Page 1 of 6

Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 27 Dec 2015, 20:42
by DBMormon
Image

Tithing: Have You Considered Paying on Surplus?

http://www.wheatandtares.org/19945/tith ... n-surplus/

Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 27 Dec 2015, 21:01
by amateurparent
This is the sort of article that got Alan Rock Waterman ex'd.

Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 27 Dec 2015, 21:04
by DBMormon
amateurparent wrote:This is the sort of article that got Alan Rock Waterman ex'd.
except Rock said the Church was wrong and I argue that they are right. Rock went to great length to say that Surplus is the right method and the Church was wrong for imposing otherwise. Instead I argue that surplus is one viable option and that The Church is right to protect members right to decide for themselves. to me it is apples and oranges

Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 27 Dec 2015, 21:25
by Rob4Hope
I liked the article Bill.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk

Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 28 Dec 2015, 07:05
by DarkJedi
I also liked it. I'll not convince my wife to go along and she is the main breadwinner, but I do see paying on surplus as viable. I suppose I could do it on my part of the income but it's difficult to separate what part of the mortgage is mine, etc.

Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 28 Dec 2015, 08:46
by SilentDawning
I don't see the article as anti mormon or critical to the church. I see it as a synthesis of all the various definitions leaders have used over the years. I will say this...that normally the most current definition probably carries the most weight with most members, and that culturally, paying on gross or net seems to be the norm that most members accept. However, I do see The brethren giving a certain amount of latitude to members to decide for themselves. And I see surplus as consistent with the principle of self reliance...you rely on no outside sources of income forbyour necessities.. And that seems to suggest that payment on surplus isbin order.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 28 Dec 2015, 10:23
by On Own Now
DB,

You do have a historical error in your article. Let me first say that I am very opposed to the way the Church avoids clearly stating that is up to each individual. I believe that if you quiz 100 LDS members from around the world, you'll get more than 90% to tell you that tithing is on gross. The Church doesn't do anything to dispel that mis-belief. So, I applaud your desire to get the word out there.

But to the historical point... 'surplus' described in D&C 119 has very little resemblance (thankfully) to tithing today.

Historical context: The Church had attempted the Law of Consecration in "Zion" (Jackson County, Missouri). That had proven very difficult. After the expulsion from Jackson County in Nov, 1833 and a couple of years spent as refugees in Clay County, the Church was allowed to settle in the purpose-created Caldwell County. By this time, JS was also finally moving to Missouri. The Far West settlement had begun as early as 1836, but really escalated in spring, 1838, when it became the primary gathering place of the Saints - the first time one location could be considered THE center of the Church. Earlier mass migration from Clay County and now from Ohio filled the area around Far West. In July, JS received the revelation we now have as 119. He referred to 'Zion', this time referencing the vicinity of Far West. The revelation answered the question of how to adjust from the failed LofC but still fund the "foundation of Zion". At the end, the revelation instructs that this implementation in Zion would be an 'ensample' to all the other areas of settlement ("the stakes of Zion").

In that section, people in Zion or arriving in Zion were to give ALL - 100% - of their surplus to the Church. This was what was meant by the term "tithe" in that section. Once tithed in this way, they were then to give 10 percent of their interest annually.

This proved to be short-lived. The sudden influx of Mormons to Far West sparked hostilities. The migration from elsewhere in Missouri had occurred only the previous hear and the migration from Ohio had started in-earnest only in the spring of 1838. Sidney Rigdon gave the infamous Salt Sermon in June. The cornerstones of the FW Temple were laid July 4. The Tithing Revelation was a few days later. The Gallatin Election Day Battle was a month later... Danites... the Mormon War... the Battle of Crooked River... The Extermination Order... the Haun's Mill Massacre... the arrest of JS and his imprisonment in Liberty Jail all came in the next three months. By February of 1839, BY was leading the Saints out of Missouri.

In short, there was tremendous financial chaos for a couple of years after the revelation.

The Nauvoo Era brought an entirely different manner of financing. As far as I can tell, but this is an area that I'm less familiar with, the Church purchased the Nauvoo land and then sold to the members at a 'profit' and that profit was what was used to finance the Church operations. In other words, rather than the people being 'tithed' again, Church income was via investment. But after two years, tithing was renewed in the Nauvoo Era; this time associated directly with the temple. People were to pay 10% of all they possessed at the time of the commencement of the Temple construction and 10% of their 'increase' annually until the Temple was completed. Note the new term, 'increase' used at this time. Also note the change from all surplus, to 10% of all possessions in the initial donation. The instructions were given by letter from the Q12 published in the Times & Seasons, Dec 15, 1841. People who had no money to give worked one day out of 10 on the Temple construction.

But the Mormon Exodus from Nauvoo threw finances into chaos again. You quoted Orson Hyde in 1847 saying that a new convert should give 10% of all his possessions when joining the Church and 10% of their increase annually thereafter, and that allowances could be made for those who had nothing extra not to be tithed at all. Remember, though, that the term 'tithe' in D&C 119 referred to giving all the initial surplus, not to the contribution of 10% thereafter. Also remember that those who had no money to give in Nauvoo gave of their time in lieu of funds. With that in mind, I think it is likely that what OHyde meant by "not tithed at all", was in reference to not having any surplus at the time of joining or arriving in Zion, not to the annual payments.

Later, once the people were beginning to get a solid foothold in Utah, tithing again became an issue to be settled. In 1873, OHyde reinforced his vision that new converts should initially give 10% of all their possessions and 10% of increase annually. But that same year (two months later), Orson Pratt said that new converts should give all of their surplus at the time of joining and then 10% of increase annually. In other words, the matter was not settled.

Eventually, tithing became codified as 10% of annual income, with no initial payment. That doesn't match the old-style, but is sort of a compromise. Can you imagine if we asked new members two give either all their surplus (D&C 119, OPratt-1873) or 10% of their net worth (Nauvoo, OHyde-1873) just to join?

Bottom line. 'Surplus' isn't a word we want to use today with tithing, because to be "tithed of surplus" in D&C 119 meant to give all surplus to the Church. "Interest" or "Increase" are words used with annual requirements for tithing, but they were only used during a time when the "beginning of tithing" was to give a major slice of your net worth to the Church up front.

IMO, the best way to describe tithing today is 10% of income, and let the hearer decide what 'income' is. I would never say the word 'income' without the caveat that the Church doesn't have a stand on whether that means gross or net, and that even the term 'net' is up to the individual to decide. If we get into semantics about the early laws of tithing, it is impossible to map to our world today. I've come to believe that the terms 'interest' or 'increase' only represent the easier part of the law of tithing from long ago and do not accurately reflect tithing of today.

Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 28 Dec 2015, 12:27
by FaithfulSkeptic
On Own Now wrote:DB,

You do have a historical error in your article. Let me first say that I am very opposed to the way the Church avoids clearly stating that is up to each individual. I believe that if you quiz 100 LDS members from around the world, you'll get more than 90% to tell you that tithing is on gross. The Church doesn't do anything to dispel that mis-belief. So, I applaud your desire to get the word out there.

But to the historical point... 'surplus' described in D&C 119 has very little resemblance (thankfully) to tithing today.

Historical context: The Church had attempted the Law of Consecration in "Zion" (Jackson County, Missouri). That had proven very difficult. After the expulsion from Jackson County in Nov, 1833 and a couple of years spent as refugees in Clay County, the Church was allowed to settle in the purpose-created Caldwell County. By this time, JS was also finally moving to Missouri. The Far West settlement had begun as early as 1836, but really escalated in spring, 1838, when it became the primary gathering place of the Saints - the first time one location could be considered THE center of the Church. Earlier mass migration from Clay County and now from Ohio filled the area around Far West. In July, JS received the revelation we now have as 119. He referred to 'Zion', this time referencing the vicinity of Far West. The revelation answered the question of how to adjust from the failed LofC but still fund the "foundation of Zion". At the end, the revelation instructs that this implementation in Zion would be an 'ensample' to all the other areas of settlement ("the stakes of Zion").

In that section, people in Zion or arriving in Zion were to give ALL - 100% - of their surplus to the Church. This was what was meant by the term "tithe" in that section. Once tithed in this way, they were then to give 10 percent of their interest annually.

This proved to be short-lived. The sudden influx of Mormons to Far West sparked hostilities. The migration from elsewhere in Missouri had occurred only the previous hear and the migration from Ohio had started in-earnest only in the spring of 1838. Sidney Rigdon gave the infamous Salt Sermon in June. The cornerstones of the FW Temple were laid July 4. The Tithing Revelation was a few days later. The Gallatin Election Day Battle was a month later... Danites... the Mormon War... the Battle of Crooked River... The Extermination Order... the Haun's Mill Massacre... the arrest of JS and his imprisonment in Liberty Jail all came in the next three months. By February of 1839, BY was leading the Saints out of Missouri.

In short, there was tremendous financial chaos for a couple of years after the revelation.

The Nauvoo Era brought an entirely different manner of financing. As far as I can tell, but this is an area that I'm less familiar with, the Church purchased the Nauvoo land and then sold to the members at a 'profit' and that profit was what was used to finance the Church operations. In other words, rather than the people being 'tithed' again, Church income was via investment. But after two years, tithing was renewed in the Nauvoo Era; this time associated directly with the temple. People were to pay 10% of all they possessed at the time of the commencement of the Temple construction and 10% of their 'increase' annually until the Temple was completed. Note the new term, 'increase' used at this time. Also note the change from all surplus, to 10% of all possessions in the initial donation. The instructions were given by letter from the Q12 published in the Times & Seasons, Dec 15, 1841. People who had no money to give worked one day out of 10 on the Temple construction.

But the Mormon Exodus from Nauvoo threw finances into chaos again. You quoted Orson Hyde in 1847 saying that a new convert should give 10% of all his possessions when joining the Church and 10% of their increase annually thereafter, and that allowances could be made for those who had nothing extra not to be tithed at all. Remember, though, that the term 'tithe' in D&C 119 referred to giving all the initial surplus, not to the contribution of 10% thereafter. Also remember that those who had no money to give in Nauvoo gave of their time in lieu of funds. With that in mind, I think it is likely that what OHyde meant by "not tithed at all", was in reference to not having any surplus at the time of joining or arriving in Zion, not to the annual payments.

Later, once the people were beginning to get a solid foothold in Utah, tithing again became an issue to be settled. In 1873, OHyde reinforced his vision that new converts should initially give 10% of all their possessions and 10% of increase annually. But that same year (two months later), Orson Pratt said that new converts should give all of their surplus at the time of joining and then 10% of increase annually. In other words, the matter was not settled.

Eventually, tithing became codified as 10% of annual income, with no initial payment. That doesn't match the old-style, but is sort of a compromise. Can you imagine if we asked new members two give either all their surplus (D&C 119, OPratt-1873) or 10% of their net worth (Nauvoo, OHyde-1873) just to join?

Bottom line. 'Surplus' isn't a word we want to use today with tithing, because to be "tithed of surplus" in D&C 119 meant to give all surplus to the Church. "Interest" or "Increase" are words used with annual requirements for tithing, but they were only used during a time when the "beginning of tithing" was to give a major slice of your net worth to the Church up front.

IMO, the best way to describe tithing today is 10% of income, and let the hearer decide what 'income' is. I would never say the word 'income' without the caveat that the Church doesn't have a stand on whether that means gross or net, and that even the term 'net' is up to the individual to decide. If we get into semantics about the early laws of tithing, it is impossible to map to our world today. I've come to believe that the terms 'interest' or 'increase' only represent the easier part of the law of tithing from long ago and do not accurately reflect tithing of today.
Thank you for the historical context, OON. This is something I had never heard or thought about. I am struggling right now with how I should pay my tithing and all of this discussion helps.

Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 29 Dec 2015, 11:14
by Roy
Thank you Bill for making some room for an optional seat at the table. As tithing is the ONE thing that keeps me from having a TR this can be very helpful. I have had a "struggling" testimony for many years but remain active. I imagine that some would be happy for me to muster the faith necessary to pay on surplus - regain a TR and all the fellowship that comes with it. I also imagine that others would believe that I am fooling myself with a false definition and a false hope and that of such things Satan and the anti-Christ delight. I am glad that it is nobody else's business. It is only the business of myself and my God (who judges my heart, not my W-2).

Hawkgrrrl had a question based on a misunderstanding that was later resolved. Her question (comment 32) was to the effect of "how could the man with the business buy a house unless he withdrew money from the business?"
I knew a prominent LDS family that had a family business. They hired my DW to be a bookkeeper for them. She discovered that the house that the family lived in, the family car, and several rental properties were in a sort of family trust. The husband and wife did not earn a salary exactly from their work in the business but instead withdrew funds from the trust for their daily living. It appeared that the family paid tithing on the funds that they withdrew from the trust for daily living but not upon the growth of the "estate" otherwise.

There was also a comment #43 about double payment of tithing in one year for tax purposes. I did this also. DW was only comfortable with it if we paid one year in advance (rather than paying two years later and having the temptation to spend the accumulated tithing money). We paid double one particular year and then moved. Our new bishop wanted to extend us callings but did not understand why he wasn't getting any tithing slips from us. He called our former bishop to verify our story and promptly gave us two of the most demanding callings in the ward. :lolno:

Re: Wheat & Tares Post on Surplus Tithing

Posted: 29 Dec 2015, 12:50
by Minyan Man
Roy, I'll bite. What were the two the most demanding callings in the church?