Page 1 of 4

Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 03:10
by angel333
Thinking about not paying tithing for awhile.I say this because for years of paying a full tithe I have watched our house fall apart literally. Our floor is falling in,our carpet is tearing,doors are falling off.We do not have a garage we have one of those small barns and the floor is falling in. We pay 500.00 dollars a month in tithing but have not seen temporal blessings that I can see. I pay tithing out of fear of something horrible happening.

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 04:18
by DarkJedi
As far I as I can tell, there are no blessings for paying tithing. This is my own observation, but I've been observing for years. I know all about the scripture, but I don't see it actually happening. I don't pay tithing but DW pays enough for both of us (she's the main breadwinner). I have the same thoughts as you about our house - ours, too, has some needed repairs (and I emphasize needed) that we probably could afford if not paying tithing. That won't happen at my house, though.

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 07:37
by startpoor
I have had many blessings paying tithing. So I fall into the camp of being afraid to stop. Also, I want to hold a temple recommend, it allows me to be where I want to be in the church calling-wise.

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 09:06
by Life_Journey_of_Matt
I am not a TR holder anymore but have continued to pay a full tithe. However, I have a new plan for the new year. My wife does not bring in any income, but what I make is still as much hers as it is mine, so we're going to split the tithing and she can pay her half faithfully and I can decide what to do with my half. Here's what I'm going to start out with:

1. I plan to do my best to estimate the costs associated with my membership (and my kids') in the church organization and contribute enough to help the church cover those expenses.

2. I plan to use some of the money to continue to support my faith journey (books, seminars, memberships, etc.). I figure if these things are helping me earnestly seek God, this is fulfilling one of the purposes of the tithe.

3. With everything that's left I plan to find some transparent, efficient charitable organization(s) and give the money to them. I will find one that is focused on addressing concerns that speak deeply to me. I know the church does a lot of good work in the world, but it is definitely not the only organization that does so, and it is far from the most transparent. I have never had a good idea of what exactly my tithing was being used for (Lower tuition for a BYU student? The "great and spacious" mall? Building maintenance? Temples?), but hopefully now I will, and I'm excited to see what comes of it.

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 13:13
by Roy

Part of my faith crisis was that I felt entitled to blessings because of tithing, church service, honorably holding the priesthood etc.

I felt very disillusioned when I metaphorically read the small print and found that the "blessings" are vague, general, and not time specific.

I think that most of the extreme claims about tithing blessings come from individual members and not from official sources. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find the following in True to the Faith (part of the missionary reference library) and
The law of tithing requires sacrifice, but your obedience to the law brings blessings that are far greater than anything you ever give up.[snip]

These blessings come to all who pay a full ten percent of their income, even if that amount is very small. As you obey this law, the Lord will bless you both spiritually and temporally.[snip]

If you have not yet established a pattern of consistent tithe paying, you may have difficulty believing that you can afford to give up one-tenth of your income. But faithful tithe payers learn that they cannot afford not to pay tithing. In a very literal and wonderful way, the windows of heaven are opened and blessings are poured out upon them.
I am very troubled that this seems to make the claim that if you pay tithing you will receive temporal blessings and that the temporal blessings will be a net gain for your family - that you will get more than your 10% back. I believe this is stated both by saying that "the law brings blessings that are far greater than anything you ever give up" and that "faithful tithe payers learn that they cannot afford not to pay tithing." What does that even mean?!?! That people who suddenly stop paying tithing are also inexplicably unable to make ends meet?!?!?

The blessings referred to are described as "literal" and "temporal" - precluding receipt of those blessings in the next life or in spiritual realms.

When I brought this passage to my bishop as an example of a church statement that helped me to arrive at my unrealistic expectations, he bore his testimony that paying tithing does indeed bring blessings. He is a good man, but this encounter made me realize that he is incapable of seeing official statements like this as misleading. He continues to feel that if I applied enough faith then these statements would ring true again.

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 14:14
by Ann
DarkJedi wrote: This is my own observation, but I've been observing for years.
I like this!

To answer the question: Yes, we pay tithing. But not on our gross income.

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 14:36
by church0333
Yes we do but again not on gross. I also don't pay on money put into retirement accounts. I have hear that if you tithe but do so begrudgingly then it doesn't really count. I probably fall into that category this year and it is not the giving up of the money. My wife want to pay and I still want a TR for some reason even though I really don't have the desire to go. We did go to a sealing/wedding this last week that I was happy to be part of.

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 18:11
by SilentDawning
I used to, but do not any longer. But I give to outside organizations that have a direct impact on a non-profit within which I am serving. In the past, the 10% was such a burden I didn't give to anyone but the church. Not so anymore.

If I did go back to paying tithing, I would pay on my "increase". That, to me, means surplus after expenses. What is an "expense" is up to me and I would let my conscience be my guide. I am still deciding what would be considered eligible expenses to subtract from gross income to arrive at the portion of my income that attracts tithing.

And of course, I could change my mind on this at any moment.

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 19:11
by conflicted testimony
No, we do not pay tithing.

When we were full tithe payers we had nothing left for giving to what we considered worthwhile charities. I think now on the years we did pay, and how much that was and wonder how many disadvantaged children could have been supported with that rather than building more temples.

Like DJ, I have seen many more blessings in our life since not paying tithing - we are out of debt, paid off our house, invested in property (and out retirement - which was looking a bit scary) and can even afford a holiday now and again.

Pre conversion, I visited Rome and Vatican City. I was horrified to see the beggars in the streets and people starving whilst the Catholic church stood there in all it's majesty and richness. That's a bit how I feel now about the Mormon church. I bought into the lie (what I believed when I was paying) that the tithing money was being used for the good of people. Now I find that it is only a very small fraction (not even 10%) that is used for charitable purposes, and a very large proportion is used for admin, maintenance and building of temples and churches.

If I were to ever pay it again I would consider it a fee for access to the temple - as essentially that would be the only reason I would pay it. That isn't going to happen as my testimony of the temple is that it is NOT true.

Re: Do you pay tithing?

Posted: 03 Dec 2013, 20:46
by DarkJedi
Ann wrote:
DarkJedi wrote: This is my own observation, but I've been observing for years.
I like this!

To answer the question: Yes, we pay tithing. But not on our gross income.
Thanks, Ann, I can expand on that a bit. Over the years I've observed our own lives, those of other members, those of non-member but religious friends and neighbors and those of non-religious people. Truth is, I see no difference in the "blessings" that full tithe paying members have over non contributing irreligious people. Take my neighbor, for instance. He's a great guy, he and his wife own and operate a local small business and they own some rental properties. They do not go to any church, and while I have never asked I'm sure they aren't religious beyond perhaps a belief there is a God (but they very well could be atheist). They live a comfortable but not extravagant life and have all they need. Before moving in next door they renovated the small house, mostly doing the work themselves. They have decent cars, their two daughters went to college, they have good health. While I'm sure they do give some charitable donations to local organizations, they do not give to a church or religious organization, and I'm sure they don't give anywhere near 10 percent of any income or increase. They are no more or less "blessed" than any full tithe payer I know. I bet I could give you a hundred more case studies, but the bottom line is that I have not observed among any of them a blessing for paying tithing or a curse or lack of blessing for not doing so.

So that brings up the point alluded to here that some people do believe they have been blessed by paying tithing and that others can be, too. My question for those people, and I'll politely call you out Rich Dunn (but I don't want to argue with you), exactly what blessings have you received for paying tithing? Is there any way that it could be explained some other way? Are there people who don't pay tithing who have similar blessings?

In truth, this whole idea extends beyond tithing and is part of the crisis of faith for many of us. Another example we could use is blessings for the sick. We have a family in our ward who had a very ill daughter with a somewhat rare, but treatable, disease who swear that it was priesthood blessings and ward fasting and prayer that saved their daughter. It could be, I won't deny that. But what about the girl in the next bed with the same disease, no blessing and no fasting and prayer but the same outcome? I think members of the church are too quick to give credit where credit is not due, but I don't think they do it with ill intent. I think they want to believe in tithing or priesthood blessings or whatever so they make the evidence appear as though it is the result of those things, when in reality outsiders, even atheists, have the same "blessings." I believe they believe it's true, but from a skeptical, pessimistic, and realistic point of view, it's probably not true.