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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 00:08
by Tyler Goodman
Hey guys me again, I'm the guy who was worried about being able to bless my baby before here:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9223

I've been doing better at making it to church since January, and turns out that I have a new bishop now. I was just hadn't attended Sacrament Meeting enough to realize that.

I'd like to try and get a current reccomend sometime in the next few months for my sister's upcoming temple wedding. But that means paying tithing again and I'm scared that no matter how much I pay it might still be a problem that I'll get cornered over.

I've heard rumors of a way to pay tithing directly to the church somehow so that ward leaders can't see your donation amounts. I think I also read that it was discontinued unless you were grandfathered in, but I may be wrong about that.

I'd be happy to pay a reasonable amount that my wife and I agree that the Lord would accept that would still be a sacrifice while not potentially risky/harmful to my ability to care for my family's needs financially.

Tithing used to be easy for me to pay when I was single, but became much harder now with a wife and 2 kids that depend on me alone for income. Especially when you add in life's occasional unexpected expensive events (for example car damage from sliding on ice, to an accidental broken tooth, 2 such events I've been unlucky enough to have occur in my little family so far this year).


As far as I know all tithing paid via https://www.lds.org/donations/ has the amount donated recorded and then that number is sent to the local ward. Which is exactly what I don't want. They do have an option in settings that says, "My financial statements do not need to be printed by my Ward.". But I don't know what actually does. My guess is that it means no print out for tithing settlement but I don't know.


Also if there is still some way to pay tithing more privately, what do you do if/when you get confronted by the bishop/stake president about why you're paying it differently? Has anyone ever had a leader not believe you've been paying during an interview, if so then what?


I'm sorry for so much rambling, I just really want to be able to go to the temple with loved ones again. Someday I hope to be able to work past this anxiety and stress of paying any tithing.

Thanks for any advice you can give me. It's very much appreciated!!

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 00:22
by SilentDawning
I've heard you can pay it directly to Salt Lake, and there may be an online payment system...like the one below...

https://www.lds.org/help/support/financ ... s?lang=eng

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 00:23
by SilentDawning
I've heard that if you pay it directly to Salt Lake, they don't know...

here is the link for it...

https://www.lds.org/help/support/financ ... s?lang=eng

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 00:47
by Tyler Goodman
SilentDawning wrote:
22 Feb 2019, 00:23
I've heard that if you pay it directly to Salt Lake, they don't know...

here is the link for it...

https://www.lds.org/help/support/financ ... s?lang=eng
As far as I know that page on the website is the same as the one I linked to (well it's the FAQ page at least).

I did find this though:
If you will print your own donation statements, click the My financial statements do not need to be printed by my Ward check box. If you do not check the box:

Your ward will print a year-to-date donation statement for you and give it to you before tithing settlement.
Your ward will print a donation statement or Official Tax Statement for you and give it to you in January.
Which might make tithing settlement easier unless the ward can still see the amounts donated if a leader wants to check.

Edit: I'm currently reading this thread on the subject: https://tech.lds.org/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 6&start=40

Edit 2: After reading that it all seems old and possibly invalid now. I'm not sure.

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 05:45
by LookingHard
Why not call church HQ? You don't have to give them your name.

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 07:03
by SilentDawning
I heard that privacy issues require the church to leave the amount donated secret from local leaders, but am not sure. I would simply pay it to salt lake city and then go to tithing settlement. See what happens. If the leaders ask for the receipt, say you didn't print it, but you consider yourself a full tithe payer, if you do in fact consider yourself so.

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 07:28
by nibbler
This isn't as helpful to people outside the USA, but for the people in the USA there's little incentive to get the yearly tithing totals report other than for your own personal audit to make sure the church received what you believe you've given.

In the past there was more incentive to use the report for itemization of deductions for income taxes. Now the standard minimum deductions have been raised so high that most people no longer itemize, meaning there's no point in reporting charitable contributions to the IRS.

If you're in that boat and don't care about the church's report to confirm receipt of your donations you could look into ways to donate even more anonymously, local leaders wouldn't know the contributions because not even the church knows. Something like a money order where you don't include any information about the payer.
Tyler Goodman wrote:
22 Feb 2019, 00:08
Also if there is still some way to pay tithing more privately, what do you do if/when you get confronted by the bishop/stake president about why you're paying it differently? Has anyone ever had a leader not believe you've been paying during an interview, if so then what?
I've never been questioned. That's not to say that it couldn't happen though. Leadership roulette and all that.

If questioned, I'd answer, "I pay anonymously." and leave it at that. I think it would be inappropriate for a leader to pry for additional details about my methods of payment or my accounting.

If you do the anonymous money order thing you won't get any credit for having paid, meaning if you get a leader that presses you won't be able to prove anything to them, short of the money order stubs you've retained. But if they can't take you at your word that you're a full tithe payer... I dunno. It's fine for me because I play by my rules now (I don't like being counted or measured - tithing, home teaching %, nothing) and if my rules aren't good enough to get a TR then I'm prepared to do without.

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 10:28
by Roy
I have not done as you describe with paying online and do not know how it would work.

I do know that bishops tend to have a fair amount of discretion in giving temple recommends. This means that you could answer all the questions correctly but if the bishop feels not quite right about it they could deny you a temple recommend and appealing that decision would be problematic. There does not appear to be a good way to force a bishop to give you one.
I believe that this means that it is smart to avoid an adversarial stance or approach with your bishop.

If I were in your shoes I would just start paying however you want to and then answer yes to the question. How you define tithing is between you and the Lord. If there are any follow up questions (there really should not be but it could happen) then I would gently redirect the bishop that you and your wife determined your tithing very carefully and prayerfully and that you are a full tithe payer.

I imagine that only in strange circumstances would the bishop pry further. Even if the bishop were to deny the recommend, do not lose your cool, get defensive, or say something that you might later regret. I suppose if that were to happen to me I might say at the close of the meeting, "Well thank you bishop. I was certainly hoping to walk out of here with a recommend, but I understand that I still have some things that I need to work on. I'll get there."

Again, I do not expect that to happen. For me I tend to feel more relaxed and confident when I have contingency plans (and contingencies for my contingencies :lol: ).

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 11:02
by mom3
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.

My family actually has the private pay deal, I just answer yes and let it go. It's never held me up. Also try not to look or act guilty at church. We go around claiming discernment. What it really turns out to be is our own behavior. Show up, dress the part, be friendly and helpful. That will get you tons farther than tithing.

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2019, 12:50
by DarkJedi
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.

My family actually has the private pay deal, I just answer yes and let it go. It's never held me up. Also try not to look or act guilty at church. We go around claiming discernment. What it really turns out to be is our own behavior. Show up, dress the part, be friendly and helpful. That will get you tons farther than tithing.
:thumbup:

These are my thoughts on the subject exactly (except I do not do the private pay deal).

Go into the interview and answer yes or no. There is no need to explain or expound any answer, and frankly I think most leaders appreciate it when we don't.