not pay a full tithe, they will be burned with fire when Jesus Christ comes again. Mormons see Tithing as "fire insurance".

Mormons who claim that tithing is purely "a personal choice" are deceiving themselves and outright lying.
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The Changing Law Of Tithing
Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Okgivens
Topic: TITHING   -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 DandC 119:1), and one-tenth part of his annual increase ever after (See DandC 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 DandC 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 DandC 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   -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   -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   -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 DandC 119:1), and one-tenth part of his annual increase ever after(See DandC 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 DandC 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 DandC 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   -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   -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   -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 and 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 and 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   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph and Sydney produced DandC 119:4 (1838). It states:

“And after that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them FOREVER, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.” (Emphases added.)

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "INTEREST" as

"5. Any surplus advantage." (http://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   -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" (DandC 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 DandC 119:4 (1838). It states:

"And after that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them FOREVER, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord." (Emphases added.)

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "INTEREST" as

"5. Any surplus advantage." (http://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" (DandC 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 DandC 119:4).

Because the General Handbook of Instructions quotes the 1970 letter from the First Presidency, the 1970 letter remains the official written policy on tithing.

But even the First Presidency statement fails to define "INCOME". Hence, one must look to the scriptures for a definition. They state INTEREST income (DandC 119:4), which means SURPLUS of OVERPLUS income (DandC 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, DandC 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" (DandC 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 (DandC 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   -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   -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   -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   -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   -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   -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   -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   -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 DandC 119:4 (1838). It states:

"And after that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually; and this shall be a standing LAW unto them FOREVER, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord." (Emphases added.)

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "INTEREST" as

"5. Any surplus advantage." (http://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 DandC 119:5, which is the next verse:

"Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be TITHED OF THEIR SURPLUS PROPERTIES, and shall observe THIS LAW, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you."

Significant meanings should be observed from verse 5. The phrase "THIS LAW", 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 DandC 119, and JST Genesis 14:39 also resides in the concept that "interest" (DandC 119:4) is expounded as "surplus properties" (DandC 119:5), or in other words, "more than that which he had need" (JST Genesis 14:39).

To understand the meaning of what is to be tithed, we are fortunate to find a simple, elegant harmony in meaning, between logic and Mormon scripture; "interest" (v. 4) means "surplus properties" (v. 5). Mormon tithing is defined as "one-tenth of their surplus properties annually" (DandC 119:4,5), which means "more than that which he had need" (JST Genesis 14:39).

III. What about OFFICIAL MORMON POLICY?

On March 19, 1970, the First Presidency sent a letter to presidents of stakes and missions, bishops of wards, and presidents of branches in answer to the question, What is a proper tithe?

"For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually, which is understood to mean income. NO ONE IS JUSTIFIED IN MAKING ANY OTHER STATEMENT THAN THIS. We feel that every member of the Church should be ENTITLED TO MAKE HIS OWN DECISION as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly."

The General Handbook of Instructions quotes from the March 19, 1970 letter from the First Presidency sets forth a definition of what is tithed. Here is a portion of the General Handbook of Instructions from that section:

"The simplest statement we know of is the statement of the Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should pay ‘one-tenth of all their interest annually,' which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this." (First Presidency letter, 19 Mar. 1970; see also DandC 119:4).

Because the General Handbook of Instructions quotes the 1970 letter from the First Presidency, the 1970 letter remains the official written policy on tithing.

Can one harmonize the statement of the First Presidency with canonized scripture?

Let us try.

The phrase "one-tenth of all their interest annually, which is understood to mean income", has harmonious meaning with "one-tenth of all their surplus properties annually, which is understood to mean surplus income."

Is this an unjustified statement?

I would venture, not if one does a plain reading of the text in DandC 119:4-5.

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

Elder Johnson went directly to DandC 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" (DandC119:4) 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” (DandC 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   -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   -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 DandC 119:4 (1838). It states:

"And after that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually; and this shall be a standing LAW unto them FOREVER, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord." (Emphases added.)

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "INTEREST" as

"5. Any surplus advantage." (http://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 DandC 119:5, which is the next verse:

"Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be TITHED OF THEIR SURPLUS PROPERTIES, and shall observe THIS LAW, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you."

Significant meanings should be observed from verse 5.

The phrase "THIS LAW", can 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 DandC 119, and JST Genesis 14:39 also resides in the concept that "interest" (DandC 119:4) is expounded as "surplus properties" (DandC 119:5), or in other words, "more than that which he had need" (JST Genesis 14:39).

To understand the meaning of what is to be tithed, we are fortunate to find a simple, elegant harmony in meaning, between a plain reading of the text and Mormon scripture; "interest" (v. 4) means "surplus properties" (v. 5). Mormon tithing is defined as "one-tenth of their surplus properties annually" (DandC 119:4,5), which means "more than that which he had need" (JST Genesis 14:39).

III. What about OFFICIAL MORMON POLICY?

On March 19, 1970, the First Presidency sent a letter to presidents of stakes and missions, bishops of wards, and presidents of branches in answer to the question, What is a proper tithe?

"For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually, which is understood to mean income. NO ONE IS JUSTIFIED IN MAKING ANY OTHER STATEMENT THAN THIS. We feel that every member of the Church should be ENTITLED TO MAKE HIS OWN DECISION as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly."

The General Handbook of Instructions quotes from the March 19, 1970 letter from the First Presidency sets forth a definition of what is tithed. Here is a portion of the General Handbook of Instructions from that section:

"The simplest statement we know of is the statement of the Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should pay ?one-tenth of all their interest annually,' which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this." (First Presidency letter, 19 Mar. 1970; see also DandC 119:4).

Because the General Handbook of Instructions quotes the 1970 letter from the First Presidency, the 1970 letter remains the official written policy on tithing.

Can one harmonize the statement of the First Presidency with canonized scripture?

Let us try.

The phrase "one-tenth of all their interest annually, which is understood to mean income", has harmonious meaning with "one-tenth of all their surplus properties annually, which is understood to mean surplus income."

Is this an unjustified statement?

I would venture, not if one does a plain reading of the text in DandC 119:4-5.

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 DandC 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 DandC 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." (DandC 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 DandC 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 DandC 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 DandC 119:1), and one-tenth part of his annual increase ever after(See DandC 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   -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   -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   -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   -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   -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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I Was Forced To Pay Big Bucks To Go To The Temple
Tuesday, May 6, 2008, at 07:11 AM
Original Author(s): 1111
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
Sixteen years ago, when my husband (now ex) and I were quite young and had only been married a few years, we wanted to go to the temple and be sealed. We had gotten civily married at first.

At that time, we were VERY poor. We scraped from paycheck to paycheck, and we still couldn't make ends meet. (we had lots of debt at the time). I shopped discount stores, got my clothes at Deseret Industries, and I only had $40 to spend on groceries every TWO WEEKS. We were forced to go on welfare. (thankfully, a couple of years later he got an excellent job). For Christmas we would get a special slip of paper from the Bishop so we could go to Deseret Industries and chose some Christmas presents for ourselves and others...used things.

Moving forward: Okay, so we go interview with our Bishop, and tell him we want to go to the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity. We had not paid tithing in quite awhile...we didn't have ANY money. To pay tithing would have meant we would have had to give up an essential living expense (or two...or three). Of course, we were always made to feel guilty about this.

Our Bishop sat back in his chair, looked us over, and then questioned us about our tithing. He then leaned forward and told us that he couldn't allow us to go to the temple because we were behind in our tithing payments. He told us that in order to be allowed to enter the 'holy building', we would have to be square with the Lord, and square with the church. We asked him how much "back" tithing we owed. He looked at a paper, and then told us we owed...are you ready for this???

$$$$$$$$$$$$ OVER FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!! $$$$$$$$$$$

We asked him if we could make payments (hahaha!!) ...like we could afford to...sheeesh....and he seemed angry and stern, and told us that there was "no way he'd allow us to go the temple" unless we paid our back tithing. (@#$%!!)

So guess what we did? We TOOK OUT A LOAN, on top of the other loans we had that we couldn't afford (for our home, our furniture, credit card bills, car payment, etc.) so we could pay the mormon church to 'allow' us into their temple. Yes, a loan. We could NOT afford the payments. If I remember right, we had to consolodate later on and paid outragious interest to get that done. We paid for years on that ridiculous loan, and of course spent a couple more years (before the good job) scraping worse than we ever had before. What's worse is I had a daughter already, and we just had a baby boy, too. My children suffered so the mormon church could line their pockets more.

What makes this whole thing even worse is that our temple experience TOTALLY SUCKED...the temple workers were rude, rushing us around, and didn't make my "real" wedding day special. It was all about rushing us in and out so they could bring in the next couple.

I can't even explain the anger and frustation I feel when I think of how poor we were, on WELFARE, scraping to eat, struggling to keep clothes on our backs, and having to GO INTO DEBT so we could PAY for our temple recommends. Yep, God is poor and he needs our money. Not only that, but he expects us to go into debt for it, even though he also expressely forbids us to go into debt (according to his "prophets"). Kind of reminds me of Adam and Eve...eat that apple, but don't eat it.
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Our Tithing Story
Friday, Jan 30, 2009, at 03:01 PM
Original Author(s): Irish Gal
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
One time when mu husband and I went in to renew our temple recommends, we told the bishop that we were about $60 behind on our tithing. We were really young, had just moved to the area, 2 babies at the time etc. Money was really tight to say the least. Well, the bishop put both of our recommends in his shirt pocket and said that we could have them as soon as we could get the $60 to him. He actually came over to our apartment after the interview so that we could write him a check...........which we dutifully did.

Now I look back and see what a crock the whole thing was. We never went back to the temple again.
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Partial Tithe Payer
Friday, Jan 30, 2009, at 03:02 PM
Original Author(s): Was Blind
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
My last tithing settlement was Dec. 2007. I was TBM, but DH was not. We'd been meeting with the Stake Pres., and others, under the pretense of getting DH's questions and concerns answered, but what DH was really doing was giving me small doses of lessons in Mormon history, etc. So one day when I realized our tithing was behind and asked DH about it (DH usually always paid that "bill"), DH asked if we could hold off paying it until we had his issues resolved. I respected his wishes but things dragged into months and by the time Dec. rolled around I went to tithing settlement by myself knowing that DH was going "inactive", at best. I told the Bishop I paid tithing on the money I had but not on DH's earnings. He said since we were listed on the tithing settlement as a couple we had to be considered together and therefore that would make me only a partial tithe payer. I didn't see why we couldn't each have our own statement, but whatever. Then Bishop says "Now for the hard part... I have to ask for your temple recommend back." I couldn't believe it and started crying! He said I just needed to talk to DH and explain the situation (in other words pressure him to pay tithing so I could have a recommend!). I asked about part-member couples--how could you expect a non-member to pay tithing so his/her spouse could have a recommend? I was dumbfounded but gave him my recommend. In the end he gave it back and said I was "worthy" (but at that point I really didn't want it anymore and I don't think I ever used it again).

I'm a pretty mild-mannered person but looking back I wish I would have given him that recommend and told him he could shove it up his a$$!

When I got home DH said he wished they were as interested in answering our questions as they were in getting our money. Point taken. I was actually embarrased, on behalf of TSCC, for the Bishop's handling of this situation. Now, I realize $money$ is just a small part of what the Morg stole from my life.

I wouldn't consider myself a very vindictive person, but I wish there was some sort of retribution or accountability for that D*** organization. There is a lot of pain inside me when I start realizing all the ways it's affected my life to grow up Mormon and be TBM.
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The Shame Of Not Being A Full Tithe Payer
Thursday, Apr 9, 2009, at 08:00 AM
Original Author(s): Smalltowngirl
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
The deepest regret I have re. my 30 years as a TBM was the ongoing guilt I suffered because DH and I always had trouble paying a "full" tithe. About 15 years ago we lost money in a series of failed business ventures and have struggled financially from that point on. Being heavily in debt, we choose to pay the creditors instead of a "full" tithe but continued to contribute what we could. The BP finally said to stop using our temple recommends until we "paid up". The shame and guilt I felt because we were no longer "worthy" was humiliating. Being in a small branch it quickly becomes apparent when one of the flock falls from grace. When temple assignments were announced, I would cringe knowing we would be asked to go on the next temple trip. I learned to have a handy excuse ready.

One year during tithing settlement, the BP suggested that instead of buying groceries at the local store, we could get a food order from the bishops storehouse and use our grocery money as tithing. I realized he was testing our faith but there was no way I would ask for a food order. We continued to pay what we could afford in tithing, but have hever been temple "worthy" since . I have suffered much quilt, anxiety and depression that resulted from feeling of "unworthiness". I feared losing my family FOREVER! I began to see the class distinction between temple recommend holders and the "not so worthies". We were no longer a part of the "elite".

Then one day a light bulb went off in my head! I started thinking about all the COMMITTED, DEDICATED SERVICE that DH and I have given over 30 years...the hours spent in callings (in a branch you have 2 or 3 each); the hours of service projects; the miles traveled to meetings; a son who served a mission; and four years as a foster home for LDS Social Services (we had 6 babies in 4 years). I now realize all this was way more than enough to compensate for the tithing we were never able to pay in full, even tho that isn't the way TSCC sees it. The personal guilt has evaporated (mostly) due to the realization that even tho we were unable to write out that tithing check every month, DH and I both gave 30 yrs of our hearts, minds and souls in service to the MORG!
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Forced Tithing
Monday, Apr 13, 2009, at 08:07 AM
Original Author(s): Nightingale
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
On a thread by "anon" about conference-for-Easter in the midwest area, the brilliant insight from church leaders was shared that people need to pay their tithing - no matter what. Oaks apparently told members, "The church is not here to help you". While that sounds shocking, it's good in a way because at least he now admits that harsh fact that many may not have realized before.

One poster's story is almost unbelievable:

"can't log in here" said: "...when my house was destroyed by a tornado and a flood and a few months later I got into a serious car accident and then lost my job...

the church did not help me, at all. They promised to. They insisted on getting a tithing check from me as a condition, even when I told them that it was literally my last dollar. I was honest with them and paid a full tithe. When the check cleared, they called and said they decided not to help me."

I think the church leaders, including local bishops, have completely gone insane over this tithing thing. It is irrational to give your last dollar to a rich corporation. And before getting to your last dollar even, it is irrational to give them money you need for your own living expenses. Yet we hear about this all the time, that you must pay, pay, pay, as if it is the most important principle of the gospel. Indeed, it seems that it has become so in today's Mormonism.

When I first joined the Mormon Church and the bishop was talking to me as a new member, going over the WoW, LoC, and tithing, I said that I could not give 10% of my gross income or even 10% of net unless I didn't need it for living expenses. I said that that was 10% that I would have to take out of my contributions to my household and it wasn't fair on the others who also made their contributions. Yes, I had been told about tithing by the missionaries but nobody said it was mandatory (or at least I did not have that understanding prior to baptism). I knew about tithing from attending other churches but nowhere is it so prominently stressed and certainly is not enforced in any other church of my acquaintance (and I've been to quite a few across the spectrum of denominations).

The bishop's face got red and he told me in no uncertain terms that it's 10% gross to the church first, no matter what. I said you want me to pay the church before I contribute towards the household bills? Yes! was the reply.

Other churches in my experience teach the principle of "good stewardship", which is taking care of business so as to be self-sufficient, looking after your obligations in the world, paying your debts and bills, and if you tithe, it's on your net, not gross, and is not policed. Certainly, "blessings" are not contingent on how much money you give. In fact, nobody keeps track of that other than the church bookkeeper if you want a tax receipt. The pastor at my last church deliberately did not look at the tithing receipts by name so he wouldn't know who gives what.

News flash: If people didn't feel obligated to give 10% of gross as one of the first principles of the Mormon gospel, they may not ever get in the position of needing to ask the church to help them out financially.

It's warped, skewed, weird and irrational to enforce tithing and especially to knowingly take someone's last dollar and then cast them aside and refuse to help them in their need, as if their situation was entirely of their own making (more judgement) when that is usually not the case at all.

How does it make any sense to "pay" the church (pay God?) when you can barely make your rent?

This is no different to me than the Indulgences handed out by the Catholic Church in the bad old days with the common folk scrambling to pay for supposed blessings, giving their pittance to a rich organization and their heartless masters. It's beyond sick. I wish people could take a step back and see how insane it is, twisted, upside down, merciless, wicked - and unnecessary.

Too, that whole concept of paying the church your tithing so that if you ever need help it will be forthcoming is way off the mark too. First, there is no guarantee they will help you, as in the example above. But second, if you were only giving what you could afford, if you wanted to, you could just help yourself and not need to seek out the stingy bishop.

Besides, what about the adage that "God loves a cheerful giver"? How merry do you feel handing over your last dollar, in some cases literally? It makes no sense. Who would ask that of anyone?
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Just Saw My Parent's Carbon Check Sent To LDS Ward
Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009, at 07:52 AM
Original Author(s): Provo Is Boring Hell
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
...with the amount of $400 in tithing and fast offering on the dining table.

Huh? My parents are already to their eyeballs in debt with a semi-failed small business (makes little $ then and now), impending house sale after 12+ years of ownership, and bills to pay including automobile payment and cell phone.

In other words, my parents are somewhat impoverished, who barely keep up with their mounting debt. My mother had to write the letters to the mortgage lenders pleading with them to give them time to catch up with the bills.

My father works a FT job in Vernal. My mother works a FT job in graveyard shift, sometimes double shift.

Yet they are obliged to pay more tithes and offerings despite being mired in debt? Is this typical behavior among TBM people who go broke yet believe that they must "pay, pray, and obey" in hope of attaining the prize that is CK?

I find this "tithe for glory" behavior disturbing.

It seems that to them it's best to always pay by forking over a certain amount consistently every month so they continue to earn 'socio-religious' communal respect, even if one has regressed to near-poverty wage from middle-class.

I feel pity for my parents. Brainwashed beyond reach and worked to the bones having to scrape by to pay tithes FIRST before everything else including debt reduction, bills, and even forgo "regular" grocery for dollar store grocery and DI food.

It's a wonder Utah has one of the high rates of bankruptcy and foreclosure. Because tithes is a first financial priority for the devout TBMs.
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Compassion? Not When It Comes To Tithing
Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009, at 09:39 AM
Original Author(s): Idtortfeasor
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
Just had a TBM friend call me for advice. For the last several years, he has worked two jobs to make ends meet. Due to the economy, he lost one of his jobs. The job he still has is as an employee at BYU-I.

So, funds are very tight. He doesn't have enough money to pay all his obligations. When he had two jobs, he could do it. But now, he's in the hole, big time.

One of the first things he stopped paying was tithing. I think he still pays a little, but in his TBM mind, he justifies that with his lack of income, he really doesn't have any "gains" right now to pay on. Of course, the church sees it differently. They don't care about your obligations, just your income.

To keep his job at BYU-I, he has to have an endorsement from his Bishop. He just received a certified letter from his Bishop, stating that if he doesn't start paying a full tithe, then he won't endorse him to stay employed at BYU-I. The bishop knows their financial circumstances, but it doesn't matter.

My advice: As soon as you can, find a new job where the church can't blackmail you. If that's impossible, hopefully BYU-I will have more compassion than the Bishop, and keep him on because he's a good employee. Doubtful, but you never know.

I did ask him: "So, have you found that in the past when you paid tithing on your gross income, you received gross blessings?" He muttered "No, not even close".
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They Take From The Mentally Handicapped Also
Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009, at 07:56 AM
Original Author(s): Brigantia
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
I have a brother with Downs and a sister with Angelman's Syndrome (infant marionette), both profoundly handicapped. My TBM mother, a pensioner and their carer, was guilted into paying 10% of money given to them by the Government exclusively for their needs. This money is carefully calculated to cover wheelchairs, laundry and clothing replacement (constant), nappies, special dietary needs etc.

When mother was in the hospice, dying of cancer, the vultures visited her for the purpose of ensuring that their places in the CK would remain secure, by taking tithing contributions from her. She would open up her purse, being careful not to disturb the syringe driver etc., hand over the money, after which they would present her with her 'receipt'. These offerings and the rest were taken on behalf of herself and my brother and sister.

Power of Attorney was eventually passed to her executors (non-mormon family members) when she became too ill to take care of her bills. That is when we discovered the scale of the rip-off.

After her death, on clearing her personal effects, we discovered thousands of tithing slips and other evidences of high contributions to the church.

We ring-fenced money set aside for my brother and sister, as they were still people of record. They are now living in small MENCAP units, as unaware of mormonism as ever, and we protect their funds and have banned mormon visits.

Of course, baptism was never necessary for them. All the church wanted was their money.

The mormon church is evil.
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Monson's "Twice The Tenth" An Abomination?
Friday, Oct 2, 2009, at 07:59 AM
Original Author(s): Sarony
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
In the October 2009 Ensign, Monson hints it is "the true meaning of tithing" to pay "twice the tenth consistently".

That is odd.

Mormon Tithing

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 DandC 119:4 (1838). It states:

"And after that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually; and this shall be a standing LAW unto them FOREVER, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord." (Emphases added.) Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "INTEREST" as

"5. Any surplus advantage." (http://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 DandC 119:5, which is the next verse:

"Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be TITHED OF THEIR SURPLUS PROPERTIES, and shall observe THIS LAW, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you."

Significant meanings should be observed from verse 5. The phrase "THIS LAW", can only refer to the previous usage of the word “law” in verse 4, which states in pertinent part, "and this shall be a standing LAW". And the phrase "THIS LAW", namely "one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually" in verse 4, is expounded in a clarifying manner as "SURPLUS PROPERTIES" in verse 5.

2. The SECOND passage of scripture comes from the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible. Smith and Rigdon also produced the JST. It is mostly in Rigdon's handwriting.

"Wherefore Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him MORE THAN THAT WHICH HE HAD NEED." JST Genesis 14:39. (Emphasis added.)

This passage of scripture from the JST is not a mere relic of early Mormonism. The passage can be found in the Quadruple Combination, on page 798, after the Bible Dictionary, in the section JOSEPH SMITH TRANSLATION. Although the church avoids several of Smith's translations in the JOSEPH SMITH TRANSLATION, the church has included this one in its official and current book of scripture as authoritative commentary.

Scriptural harmony between DandC 119, and JST Genesis 14:39 also resides in the concept that "interest" (DandC 119:4) is expounded as "surplus properties" (DandC 119:5), or in other words, "more than that which he had need" (JST Genesis 14:39). To understand the meaning of what is to be tithed, we are fortunate to find a simple, elegant harmony in meaning, between a plain reading of the text and Mormon scripture; "interest" (v. 4) means "surplus properties" (v. 5). Mormon tithing is defined as "one-tenth of their surplus properties annually" (DandC 119:4,5), which means "more than that which he had need" (JST Genesis 14:39).

III. What about OFFICIAL MORMON POLICY?

On March 19, 1970, the First Presidency sent a letter to presidents of stakes and missions, bishops of wards, and presidents of branches in answer to the question, What is a proper tithe?

"For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually, which is understood to mean income. NO ONE IS JUSTIFIED IN MAKING ANY OTHER STATEMENT THAN THIS. We feel that every member of the Church should be ENTITLED TO MAKE HIS OWN DECISION as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly."

The General Handbook of Instructions quotes from the March 19, 1970 letter from the First Presidency sets forth a definition of what is tithed. Here is a portion of the General Handbook of Instructions from that section: "The simplest statement we know of is the statement of the Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should pay ?one-tenth of all their interest annually,' which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this." (First Presidency letter, 19 Mar. 1970; see also DandC 119:4).

Because the General Handbook of Instructions quotes the 1970 letter from the First Presidency, the 1970 letter remains the official written policy on tithing.

Can one harmonize the statement of the First Presidency with canonized scripture?

Let us try.

The phrase "one-tenth of all their interest annually, which is understood to mean income", has harmonious meaning with "one-tenth of all their surplus properties annually, which is understood to mean surplus income."

Is this an unjustified statement?

I would venture, not if one does a plain reading of the text in DandC 119:4-5.
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Hubby's Family Ate Stale Pancakes For 6 Weeks When He Was A Kid
Thursday, Oct 8, 2009, at 07:37 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
To this day, hubby and all of his siblings remember the "stale pancakes trial". Their parents were TBM and full tithe payers. Their family was always broke, but they reached a point where they were so poor, they only had a giant bucket of stale food storage flour to use for meals. They literally ate stale pancakes for *every* meal for 6 weeks. Hubby mentioned this once at a family gathering, and his mom said "oh, but that was an adventure!" like it was so much fun. Hubby was like "whitewater rafting is an adventure. Eating nasty stale pancakes for a month until you think you'd rather just die is not."

I had my own bad experiences with tithing and poverty that I won't reiterate. I will probably forever associate the mormon church with fear, helplessness, depression, debt and desperation.
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Money That Goes To Mormon Inc. In Salt Lake City
Friday, Jan 15, 2010, at 08:38 AM
Original Author(s): All Fun And Games
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
When I used to be the financial clerk I soon realized that the fast offering was always used to help others in the ward or community not the church tithing. What made me very upset and sick was how much pressure they put on us to make sure that we did not give out more in funds than we collected in fast offering. If we did then we usually got a nasty letter from the stake to get it straightened out. I remember the 1st year that I was the fiancial clerk I went over our branch budget by about $250, our budget for the year was only $4000. I was given along lecture and felt like a piece of shit for doing the best that I could with no experience and over $250. The tithing not including FO was about 165 thousand that year with all of it going to Salt Lake.

I am sure that the members will step forward and donate a generous fast offering to help with the people in Haiti but the lds church will take credit for it. For example if I were to collect money for the homeless shelter or something then I would turn around and donate the money on my behalf and take the credit for it all even though I donated absolutely nothing.
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Tithing Is Actually More Like Extortion
Saturday, Apr 3, 2010, at 11:45 AM
Original Author(s): Gadianton
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
Tithing is actually more like extortion. According to the LDS church, there is this guy we call "the Father" who plans on starting a gigantic fire, much like the arsonists of late in California, with the intention of killing as many people as possible. The extortionists, the LDS prophets, claim they are an intermediary, and if you pay 10% of your income to them, the Father will figure out a way to get you out of the woods before lighting his match.
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Tithe Maximization - The Church's Policy
Monday, Jul 12, 2010, at 09:51 AM
Original Author(s): Jaydogg
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
It occurred to me a few years back that one aspect of the church's overall policy toward anything can be viewed through the lens of what I call 'Tithe Maximization'.

Seriously, take any issue. Look at what the church does and says about it. Then ask yourself why they chose that policy? One possible answer for whatever you happen to be contemplating is 'Tithe Maximization'.

How apostates are treated. They are excluded in such a way so as to not infect the believing tithe paying members.

Children are conditioned from a very young age, to pay 10% in an unthinking way, never questioning what the money gets used for, always with great personal blessings that rain down from heaven.

Members are given encouragement at all times to get all the education they can (a good policy, but it could be viewed cynically as a tithe maximization strategy).

Policy changes only happen when it a particular policy affects tithe revenues. Blacks and the priesthood is a good example of this. The first manifesto is an even better example. From official declaration 1 in the doctrine and covenants - 'The question is this: Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue–to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the Temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the heads of families in the Church, and the confiscation of personal property of the people'

See? Tithe maximization.

Annual tithing settlement? Sure, getting something for tax purposes is necessary, but why don't we do that through the mail, or electronically? Subtle pressure my friends, and a big hassle for the bishop.

Tithing recommend interviews? Er, I mean temple recommend interviews? Tithe maximization.

Want to learn how to budget your money? You may think rule number one is not to spend more than you earn. You'd be wrong. Rule number one is to pay your tithing first, then pretty much everything after that will magically take care of itself because of the blessings raining down due to your faith and whatnot. I know people who are under a great deal of stress because of this attitude. I even know people who are behind a year or two on their taxes, but faithfully write a check for their tithing. Why isn't the local leadership given some training to stop members from crazy self-destructive behavior like this? Oh, right... Tithe Maximization

You get the feeling by reading statements from church leaders that there is this huge drive to be as efficient and lean as possible using the widow's mite sacrifice of the tithes of members. I could give you examples of entire departments that are total dead weight on the church dime. Doesn't the widow have some say in that? Don't concern yourself with such problems. Just send in your checks. You don't see the big picture.
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The Blatant Immorality of Tithe Paying
Friday, Oct 22, 2010, at 08:53 AM
Original Author(s): Madeguy
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
To a true believing mormon, tithe paying is not optional. It is required of all faithful members of the Lord’s true church– the only ‘true’ church on the face of the Earth. You are to pay it gladly with a heart overflowing with gratitude– nothing less. Even if you follow every commandment, sacrifice all of your time, read the scriptures, parrot church authorities, clean the chapel, faithfully do your HT/VT, keep the Sabbath holy, avoid the appearance of ‘evil’, dress appropriately, magnify your callings, do temple work and genealogy, you will be burned to a freakin' cinder at the last day by your wise, loving heavenly father if you decide NOT to pay tithing.

Giving your hard-earned money to strangers when your family has unmet needs is immoral. It is selfish. People pay tithing out of fear. They pay it to avoid the wrath of God. It is a selfish act by those whose fear of God outweighs their commitment to support their own family. It’s ironic when church members, who claim that their family is the most important thing, pay out big bucks in tithing, and deny their family things they need. Church members are counseled to stay out of debt, but not if it means paying your bills before paying tithing. Full tithe payers are committed to saving their own arses.

It is immoral for church leaders to put so much emphasis on family, and then demand money from families who need it most, like single mothers, retired couples, or young families struggling to get by. No one gets a pass. Everyone must pay. Older people on a limited income may have to go without medication because they’ve been taught to always pay their tithing first. A young family may have to turn the heat down or eat cheaper food because church leaders demand they get their cut first. Ten percent usually represents most or all of a family’s disposable income. That means that a lot of the little fun things must be forfeited because all the fun money went to pay tithing instead.

They abused my trust. I will NEVER give another penny to the Mormon Church.
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Family Home Evening Lesson About "How" To Pay Tithing
Thursday, Oct 28, 2010, at 07:59 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
From the LDS Church "Home and Family", Lesson Topics on Tithing:

"Family Home Evening Resource Book, Lesson Ideas, Tithing, 227 - Lesson 3: Budgeting for Tithing and Offerings":
Prepare play money totaling $550 and give it to the child when he returns to the room.

Tithes and offerings (Tithing, $55; Fast offering, $7; Budget, $10)

Tell him to pay his bills as fast as he can. Observe what happens, and discuss the situation. There is not enough money to pay all of the bills and still pay a full tithing. What should he do?

Point out that you pay tithing first, and then you pay a portion of what you owe on each other bill. Talk about which areas you might be able to cut expenses in so that you can live within your budget. Paying the Lord first ensures his help and blessings in being able to budget the rest of your money successfully.
http://lds.org/hf/library/0,16866,453...

If you pay a portion on an insurance bill (Car, Home) your policy will be cancelled. If you pay a portion on your financial loan (Car, Home, Credit Card), you will be hit with late fees and your annual percentage rate will go up. If you pay a portion on your utility bills, you will be hit with late fees (directly based on the amount due) and the unpaid portion will be applied to your next billing cycle.

Continue with this and you will eventually be financially bankrupt.

Members of the Mormon church are also asked to sacrifice eating:
"If a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing." Lynn Robbins in General Conference, April 2005.
Tithing in Mormonism always comes first. Pay the church above all else is taught.

Meanwhile, the Mormon church continues to build a $3.5 billion dollar shopping mall in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Tithing On Inheritance
Monday, Nov 1, 2010, at 07:59 AM
Original Author(s): Misfit
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
3 years ago, My dad gave me part of my inheritance ahead of time. I did not want to tithe it. During the year, I'd paid what i'd considered a full tithe on my regular income. I saw no need for the church to have double what I normally paid. Well, come December and tithing settlement, the bishop asks the usual question, is this a full tithe. I meekly said no, its a partial tithe, knowing full well that I didn't pay on the inheritance. Not only did he want my TR on the spot, he wanted DW's recommend as well. I was like, "Wait a minute, DW paid a full tithing on her income, she's already told you as much." The bish then gave some BS about how tithing is a joint thing, that couples are in it together, blah, blah, blah. I made no mention of where the money came from. It didn't even occur to me at the time to mention that the money in question was my inheritance, and that legally, my wife had no claim to that money.(she has certainly enjoyed the fruits of the money since then anyway, I'm just saying legally) The bish just presumed that I had not tithed on all my income. So, in order to keep the peace in my already shaky marriage, I caved, and wrote a check for a few thousand dollars. Boy, that hurt. Its one thing to write a check for a few hundred every month, quite another for a few thousand.

The way I see it now, and the way I wish that I had seen it earlier, is that inheritance is not income. An inheritance is just that. An inheritance. Income is money earned through employment and investments. Our ward has changed bishops recently, and he told my wife that her TR is based only on what she pays in tithing. He is fully aware of my feelings about the church, and he is fully aware that I have not paid a dime in tithing all year long. I've got a mind to tell him that that money that I paid in 2007 was from ill-gotten gains, like gambling or something, just to see if I could get a refund. In my mind, the money was an ill-gotten gain on the church's part, as the old bishop manipulated me into making an extra tithing payment.
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Paying Tithing Is A Privilege - We Need To Pay Tithing Much More Than God Needs Us To Do So
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Vhainya
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
TSCC has systematically changed the definition of tithing over the years to no longer specify it to mean you pay on what you can afford, but to imply that paying on one's gross income is CRITICAL for salvation, even if you cannot afford it.
"Paying tithing is a privilege. ... We need to pay tithing much more than God needs us to do so..."
They have even gone to the point of taking a former first presidency statements and clarifications on this matter totally out of context to imply one should tithe on their FULL income regardless of essential needs. http://www.i4m.com/think/intro/mormon...

Please note the following story taught in the current manual "Lesson 29: Paying Tithing with the Right Attitude," Preparing for Exaltation: Teacher's Manual, 169 http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hid...
""I remember vividly an experience I had near the end of my mission. …

"At that time I was working in the mission home with the president of the Mexico and Central America Mission. He called my companion and me into his office one day and told us that he was sending us to Oaxaca. He handed us a list of the names of all the people who had joined the Church during the brief time missionaries had served there; they had been withdrawn some months previously. Our assignment was to look up everyone on the list, see how they were getting along, and, if possible, arrange for a sacrament meeting so that the members could meet together and partake of the sacrament. Then we were to bring back a report.

"We made the overnight trip on the little narrow railway, arriving very early the next morning. As soon as we got off the train, we began tracking down addresses.

"The first place we went to was a street lined with long adobe walls with doorways in them. When we found the address we were looking for and walked through the doorway, we found a whole group of homes inside. Tucked back in one corner was the home of the woman we were seeking. She lived there with her eight-year-old son and infant daughter.

"As she came out of her small house, she recognized us by the way we were dressed, and rushed to give us a warm Mexican greeting. Then, without saying another word, she turned around and went back into her home.

"Moments later she returned, carrying a small clay jar. She reached into the jar and pulled out some pesos and centavos (Mexican money). She told us that her family had saved ten percent of what they had earned. Most of that tithing had come from her son, who worked at the plaza in the center of the city, shining shoes. When he returned each day, he immediately put his tithing into the little jar so that the money could be turned in to the missionaries whenever they returned.

"I can remember my feelings as that woman handed me the money. She was standing there in threadbare clothes and no shoes, and her children were in the same circumstances. I knew that there were things she would have loved to buy her children. I knew that there were many things that they desperately needed money for.

"At first I wanted to give the money back to her and to encourage her to spend it where it was most needed. But then I realized that that was not my right. She and her son had saved that money carefully, knowing that it belonged to the Lord and wanting Him to have it. I realized, too, that they would be blessed for it.

"I learned a great lesson that day about the importance of paying tithing and the blessings it can bring. I also learned a lesson about faith. That little boy and his mother had not known if missionaries would ever return to their home, but they were committed to the gospel principles, and they had faith that, if they were obedient, the Lord would bless them" (quoted by Kellene Ricks, in "Friend to Friend," Friend, Jan. 1991, 6)."
Please recall the story specifies that the son who almost solely supported the family and is only 8 years old. Essentially the church has manipulated a child into thinking tithing on his 8 year old income is necessary for his eternity salvation, regardless if this means this family does not eat, have no clothes to wear, or even a pair of shoes. Then they use the same story to manipulate every member who attends church meetings to pay with the same mindset.

Disgusting.

The canonized scripture they choose in this lesson read:
4 And after that, those who have thus been atithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.
http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/119/4#4

The very following passage, which is pointedly ignored throughout the entire lesson, clarifies what a person's interest is:
5 Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you.
http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/119/5#5

The rest of the lesson is then watered down with inspirational, personal stories to convince the member there are real and tangible benefits to paying tithing, although it becomes really vague when looking for what those benefits are outside of 'eternal blessings' or the 'promise to always be together.'

So pay pay pay and do it always with a smile on your face, because even if your family is starving on the street, the one doing the actual favor is really the one collecting the check.
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Tithe Or Your Spouse Will Leave You, While Simultaneously Bursting Into Flames
Monday, Apr 4, 2011, at 08:13 AM
Original Author(s): Freevolved
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
The theme of GC this year was tithing/temples...ok it was really, just tithing.

Tithing was called a "privilege" and was promised to lead to many blessings. Among them, fire insurance and divorce insurance were particularly stressed. You would think that garments would be enough to protect from the flames of grease fires and sexy co-workers, but it turns out it's not the case. Tithing is the real answer (and here I was thinking the answer to everything was 42).

Nelson talks about how tithing protects you from the day of "vengeance and burning," starting at about 9:15 of this video link -

http://lds.org/general-conference/wat...

Elder Pratt, a no name 70 trying to show he could play balls with the big boys, also droned on about the significance of tithing. He made it clear that paying tithing is much better than paying for marriage counseling. In fact, if you pay tithing, you'll never need marriage counseling.

Sadly (very sadly) I do not yet have a link to his talk.

So if I had to sum up what I learned at conference this year it would be...pay up or you'll end up with a divorced spouse that's flaming (pun possibly intended) all over the place, and we all no how hard it is to clean up that mess.

So pay, pray, obey, and go clean up a toilet (it's better than cleaning up a person running around in flames).

And with that I'm going to call it a night and top the Man in Black testimony thread, in hopes of restoring some sanity to the world.
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The Story Of The Fast Offerings
Tuesday, Jul 5, 2011, at 08:20 AM
Original Author(s): Dimmesdale
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
Just found this little "essay" I'd scratched out in frustration a few years ago.`

The Story of the Fast Offerings.

The rumor had been going around the stake for a couple of weeks. We had recently received a new Area President, and he was making some changes. He had been reading in the DandC and had come across the passage which tells of the duties of the “teachers.” They are designated to collect the fast offerings.

Well, this Area President wasn’t a slacker, and he didn’t want anyone else to be a slacker either. He directed all the Stake Presidents in the area to start having their “teachers” go to members’ homes to collect their fast offerings. After all, that’s what they were doing in Salt Lake City, the place where he had grown up and collected door-to-door himself. That’s where he learned about the doctrine and what was to be done and how it was to be done properly.

The Stake President, being a bit of a sensible man, was reluctant to tell his Bishops to instigate the plan. After all, things had been going right well with the procedure they had been using. Members of the congregation just wrote a check for tithing and added their fast offerings to the check, saving on checks, time, postage, worry, etc.

That was no good, said the Area President. The “teachers” need to learn their duty. How can they learn their duty if the little old ladies in the ward aren’t contacted right at their door and given a chance to hand the money directly to the “teacher?” So, the Stake President, who hated the idea, but wouldn’t say anything (Was he afraid of the Area President, or God, or was he afraid of making waves and not being “promoted?”), told all the Bishops that the next month they would have to send all the “teachers” out to collect fast offerings from members.

“Organize a plan detailing which boys will contact which members so that everyone is covered,” said the Stake President.

Well, that was a little difficult, since the “teachers” weren’t old enough to drive, and every ward covered several towns and cities.

“Well, that’s easy enough to correct,” said the SP, "you can send the teacher with his home teaching companion." So that’s how it happened that after Sacrament Meeting one Sunday I was informed that my son would be gallivanting miles and miles all over the area with some strange sort who I had never heard of. This very afternoon! At the same time, someone else’s son would be driven miles in one direction and miles in another, then driven to my house to pick up my check, then driven home.

When I heard this I was furious. After all, I’d had this conversation with my husband during the past week. He hated the idea, and I thought we had agreed that it wouldn’t happen. But, even though he was Bishop of the ward, he was a conciliatory fellow and didn’t want to ruffle feathers. Someone in the Young Men’s Presidency had been contacted by someone in the Stake YM Presidency and told that this is what the SP had decided.

"It's out of my hands,” my husband said.

“What!” I said. “You are Bishop. Doesn’t ANYONE have the sense they were born with? Doesn’t ANYONE have the gumption to say, “This is ridiculous.”

I had put up with a lot during my husband’s tenure as bishop, but this took the cake. I couldn’t imagine anything sillier than driving miles and miles, using up gas, taking boys away from their homes when they had just endured three hours of meetings and were hungry, when someone could simply write a check and hand it to the Ward Clerk or send it through the mail.

I was furious. When I quietly asked my husband why he had decided to do it, he grit his teeth and said, “Just DO IT! It’s out of my hands!”

Well, it’s not out of MY hands, I said. I’m not letting XXXX go. And if someone comes to my door, I’m not going to give them any money. This is just stupid!

Well, someone could probably make a Zion’s Camp story out of this. After all, those who followed the suggestion of the Area President who, of course, knew NOTHING of what we had to deal with and didn’t have a clue about anything---those people are probably leaders in the church now. That’s why the Zion’s Camp story is so stupid! I’m sorry to use that word, but it’s totally appropriate! Of course you are going to choose your leaders from those people who'll do any idiotic thing you tell them to. I never did understand how that story was inspiring to anyone.

Well, to finish off MY story…the “plan” of the Area President lasted exactly ONE month. I don’t know whether the Area President changed his mind, or whether he moved on, or whether someone had the courage to tell him it was a STUPID idea, or whether maybe God himself whispered in his ear that he had better let people bring their fast offerings in check form to the church building and hand the envelope over to the Ward Clerk. But, at any rate, my son never had to collect fast offerings three towns away on a Sunday afternoon.
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Paved Over Tithing Dollars
Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011, at 08:53 AM
Original Author(s): Peregrine
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
A few years ago our ward announced that they were going to be placing a new sign out in front of the building. They already had a nice brick sign that was working just fine. But they wanted a new sign, the type with the changeable letters like every other church in the south, one that now had a power bill associated with it, and required somebody to go out an change the message. I went on a YM activity with the bishop shortly after the announcement. I voiced my concerns that the sign would not get updated as frequently as they wanted. So the messages would be dated. I even predicted that after a while they would probably just put the meeting hours up and give up on trying to update the message frequently.

Well construction started on the sign and I was shocked at how close they put it to the road. I work for a major utility and I was concerned that they may have damaged some of our facilities. I didn’t see any of the spray paint indicating that they had marked the utilities. No sooner than they had the foundation poured a county inspector drove by and put a halt to the project. The new foundation was completely inside the DOT right of way and the county had already begun work to widen the road and put a turn lane in front of the building.

Of course the spin the local authorities put on it was that the church was being "persecuted" for wanting a sign. The county’s position was simply, “We’re putting a road here. If you build it we’ll pave over it in a few months.” It had nothing to do with the denomination of the church. Finally the church conceded, poured another foundation 20 back and built their new sign.

Currently the first foundation is buried under the new turn lane and newly relocated sidewalk. The new sign is black/dark brown metal and looks like a sign for an office park. When the lights are turned on the contrast is so high that you can't read the smal gold letters on the dark background. The half with the light up letters was used for about a 3 months to announce local events but it was out of date more often than it was current. So, just as I predicted, the removable letters now just read the meeting times and “mormon.org”. The last letters are completely pointless since mormon.org is already printed on the sign, albiet hard to read.

I stopped paying tithing the day they poured the first foundation that I knew was going to be paved over and haven’t paid a dime since.

Now I realize that this is peanuts compared to the waste of money in downtown SLC, but this is what brought it home to me that the Church was not spending the tithing dollars wisely.
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Holland: There Is No Money In Our Church Except What The Members Offer
Thursday, Dec 22, 2011, at 09:24 AM
Original Author(s): Jesus Smith
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
First, start with LDS stats:

http://providentliving.org/welfare/pd...

This kind of document is the only official source on the value the church gives to helping the poor. They do not disclose their financial worth, expenses, income or any other indication of financial responsibility.

The LDS church since 1985 has given a combined $1.3 Billion in cash and service value to the poor as humanitarian assistance. (this breaks down to about $350M in cash and about $950 in non-cash service and in-kind donations. In any event, $1.3 over 26 years is about $50 million a year in value.) That comes out to be, on average, about $3.5 per year per current member (# listed above). That’s extremely low.

Ask the bishop, is this all the church gives?

Let him know that just Sunday, it was reported that Elder Holland had this to say:

Source http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles...

Holland: There is no money in our church except what the members offer.

That’s the source of the $3.5 per member per year donation? The rest goes to building campuses and other buildings. I found this one, that the church is building:

http://www.downtownrising.com/index.p...

and

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/70...

and

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/70...

The $3-4 Billion mall is owned by City Creek Reserve, Inc, a company of the Church, according to their own website (http://www.downtownrising.com/ ) Selling penthouse apartments for $1.5M and stores that will sell liquor.

So if Holland says all the money comes from the members, and the church spends about $50M a yr on Humanitarian aid, and it spends $3-4 billion on a mall in a few years (2008-2012), where are its priorities?

Certainly not with the poor. What kind of steward would I be to give money to building a mall instead of helping the poor?

More research shows the church owns:
  • AgReserves Inc. - the largest producer of nuts in America (circa. 1997)[1]
  • Hawaii Reserves, Inc. - Miscellaneous church holdings in Hawaii. Along with the Polynesian Cultural Center (the leading paid visitor attraction in Hawaii[25]) and Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Hawaii Reserves generated revenue of $260 million for the Hawaii economy in 2005.[26]
  • Farmland Reserve Inc. - 228,000 acres (923 km²) in Nebraska,[27]; 51,600 acres in Osage County, Oklahoma[28]; and over 312,000 acres (1,260 km²) in Florida (dba Deseret Cattle and Citrus).[29]
  • Bonneville International Corporation - the 14th largest radio chain in the U.S.[1]
  • Deseret Morning News - a daily Utah newspaper, second-largest in the state of Utah.[30]
  • Beneficial Financial Group - An insurance and financial services company with assets of $3.1 billion.[31]
And MANY more

The land alone is estimated worth $20Billion. The profit-companies are estimated worth another $15Billion. The Church owned land, campuses and temples are worth billions. When all is said and done, conservative estimates put the combined wealth of the church and its affiliated corporations at around $60Billion

This is not hard to believe. Tithing collected from 14,000,000 members, where say $2million are temple going, full tithed, active US workers, puts the estimate at ($50,000/yr avg US salary X 10% X 2M members = ) $10 Billion per year in tithing collection.

Over 25 years, that would easily make up $60 Billion, if not considerably more. Out of that, in 25 years, they gave $1.2 billion to the poor. That’s barely 2% .

How do normal, non-religious consumer-oriented corporations do in their giving?

Source: http://philanthropy.com/article/Inter...

Source: http://philanthropy.com/article/Chart...

If you look at the net profit before taxes, the companies that earn 1/20th what the LDS church gets in tithing each year, they pay MORE in donations that does the LDS church, which is supposed to be a charity in the first place.

I would do better to buy groceries at Target, Safeway or Smiths, donate the groceries to poor families in Provo and feel safe that more than 2% of the profits they earn from me are also going to the poor.

Until the LDS church provides me with more transparency on their financial operations, donations and expenditures, I don’t feel comfortable giving to them.

Why would I ever trust the owner of the City Creek Mall to wisely use my tithing donations?
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Does The Stock Broker Get The Blessings?
Friday, Jan 20, 2012, at 01:59 PM
Original Author(s): Normarae
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
I worked for about 6 months for an insurance company/securities firm in Provo area in the late 90s. The guy who owned the firm was a high-up mormon and virtually all our clients were TBMs. There were quite a few clients who only paid tithing once a year, in December and paid with stock. That way they avoided the capital gains.

So they'd call Elder Penishood and give him the number that their accountant had figured they'd need to pay to cover their 10% for the year and my boss would decide what to pay with and take care of it. So tithing for these people was a simple once-a-year business transaction and they didn't even have to go to the trouble of filling out the form. The firm did more sacrificing to pay the tithing than they did (and I was the one doing all the administrative work). I thought I should have gotten the blessings.

But many of these people were bishops and higher and I'll guarantee they gave more than their share of talks about the blessings of tithing. Yes, they'd extol the virtues of "sacrificing" to pay tithing to people who had to choose between food or diapers or maybe even a roof over their heads and paying tithing. Just made me sick to even deal with them. It was when I was really questioning whether there was anything good in the church at all--just a couple years before I resigned. It certainly helped open my eyes.
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The LDS Church Teaches Financial Independence. Step One: Give Us Your Money. Step Two: Give Us More Money.
Monday, Mar 19, 2012, at 08:17 AM
Original Author(s): The Man In Black
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
I bet you clicked that link expecting a punchline. Unfortunately the only joke here is on the members of the LDS church. Today's sacrament meeting topic was (surprise) tithing. Actually the topic was financial independence. Did you get the joke now? Was it funny? Yeah it's funny. Funny like hungry children funny. Hah! The talk was based on a 2009 church-published Ensign story called Focus on Family Finances. The speaker was addressing these difficult economic times and what we, as the faithful can do to weather the storm. First and foremost: Give us your money. That may not be the exact wording, but that is unequivocally the meaning. This of course is nothing new, the church has been doing this for at least as long as I've been alive. Today however, I was hard pressed to not want to punch the speaker. Not only does this advice make sh!t for sense as financial advice, it also underscores the absolutely insane lack of accountability demonstrated by the Mormon Church. This is an organization that financially bleeds its members in a self-admitted time of economic crysis, so that they can in turn, build a five billion dollar shopping mall. This is incredulous enough, but the second peice of financial advice? Give us MORE money as, "fast offerings." And fast offerings--just in case you thought you'd get away with not paying unnoticed--are collected by sending twelve-year-olds to your house with an envelope, so that the only way to opt-out is to tell a little kid to piss off. Is the joke funny yet? So the first two steps to financial independence are to give your money to a milti-billion dollar corporation. Absolutely unbelievable. Surely they must make exceptions though don't they? Surely those who are hungry, homeless, fatherless, penniless, or in poverty are exceptions right? Nope. They are not. And stop calling me Shirley. Members are encouraged to pay a multi-billion dollar corporation that builds five-billion dollar shopping malls with money that might have fed, housed, or clothed an impoverished child. To see the hypocricy of Mormonism you need look no further than the financial counsel the church gives to its members--and then look at what they spend it on, a five billion dollar mall. It's a bit like Robinhood really. Rob from the poor to give to the rich and then tell the poor that the only way to escape their destitution is to pay MORE to the church. I'm sorry did I say Robin Hood? Silly me, I meant Satan. Link: http://www.lds.org/ensign/2009/06/foc...
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Tithing The Dead, It Happened In My Family
Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012, at 07:25 AM
Original Author(s): Danceogden
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
My dad told me an interesting story about my grandfather's death. My grandpa was not active at the time of his death and he hadn't been in years. At his funeral, the church bishop approached my grandmother and basically said, "You know...Elder Chapman hasn't been paying his tithing since 1992...blah blah blah."

My grandma took the hint. She took his life insurance policy, cashed it, and turned it over to the church. It was six figures! There was no way that my grandpa would ever agree to pay the church a dime, let alone six figures. The bishop accepted the check from a 73 year old lady.

She lost her home later that year and lived out her days in my aunts basement on a twin bed until she fell asleep during a prayer over supper and never woke up. The last ten years of her life were very sad. No vacations, weight gain, her mental health suffered, hours upon hours in bed, and she was never the same.

Six figures would have come in handy those last 10 years. My grandfathers children never inherited any money and the money he left to his wife was swallowed up by the church. It all went to the church. The story still makes my dad shake when he tells it. Mormons...I have no words.
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Is The Law Of Tithing The Most Important Law In The LDS Church?
Thursday, Jul 26, 2012, at 07:24 AM
Original Author(s): Deconverted2010
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
There is only one time a year when the Bishop meets personally with every family or individual in his ward. Appointments are made and phone calls are made. Even talks in sacrament meetings remind members that it is December and they must meet with the bishop for TITHING SETTLEMENT, not for Christmas chat or well wishes, not for spiritual growth or even worthiness interviews, but to tell the bishop if you had PAID a full tithe and to give more cash if you haven't.

When I was new in the church and would hear of people not renewing TRs, I wondered why, what were they not doing, most seem fine to me. Later I learned that a big problem in our stake was tithing.

When I was YM President, we had to be reminding our bishop about the girls' birthdays so hat we could interview them.

When I served as RS president, many times the bishop delegated to me to assess the needs of a family in need, he really didn't want to do this and appreciated when I was the intermediary. No time for people's affairs that someone else can look after or that can be postponed. However, any bishop I had made the time to do tithing settlement.

When families needed help, the first question was are they paying tithing? If not, they wouldn't receive any assistance, period, end of conversation.

When I stopped paying tithing I was serving in a calling, still had a TR, contributed to anything we were asked for in the ward, did my VT and because I was doubting the church I tried hard to enjoy whatever I did. I was at church more hours than the average member and did church things for a few hours every week. When the bishop asked if I was paying tithing and I said no, he got mad and released me at once. I know I was working very hard because one that is my nature and also because I didn't want them to think I was lazy, I loved my calling and I knew that would be my last calling. But that was not enough, if I didn't pay tithing I might as well not attend church. The day that bishop released me was my absolute last confirmation that money is the most important thing in the lds church, any doubts I still had were gone. Thank you bishop.
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Tithing - Absolutely.
Thursday, Jul 26, 2012, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Gnosticguru
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
I was a full-fledged member, obeying all the "commandments", etc. I hadn't been to the temple for years; my daughter was planning on a mission and wanted me to go to the temple with her. She really wanted me there with her! At the time I had lost my job, unemployment benefits had run out--I was living on food stamps and not much else. I was one step away from that recommend, but I wasn't paying tithing. My bishop said he was sorry, but couldn't issue the recommend-- he said he talked to the SP about it, and the SP said NO. I was really disappointed, but I put it "on the shelf" in the back of my mind, with everything else. But then that shelf finally came crashing down under the weight of all the accumulated doubts.

It's actually extortion, for you're told you can't be together with your family unless you go to the temple. And Mormons can't go to the temple unless they pay a FULL tithe. And if you work for the church, they know exactly how much you make. You will lose your job if you don't pay up!
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Yes, Tithing Is The Most Important Thing To The Church.
Thursday, Jul 26, 2012, at 07:36 AM
Original Author(s): Finally Free!
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
Yes, tithing is the most important thing to the church. The measure for this is acceptance into the temple, since according to the church, gaining entrance is gets you the keys to heaven.

You can break pretty much any other rule and be forgiven, right there in the temple interview (or as some have pointed out, they will give you a temple recommend to help "strengthen" you with whatever you're "struggling" with)

The most important thing is NOT obedience. What do they care if you are obedient? Sure that that may be the lever they use to get you to pay tithing, but there are plenty of people, even on this board (which isn't very obedient), who pay tithing for family or other reasons and can keep their recommend. You can be completely disobedient and still get a temple recommend if you are paying your tithing.

I personally know of people who have:
  • Cheated on their spouses (they were told not to tell their spouse, they did because they felt it would be dishonest to do otherwise)
  • Sold drugs and admitted it in the interview and were temple married a few weeks later.
  • Physically abused their spouse and still hold a temple recommend, even though there has been witnesses against them.
Some Bishops may be more strict than others in letting things pass, but most can and will let anything slide if you appear earnest enough in an interview that you are trying. They may give waiting periods or other probation, but ultimately if you want a temple recommend, the only thing you have to do is pay your tithing.
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Mormon Tithing Is Not Charity
Friday, Oct 12, 2012, at 07:31 AM
Original Author(s): Kolobite
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
Anybody else completely tired of hearing about Romney's "charitable" giving. MORMON TITHING IS NOT CHARITABLE GIVING. REPEAT, MORMON TITHING IS NOT CHARITABLE GIVING. IT'S A BILL!!!!!! Mitt, like all other Mormons has to pay 10% of his gross income or else the following are consequences:
  • He can't attend his own kids weddings performed in mormon temples.
  • He can't attend any of his relatives weddings performed in mormon temples.
  • He can't save his own dead relatives by being baptized for them.
  • He can't learn of the secret handshakes and words needed to walk past angels when he dies.
  • His dead relatives can't learn of the secret handshakes and words either.
  • He can't hold any positions in the Church of any significance, especially if he likes to lead over others.
  • In most cases he can't bless his own baby or baptize his own children or grandchildren.
  • He has to face the humiliation of not doing any of the above things and everyone in his family knowing about it.
Because of the coercive nature of mormon "tithing", it's actually a sign of weakness in Mitt Romney for him to pay the exhorbitant coercive fee to a Church that gives only 1.6% of it's income to "humanitarian" aid. It's far more impressive for someone to give charity to organizations that actually aren't in the business of only building up themselves. Mitt should know better, because with 3 clicks of his mouse he should clearly be able to see what a crock it all is. Pass the word!
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I Was Active But Not A Full Tithe-Payer And Was Denied Help
Thursday, Oct 18, 2012, at 08:52 AM
Original Author(s): Normarae
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
I was active but not a full tithe-payer and was denied help.

However, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

I had separated from hubby and didn't have a maintenance agreement yet and he was trying to get me to drop it by giving me no money. I was looking for a better job and went and asked the Bishop for some help. He told me to pay a full tithe and the Lord would bless me and help me find a job. And just in case it took the Lord a little while longer to get around to me, if nothing had changed at the end of a month and I'd paid up, I could come back and he'd help me.

I was so torn. The Lard's annointed had told me to put God to the test (as had my dad, who wouldn't "help someone who wouldn't help themself.") I really wanted to, but I was a mother and I caved and couldn't give what little I had to feed my children to the church. I felt so awful when I spent that money. The next day I got a call for a job interview and a week later was offered a much better job with benefits. If I'd paid my tithing and that happened, as it would have, I'd have been sucked in for life. I would have known that it was my blessing for trusting in the Lord. If Bishop had helped me without my paying up, I would have thought it was part of the help from the church and that I truly owed God. Instead, it helped me realize that I got a job despite the good Lord. I got it because I worked for it and I was the most qualified. It was a real epiphany for me and one of the big cracks in the door.

I still thank God for the asshat bishops (and I had several through my life) who helped me see the reality of cult mind control.
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Bishop Uses Strong Language About Tithing Settlement
Monday, Nov 26, 2012, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Intjsegry
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
This was one of the main "last straws" for me.

I went to try and get a recommend. I wasn't a FULL tithe payer at the time, but I had desires to catch up and make good. Even though I had paid tithing for the previous 25 years of my life faithfully. (At this time I wasn't paying simply because we were ALWAYS out of town, and We'd wait to get home to pay it, sometimes MONTHS apart.)

I got an hour lecture about how if I wasn't a full tithe payer, he wouldn't sign my recommend, and then I couldn't get into Nauvoo (or wherever the "last stand" is,) That meant, he sternly asserted, "that when the Lord came, and I would be left out of the group and would not be recognized as worthy, and would be damned. "

All because in his exact words "your recommend was not signed by the proper authority, which would prove your worthiness."

I was shocked. I had gone in wanting to settle up, and came out feeling threatened, belittled, blackmailed, and evil.

For the first time I realized that I was "BUYING MY WAY INTO HEAVEN." and that heaven's way was paved with a signature, that could only be acquired by the whims of a bishop. Can you say ego trip?

I never paid tithing again.
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Behind On Your Bills? Can't Pay Your Rent? Family Starving? So What - Pay Your Tithing Anyway
Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012, at 09:20 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
From official Mormon website: http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/12/sac...
"If paying tithing means that you can't pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can't pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don't have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing."
This is the message in Mormonism. Money. Money above all other things. All blessings in Mormonism come from paying the Mormon Church.

There are hundreds of heart felt posts here on the Mormon Curtain where members were denied help - simply because they had failed to pay tithing. And yet the Mormon Church built a billion dollar shopping mall and their prophet snipped the red tape and exclaimed, "One Two Three! Let's go shopping!"
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March 2013 Ensign Mentions Tithing 61 Times
Thursday, Feb 28, 2013, at 08:23 AM
Original Author(s): Sherlock
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
The march edition of the Mormon Church magazine "The Ensign" mentions tithing 61 times. If you include the words "tithe" and "tithes" you can get it even higher. There are an awful lot of articles on tithing. Christ is mentioned 24 times.

'The Blessings of Tithing' article is particularly horrible. It's a load of stories from members around the world who describe their struggle to pay tithing due to financial challenges (first two individuals are in Bolivia and El Salvador). They then decide to pay tithing and of course, attribute any blessing to this decision to pay.

It's pure manipulation that flies in the face of a recent GC talk where it was mentioned that we shouldn't expect tithing to necessarily bring about temporal blessings.

In one of the examples a lady describes just a feeling of peace as she decides to prioritise paying tithing before bills - we don't hear any outcome, so she could be living on the street and selling her body by now.

In anther story a lady describes how through paying tithing they were able to plant a vegetable garden and fruit trees and benefit from all of this produce. Wow! If it wasn't for tithing (reducing their ability to put food on the table) they would never have thought about such a clever idea?

This is all just so manipulative. Members are being taught to expect temporal blessings and that these blessings could be very simple things (essentially look for any small positive thing and associate it to tithing). They are also taught that even when no temporal blessings are obvious, the feelings of peace from doing so are the blessing (I.e feeling of peace = negation of TSCC induced guilt).
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Ward Budgets Vs. Tithing
Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013, at 10:08 AM
Original Author(s): Mondaymorning
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
I know several threads like this have existed, but after reading the other tithing thread and the fact that tithing settlement is just a few weeks away I wanted to remind everyone, including myself how bad the situation is.

I was an EQP once upon a time and was allotted exactly $0 for my budget. I was told that if there was something that I thought we REALLY needed budget for I could talk to the bishop and we MIGHT be able to get something approved.

I haven't been a ward clerk in a family ward, so those of you who have please chime in with more specific numbers, but as I understand even the biggest wards in the US have yearly ward budgets in the $2000-$4000 range. $2000/year for a ward of 300-500 people. What on earth can you do with that little money?

As has been pointed out by many, I would say TSCC's decline comes as much from lack of social integration as it does historical issues. Many people who one day go looking for information about the history of TSCC start because they are in some way dissatisfied with their religious experience. If TSCC kept even 40% of the tithing given in the entire stake, distributed it evenly among the wards, and allowed them to plan activities, meals, and events for themselves and community just imagine what good would come! People wouldn't be lining up for the exits if they felt like their church was a place to be among friends and enjoy each other's company.

Instead the church sucks 99% of all tithing up to the top and never sends it back down. If the ward had their budgets from tithing they would be able to excel at missionary work through planning community events where non-members would come and make friends. As TSCC points out, the best converts are the ones who are already friends with members. Their top-down management structure is slowly killing them. By stifling growth at the lowest level they will hurt the source of income they rely on to make big ticket investments at the top, such as malls, radio stations, satellite comms, farmland, real estate etc. At some point the free money they get from members will be to expensive to get. Building temples and churches in poor countries can't be good for their bottom line and if the wealthy country's tithing can't be counted on, they can't keep building in rural poor areas (their only growth areas).

Basically the point is TSCC's policy on tithing vs. ward budgets is hindering their long term profitability to pay for pointless growth in the 3rd world. Members would be happier and have less of a reason to search for historical answers if they felt fulfilled in their religious experience.
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I Was A Ward Clerk For Over 10 Years
Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013, at 10:17 AM
Original Author(s): Idleswell
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
I was a ward clerk for over 10 years (long enough to know all the records by memory).

First of all, people who complain that too little tithing returns to a ward sound like my son during his teenage years. He couldn't understand why 90% of our family budget wasn't spent on entertainment. Why was his parents wasting money on food, shelter, transportation, utilities, taxes, etc?

Many ward expenses are also paid by the Stake. Maintenance of buildings and services consume resources. I know the Church delegates maintenance responsibilities to members, but the capital expenses will still be there. And not just for the local ward but stake buildings and a temple as well.

In some stakes the presidency members and high council can be reimbursed for required visits, etc. A district where I once lived had branches only accessible by air. My previous stake includes 2 provinces and part of a US state.

Even so, when financial figures are released for Canada (where I live) and the UK, a substantial annual surplus is transferred to BYU. Even some of that can be justified because Canadian LDS attend BYU. Subsidized education for members can be a substantial benefit to a ward (although some educated youth never return once they experience paradise in Utah).

Those of you railing against the current ward financing that depends on sacrament meeting attendance must not have experienced ward budgets. During tithing settlement a bishop would also give you your family budget charge for the year (over and above tithing). The ward could also do projects for the budget. One enterprising bishop used his son's wedding reception as a "budget dinner" to raise funds for activities.

What a relief it is that LDS only have to pay tithing!

I agree with the principle of the current ward finances proportional to attendance. The Church is cheap with their money (to their own detriment), but not as extreme as many would charge.
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Direct Tithing Payments Now Reported To The Local Bishop
Monday, Nov 18, 2013, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Good Times
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
Prior to August 2013 anyone paying tithing via direct payment to Mormon Church HQ were considered private. No reporting was made back to the local ward. Now all tithing donations are reported locally.

Earlier this year, I submitted a request to set up donations via ACH. Along with the setup form, I asked that my donations be kept confidential from the local ward. (The bishop is practically my next door neighbor, and I just don't think that my donation amounts are his business or anyone else's.) Based on what I had read here and elsewhere, I figured this was just a routine request and wouldn't be a problem.

Boy was I wrong. The email response that I received with instructions for online payment included the following bullet point (in italics): "Your bishop and ward clerk will be able to see your donations and you should attend tithing settlement as normal."

Anyone signed up before August of 2013 would be grandfathered into the old way. No reporting to local leadership. Anyone that signs up after August can just call and have their privacy setting be put on.
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LDS Tithing - Inducement, Fraud And Fear
Thursday, Feb 6, 2014, at 07:21 AM
Original Author(s): Thinker Of Thoughts
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
The recent court summons of Thomas S Monson on charges of fraud have brought the issue of tithing to the foreground. The charge of fraud hinges upon the accusation that Church leaders, of which Monson is the corporation sole, induced the plaintiffs to pay annual tithes by intentionally misrepresenting certain factual claims.

How could someone be induced to pay tithes in this manner?

A Cheerful Giver

Many churches treat the giving of donation or tithes as something with should be done without compulsion from a cheerful heart, as described in 2 Corinthians 9:7:
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." - 2 Corinthians 9:7
In these religions, donations are encouraged and may be frequently requested, or even required for certain status within the actual structure of the organization, but no condemnation or punishment of the eternal prospects of the individual is espoused.

As we will see below - in Mormonism tithing takes on a whole different aura of import.

The Celestial Ticket

First, according to Mormon theology tithing is absolutely required in order to receive all that God has promised in the highest degree of Glory in the celestial kingdom (the highest heaven according to Mormons). If you are not a full and current tithe payer, then you cannot pass your temple recommend interview to receive your endowment (temple ceremony) which is required in order to obtain that kingdom. See the Church publication, the Encyclopedia of Mormonism regarding temple recommends:
"Only members of the Church who have a current identification card, called a temple recommend, may enter. .The bishop, who is responsible as a "judge in Israel," conducts the initial interview. He seeks to discern personal worthiness.

.Worthiness requirements include being honest, keeping the commandments, such as chastity-sexual continence before marriage and fidelity within marriage obeying the laws of tithing and the Word of Wisdom, fulfilling family responsibilities and avoiding affiliation with dissident groups. " ("Temple Recommend" Encyclopedia of Mormonism)
See: http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Temple_R...

The full promise of God's Salvation and Exaltation is only available to those people who pay a full tithe so that they may enter the Temple and receive ordinances therein.

Eternal Family Held Hostage

Second, you only have the promise of eternal family relationships in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom. see the following from LDS.org:
"From another revelation to the Prophet Joseph, we learn that there are three degrees within the celestial kingdom. To be exalted in the highest degree and continue eternally in family relationships, we must enter into "the new and everlasting covenant of marriage" and be true to that covenant." (LDS.org)
See: https://www.lds.org/topics/kingdoms-o...

By making your eternal family relationships dependent upon temple marriage ceremony, which is in turn dependent upon full tithe payment - the church is holding your eternal family ransom for a ransom of 10% of your income for life.

The Fire Insurance Shake Down

Third, modern Mormon revelation teaches that at the second coming of Christ, people who have not paid their tithing in full will be burnt as stubble. Marion G. Romney, 2nd counsellor in the first presidency taught that the payment of tithing is a form of “fire insurance” in a 1982 Ensign article:
"Now, second, the payment of tithing is worthwhile as fire insurance. Through his prophets the Lord has told us that incident to his second coming, which we are now anticipating, there will be a great conflagration. Malachi thus refers to it in connection with his pronouncement about tithes and offerings. He said: "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." (Neal A Maxwell "The Blessings of an Honest Tithe" Lds.org)
See: https://www.lds.org/new-era/1982/01/t...

He goes on to quote a revelation which Joseph Smith claimed to receive from God as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants:
"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. For after today cometh the burning . for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon. Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today." (DandC 64:23-25.)
See: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-tes...

The modern mafia would call this fear tactic a "shake down." Pay up - or else you will burn.

Priorities

Other than the threats of burning at Christ's return, the inability to reach the highest heaven or the potential loss of family in the eternities, the church has provided some very practical guidance for priorities in the payment of tithes. In a December 2012 article in the Ensign the following was advised to a new convert regarding the payment of tithing:
"If paying tithing means that you can't pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can't pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don't have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing." (Aaron L West "Sacred Transformations" Dec 2012 Ensign)
See: http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/12/sac...

Here we see the priorities that the Church instills in members from the beginning.

Death and Taxes. (And Tithing?)

Some members might exclaim that they pay tithing because they like the programs that the church offers and want to help build the Kingdom of God - not because they are afraid of consequences if they don't pay. Indeed, many tax payers would say that they pay taxes because they like the programs and institutions that the government provides. In truth, they pay taxes because if they don't, men with guns will show up at their doorstep. (see this excellent video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fasTSY...). You can test if this is true when/if taxes are lowered and then see if people continue to pay the higher rate. If the threats of being burned at Christ's return were not meant to induce people into paying tithing, they would never be brought up in the first place.

The Mormon Mindset

To be clear, most Mormons today would say that the pay their tithing out of a desire to please God and demonstrate humility and obedience. This is a testament to the sincere character of their devotion. Mormons are good people who want to draw near to God. The leaders and theology that they exist under depend upon this.

How Fraud Has Power to Induce

As I have previously written in "The Lies That Bind" (See: http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/t...) The Mormon Shaman, or spiritual leader, can only acquire and hold his followers enthralled if he has bound them through a truth myth which incorporates the ego of the members themselves. This can only be done by providing misinformation which establishes the leader as possessing a mystical nature. This may take the form of an exclusive divine authority, heavenly powers or prophetic ability.

The seven claims that are cited in the fraud claim against Monson speak directly to the basis upon which the Mormon Prophet derives the authority to endorse the truthfulness of the above mentioned inducements to the payment of tithes.
  1. The Book of Abraham is a literal translation of Egyptian papyri by Joseph Smith.
  2. The Book of Mormon was translated from ancient gold plates by Joseph Smith is the most correct book on earth and is an ancient historical record.
  3. Native Americans are descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 B.C.
  4. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed as martyrs in 1844 because they would not deny their testimony of the Book of Mormon.
  5. The Illinois newspaper called the Nauvoo Expositor had to be destroyed because it printed lies about Joseph Smith.
  6. There was no death on this planet prior to 6,000 years ago
  7. All humans alive today are descended from just two people who lived approximately 6,000 years ago
Points 1 and 2 speak to the powers, ability and divine calling of Joseph Smith. His ability to translate the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham were testaments to his power. Since the Priesthood keys and authority which give the Prophet his position originated with Joseph - if you disprove these texts as factual - then you discredit Joseph's claims to power. If Joseph's power and authority was fraudulent, then none of the subsequent prophets have any legitimate power or authority either.

This is the Mormon House of Cards which hinges upon Joseph Smiths credibility and reaches all the way to the current Prophet, who ever that may be.

Points 3, 6 and 7 all speak to the authenticity of Mormon Scripture, which was brought forth by translation or revelation by Joseph Smith. If you demonstrate these to be false, then you discredit Joseph Smith and the House of Cards falls.

Points 4 and 5 speak to the personal character of Joseph Smith. If he destroyed the Expositor for publishing truths about his practice of polygamy and ambitions for theocracy then his imprisonment at Carthage was justified (though his murder was not). If Joseph lied (See: http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/h...) to church members about his practice of polygamy, he would be using the means of Satan, the father of all lies, to disguise what he claims to be God's commandment of plural marriage. Since God would not use the tools of Satan to establish his Law character of Joseph as a Prophet is discredited and House of Cards goes down.

One can see why these points would be kept out of plain view of the church members. Making them evident would not be faith promoting. Once the House of Cards falls in the mind of a member who sees these connections, the fraud is exposed - and the captive is set free.

Conclusion

It is informative to see the differences between the way that Mormons are taught that God calls upon them to give in comparison to the general Christian view. In one instance you are induced to pay for fear of being burned, and in the other you are taught to be a cheerful giver without penalty if you decline.

http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/lds-tithing-inducement-fear-fraud/
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You Can't Trust Anything You Read That Was Published By The Church To Be Accurate
Monday, Feb 10, 2014, at 06:22 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
From another Adam Ford entry on Facebook:

In 1899 the LDS Chruch was almost bankrupt. The 1899 General Conference was "the tithing conference" and where Lorenzo gave pivotal instruction about tithing - which defined the church in relation to tithing going forward.

Lorenzo Snow said in the 1899 Conference Address:

"...I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child who has means shall pay one tenth of their income as a tithing..."

Conference Report Oct 1899 page 28 (3/5th way down column 2 on page 28) http://archive.org/stream/conferencer...

However, in the 2011 Lesson Manual, in Lesson 12- Tithing, the Church quote this talk as:

"....I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child ... shall pay one tenth of their income as a tithing...."

Teachings of Lorenzo Snow manual, page 160 https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-...

I have found many such instances in Church publications. Sadly, you can't trust anything you read that was published by the Church to be accurate to the author's original work or the quotes used are true to the intent of the speaker.

In Lorenzo Snow's day they believed in paying tithing on an increase of wealth--wealth measured only after feeding and housing your family. Today the Church specifically teaches that tithing comes first and is to be paid on income before household expenses.

It is this type of deliberate changing of history by altering quotes that is at the heart of the recent fraud complaint filed in England. If you want to believe or teach something, fine. But when you lie and misrepresent in order to convert or convince adherents to give you money, then you move into a murky area.

It is a fine line between religious liberty and religious fraud. A well reasoned legal analysis of the issue can be found here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/vo...
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Oh Buggers!
Friday, Feb 21, 2014, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): David Twede
Topic: TITHING   -Link To MC Article-
Media and LDS apologists at FAIRMormon have used catch phrases to describe the Mormon Fraud Case in the UK as an attack on religious belief. In a blog, FAIR contributor and "US Civil Defense Lawyer" aptly named Steve Densely Jr. opined that: "English law does not allow courts to adjudicate on issues of religious belief."

However, I believe the House of Lords (UK Supreme Court) would quite disagree with the media and FAIR that this a case about religious worship. And they do adjudicate on these issues. Have done so very nicely in fact. There's a strong precedent in a case brought to the House of Lords by the tax agent (Valuator) against the LDS Corporation. The LDS Corporation argued unsuccessfully that its UK temple property should not be taxed. See Judgments - Gallagher (Valuation Officer) V Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the actual decision, quoted below. (hat tip to Christopher Ralph for finding and providing this link.)

In the decision that was on appeal (dismissed in 2008), the primary counsel for the LDS Corporation (Sumption QC) attempted to define for the Lords that the LDS temple is a public place of worship. The Lords went through each of the candidate definitions of various structures owned by the LDS Corporation to categorize and define the temple. They ruled it is not as a charity ("it would be unwise to regard charity law as a paradigm of rationality" para. 7, 9), not a training center (para. 19-20), not administrative offices (para. 10, 19), not intended to support maintenance of the grounds and buildings (para. 21), not a hotel of "accommodations" to patrons (para. 21), and not a workshop, a daycare facility or cafeteria (para. 1).

So how did the Lords decide to define the temple?

Paragraph 5 is key:
".the Temple is not a place of "public religious worship" because it is not open to the public. It is not even open to all Mormons. The right of entry is reserved to members who have acquired a "recommend" from the bishop after demonstrating belief in Mormon doctrine, an appropriate way of life and payment of the required contribution to church funds. Such members are called Patrons and the rituals which take place in the Temple are exclusive to them. These facts are agreed." (emphasis added)
These facts are agreed: not a place of public religious worship. Exclusive "patrons" -- not every Mormon (and certainly not the general public) -- must adhere to strict criteria to enter the temple, including demonstrating belief in Mormon doctrine and paying the required contribution.

The language in this House of Lords decision is a precedent. The LDS Corp lost its appeal to define the temple as a place of public religious worship. The Lords define it as a place of ritual exclusive to paying patrons.

Lord Hope of Craighead tells the LDS counsel: "Temple is not entitled to exemption" (para. 36) and that "I cannot accept Mr Sumption's primary argument that the Temple is a place of public religious worship." And this based on an earlier precedent (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v Henning (VO) [1964] AC 420) in which "Parliament has been content that the words "a place of public religious worship" should continue to receive the interpretation that the House gave to them in Henning." (para. 26)

Oh snap!

Sorry LDS Corp, your temple is not entirely exempt. All the Lords agreed to dismiss, most of them using similar language. It's not a charity either. And worse, the House of Lords has ruled that payment AND demonstration of belief in certain beliefs are the basis for exclusive entry into this non-exempt, non-religious, ritual performing, patron house. Not just the basis, but "required" was the word.

Once again, as I wrote in "Obey, Pay and don't look at Internet-Hearsay" and as Lord Hoffman elucidates a "recommend" giving "right of entry" makes the temple worthiness interview is a key part of how this fraud case comes together. Exclusivity is dependent on accepting beliefs that Phillips argues have been falsely represented and payment is secured before you can go in. The word "required" is used in Lord Hoffman's decisive precedent. Tithing is "required".

Mormons have argued that it is not a requirement to believe and tithing is not forced. But the House of Lords seemed to disagree with the Mormons.

Oh double snap!

Oh buggers!

Sorry, FAIR. Sorry, Monson.

Bloody Brilliant, my Lords. Praise the House of Lords!

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Mormonism and 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
Tithing Rip-off Not Historical LDS Position
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?
I Was Forced To Pay Big Bucks To Go To The Temple
Our Tithing Story
Partial Tithe Payer
The Shame Of Not Being A Full Tithe Payer
Forced Tithing
Just Saw My Parent's Carbon Check Sent To LDS Ward
Compassion? Not When It Comes To Tithing
They Take From The Mentally Handicapped Also
Monson's "Twice The Tenth" An Abomination?
Hubby's Family Ate Stale Pancakes For 6 Weeks When He Was A Kid
Money That Goes To Mormon Inc. In Salt Lake City
Tithing Is Actually More Like Extortion
Tithe Maximization - The Church's Policy
The Blatant Immorality of Tithe Paying
Family Home Evening Lesson About "How" To Pay Tithing
Tithing On Inheritance
Paying Tithing Is A Privilege - We Need To Pay Tithing Much More Than God Needs Us To Do So
Tithe Or Your Spouse Will Leave You, While Simultaneously Bursting Into Flames
The Story Of The Fast Offerings
Paved Over Tithing Dollars
Holland: There Is No Money In Our Church Except What The Members Offer
Does The Stock Broker Get The Blessings?
The LDS Church Teaches Financial Independence. Step One: Give Us Your Money. Step Two: Give Us More Money.
Tithing The Dead, It Happened In My Family
Is The Law Of Tithing The Most Important Law In The LDS Church?
Tithing - Absolutely.
Yes, Tithing Is The Most Important Thing To The Church.
Mormon Tithing Is Not Charity
I Was Active But Not A Full Tithe-Payer And Was Denied Help
Bishop Uses Strong Language About Tithing Settlement
Behind On Your Bills? Can't Pay Your Rent? Family Starving? So What - Pay Your Tithing Anyway
March 2013 Ensign Mentions Tithing 61 Times
Ward Budgets Vs. Tithing
I Was A Ward Clerk For Over 10 Years
Direct Tithing Payments Now Reported To The Local Bishop
LDS Tithing - Inducement, Fraud And Fear
You Can't Trust Anything You Read That Was Published By The Church To Be Accurate
Oh Buggers!
5,717 Articles In 332 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (332 Topics)
TopicImage AUTHOR INDEX

  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · APOLOGISTS (53)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD (31)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD - PEOPLE (16)
  · BLACKS AND MORMONISM (12)
  · BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD (11)
  · BLOOD ATONEMENT (4)
  · BOB BENNETT (1)
  · BOB MCCUE (144)
  · BONNEVILLE COMMUNICATIONS (2)
  · BOOK OF ABRAHAM (50)
  · BOOK OF MORMON (66)
  · BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES (18)
  · BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY (24)
  · BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES (5)
  · BOOK REVIEW - ROUGH STONE ROLLING (28)
  · BOOKS - AUTHORS AND DESCRIPTIONS (12)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS (44)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (24)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (54)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · BRUCE D. PORTER (1)
  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (12)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM (48)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (51)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY (128)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (101)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (88)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (13)
  · DNA (23)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (28)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS (70)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (23)
  · FOOD STORAGE (3)
  · FUNDAMENTALIST LDS (17)
  · GENERAL AUTHORITIES (29)
  · GENERAL CONFERENCE (14)
  · GENERAL NEWS (5)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · GORDON B. HINCKLEY (68)
  · GRANT PALMER (8)
  · GREGORY L. SMITH (9)
  · GUNNISON MASSACRE (1)
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  · HATE MAIL I RECEIVE (23)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
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  · HEBER C. KIMBALL (4)
  · HELEN RADKEY (17)
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  · HENRY B. EYRING (5)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HOME AND VISITING TEACHING (9)
  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
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  · JEFFREY R. HOLLAND (32)
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  · JOHN GEE (3)
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  · JOHN TAYLOR (1)
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  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH (101)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY (43)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH (19)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (22)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM (44)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (7)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL D. WILLIAMS (1)
  · MICHAEL OTTERSON (1)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CHURCH PROPAGANDA (5)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MISSIONARIES (142)
  · MORMON MONEY (73)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES (116)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY (60)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (31)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING (63)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
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  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
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  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
  · WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (1)
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