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maiku

Probation period for not tithing?

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Hi all,

I had a long conversation yesterday with another family in my branch, some really good friends of mine. I'll paraphrase the crux of what was said to see what you all might have to say:

They went in to see the Branch Pres. to renew their temple recommend the other day and as the interview went on, tithing came up. They admitted to me that in 2011 they missed a few "payments" on tithing due to some emergency circumstances, and that's what they told the BP as well.

The BP answers with this: "pay your tithing up to date, including everything that you missed in 2011, then continue paying your tithing in in SIX months, come back and we'll have this interview again".

They as well as I know that you've got to pay a full tithe to get the recommend. The BP not renewing the recommend for that was a good thing, a good lesson for the husband since (according to him) he's always had a problem giving the full 10%.

All that aside, I'm seeing two issues here:

1) Why is it required for him to pay 2011 if that year is already done and he declared himself a partial payer in settlement?

2) Why should he have to wait six months? I don't consider this to be an addiction issue like WoW or pornography where a waiting period is needed to aid repentance and overcome addiction. He isn't addicted to paying partial tithes.

I told him to be up to date THIS year and talk to the BP again, express his testimony on tithing and his desire to go to the temple, and repent.

What do you all say?

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I don't see a problem with the 6 months thing. I've always assumed the reason there is a waiting period after some things is because it's a time to wait and see that the person continues on the right path. There are very practical reasons why a 'wait and see' attitude applies to this situation. It's not so much an issue of money as obedience. If there are financial problems in the next 6 months the BP probably wants to see they'll pay the tithing anyways. If things go really well, he'll want to see the same. An other thing is that by needing to wait 6 months, perhaps this couple will better understand what they are giving up when they don't pay their tithing.

I don't' see a problem with them paying, then requesting a recommend earlier than the 6 months either. BP can say either yes or no... as long as they aren't heckling him.

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I would be careful about telling someone to do something different from what their ordained priesthood leader has already told them. You are not their judge in Israel, the Branch President is. The Branch President is the one authorized to receive revelation and guidance concerning this member and his status, not you.

I'm not privy to any specific policy or practice changes, but it seems to me that since they changed temple recommends from being valid for one year to two, they have also tightened up on some requirements that in the past may have been more relaxed. In this case, the member has admittedly not been paying his tithing regularly. In fact, he admits that he was not a full tithe payer for the year that ended just last month. The Branch President evidently wants to see this brother demonstrate his commitment to paying his tithing before issuing a recommend. I believe the standard counsel given is for a person to demonstrate their worthiness and commitment by paying regularly for six months to a year depending on circumstances. This is not about punishing a person for not paying tithing, it is about maintaining the integrity and standards set for worthiness to the temple. They want to make sure the member is committed to remaining worthy of a temple recommend for the next two years.

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what about the other question? If they were declared "partial payer" in 2011, would they have to pay up 2011 to get the recommend?

That is what their Branch President counseled them to do. It's not for any of us to decide the what's or the why's of it.

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what about the other question? If they were declared "partial payer" in 2011, would they have to pay up 2011 to get the recommend?

That is a question for the Bishop/Branch President. If he makes it a requirement then it is.

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Let's just be clear on definitions. When most people (well, at least me) hear "probationary period", we think "informal bishop's probation" which entails not taking the sacrament, not praying in public, not giving talks, teaching lessons, or offering opinions in Sunday School classes, not participating in priesthood ordinances, etc.

It sounds like that isn't what you're talking about here. You're talking about a branch president asking a family to demonstrate their commitment to tithing, before they enter a temple and solemnly affirm their commitment to the much higher (and more demanding) principle of consecration before God, angels and witnesses. The BP's actions under the circumstances strikes me as being eminently reasonable and an excellent example of how seriously we should take the covenants we make in the temple.

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I don't know about paying back tithing, but I know six months is not an unusual amount of time to practice tithing before going to the temple.

When my hubby decided it was time to get the priesthood and start working on temple worthiness, we got the timetable, six months of him paying tithing before scheduling a temple sealing. At the time he was counseled about it he had the impression that it was a standard time limit. Everyone was so thrilled that he had finally come around, but six months is six months, and he needed to show (to himself as well as the Lord) that it was not some momentary high, that it would be a lifelong habit.

The fact that they had already been through the temple covenants makes me wonder if the bishop was being a little more forgiving than some would be actually.

In the BOM the Lord referred to not paying tithings and offerings as robbing him...it is very serious. And they are denying themselves the opportunity to be blessed in many ways, He will open the windows of heaven to them if they obey. This is a great and merciful plan to get them back on track and back to the temple.

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Guest Lisaroo

I'm an inactive member and for me tithing is something I never had a problem with until I realized u are being asked to pay to go to the temple it just seems wrong if a persons family is financially unstable to deny them access when everything else is in line. My parents were advise to pay their tithing when I was a kid the church wouldn't provide food assistance either and unfortunately we lost our housing because my dad paid tithing over rent. As an adult I look back and I think how in the world did that help? Family of five ousted.

But I stopped going to church about 3 years ago I am considering going back to church but I think it will be unlikely I will be a full tith payer.

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I'm an inactive member and for me tithing is something I never had a problem with until I realized u are being asked to pay to go to the temple it just seems wrong if a persons family is financially unstable to deny them access when everything else is in line.

No you are being asked to keep the covenants you've already made before you go and make additional covenants.

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I'm an inactive member and for me tithing is something I never had a problem with until I realized u are being asked to pay to go to the temple it just seems wrong if a persons family is financially unstable to deny them access when everything else is in line. My parents were advise to pay their tithing when I was a kid the church wouldn't provide food assistance either and unfortunately we lost our housing because my dad paid tithing over rent. As an adult I look back and I think how in the world did that help? Family of five ousted.

But I stopped going to church about 3 years ago I am considering going back to church but I think it will be unlikely I will be a full tith payer.

The blessings we receive from paying tithing are not always financial either.

Edited by pam
grammar

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My parents were advise to pay their tithing when I was a kid the church wouldn't provide food assistance either and unfortunately we lost our housing because my dad paid tithing over rent. As an adult I look back and I think how in the world did that help? Family of five ousted.

Might I respectfully suggest that you may have taken a slightly over-simplistic view of your parents' financial situation?

If I am in a situation where paying a full tithe allows me to make a partial month's rent, and I nonetheless get evicted, then it's probably because I'd been letting my rent slide for a number of months previously.

Now, granted; if I miss a full month's rent because I paid tithing instead--that might get me evicted (although in more and more states, it won't). But if my rent is $500/month, and I put that money into my monthly tithing instead, then it follows that I have monthly income of $5,000; or $60,000 per year. If I get evicted on $60K/year, it isn't the Church's fault.

I deal with people in bankruptcy on a daily basis. I recognize that insolvency is often the result of a complex mixture of factors, many of which are often beyond the debtor's control. In your family's case, I have no idea specifically what happened and it frankly isn't any of my business. Very possibly they were victims of a variety of circumstances.

On the other hand, I do a thorough financial analysis prior to filing bankruptcy cases and I have never dealt with someone whose charitable contributions drove them into bankruptcy--or were even a significant factor. By the time you've got eviction or foreclosure or bankruptcy staring you in the face, you're usually well past the point where an extra 10% would have made much difference. Quite honestly, if an insolvent debtor blames their tithing for their financial woes, they probably don't have complete situational awareness of their finances. And lack of financial awareness is a far greater contributor to insolvency than tithing is.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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In the temple we covenant to live the Law of Consecration, to which the Law of Tithing is an appendage. Tithing is popularly viewed as a sort of "training law" that prepares us to live the Law of Consecration.

The Church Education System's D&C manual has a good primer on the Law of Consecration, available online here.

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Guest Lisaroo

This happened to my family prior to attending the temple.

There were many sad factors in my families situation which truly are none of your business.

My parents were not in debt this happened in the 80s my dad made like 1.25 an hr for a family of 5.

He didn't leave the church my family went on to be sealed years later but it was always a hurtful sore for my father. He really had faith something would happen or the church would help but they didn't he used this event as an excuse for not attending church years later when something similar happened again. Anyway I understand that tithing is important but I don't believe it should come before food or rent. Yes the church now has a great bishop store house but they don't want u using it more than once... If they feel u can figure out. Sigh and yet we knew a family who's rent was paid and got food assistance for over 7 years go figure! Both adults were able bodied and the family lived in a very nice neighborhood. The kids had better toys even, we were in the same ward so I can see why my dad had a hard time swallowing what happened to us.

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There were many sad factors in my families situation which truly are none of your business.

My parents were not in debt this happened in the 80s my dad made like 1.25 an hr for a family of 5.

You are 100% right that your family's finances are none of my business. However, I would suggest that when you cite a personal experience in order to justify a "tithing OR rent" dichotomy, you do invite others to ask questions and offer comments about the specific circumstances of the anecdote you provide.

In the case you cite: Doing simple math based on the figures above, your father's monthly tithing burden would have been about $21.67 ($1.25/hr * 40 hrs/week * 52 weeks/year / 12 months/year / 10% tithing). If you expect us to attribute your eviction to your family's choice to pay tithing rather than rent, then you are also expecting us to believe that ultimately your family was evicted over a rent deficiency of less than $25.00.

That's why I suggested earlier that maybe the cause of your family's eviction wasn't quite as simple--or directly attributable to the Church--as your previous language may have led a reader to believe.

Yes the church now has a great bishop store house but they don't want u using it more than once... If they feel u can figure out. Sigh and yet we knew a family who's rent was paid and got food assistance for over 7 years go figure! Both adults were able bodied and the family lived in a very nice neighborhood. The kids had better toys even, we were in the same ward so I can see why my dad had a hard time swallowing what happened to us.

Oh, I'm sure the horror stories about bureaucratic ineptitude in the Church welfare system are legion; having been through a few myself. ;)

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I'm surprised someone only made $1.25 an hour in the 80's when in 1973 the minumum wage was $1.65. I remember because I got minimum wage at my first job in high school.

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Guest Lisaroo

I am not asking u to believe me I am just stating the facts. As for min wage believe it or not some people have no choice but to work under the table...

Rent food medical expenses for a family of 5 on that wage is absurd.

My point wasn't for u to dissect my family's situation I was just stating I don't agree with the statement u should pay tithing first and that is why because sometimes here really is no safety. Et sometimes yes a small amount can get a person evicted and yes some people have to live in a shelter. In my families case this was so my understanding was that my parents were living in a trailer owned by a unreputable person who didn't even repair it but it was shelter and cheap.

Anyways I am sorry I offended u in some way or whatever I don't really care I was thinking of going back to church which is why I joined this form I am iffy on this choice as I seem to be getting the impression I am not welcomed even here. I was just stating my personal experience and point of view. But then I suppose who am I to you? Nothing.

I think I will delete my account I don't need the negativity from people like u in my life even online.

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Actually, Pam, minimum wage as of January 1, 1980 was $3.10 per hour.

Lisaroo, I'm sorry for everything your family had to go through and I wish you success in your future endeavors. For what it's worth--if there is a true tithing versus rent dispute, then I might very well agree with you on a short-term basis (pay rent in month A and then work very hard to catch up on your tithing in month B ) (although I continue to maintain that, given careful planning, such conundrums will be very rare).

As for the facts you present: I have not disputed your assertions that your dad was working for just over 1/3 of the legal minimum wage and that your family was evicted over a $21.67 rental arrearage due to an avaricious landlord. What I have disputed is your attempt to imply that your eviction was solely the fault of whoever suggested that your family pay a full tithe. I'm sorry that that offends you; but please be aware that if you resume activity in the Church a lot of the people you meet may openly contradict any perceived "blame the Church first" worldview.

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Hi Maiku! I hope you are doing well tonight. :)

Like others have mentioned, the Branch President is authorized to make these judgments for those who fall under his jurisdiction. One evidence of this is in your post in that the person affected by this has already benefited from the Branch President's counsel. In my view, it isn't our place to question this counsel.

Regards,

Finrock

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I know that finances can be a terrible source of stress and I am sensitive to the situation of your family.

Every Ward/Stake and General conference we raise our hands to sustain those who are called to preside over us. At least we have that opportunity. There can be times for some when it may seem nearly impossible to do so. It is not always so easy, I know. They do need our support and we need theirs. It can't be an easy moment, but...

I can say with conviction that when we humble ourselves and accept their guidence and do what is asked, pray about it, give it all the thought it deserves we WILL feel the Lords embrace. But it really does take personal effort and a forgiving attitude. The single most important thing for us, the individual, to do is be right with God and that requires many things including the challenge of heeding the counsel of the BP.

In spite of how you must feel right now, this is a marvelous opportunity to gain a life changing testimony and real happiness.

God bless.

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Thanks for the comments everyone. Let me made something clear, I haven't questioned the BP's authority or decision, it's not even my issue, it's my friend's. I was simply curious to see if anyone else has heard about paying tithing for a previous year if one has already declared "partial" in tithing settlement.

I'm fully aware the bishop or BP has full authority to make such calls. In fact, the first piece of advice I gave to my friend's was to do what the BP says, even if at first you don't like it, because doing so will bring blessings.

Again, my OP was to see if anyone has seen or heard of an experience where they've had to wait six months to renew their recommend over tithing AND/OR been asked to pay a previous year's tithing if one has already declared "partial" in their settlement.

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Hi all,

I had a long conversation yesterday with another family in my branch, some really good friends of mine. I'll paraphrase the crux of what was said to see what you all might have to say:

They went in to see the Branch Pres. to renew their temple recommend the other day and as the interview went on, tithing came up. They admitted to me that in 2011 they missed a few "payments" on tithing due to some emergency circumstances, and that's what they told the BP as well.

The BP answers with this: "pay your tithing up to date, including everything that you missed in 2011, then continue paying your tithing in in SIX months, come back and we'll have this interview again".

They as well as I know that you've got to pay a full tithe to get the recommend. The BP not renewing the recommend for that was a good thing, a good lesson for the husband since (according to him) he's always had a problem giving the full 10%.

All that aside, I'm seeing two issues here:

1) Why is it required for him to pay 2011 if that year is already done and he declared himself a partial payer in settlement?

2) Why should he have to wait six months? I don't consider this to be an addiction issue like WoW or pornography where a waiting period is needed to aid repentance and overcome addiction. He isn't addicted to paying partial tithes.

I told him to be up to date THIS year and talk to the BP again, express his testimony on tithing and his desire to go to the temple, and repent.

What do you all say?

1) repentance, as well as showing a sign of sacrifice and effort. As decided by the BP

2) caution, as well as allowing for time for wrinkles to get ironed out if any crop up.

with things like tithing it's not exactly an addiction... its rather just so easy not to try.

Edited by Blackmarch

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