Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

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Rumin8
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by Rumin8 » 22 Feb 2019, 18:07

In my current church role I can see all donations that the ward knows about. When we went through tithing settlement about 25% of our ward ledgers had any amounts on them. The rest were blank. There are two conclusions for this: 1) 75% of the ward doesn’t pay tithing. 2) some lesser number doesn’t pay tithing but most pay directly to the church. I’ve been in this latter group. I have paid my tithing for years through an online transfer originating from my bank. My member record is associated with the payments. I receive monthly emails from the church itemizing my donations for that month, as well as a year end statement. My ward record accessable by the local leaders shows no donations. I’ve seen other members records show that they pay online. And it shows the dates and amounts. I think the difference is that my bank sends it directly to the church without using the online payment portal from LDS.org. I could probably test this, but I’m unresolved on paying tithing this year. Maybe I’ll test this process just for experimental purposes before I get released.

On another note, any bishop who pushes back on the amount of tithing you pay is in the wrong. That amount is between you and God. What people pay is all over the map. If you have a bishop digging for details and withholding a TR on that basis, then he is practicing unrighteous dominion over you.

Good luck!
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"Be excellent to each other." - Abraham Lincoln to Bill & Ted

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Tyler Goodman
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by Tyler Goodman » 05 Mar 2019, 16:20

So I tried to make the first move towards getting a recommend by approaching my new bishop after church and I told him that I'd be willing to try getting back into the habit of paying tithing again if he would consider allowing us to renew our recommends possibly by May so that I can attend my sister's wedding, and then later in the year attend the temple to do sealings for the dead on my wife and I's wedding anniversary. He said we'll see, but that first we should probably talk to his clerk to schedule a time to a time to come talk details with him (This short conversation was 2 Sundays ago, and I've yet to schedule such an appointment. I really don't want to go have the conversation about how my wife and I are unfaithful/bad people because we didn't pay tithing while trying to pay off a large emergency room bill. But of course there isn't any guarantee that's what he would focus on anyway but I digress.). He also insisted that we needed to retake the temple prep classes, which I wasn't sure I agreed with considering we've already been to the temple, and other than tithing we've been fairly active now since the start of the year. Even so I was willing to take the classes because I thought he implied that they'd be taught during the Sunday School hour. As it turns out this isn't the case, and the temple prep classes will instead be taught a few hours sometime after church, which complicates things considerably. Either this means we'll have to take our 2 young kids with us again after they've already sat through the other 2 hours, or we'll have to ask a family member to watch them while we attend the class. The latter of which isn't something I'd want to do because our extended family doesn't know that our recommends have expired.

I get the impression for our new bishop that he will only accept us paying tithing through normally used and visible channels, which then makes me filled with anxiety that I'll be told I'm not paying enough, and honestly if that were to ever happen a second time I'd just be done... I'm already struggling with the idea of paying again. Every other commandment, or principle we're supposed to follow in the church has brought me the promised peace and happiness. I'm extremely grateful for the concepts of the word of wisdom and even the law of chastity during my youth for helping me become the good responsible husband I am now. I was okay with tithing growing up too, but it's become a sore point for me as a married father of 2. In fact I'd say I've been more relaxed and happy while not paying tithing. I find I don't have nearly as much stress of whether or not I can make ends meet when I haven't sacrificed a large portion of the money that helps keep my family afloat.

It's possible that I'm reading way too much into the situation, and that my expectations of how the bishop might act may be exaggerated. But even so it's still something I have trouble with moving past.
mom3 wrote:
22 Feb 2019, 11:02
Just pay something. They don't know your salary. They also usually don't ask for support of that statement. They don't keep a sheet of paper with your donations on it.
Well as far as this goes, back with my previous bishop who told me that I wasn't paying enough, (which then resulted in me later not paying anything for over a year) he went as far as to claim that he didn't believe we were paying enough because my wife and I have a house/mortgage and at the time he I was working a secondary part time job (due to my primary job cutting hours to about 10 to 15 hours a week for around a 4 month period). So obviously as a home owner and as someone working 2 jobs I must have had much more money hiding in my bank account. Which wasn't the case at all. At the time I only had 2 jobs because the job I had done previously had been cutting hours of all non management employees to an unlivable level (because of reasons I won't get into, poor management is all I'll say there). It was a very scary time for me as the sole bread winner of the family, after paying tithing and my mortgage I only had around 400-500 dollars for all bills, food and other necessary needs such as gas for the entire rest of the month. I remember being terrified if I'd have enough money at times to get gas to make it to my jobs. It got so bad one month that we ended up receiving food stamps for a month. And yet even though all this was going on, and all of which the bishop had been aware of, the bishop insisted that he didn't believe the sum of our tithing was enough. He literally pulled out a paper with a donation summary from the clerk and pointed to the number and said that he didn't believe that was good enough.

He then told us that for us to be full tithe payers going forward we'd have to only pay tithing based on our gross pay, and if that ended up meaning that the ward had to pay for our bills, and potentially part of our mortgage payment then that would be something I'd have to willing accept. I thought that was absurd, especially because I believe I church teaches we should be self reliant, and to try to avoid needing others to provide financial aid for our own responsibilities. So as someone who had faithfully paid on my net pay for the majority of my entire life this just struck me as unreasonable and unfair. I stopped paying tithing after that. Since then I've paid tithing a few times on some occasions to try to begin anew, and yet each time I start paying, I've never lasted more than a month or two at a time because I have such a paranoia that no matter how much or how frequent I pay my bishop will not believe me when I say I feel I've paid a full tithe. I've never tried to give less than I thought was fair, it's not like I'm donating just a few dollars, it's always enough that it was in fact a sacrifice where I had to show faith.

Anyway at this point I'm just rambling sorry.... :?

Edit: I feel it's worth mentioning that I now only have 1 job again because my main job fixed the problems that were resulting in huge hour cuts.

Roy
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by Roy » 05 Mar 2019, 16:50

Tyler Goodman wrote:
05 Mar 2019, 16:20
So I tried to make the first move towards getting a recommend by approaching my new bishop after church and I told him that I'd be willing to try getting back into the habit of paying tithing again if he would consider allowing us to renew our recommends possibly by May so that I can attend my sister's wedding, and then later in the year attend the temple to do sealings for the dead on my wife and I's wedding anniversary. He said we'll see, but that first we should probably talk to his clerk to schedule a time to a time to come talk details with him (This short conversation was 2 Sundays ago, and I've yet to schedule such an appointment. I really don't want to go have the conversation about how my wife and I are unfaithful/bad people because we didn't pay tithing while trying to pay off a large emergency room bill. But of course there isn't any guarantee that's what he would focus on anyway but I digress.).
I recommend paying tithing on your most recent paycheck (how you calculate that is up to you). Then I would go into the bishop's office and ask for a TR recommend. Declare that you have been a partial tithe payer due to some financial difficulty but that you are back to paying a full tithe and are committed to doing so moving forward. This seems to take the possibility of someone second guessing your contribution out of the equation. You readily accept that you have not been a full tithe payer but you are now and that is what should matter going forward.

Once you are back on the full tithe payer track, I would not expect anyone to scrutinize your contributions. That was wrong of your previous bishop.
"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

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nibbler
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by nibbler » 05 Mar 2019, 16:50

Your bishop was way out of line. Extremely out of line.

This is directly from Handbook 1:
The First Presidency has written: “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; see also D&C 119:4).
"No one is justified in making any other statement than this." Your bishop made many, many statements that were other than that. Aka unjustified statements.

I get how it's a losing proposition though. If you try to correct a bishop there's a chance that they may become defensive, double down, and make things even harder for you. They shouldn't, but it's a natural reaction and we're all human.

Bottom line: tithing and the tithing amount is between you and god. It's not on gross, it's not on net, it's not on discretionary income, it's entirely between you and god. The bishop is not god.

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mom3
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by mom3 » 05 Mar 2019, 17:00

#1 - I support Roy and Nibbler's answers.

#2 - What I get most from your latest post is this deep desire to be at a family wedding. If that is the case and it is pre-eminent over everything (which I could totally support). Then suck it up for a few months. Pay tithing. Sit through a class. Get that over with. Attend the wedding. Love it. Then move on.

The Bishop will get busy with other bigger crisis, believe me. Just CYA yourself for the short haul. Remember you don't renew recommends for 2 years. A lot can happen.

Make a reasonable donation. He really still doesn't see your paycheck.

One final maternal thought - down play your emotions. Even from reading how you asked your Bishop for the interview, you tipped your hand. Much of this is poker. Be kind, respectful. Don't feel the need to make yourself the center.
"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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Sheldon
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by Sheldon » 08 Mar 2019, 18:14

If you sign up for the direct bill pay, make sure you tell them you do not want to have the ward know. That use to be the default, and was like that when I signed up, but I've been told it is not the default now, and you have to ask.

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Tyler Goodman
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by Tyler Goodman » 16 Mar 2019, 14:33

By request of my wife, I have now started paying a full tithe again. She says I should have faith that we'll have enough money to meet any other needs, and to have faith that we'll receive blessings by paying. I personally think I just don't want to pay after past upsets with the previous bishop, but it's important to her and I'm willing to try it again for a while, and if all goes well I'll keep paying it going forward so we can maintain temple recommends. Here's to hoping our bishop will allow us to renew before May 4th so that we can attend my sister's wedding. And even if we somehow aren't permitted to renew by then, I'm hopeful that we'll have it renewed by November so we can go do sealings on our anniversary. :thumbup:

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DarkJedi
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Mar 2019, 10:26

If it works for you then it works. Thanks for the update.
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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mom3
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by mom3 » 17 Mar 2019, 16:49

May you find peace with this. Or maybe just not have the worry.

Good luck. Here's to hoping you get the May 4th - go ahead.

And I think you have a cool anniversary plan.
"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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SamBee
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Re: Is it possible to pay tithing without the bishopric/clerks seeing the amount?

Post by SamBee » 18 Mar 2019, 08:30

I suppose it d epends on the clerk and bishopric. If they are discrete, they won't judge you on it.
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