What are the implications of not paying tithing?

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sdj
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What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by sdj » 25 Jan 2018, 15:55

Haven't posted anything in a long time but continue to lurk occasionally for support. (Thanks to everyone who posts regularly. :clap: It really helps.)

About a year ago we got a new bishop. He is a really great guy that I like a lot. I felt like I could talk to him about my unbelief which I did. It went really well. By this time I had been EQ president for almost 2 years. He asked if I wanted to be released. I told him sure. He asked if there was a calling I would be comfortable with and so now I'm a 3rd hour Nursery leader. :thumbup: (My youngest is in there)

Something that has really been bothering me is tithing. Every time I go to pay online I feel anger. I don't think its healthy. After all its supposed to be a donation. Brought it up with my wife and she agreed that it would be hard for me to pay when I don't really believe. What would be the implications of not being a full-tithed member? Obviously I wouldn't be able to renew my temple recommend but what else? Would this affect my priesthood? Can I baptize and confirm my kids?

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DarkJedi
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Re: What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by DarkJedi » 25 Jan 2018, 16:08

Yep, no TR. Baptism/confirmation are a bit more tricky. The wording in the handbook says something like a man needs to be "temple worthy" (which doesn't necessarily mean actually having a TR) to confirm. BUT there is some leeway there for the bishop, and it sounds like yours might be a bit lenient. It does not affect your priesthood per se, but could affect the callings extended. However, when I was called as a high councilor I did not hold a TR. Good old leadership roulette always factors in these situations.
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Roy
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Re: What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by Roy » 25 Jan 2018, 17:55

DarkJedi wrote:
25 Jan 2018, 16:08
Yep, no TR. Baptism/confirmation are a bit more tricky. The wording in the handbook says something like a man needs to be "temple worthy" (which doesn't necessarily mean actually having a TR) to confirm. BUT there is some leeway there for the bishop, and it sounds like yours might be a bit lenient. It does not affect your priesthood per se, but could affect the callings extended. However, when I was called as a high councilor I did not hold a TR. Good old leadership roulette always factors in these situations.
Long story short - I have not paid tithing since my FC. I do not have a TR. DW does pay tithing on her income.

There is significant discretion for the bishop in authorizing baptism/confirmation performance. If he feels you are honest, sincere, continuing to struggle, search, and strive for belief - he may be more likely to grant permission. If he feels that you are a stubborn, bitter, recalcitrant, and possibly dangerous wolf in sheep's clothing he has the discretion to deny your performance of your kid's baptism and there is (IMO) very little chance of appeal. I always strive for giving my bishop the first and more favorable impression.

I also understand that certain callings (like EQ president) require a TR.

Then there is the awkward matter of the tithing settlement. The bishop must identify you as full, part, or no tithe payer and if at all possible will want that information coming from you. Because you pay online it may be possible to reduce the amount you pay to something you feel more comfortable with and not arouse suspicion (since the bishop may not see this transaction paper trail). There are multiple ways to define full tithing. Gross, Net, or Increase/Net Worth Growth. Tithing settlement is supposed to be a yes/no question because how to formulate tithing is officially between the individual and the Lord. However some bishops may ask follow-up questions particularly if they have reason to be suspicious. If the bishop has reason to delve into how you define "full tithe" and he does not agree with your definition there may be tension and unintended consequences.

I always go in first for tithing settlement before my family and explain to the bishop that I have not paid tithing but that DW is a full tithe payer and we encourage our children to pay tithing. We chat for a bit before inviting my family in to join us. My family declare as full tithe payers. I believe that this helps for the bishop to see me more sympathetically and treat me more compassionately.
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AmyJ
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Re: What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by AmyJ » 26 Jan 2018, 07:16

Roy wrote:
25 Jan 2018, 17:55

Then there is the awkward matter of the tithing settlement. The bishop must identify you as full, part, or no tithe payer and if at all possible will want that information coming from you. Because you pay online it may be possible to reduce the amount you pay to something you feel more comfortable with and not arouse suspicion (since the bishop may not see this transaction paper trail). There are multiple ways to define full tithing. Gross, Net, or Increase/Net Worth Growth. Tithing settlement is supposed to be a yes/no question because how to formulate tithing is officially between the individual and the Lord. However some bishops may ask follow-up questions particularly if they have reason to be suspicious. If the bishop has reason to delve into how you define "full tithe" and he does not agree with your definition there may be tension and unintended consequences.
I think that the online statements now filter into the actual amount listed on the paperwork - so whether you pay online or by envelope, I think the result ends up being the same as far as the reporting goes.

SIDE STORY:
We are not great at paying tithing promptly - tend to get around to it every 3-6 months (ish). A few months ago we got a huge (for us) unexpected windfall from a former company I used to work for after not paying tithing for 3-6 months. I couldn't help give a chuckle over the "Lord blessing us financially when we pay our tithing" spiel backfiring because we hadn't paid in so long and got a financial blessing that of course was up there with the miracles usually associated with tithing. My husband is mentally comfortable thinking along the lines that "the Lord knew we could use the money and gave it to us as a gentle prod to remember to pay tithing" sort of thinking to make it work in his narrative. I just smile and nod while thinking the financial windfall HAS NOTHING TO DO with tithing and leave it at that.

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Sheldon
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Re: What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by Sheldon » 26 Jan 2018, 15:10

There are two ways to pay "online" One is through the church's web site "LDS.org". The bishop will see everything you pay (or don't pay) via this method. The other way is through "bill pay" via your financial institution. This requires the financial department at the COB to set up a bill pay account for you. It takes some paperwork, and they do not advertise it since it requires more manual labor on their side. But this method is complete anonymous if you request it, and the ward sees nothing. This was implemented for very wealthy donors to pass money to the church without a nosey bishop seeing what was going on.

But the bill pay is very easy to use, and is set up just like any other bill pay account you have with your bank. I have it set up for myself (not that I'm wealthy), and all I do is go to my credit union web site, and click the bill pay tab, and then select LDS Tithing, and enter an amount. It transfers directly from my credit union account to the church.

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Sheldon
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Re: What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by Sheldon » 26 Jan 2018, 15:19

Here is a very nuanced way of looking at tithing found at Pure Mormonism blog . I am NOT endorsing this method of calculating your tithing, but only offer it up as another way some people are doing it.

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mom3
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Re: What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by mom3 » 26 Jan 2018, 19:20

We are on the second of Sheldon's options. We began long before faith transition. I love it. Back in the good old days when we were TBM we always just submitted an annual stock option. We did try to match the effort to a tenth, but were lenient.

Today I donate money to humanitarian, and let the stock options collect interest.
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Holy Cow
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Re: What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by Holy Cow » 26 Jan 2018, 22:04

I pay extra towards fast offering and a local charity, rather than paying tithing, and I've let the bishop know my reasons. I also do not wear garments. No TR for me. However, I was able to baptize my daughter. I was not able to do the confirmation, but didn't really want to anyway, so it worked out nicely. The bishop also told me I could confer the priesthood for my son if he ever decides that he wants to get the priesthood, but I would prefer not to do that. I'll let my father do that if it ever comes up.
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dande48
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Re: What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by dande48 » 26 Jan 2018, 22:20

sdj wrote:
25 Jan 2018, 15:55
Something that has really been bothering me is tithing. Every time I go to pay online I feel anger. I don't think its healthy. After all its supposed to be a donation. Brought it up with my wife and she agreed that it would be hard for me to pay when I don't really believe. What would be the implications of not being a full-tithed member? Obviously I wouldn't be able to renew my temple recommend but what else? Would this affect my priesthood? Can I baptize and confirm my kids?
I just had a funny idea. I might actually give it a try. What if instead of paying the full-mandatory 10% tithing, we gave the Church a 9% donation? That way, it would really be a donation. No obligation, no strings attached, nothing to hold over your head anymore. And that makes the Church more responsible, in my mind, with what they do.

To answer your questions, that is entirely up to your Bishop, and maybe your Stake President. There are just guidelines for the Church Leaders, on the exercise of priesthood, and all of it is to be weighed against the spiritual strength and belief of the member. As long as you haven't been exed (and even that is up for debate), you can still exercise your priesthood as much as you'd like within your own home. At the same time, I'd recommend meeting those fears head on. If you don't believe enough to pay tithing, I don't think it's pleasing to God or healthy for anyone to pretend otherwise. Spiritually, I feel it is better to follow your conscience, recogizing you might make a mistake, than to live against it.
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sdj
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Re: What are the implications of not paying tithing?

Post by sdj » 27 Jan 2018, 17:58

If I don't have a recommend how do I buy garments? Can my wife just buy them for me? Am I not supposed to wear garments anymore?

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