Talking to the kids about tithing

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church0333
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Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by church0333 » 27 Jul 2013, 11:01

I have a son who just started a job as a new dentist and he has moved back to his home state. I am not sure how he pays his tithing now but I what to talk to him about the different options that we have discussed here. He got out of school with $350000 in debt and he makes a very good income but I don't want to see him over pay but I don't want to think that I am trying to interfer too much in his life. How should I approach him and his wife about this or should I not bother? We do have a very good relationship and I don't want to stick my nose in where it doesn't belong. What say you?

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by Curt Sunshine » 27 Jul 2013, 12:29

Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong. He and his wife are big kids; they can make that decision.

Having said that, if the topic comes up naturally, you could say something like:
"I've been fascinated by how different faithful members interpret the Law of Tithing. I know active members who . . ."
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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On Own Now
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Re: Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by On Own Now » 27 Jul 2013, 15:28

I believe the church's teaching that tithing should be paid even if you can't pay rent or buy food is immoral. Just calling it like I see it. I give the church a pass on many fronts, but I can't on this one.

Furthermore, I believe the church's implying that tithing is 10% of gross is dishonest. It's own hidden policy is not to specify, but that's not very clear to the general membership.

I'm all for staying out of the belief of others, including my own children, but in the face of dishonesty and immorality, I do speak up. I believe you SHOULD let your son know that you don't agree (assuming) that a church-goer should pay even when they can't afford to. I believe you SHOULD let him know that official policy is that the amount is NOT defined as 10% of gross, and that what he gives is up to him and his wife, but that he should never be made to feel guilty by others for any amount that he contributes to the church.

I agree with Ray that it's best if it comes up as part of a natural conversation, but if it doesn't, then I think we all have a duty to inform people who are oblivious to the official policy.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by Curt Sunshine » 27 Jul 2013, 18:30

I've said this in other threads, but I have no problem with people paying tithing first, even if they can't pay other obligations, IF (and I stress, IF) the Church then turns around and pays those obligations through fast offering funds, if needed. If it's a true partnership, I have no problem with it.

I also have no problem with people who try to live frugally, pay their financial obligations and then pay tithing on what they consider to be their "increase". As long as people aren't making decisions simply as a way to pay as little as possible, and as long as they aren't living extravagantly and can't pay what they would consider a proper tithing as a result, I can accept various payment structures as honest and sincere.

I just need to stress that I am not about to condemn or argue with the widow who pays her mite - or insist that she stop doing do, simply I believe differently than she does. I just want to make sure she is taken care of in her need.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

church0333
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Joined: 26 Aug 2012, 17:41
Location: Springfield OR

Re: Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by church0333 » 27 Jul 2013, 20:57

I am not one to stick my nose where it doesn't belong but I have been very up front with my kids as far as not getting into unnecessary debt, buying used cars as opposed to new, save something out of every pay check etc and they have always expressed appreciation for that but when it comes to tithing I am not too sure. I know I would have appreciated a little financial advice when I was younger and if I had known that tithing did not mean 100% for sure gross like I was told most of my life I might have done things a little differently. It would have been nice to have the option.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by Curt Sunshine » 27 Jul 2013, 21:24

Absolutely, church. I agree with that totally - and, frankly, paying on gross makes no sense to me, no matter what others believe. My children know I pay on net - on the money that I actually have to use.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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On Own Now
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Re: Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by On Own Now » 28 Jul 2013, 09:58

Let me clarify my thinking...

I have no problem with people who pay 1% tithing. I have no problem with people who pay 90% tithing. It is their money. Let them do with it what they choose. I believe that giving is good. In addition, the Church operates primarily on donations, so it is necessary for the Church membership to support the Church in that way. But I start with the premise that the money belongs to the individual, not to God or the Church, and it is their prerogative to give how they see fit.

That said, I do have a problem with the Church instructing members to pay even when they can't.

Here is the official, and highly visible, statement on tithing to our youth, ages 12-18:
Choosing to live the law of tithing will be a great blessing throughout your life. A tithe is one-tenth of your income... Pay it first, even when you think you do not have enough money to meet your other needs. -- For the Strength of the Youth, 2012
Here is a statement in the Ensign from 8 months ago:
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. -- Ensign, December, 2012
As for increase/net/gross, I am very happy with the Church's official policy. I am furious that the Church keeps it quiet, knowing full-well that the general membership tends toward gross, not realizing that anything else is a fully-sanctioned option. I didn't know about the official policy for a decade after my faith crisis. How is a member of the Church in Payson supposed to know about it?

So, yes, I applaud those who give any measure of donations to the Church, I only want for the Church to lay off behavior that, to me, is immoral and irresponsible .

Therefore, when it comes to talking to our kids, I believe we have an obligation, forced on us by the stance of the Church. In my line of thinking, we need to tell our kids that they should NOT give if they don't have basic life needs satisfied. And we should instruct them about the Church's policy about what constitutes tithing.

church0333
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Re: Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by church0333 » 28 Jul 2013, 11:36

On our now, I too feel like I have an obligation to talk to my kids for the reasons you mentioned. How they decide to pays is their business but I want them to have the facts and I don't see them getting that in their regular meetings. I have been wrestling with this for some time and I think it is time to speak up. I think I will try to have it come up in a natural way and not make it a single point of our conversation.

Brown
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Re: Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by Brown » 28 Jul 2013, 17:25

I think I might mention that if you had to take out $350k in debt to earn his salary that perhaps that should come into consideration. His "increase" at the start of his career is now -350,000 + interest, so I would think no tithing should be paid until the income derived from that investment exceeds the cost. Or at the very least, deduct the amount paid on that loan from the increase monthly as you go along.

This isn't cheating or being greedy. If you took an investor who was the most TBM in the world, they would not buy an asset for $200k, sell it for $250k, and then consider the entire $250k as profit (or increase or interest).

I think it becomes easier when you are running your own business to see the true profit+loss statements and calculate your true increase. For those who are working stiffs, we get a check every two weeks, but never take into account the cost of earning that money. Clothing, meals, gas, car, loans, etc, all add up to the cost of earning that money - which reduces the actual household "increase".

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Talking to the kids about tithing

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 Jul 2013, 18:25

I respect that, church0333 - and I support anyone who wants to calculate tithing in the way that Brown just explained. It's not how I do it, but I think it absolutely is a legitimate way to approach it.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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