Best Way to Convince Spouse of Tithing Surplus

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Re: Best Way to Convince Spouse of Tithing Surplus

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Apr 2018, 15:11

I respect that completely, dande48. I simply meant I personally don't believe in it.

Sorry if that wasn't clear.
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Re: Best Way to Convince Spouse of Tithing Surplus

Post by SilentDawning » 22 Apr 2018, 13:56

nibbler wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 09:18
Going in with the goal of convincing or expecting a specific outcome is probably a bad idea but that's just my reaction to the title of the thread.

Here's a link from the February 2008 New Era that I was going to share in the other thread:

Do I pay tithing on my income before taxes are taken out or on what I receive after taxes?
The First Presidency has answered this question in this way: “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, Mar. 19, 1970).

In other words, the way you define your income, and consequently your tithing, is a matter between you and the Lord. Prayerfully seek the Lord’s guidance on issues like taxes, gifts, scholarships, and other matters to determine what qualifies as a full tithe.
Of note: they don't answer the question. They underscore the importance of it being a matter between you and the lord. It says, "Prayerfully seek the Lord's guidance on issues like taxes...and other matters to determine what qualifies as a full tithe."

In the past I never prayerfully sought the lord's guidance, I just took someone else's prayerfully sought out guidance (payment on gross) as the answer. I think there's a lot of stuff like that at church, we take one person's answer and assume it applies equally to all. Doing that deprives us of the blessing of receiving personal revelation.

So you could possibly approach it that way. Let's ask the lord what we should pay to the church for tithing. Then use those early section D&C scriptures, "you took no thought save it was to ask me" as a way to introduce various options you've thought out. Payment on gross, net, surplus, charities, etc.
Nibbler's post above is the best answer I could give. Sure, there are talks where GA's and even apostles and prophets have made emphatic statements that it's 10% of gross, or your wages etcetera, but the official policy leaves the discretion up to you. I would try to convince her of that.

Thinking mathematically, if you put the difference into paying down your mortgage, this will save you interest in the long run, which can be donated to the church over and above surplus later in life.

You could also comment on how we have two commandments in tension with each other, just like Adam and Eve in the garden of eden. First, to be debt free and self reliant, and yet to pay tithing. Indicate that for the time being, a liberal interpretation of "income" , consistent with the FP message above, seems to be the best way to navigate both commandments. Further, cite the fact that we have an article of faith that says we believe in worshiping almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and the FP letter about tithing seems to underscore that commandment.

Really underscore "no one is justified in saying more than this".

Also, find the part in the D&C that discussed tithing as 10% of your interest! Someone looked up a dictionary from the year that revelation came out, and interest meant surplus at that time. That meaning has disappeared from our modern language. So you can rely on scripture if you can find that scripture.

The other thing -- you could also cite that when we affirm our doctrine in conference, doctrine is defined as being in the holy scriptures. The holy scriptures don't mention 10% of gross -- they mention 10% of surplus.

I personally believe this is the true meaning of tithing, but the financial crises the church faced in the 19th century led to a statement that increased church revenue to help it survive. When the money starts rolling in, it's hard to turn it off, particularly since we need to plan for a rainy day.

I would then make your personal decision, together.

You could also let her know you'll never stand in the way of her paying tithing as she defines it. She can pay on her gross or net from her earnings, but you would like to pay as your conscience guides. That way she can answer the TR question with full integrity if she objects to your surplus method.

The thing that made me pick my own interpretation was an article by Michael D. Quinn, a church historian (not employed by the church, and no longer a member) who traced the history of tithing. After I read it, my personal conclusion was that the church leaders kept trying different ways to get the members to fund the church operations After some financial hardship, finally, they decided to implement the current method. I see talks and interpretations as simply the attempt of leaders at the time to fund the church's needs -- and now that this particular method is highly effective, it's hard to turn off, even if at times they realize how much hardship it causes. They can't turn it off even if they wanted to.
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dande48
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Re: Best Way to Convince Spouse of Tithing Surplus

Post by dande48 » 22 Apr 2018, 16:21

Report: I have an awesome, understanding, and very empathetic wife. Of course, tithing on surplus went against what she was taught growing up, and didn't feel great about it at first. But after some heartfelt prayer, she felt it was alright with God if we did surplus. It was a compromise, but I felt things went pretty well.

I appreciate all the comments, insights and suggestions. I especially liked all the convincing arguments that I shouldn't try to convince her ;) (Good points though). In the end, I feel like we'll still be contributing 10% of our gross income to God and building up his kingdom. I think there are many approaches to do this, and while the Church does a lot of good, I feel much more comfortable donating elsewhere.Thanks again for all your insight and input.
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Re: Best Way to Convince Spouse of Tithing Surplus

Post by Roy » 23 Apr 2018, 09:53

Glad to hear it went well. You are a lucky man. Be good to your wife. :thumbup:
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Re: Best Way to Convince Spouse of Tithing Surplus

Post by SilentDawning » 23 Apr 2018, 12:11

Glad to hear it went well. It's amazing how much power we have over our lives if we will only claim it!
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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Re: Best Way to Convince Spouse of Tithing Surplus

Post by mom3 » 23 Apr 2018, 14:54

Wonderful news. Congratulations on a huge success. Not everyone is as fortunate.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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