Tithing settlement policy changes?

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nibbler
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Re: Tithing settlement policy changes?

Post by nibbler » 29 Nov 2016, 08:06

The quantity of full tithe paying members also factors into when new branches, wards, and stakes can be created.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Tithing settlement policy changes?

Post by DarkJedi » 29 Nov 2016, 12:38

nibbler wrote:The quantity of full tithe paying members also factors into when new branches, wards, and stakes can be created.
I kind of figure that if I am a temple recommend holder then I am by default a full tithe payer. I realize that not everyone who decides to stop paying tithing also runs into the bishop's office and surrenders his or her temple recommend but some do. I think the vast majority of those who hold temple recommends could at any point in time answer the questions appropriately. Therefore, I think the bishop should feel comfortable checking the "full tithe payer" box for all TR holders and be done with it. That does bring up another question that I never really thought about before. If you are a TR holder and go to tithing settlement and declare you are not a full tithe payer, does the bishop take your recommend? Should he?
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Roy
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Re: Tithing settlement policy changes?

Post by Roy » 29 Nov 2016, 14:00

DarkJedi wrote:If you are a TR holder and go to tithing settlement and declare you are not a full tithe payer, does the bishop take your recommend? Should he?
Maybe 6 months after the stillbirth of our third child and while I was still serving as WML, DW and I went in to tithing settlement. I declared that I was not a full tithe payer and expressed at length how I had felt a promise of God's protection in exchange for my tithing payment. I honestly felt that paying tithing was would cosmically ensure my family's safety. I was grappling with my pain and the realization that we are never really promised anything specific in exchange for tithing. Having viewed tithing as more of a transaction it was and is rather difficult to summon the motivation to pay it for any other reason (I have always been frugal and parting with tithing money has never been easy for me).

My bishop was very sympathetic. He even expressed that we too often teach tithing "blessings" inappropriately at church and that a number of church members have the same misconception.

He then told me that as a man he was sympathetic but as an administrator of the church he was obligated to confiscate my TR. I imagine that technically the bishop had some discretion in the matter but he seemed to think that confiscating my TR was his duty.
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On Own Now
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Re: Tithing settlement policy changes?

Post by On Own Now » 29 Nov 2016, 15:33

Reuben wrote:Slightly tangentially, I'm surprised by the things that rub me the wrong way, but wouldn't have or didn't pre-FC.
It's a common thing for people like us. We see all kinds of boogie men in the woods. I've been at this a long time and I've run the gamut when it comes to letting things bug me. Ultimately, I've discovered that it's not accurate or empathetic to assume the worst in every action.

Of course the Church uses statistics to plan ahead. What multinational organization doesn't? But that doesn't mean that the individual Bishops are spying on us or using guilt-based coercion to get us to pay more money. To me, it seems far more likely that Bishops view Tithing as their single most tangible responsibility and Tithing Settlement as their best chance to meet with the membership of the ward. Bishops meet with people all the time, but they tend to be the same people. I've known several Bishop's who've used this as their chance to establish a better relationship with people. A ward or a stake not wanting to use a sign-up sheet probably thinks of reaching out to make an appointment as something more respectful and giving on their part toward the membership. To them, I'm sure the line of thinking is that a sign-up sheet is like an assembly line, but an appointment something individual.

I haven't attended Tithing Settlement in years. Tithing itself is one of my top three or four hot-buttons with the Church. But I don't begrudge the overworked Bishops for trying to do their unpaid assignment out of their sense of duty and service. Most of them are good people; most of us are good people. I like to think that good people can co-exist, even when they don't see things the same way.
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SunbeltRed
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Re: Tithing settlement policy changes?

Post by SunbeltRed » 30 Nov 2016, 08:46

While I was on the HC I didn't sign up or go to tithing settlement. The first time I got a panicked voice mail from one of the members of the SP that I needed to complete tithing settlement because members of the HC have to be declared tithe payers.

I called my Bishop and did it over the phone. It took 3 minutes.

The next year I just emailed my Bishop. I plan on doing the same this year.

Technically, per the Church's definition, I would probably not be considered a full tither payer, however according to my definition, I believe I am. I'm still mulling over which definition I should go with and which answer to provide.

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Reuben
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Re: Tithing settlement policy changes?

Post by Reuben » 30 Nov 2016, 09:35

SunbeltRed wrote:Technically, per the Church's definition, I would probably not be considered a full tither payer, however according to my definition, I believe I am. I'm still mulling over which definition I should go with and which answer to provide.
As I understand it, if you're a full tithe payer according to your definition, you're a full tithe payer according to the church's definition.
For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself 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. We feel that every member of the Church should be entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly.
Source: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1974/04/i-ha ... n?lang=eng ("I Have A Question," April 1974, quoting the March 19, 1970 First Presidency statement, which is the latest official statement on tithing)

Some people understand "income" to mean "surplus" (i.e. income less living expenses) and feel good about that, even though it seems we only talk about pre-tax vs. post-tax income. Some people pay tithing to the Lord not by way of the church, and they feel good about that, too. There's a lot more leeway than we assume.
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Re: Tithing settlement policy changes?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 Dec 2016, 00:10

Sign-up sheets in my ward. No direct pressure. Weekly requests.
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Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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Jerseygirl
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Re: Tithing settlement policy changes?

Post by Jerseygirl » 01 Dec 2016, 09:31

My ward still uses sign-ups, but I never sign-up. Strangely, I still pay tithing, so that is not the issue. Even pre-FC, I always hated tithing settlement, but never could put my finger on why. For one, with kids wanting to get right home for lunch, it is hugely inconvenient to sit around the church trying to occupy them all afternoon waiting to speak to the Bishop just for a two minute conversation. I guess if I lived in Utah around the corner from the church and could just pop over, it wouldn't seem so annoying. In New Jersey, my half-hour round trip seems like too much effort just to give the bishop a YES. The efficiency expert in me wants to scream: WASTE OF TIME!! I don't find is spiritually fulfilling, it just makes me feel like a sheep being herded through this perfunctory process. If my bishop approaches me, I just tell him, "Our family is a full-tithe paying family." My husband thinks I am a difficult non-conformist about this, so he has, on many occasions, gone by himself. I don't feel the need for blind obedience or conformity on these things anymore, which feels like a huge relief. It is getting better for me.

I still like my idea of "drive-thru tithing settlement" although I don't think TBM's would get on board! :lol:

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