Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

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Minyan Man
Posts: 1969
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by Minyan Man » 04 Nov 2020, 21:40

I am curious: why is there a need for tithing settlement anymore? Especially with the COVID pandemic.
Church contributions can be made electronically. We can go to the church web site & see what is recorded & compare the church
records with out check book to determine if they equal each other. If the church wants us to declare if we are full, partial or none tithe
payers we could check a box to declare our status. The only reasons I can see for holding tithing settlement is if there is a problem or
we hand the Bishop an envelop each week with a check or cash inside. I really have very little discussion during my meeting with the
Bishop & I'm in and out in 5-10 minutes.

Does anyone see a need or purpose for tithing settlement meetings anymore? (other than the reasons I've outlined.)

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Nov 2020, 06:04

No, I've said for years that tithing settlement is antiquated and has no purpose. Even if someone does hand in the envelope with cash every week/month the clerk can print a statement for the individual to compare (and if you have a church account you can still print your own statement no matter how you pay). I also don't see the point of why we need to declare if we're full tithe payers or not. If we have a TR we're full tithe payers. If not, what other reason is there than to try to guilt us in to being full tithe payers and pay our "fire insurance?"

FWIW, I think it's approaching 20 years since I have gone to tithing settlement. My previous bishop hit me up about it a couple times (until he finally got the hint) saying he needed to check the box on the report to which I replied I was worthy of the temple recommend I hold and that I didn't particularly care what box he checked because tithing is between me and God. Of course I also know that the stat reflects more on them than it does me.

With COVID I would not go to a personal interview. Our ward hasn't said anything about it yet but like temple recommends there's probably going to be a virtual option which I will also refuse. Complicating things from their point of view this year is that I don't currently hold a TR because I don't see the point and I don't particularly want to take part in a video or phone interview. I'll just wait.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Minyan Man
Posts: 1969
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by Minyan Man » 05 Nov 2020, 07:16

I think the role or job description of the Bishop is changing. In the olden days tithing settlement was an opportunity to "get acquainted" or
"reacquainted" with the members & families of the ward. Today the Bishop's jobs seems to be more of administrator. Maybe that's the way it
should be. Since becoming "reactivated" our bishop barely knows us. No one in our stake leadership knows us. To be honest, I like it that way.

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SamBee
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Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by SamBee » 05 Nov 2020, 08:50

We only ever get settlements done for a fraction of the congregation..

Very few people tithe online here. Personally I am against it. I don't want the government or tax authorities to see what I am paying in case they think the amount I pay equates to my earnings.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Nov 2020, 06:03

SamBee wrote:
05 Nov 2020, 08:50
We only ever get settlements done for a fraction of the congregation..

Very few people tithe online here. Personally I am against it. I don't want the government or tax authorities to see what I am paying in case they think the amount I pay equates to my earnings.
I think most people, except some oldsters and Luddites, pay online here in the US (in my ward this is the case). If you're looking to take the tax deduction you have to report it on your tax form anyway, so the government already knows (and I'm pretty sure you'll get audited if the amount you give equates to your income).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Minyan Man
Posts: 1969
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by Minyan Man » 06 Nov 2020, 06:53

There was a time when I was audited by the IRS. One of the items they tested was my contributions to the church.
I'm glad the church clearly documented the amount. Some audits are done randomly & I think this was the case with me.
Meaning: it wasn't a large amount of money.

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SamBee
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Re: Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by SamBee » 06 Nov 2020, 11:09

DarkJedi wrote:
06 Nov 2020, 06:03
SamBee wrote:
05 Nov 2020, 08:50
We only ever get settlements done for a fraction of the congregation..

Very few people tithe online here. Personally I am against it. I don't want the government or tax authorities to see what I am paying in case they think the amount I pay equates to my earnings.
I think most people, except some oldsters and Luddites, pay online here in the US (in my ward this is the case). If you're looking to take the tax deduction you have to report it on your tax form anyway, so the government already knows (and I'm pretty sure you'll get audited if the amount you give equates to your income).
We're far behind on this...

Personally I don't like electronic tithing because my income is irregular.

If you get welfare here, they like to see paperwork from your bank.... And if there are payments out to the church, they would question that.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
Posts: 7208
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Nov 2020, 13:16

SamBee wrote:
06 Nov 2020, 11:09
DarkJedi wrote:
06 Nov 2020, 06:03
SamBee wrote:
05 Nov 2020, 08:50
We only ever get settlements done for a fraction of the congregation..

Very few people tithe online here. Personally I am against it. I don't want the government or tax authorities to see what I am paying in case they think the amount I pay equates to my earnings.
I think most people, except some oldsters and Luddites, pay online here in the US (in my ward this is the case). If you're looking to take the tax deduction you have to report it on your tax form anyway, so the government already knows (and I'm pretty sure you'll get audited if the amount you give equates to your income).
We're far behind on this...

Personally I don't like electronic tithing because my income is irregular.

If you get welfare here, they like to see paperwork from your bank.... And if there are payments out to the church, they would question that.
I'm guessing the electronic donation stuff is likely more North America-centric, which makes some sense because the vast majority of donations come from here and the infrastructure is in place. I would also wager that Europe, much of Asia, Australia & New Zealand, and some of South America have the infrastructure capability.

The Internal Revenue Service (US) does not routinely check US accounts and actually has little authority to do so. I know there are conspiracy theorists who believe otherwise but the truth is that if it was widespread we'd know because some people wouldn't keep their mouths shut if they knew it happened to them (I'm kind if thinking of a wealthy NY businessman with political aspirations and those like him here). However, I also am aware that welfare agencies, which are a different animal and usually run by individual states, do as a matter of course check assets in order to reduce fraud and I believe in my state you authorize them to do so in the process of applying for welfare. I'm not sure they're as interested in where your money goes as in how much you have. This is different still from unemployment which does not do such checks because it doesn't matter - you're either unemployed/eligible or you're not.

And, as MM said, the church does appropriately and legally document every cent. Back to the OP, part of the purpose of tithing settlement is to provide that legal statement but it is also available online and there are no rules against giving after tithing settlement (thus were you to get a statement at tithing settlement and later gave more you'd need an updated one anyway). And, with the most recent tax reform. fewer US residents are able to itemize deductions anyway and that mostly works to our advantage - our "standard deduction" is way more than our tithing and some of our other itemized deductions (mortgage interest because we paid it off) have gone away - but even with the mortgage deduction we couldn't itemize the last year we had it.

Electronic donation also takes away from the experience of those who make a show of walking up front to be seen handing in their tithing envelope at the end of SM. I recognize that not everyone who does that is doing it for the show, but some definitely are.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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SamBee
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Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by SamBee » 09 Nov 2020, 03:16

I am against the concept of a cashless society as it takes away even more privacy and power from the individual, and this period has been used to speed up the war on cash.

Our state welfare people are extremely invasive. They will go over bank statements with a fine toothed comb. If tithing is taken as 10% of your income, and you are paying above 10%, then they could well question it.

The state, and indeed your bank, have no right fo know how much you give to charity or religion.
Electronic donation also takes away from the experience of those who make a show of walking up front to be seen handing in their tithing envelope at the end of SM. I recognize that not everyone who does that is doing it for the show, but some definitely are.
That's not a problem in my ward. I wouldn't even notice most of them.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
Posts: 6142
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Tithing Settlement during the pandemic

Post by Roy » 16 Nov 2020, 11:12

This is tithing settlement as I have done it.

I went to tithing settlement again this year. My 13 yr old son and I went. DW wasn't feeling well and DD did not want to go. I went in first and left Roy Jr. outside for the first part. I declared as a non-tithe payer. I declared my wife to be a full tithe payer and my daughter to be a part tithe payer (I gave sealed tithing envelopes for DW and DD). The bishop did say that this is the fourth tithing settlement we have had together and asked me what I am doing to make progress toward the temple. I responded that I am reading my scriptures and praying. He encouraged me to ask God what I should do next to make progress. I agreed.

Then we opened the door and brought in my son. He declared as a full tithe payer.

After the meeting was over I considered just being more frank with Bishop and letting him know that I do not plan to pay tithing for the foreseeable future. That way he wouldn't continue to feel exasperated at my continued lack of progress. I decided against this course of action by remembering that my son will be moving up in priesthood ranks to a teacher and then a priest in the next few years. If I have a "Define the relationship" chat with the bishop then he may decide that my hardheartedness and deliberate obstinance should disqualify me acting as the voice in advancing my son. Better to be a backslider with struggling faith than a person in open defiance.

I recognize that maybe bishop could also decide to let me continue as is - but once I let that cat out of the bag there may be no getting it back in again. Maybe a future bishop will be less accommodating and decide against letting me "use my priesthood." If things remain status quo and a future hardline bishop decides to curtail my privileges then I could always show some progress to get the ball rolling again.

No, I determined that as pointless as it seems to go to through the same motions year after year it is much better to keep my options open.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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