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.