TR, Goals, & Tithing

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Old-Timer
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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by Old-Timer » 03 Apr 2021, 10:05

Nothing crazy about that, Katzpur.

I just ended a job in a prison - for no reason other than I have to spend more time with my wife now that we are empty nesters, and the job required I live in another town during the week (and many weekends, due to short staffing needs). It had nothing to do with my religion - but I would keep my temple recommend only to continue to work there if that had been a condition. The work of redemption is holy, and serving in a prison is as close to pure participation in redemption as exists in this world.

(Note for clarification: I keep my recommend for other reasons, both practical and theological.)
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by nibbler » 03 Apr 2021, 10:22

Katzpur wrote:
02 Apr 2021, 11:30
It seems to me, more and more all the time, that a temple recommend is being required for all sorts of things other than admission to the temple. I would even consider letting mine lapse, except that I probably wouldn't be able to continue in my calling at the jail. I think of it as my jail recommend. How crazy is that?
Just curious. Could you continue to provide the service that you provide at the jail if you didn't have the calling?
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by Katzpur » 04 Apr 2021, 11:38

nibbler wrote:
03 Apr 2021, 10:22
Katzpur wrote:
02 Apr 2021, 11:30
It seems to me, more and more all the time, that a temple recommend is being required for all sorts of things other than admission to the temple. I would even consider letting mine lapse, except that I probably wouldn't be able to continue in my calling at the jail. I think of it as my jail recommend. How crazy is that?
Just curious. Could you continue to provide the service that you provide at the jail if you didn't have the calling?
I'm not sure, but I suspect I might end up being released. Not willing to chance it.
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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Katzpur
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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by Katzpur » 04 Apr 2021, 11:39

Old-Timer wrote:
03 Apr 2021, 10:05
The work of redemption is holy, and serving in a prison is as close to pure participation in redemption as exists in this world.
I agree 100%. What a WONDERFUL way of putting it!
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by SamBee » 04 Apr 2021, 13:48

Katzpur wrote:
02 Apr 2021, 11:30
It seems to me, more and more all the time, that a temple recommend is being required for all sorts of things other than admission to the temple. I would even consider letting mine lapse, except that I probably wouldn't be able to continue in my calling at the jail. I think of it as my jail recommend. How crazy is that?
I think that has long been the case.

Matthew 25:36
“Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by Katzpur » 04 Apr 2021, 20:53

nibbler wrote:
03 Apr 2021, 10:22
Katzpur wrote:
02 Apr 2021, 11:30
It seems to me, more and more all the time, that a temple recommend is being required for all sorts of things other than admission to the temple. I would even consider letting mine lapse, except that I probably wouldn't be able to continue in my calling at the jail. I think of it as my jail recommend. How crazy is that?
Just curious. Could you continue to provide the service that you provide at the jail if you didn't have the calling?
Hi, Nibbler. I misread your question the first time around. For some reason, I thought you were asking if I could continue to provide the service without a temple recommend (yeah, I know... I know you didn't say that at all.) The answer is still, "probably not." I think you have to be a part of some organization or other to be involved like that, and here in Salt Lake, the LDS Church is definitely the largest organization providing spiritual support for the inmates.
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by Roy » 05 Apr 2021, 13:57

Roy wrote:
29 Mar 2021, 15:31
Today I received a call from a church brother asking if I could receive ward/stake church leadership representatives into my home this week. I was able to ascertain that there is a list of 12 families that are all being visited on the same night. It seems that there will be a number of church leaders participating (8 or more) and they will split off into groups of 2 in order to visit all the families that consented.

At this point I do not know if my recent interview with the bishop is connected to the newly announced stake goal of having every member of the stake have 2 (two) temple recommends and I do not know if the requested visit to take place this week has anything to do with either the interview or the stake goal. I am trying not to assume too much into it.
The appointed day arrived. We had a bishopric member that is also my ministering brother arrive with another brother from the stake. They were able to fill in some of the blanks. My ministering brother compared it to something that missionaries sometimes do when they descend en masse upon a particular area and divide into groups of two for a barn storming. Somewhat correlated to our upcoming ward conference next week, the stake president decided that this was something important to do to "share the love."

Overall it was fine. Apparently, the ward conference theme is to listen to and follow the promptings of the spirit so I was invited/challenged to do so.

I do have a follow-up visit with the bishop to discuss the TR and tithing thing (the call came in last night).

The good news is that I just ordained my son as a teacher in the AP so it would be a few years before any denial of ordinance participation became a possibility. I plan to tell my bishop that, after some deep reflection that included prayer and conversations with DW, I am positive that I am not yet ready to pay tithing. I am thankful for the invitation/challenge because it became a catalyst for deeper soul searching than I had done on the subject for quite some time. I cannot imagine any negative consequence from such a response.

Finally, DW and I really have been having conversations on this subject. She does pay tithing on her relatively meager income and she does hold a TR. Last night she told me that she supports me in my position and she is sorry that I have to go through the hassle of being leaned on by the bishop to try to get compliance. This support from DW is deeply meaningful to me.
"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

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by Old-Timer » 05 Apr 2021, 17:16

That is wonderful, Roy - all around. Thanks for letting us know. :thumbup:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by Roy » 08 Apr 2021, 12:32

And the saga continues...

I met with Bishop and told him that I am ever more confident that I am not ready to become a full tithe payer. When he asked what is holding me back I relayed a quick rundown of how I had come to expect that my family would be watched over, protected, and safe as a result of tithing payments, honoring priesthood, and other covenants. I was totally shocked at the stillbirth of our third child and I had felt that promises went unfulfilled in my case. After much consideration, prayer, and discussion with my wife, I have determined that to pay tithing now would bring up those feelings again in a negative way and would not be sustainable for me.

Bishop expressed some personal experiences where he knew of good people that lost children in death. He expressed his belief that these children are needed on the other side of the veil and that they are happy where they are. He then expressed that our goal now is to live to be worthy to live with them again someday.

Bishop said that some members do talk about the blessings that they feel that they receive from tithing but that he wants me to separate that from tithing in my mind. Tithing is a commandment and we pay it in order to be obedient.

We also had a good amount of discussion about a church calling to be the Temple and Family History Leader that I think I will discuss more at length in a separate thread. I think the important thing to note is that this calling does not technically require a TR and bishop wants me to think about it.

In closing, I let bishop know that I do believe in eternal families. I do know that church doctrine is somewhat ambiguous on the matter of whether or not a stillborn child counts as a living soul, however I believe that our daughter will be ours again in the resurrection and we will have the privilidge to hold her and to raise her restored to us. I feel that I will rejoin her spirit when I die. I do not feel that I need to have an active TR at that time in order to make such a reunion possible. There was some brief discussion of commandments and God's expectations that I countered with the Atonement and Jesus filling the gaps of our imperfections (since all of us are imperfect and fall short). The discussion was respectful and kind. I recall bishop said something about how God wants us to help others and we can help others by doing temple ordinances for them - to which I agreed. I do believe that God wants us to help others. I also believe that, when stated that way, it is clear that God would not withhold our eternal families from us because we did not help others enough or chose to help others in non-temple ordinance ways. This seemed like a soft landing to which Bishop and I could both agree - even if we may have different interpretations of the implications from such a statement.

I feel that my bishop was trying to transition me from paying tithing in the expectation of blessings to paying tithing in memory of and in hopes of someday rejoining my deceased daughter. It is not a terrible strategy in and of itself. I have certainly known many individuals with deceased family members that are highly motivated to live in such a way as they believe will allow them to be with them again in the afterlife. This is not a motivating approach for me because I have a testimony that God accepts and loves me as I am. Bishop says that he is not giving up on me and I thank him for his continued concern.
"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

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: TR, Goals, & Tithing

Post by nibbler » 09 Apr 2021, 06:19

That's rough... at least it would be for me. Particularly this part:
Roy wrote:
08 Apr 2021, 12:32
I feel that my bishop was trying to transition me from paying tithing in the expectation of blessings to paying tithing in memory of and in hopes of someday rejoining my deceased daughter.
I'm sure it wasn't the intention but it feels like a predatory and manipulative way to motivate.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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