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  2. I believe in theory there are a few church positions that are exempt and that's what it is for. Apostles and the first Quorum of the Seventy I think are actually exempt from having to tithe on their allowances and such. The same would apply to Mission President reimbursement and such. For those who that is their only means, they would in theory be exempt. The same would also apply to Missionaries and their allowances I think. There is no need to actually ask a Missionary if they are a full tithe payer (I would assume, I have never been a Mission President myself, but I don't think that would probably come up in the temple recommend interviews with them...though I could be highly mistaken).
  3. That's not how it worked in New Testament times. That's not how it worked under Joseph Smith's Presidency. That's not how Brigham Young ran it. Why do you think the Church would do it differently than it ever did before. They NEVER ceded property to be a member's private property. That's not how it worked. If you left the church you did NOT get to keep that property. This was a factor of GREAT contention during Joseph Smith's time (and many of the apostates who left over this exact matter were some of the mob leaders who later martyred him). This was found out to be absolutely NOT true under Brigham Young, much to the regret of some who decided to leave the church. Whatever was the church's property REMAINED the Church's property. The only incident of question regarding this was pertaining to Brigham Young and what was his and what was the Church's property upon his death. You were given what you needed (food obviously was not returned, but property was NOT yours it was the church's property, you were simply the caretaker of it temporarily). This was many times FAR LESS than what people THOUGHT they needed. The best comparison is that it was one of the only successful run communal or communistic governments (even if religious) ever ran. I think if the church actually RAN it how it was run in Brigham Young's day, there would be a GREAT DEAL of apostasy from many very conservative Saints who think exactly as you do above. They would find out they do NOT OWN anything once given to the Church and are NOT GIVEN anything to OWN as their OWN property. They are given STEWARDSHIP of that property, but the titles and all else remain the property sole of the Prophet or the Church. To make matters worse, many well off and those in the middle class would probably feel as if they had their property stolen (much like some did during Joseph Smith's time. It wasn't as big a factor during Brigham Young's time as most didn't have much to begin with when they arrived in Utah or when they set up the settlements, so communal property owned and administered by the Church made a LOT MORE sense from a survival viewpoint) when they get a LOT LESS to be stewards over than they feel they deserve. What is given to the church is the church's...or the Lords. It is no longer ours and we should not expect to get it back as our property...because...if it is run anything like it was in the past...you are not going to get it. At least it wasn't run as in Peter's time. Those who withheld something or didn't like it but remained members in the church in his time seem to have met untimely deaths. It could be FAR more strict than it was during Brigham Young's time. A similar item, or lesser law, is followed by us today. The Law of Tithing has the same principal. Whatever you give to the Church is the Church's property. They can do with it as they please. Do NOT expect to get it or anything back from the church itself. You do not pay tithing out of expectation of blessings or that you will have everything turn out excellent. You pay it because it is a commandment. The Lord will probably bless you, but that is NOT why you actually pay tithing. You pay it because it is a commandment. The Church OWNS that once you give it to them. The same applies to the Law of Consecration. Under the law of consecration, anyone who expects that they will have their own private property back will probably be greatly surprised unless they are among the very poor (and even then, it is not theirs, it is still the church's, they are given stewardship over it, but it is NOT their property). If we spread the property out from those in North America to those in South America, Africa, and some parts of Asia...a far greater amount will be given to those in other nations than left in the United States. It may turn out similar to how tithing funds are used today (a ward in North America may end up donating a million dollars in tithing funds a year...but they are probably only going to get a few thousand as a budget back...and that is for the Church expenditures normally...helping the needy comes from a different fund typically). Those in North America may only get a fraction of what they are expecting. They will probably get enough to get them by...but it's not going to be something they are used to most likely. Unless they remember that once something is given to the Lord it is no longer theirs, and are happy with whatever the Lord blesses with them back...there may be great anguish and grief if we ever were called to actually LIVE the Law of Consecration again. Under the Law we give all we have to the Church (and that isn't just monetary or physical property, it is also composed of time and effort). It is then that the Lord will grant us what he will, not what we think we need or demand.
  4. "Bishop" is an office in the Aaronic Priesthood. Strictly speaking, once ordained to the office of bishop, always a bishop (in the same way of once an elder, always an elder). This is not strictly the same as being set apart as the bishop in a ward. When set apart to that calling, keys are given that are necessary for the administration of the ward. When released, the individual will no longer hold the keys of the calling, but will still retain the office of bishop. My understanding is that some people continue to refer to released bishops as "Bishop So-and-so" on the understanding that this is appropriate given that they still hold the office of bishop. I don't follow this custom myself; my interpretation is that, once released, holding the office of bishop is irrelevant given their ordination to the office of high priest. But I might not be the best example. I have developed the practice of referring to my bishops by their first name in settings that are not strictly formal. I began doing so after one of the bishops I worked with commented that he felt like his individuality had been consumed by the calling. He was always "Bishop," as if that were his name, even in the most informal settings. He missed just being Jim. All of my bishops since then have expressed appreciation for being recognized this way.
  5. It is something people do in respect and recognition. A Bishop is given certain keys, and though they may not be the current authorized individual with the keys, they still have those keys (at least from my understanding). This means they are still a 'Bishop' in technicality, but not THE Bishop that is acting as the Bishop at that moment. If I was called again to a calling that I have the keys to, then (once again, if I understand it right) I will not need those keys given to me once again, I already have them. The ability to exercise them on the other hand would be given for that purpose as long as I was once again in that calling. Members call former Bishops of the Ward...Bishop. It is a sign of respect or recognition of the above. I find it is normally those who were members when the Bishop was their Bishop of their ward who call the former Ward Bishop...Bishop (now that's a mouthful...isn't it). New people who move in or are baptized who were not part of the ward when the Bishop was Bishop, most of the time will call the former Ward Bishop a Brother instead. Of course, there are also many that will call the former Ward Bishop whatever the Bishop prefers...including his first name if they are well acquainted with each other. Whether or not that is actually acceptable traditionally, I don't know, but it probably is a lot easier to call the guy Joe rather than Bishop if Joe really likes to be called by his first name. I find now days many will revert to calling the former Ward Bishop as a brother as well. I don't see anything wrong with that, but I may also be mistaken. I think being congenial and friendly to people is a good thing instead of trying to enforce the term or anything like that...plus...as I said...maybe the guy just likes his first name as well...
  6. How do you feel about calling a bishop "Bishop", even after he's been released? I remember being taught that it's a sign of respect, so I always do. Do you? Is it all the time, only at church, only in certain situations? What if the current bishop is in the same room? They are both "Bishop?" I'm wondering if it's become old-school or if people still do it. What are your opinions and why?
  7. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10 All of this eager looking forward is much of the fun—and a good part of the meaning—of Christmas. During this special season, in some small and symbolic way, we reenact the hopeful anticipation of that first Christmas night. For what happened on that night had been anticipated not for weeks or months but for centuries—even since the beginning. “The hopes and fears of all the years” were met in Bethlehem that night.... When Jesus was born, so were hope and light and life—not just for an oppressed nation in the ancient world but for us today. This old world can seem dark and lonely, and the way forward can seem impossible at times. But Christmas is an invitation to hope—to look forward, to think of the joy and possibility before us, to ponder the miraculous birth of the Christ child and its significance in our lives. This is why we look forward to Christmas. It’s more than a holiday; it’s the “reason [for] the hope that is in [us].” Music and the Spoken Word; November 28, 2021
  8. Speaking as a former branch finance clerk? Under the old system, it was possible for someone to be flagged as being "exempt" from the requirement to tithe. I never had to put it through to make someone exempt, but the tithing settlement reporting window for the MLS computer software the church was using back then had that as one of the four options (full, partial, non, exempt). So... it's entirely possible that this could be a moot point here...
  9. Yesterday
  10. I think provident, self-reliant living, and giving to the Church and relying upon "it" (more accurately, the Lord) are aspects of abiding in the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
  11. I recall the parable of the talents. Pretty sure that the Lord was commenting on neither church welfare nor the law of consecration. Seems to me that those who understand the parable would not have confusion concerning this topic.
  12. I once had a job where many of my coworkers were, for some reason, bishops. No intent to shame them because I had no idea who these people were, but I overheard more than my share of details about random members of their congregation needing help. A memorable one "I feel awkward but she needs the help because we all know she's a pole dancer".
  13. We need to remember the difference between the law of consecration and the united order. The united order is no longer practiced but we still covenant to live the law of consecration. And the law of consecration is all about being willing to offer to the Lord anything He asks, whether the Lord will provide for us temporally or not. Abinidi fully consecrated himself and the Lord gave him nothing back in return, temporally speaking. Of course the Lord has promised to provide for his saints. But to base our level of consecration on a perceived expectation to receive in return is not so much consecrating as it is working the system. It might keep your body alive but something far more important is withering away.
  14. This is one of the points, rights within the Constitution I find very intriguing. In reality, the Constitution provides the opportunity for the Church to be fully guided by the Lord (direct revelation); however, when misguided, controlling, or even evil man are in power (Governor Boggs) they tread on the Constitution. One of those greys areas is that of some Muslim/Islam practices. On my mission I met an individual who converted to Christianity, as a result he could never go home. If he went home, professed his conversion to Christianity he would have been killed. If religious freedom was without contest, then this practice would be seen even in America. Fortunately, it isn't, because one of the most important rights is that of "speech," which entails our thoughts and actions.
  15. Someone came up with a list of priorities decades ago, that stuck with me. When looking to meeting your own needs, look first to yourself and spouse. Then close family, and finally the church. In the decades since, "government programs" seems to have been added to the list, right before family. I was born into a church that preached passionately and often against 'the public dole' and government programs. Haven't heard something like that in 20 years. As a finance clerk, my bishops have shared with me how often they work with folks seeking welfare, directing them to govt employment centers and food stamps and low-income aid. I think the general notion is, if we're gonna pay for that stuff with our taxes, we may as well make use of it when we need it. Church welfare is meant to be short term. Bishops will ensure that it's short term. I've seen Stake Presidents counsel with generous-to-a-fault bishops, to ensure it's short term. I'm not privy to the discussions, but I've watched the checks stop on long term needy folks, who end up forced to move to a situation they can afford. The church isn't here to support your lifestyle, and "I'll lose my house" isn't a way to keep the church paying. I've written endless rent/mortgage/car/utility payments, but I don't keep writing them for the same folks over and over. Let me add my enthusiastic support and encouragement to anyone with a short-term need approaching their bishop for help. This is the backbone of church welfare, the reason for fast offerings. Ain't no shame. Your bishop will be happy to work with you, and the finance clerk is happy to write checks to cover bills. And both of us know how to keep our mouths shut, so dignity and privacy is preserved. I pretty much never know the details, my bishop will just hand me a bill and say "pay this for Sis X please".
  16. Yeah there will always be some grey area between religious practice and the governments ability to govern. If, for example, a religion believes in getting married young, at what point does the government step in and say "no, that's too young" ?
  17. From a talk I recently gave. I address the Law of Consecration, quoting directly from the church website. People really have a poor understanding of what the LOC is and is not. There are some members who believe when hard times arrive we will all pool our food and everyone will have enough. They somehow believe that a miracle like the fishes and loaves will occur for them, or they think the Law of Consecration will take care of everyone. Let me read to you Doctrine and Covenants, section 130: verses 20-21: 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. If we fail to obey a principle of the gospel, we cannot receive the blessings for another’s faithfulness. Faith without works is dead. If you do not have the faith to follow the consistent counsel from the prophets and apostles to put up some food storage and other essentials for your family, how can you believe you will have faith equal to the fishes and loaves miracle? For those who smugly think that the Law of Consecration will protect them, allow me to point out certain principles associated with the doctrine. Under the Law of Consecration all things are deeded to the church. The agent bishop than returns a stewardship back to you based on your needs and circumstances. That stewardship becomes private property for the steward and his family. It is not communal property. If there is a surplus from that stewardship, it would then go to the bishop’s storehouse to care for the poor and needy. To be clear, under this law, a year supply of food for one family, is not a year supply for everyone else to tap into. If there was any surplus, it would be available through the bishop’s storehouse.
  18. You're always free to discuss matters with your bishop. In my experience, most bishops who have access to the means to help are quite generous, so it's not unlikely that the bishop will chip in for your rent. My objection is not to this path or the fact that it exists, but to the entitlement mentality that I infer in this situation.
  19. Don't disagree, but then to pull in the original question of inspiration, what does one do after they pay a full tithe and can't make that month's mortgage? Is that simply a case where you negotiate with your creditor, or is it appropriate to turn to the church?
  20. The law of consecration does not mean that the Church pays for everything. That idea is false, plain and simple. Not sure it's even worth the effort to roll one's eyes. The idea of tithing is that we freely give to the Lord a tenth part of what he has given to us. We give it to the Lord by giving it to the Lord's kingdom, which today is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To expect remuneration for "giving back" to the Lord a fraction of what he has given us is ridiculous, absolutely opposite to the whole idea of tithing. As is true in so many cases, it's advisable to ignore the opinions expressed on Reddit about this matter.
  21. And perhaps that is the balance. There may be something to be said about the widow's mite and giving of literally all your money, but at least in today's society, I think most bishop's would wonder why paying your tithing is putting you in the poor house. Do you need better job skills or a better job? General money management skills? And that certainly fits in the realm of the church helping others.
  22. I’m not sure the church would allow you to get to the point where you rely on it 100%. The bishop would probably do everything in his power to give you life skills, budget management, etc before it gets that far.
  23. Elsewhere on the interweb (fine, it was the cesspool Reddit) there was a discussion on being unable to afford to pay tithing and provide for oneself. While of course there were many comments on the blessings of tithing and faithfulness and even some practical financial advice, a few comments got me thinking. There were of the following paraphrased nature: Pay your tithing and ask the church to cover rent/mortgage, food, bills, etc. because that is what the church is there for. This was presented under the idea of the law of consecration and bringing everything to the storehouse and all. I don't know if I can fully fight against this argument despite my desire for self-reliant living, but again, it all got me thinking. Which side are we supposed to be leaning toward? Provident, self-reliant living, or giving to the church and relying upon it?
  24. And, on another note, everyone from the bishop to random members were totally open and accepting of questions about it. So the entire narrative of “you can’t ask questions” is complete rubbish.
  25. She was pretty much unbothered by it. It probably isn’t that surprising but when you grow up in New England way far away from LDS culture the only thing you know about the church is it’s past with polygamy, and even that the knowledge is very shallow. Both her and I had never even seen an LDS temple until we were in our 20’s driving past the DC one!
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