Daisy99

Paying Tithing As A Married Couple

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Net or Gross? ..........This has been a decision many have struggled with. I heard something a long time ago that help me decide. "Do you want Net blessings or Gross blessings"?. My wife and I talked it over and choose Gross blessings, That's what it's been for us the last 45 years. Not always easy, but we are glad we choose it. We have been greatly blessed, both financially and spiritually.

Good for you. That still does not make it wrong for others to choose to pay on their net or for a home-based business owner or a farmer to figure in business expenses or losses into the equation. It also does not make your way of figuring it any better than those who choose to figure it differently.

BTW, not to say that you are that way, but the whole "net blessings or gross blessings" thing smacks of self-righteousness. It sounds to me like you have chosen a higher level of blessings when in fact, everyone who pays a full tithe no matter how they figure it will share the same blessings, in my opinion. The big thing, in my mind, is the reasons why a person pays tithing, not how much they pay or how they figure it. That's where the blessings will be based, in my opinion.

When I said gross I was speaking of wages earned. Of course if one is in business all business expenses will need to be deducted to get the net on the business, which will be the gross for the business owner, assuming that it is a one owner business.

I never saw anything that I would call self rightous about one's decision to pay on their gross earnings. It was said to me in jest, but it is an option that I choose because it is the one I felt that I should choose. From what I have heard, I think this is what most folks in my ward have chosen also.

I don't think one way or another about how people choose to pay their tithing. Again that's choice. I've always been taught that we pay tithing on our gross earnings. So that's the way I've always made my choice. Just my 2 cents and thoughts.

Oh and btw, I'm not married so I'm answering from a single perspective. Though why that would make a difference I don't know.

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a-train, what do u mean about back tithing? Me and my other half dont pay tithing at the minute as you all know, we are struggling with the church a bit. If we one day decide to start paying again are you saying we would have to pay all the money we havent over the last two years? If so, how on earth could anyone feasibly do that? This is concerning me a bit so if anyone has an answer to that Id like to know.

Man, I must have completely fumbled my whole point. My position is this:

Not only can we NOT pay years of 'back-tithing', we can NOT pay weeks of 'back-tithing'. There is no such thing as 'back-tithing'.

If we didn't pay, we can never pay. We must start paying now on what we earn now and never look back. That is what I am saying. Can we perform 'back-chastity'? Can we do some 'back-Word of Wisdom'? We cannot be so righteous now that our past transgressions are blotted out thereby. The LORD isn't tallying our life-long income and holding us accountable for ten percent of that figure at the judgement, just as He isn't counterbalancing our chaste living today against previous transgressions.

We are to repent and rely on the LORD's Sacrifice and Atonement to redeem us from past transgressions.

We simply begin paying now on what we are receiving now. To say otherwise is to deny the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my opinion.

-a-train

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There's nothing said so far that I don't agree with.

Since you as a couple have paid tithing at the end of the year in the past, I can understand that your husband wants to continue doing the same thing this year. If your savings account is dwindling because of financial woes this year, I can understand your concern.

A suggestion: Resolve together to not withdraw any more money from savings for the rest of the year (of which, there's not much left!), and from this point forward, deposit what would be your tithing from each of your paychecks into the savings account, specifically dedicating that money for that purpose. It shouldn't take any more discipline and sacrifice not to touch the savings, than it would to pay it direct to the bishop every week.

I totally agree with this. I do think you both need to approach it together. I also know that when your tithing is paid in full, you will be blessed AND provided for. The Lord will take care of you.

ALSO, from personal experience, it's NOT okay to NOT pay tithing. The Lords blessings have been very evident in my life from paying tithing. And the lack of blessings from not paying tithing have also been very evident. Often during struggles like this you're more likely to recognize God's hand in your life.

Good Luck, pray about your decision with your husband and you'll do the right thing.

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a-train, what do u mean about back tithing? Me and my other half dont pay tithing at the minute as you all know, we are struggling with the church a bit. If we one day decide to start paying again are you saying we would have to pay all the money we havent over the last two years? If so, how on earth could anyone feasibly do that? This is concerning me a bit so if anyone has an answer to that Id like to know.

Man, I must have completely fumbled my whole point. My position is this:

Not only can we NOT pay years of 'back-tithing', we can NOT pay weeks of 'back-tithing'. There is no such thing as 'back-tithing'.

If we didn't pay, we can never pay. We must start paying now on what we earn now and never look back. That is what I am saying. Can we perform 'back-chastity'? Can we do some 'back-Word of Wisdom'? We cannot be so righteous now that our past transgressions are blotted out thereby. The LORD isn't tallying our life-long income and holding us accountable for ten percent of that figure at the judgement, just as He isn't counterbalancing our chaste living today against previous transgressions.

We are to repent and rely on the LORD's Sacrifice and Atonement to redeem us from past transgressions.

We simply begin paying now on what we are receiving now. To say otherwise is to deny the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my opinion.

-a-train

That is very well put -a-train. I have a new understanding. Thanks, man!

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its also kinda of hard to justify my fast offering i have had a hard time with that lately because i usually fast for fast sunday and maybe some other time if i am having a hard time and just need that but of extra guidence so living on raman noodle and getting fed by other members on the weekends has been hard for me to try to see what i should pay for fast offering.

andy

Andy,

Fast Offerings should be given, how you calculate them is up to you. If your usual meal costs you $.50 (eatting ramen or just 2 eggs) and you don't have extra money - a buck is full payment of fast offerings. Later in life you will have the opportunity to pay much more. Where little financial resources are given little is expected to help others - where much is given - much is expected.

Here's the way I figure it, (and this is just because now I am much more wealthy than when I was a struggling student). I look at how much I spent on my most expensive meals recently. For me, these are eating out at nice resturants. I use that as my base cost for a meal, and I pay my fast offerings as if four of those meals were purchased (two for me & two for wife). I have used this formula ever since I was a struggling student - when I would eat out for $2, $5 was plently of fast offerings. Later I would spend $10 to $12 each, so my offering was about $50, now its higher - but I can afford more now and I believe more is expected now.

The people that are struggling will greatly appriciate the help.

Rocketman

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I've just re-read this thread, because I thought, somewhere in it, that paying tithing when you're reliant on Social Security Benefits only might have been mentioned...it turns out that it wasn't.

Is there any consensus on paying tithing when you're reliant only upon Social Security Benefits, such as Income support? Does the church still require you to pay 10% of this figure even though being on Income Support means that you are counted as being too low paid to pay prescription charges, Council Tax or Rent in the UK?

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I've just re-read this thread, because I thought, somewhere in it, that paying tithing when you're reliant on Social Security Benefits only might have been mentioned...it turns out that it wasn't.

Is there any consensus on paying tithing when you're reliant only upon Social Security Benefits, such as Income support? Does the church still require you to pay 10% of this figure even though being on Income Support means that you are counted as being too low paid to pay prescription charges, Council Tax or Rent in the UK?

Pushka, this is entirely up to the individual as to pay or not. My MIL does not pay tithing.

When my own mother was still alive, she did pay on her SS. That was her choice. Her Bishop told her she could or could not. That not paying on SS would not keep her from having a valid Temple Recommend.

I have several friends who are on SS Disabilities and about half pay tithing.

ALL hold valid temple recommends and they all live in different parts of the country.

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I've just re-read this thread, because I thought, somewhere in it, that paying tithing when you're reliant on Social Security Benefits only might have been mentioned...it turns out that it wasn't.

Is there any consensus on paying tithing when you're reliant only upon Social Security Benefits, such as Income support? Does the church still require you to pay 10% of this figure even though being on Income Support means that you are counted as being too low paid to pay prescription charges, Council Tax or Rent in the UK?

The Church does not 'require' you to pay tithing on anything. Here in the US of A the Social Security and Medicare tax is nearly always much larger by far than than all the other taxes taken out of a payroll check combined. And yet, it is the income taxes that politicians are always debating. Go figure.

Anyway, some people pay tithing on their gross salary. If they do that, it makes little sense to pay tithing on Social Security when they finally start getting it back years later -- they already paid tithing on it. Except that their employer pays half the Social Security. So you should pay tithing on half of it. But then you usually get back more from Social Security than you paid into it, so you should pay tithing on the 'increase,' which might be hard for some people to figure out.

Being rich is not a requirement for paying tithing. Even the poor and even the destitute should pay their tithes and offerings, even as the widow gave her last bread and oil to the prophet Elijah. She had great faith, and throughout the famine she never quite ran out of flour or oil.

The Filipinos are among the poorest people in the world, yet President Hinckley promised them that if they paid their tithing they would always have a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and rice in their bowls. This is a great blessing when you are starving and I have seen it work many times. This is the definition of your cup overflowing: you may not have a nice car or the latest gadget, but you will have the security of knowing that you will not be left alone by God to starve to death, living naked in the streets. There are far too many people who do not pay their tithing that are in exactly that situation.

Your bishop will assist you with your tithing questions. Let him know your concerns and see if you can work out a specific budget that will keep body and soul together and maybe even allow for a little comfort in your aging years. You earned it, you know.

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I have had some Bishops who say that tithing should be paid on everything, and some who say that tithing need not be paid on Social Security benefits. Income Support is supposed to be the very basic needed in order to exist. If SS discovered that you were paying 10% of that to the church they might argue that you only nee3ded 90% in order to survive and only pay you that amount. You could counter that with the argument that the church would feed you if you ran out of food.

It seems there is no 'correct' answer so I figure the answer has to come directly from the Lord. If you pray about it and feel uneasy about not paying tithing then maybe he's telling you to pay - but if you pray about it and feel happy with a decision not to pay then I would take that as the Lord giving his seal of approval to the decision.

I don't know where that would leave you when it comes to a Temple Recommend, unless you can say truthfully that you are paying a full tithing because you pay it on anything else you may receive. I once had someone argue that I didn't deserve my Temple Recommend because I wasn't attending all my church meetings - I wasn't going to any Sunday meetings at the time due to illness. Yes I wouldn't have been able to go to the temple either but I still felt the need for a current valid recommend.

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Thanks for your additional replies cjcampbell and Willow..

CJ, I wasn't suggesting that only the rich ought to pay tithes, I do understand the parable of the poor widow and other such stories/examples..I wish that I could easily trust God that I would be helped out if I paid tithing on the SS benefits that I receive.

Willow, you bring up a good question regarding SS in the UK and how you are assessed on what you receive. I would feel bad if I took money which was there to support my children, and gave it to the Church..however, I have been thinking that a compromise, if one would be acceptable, would be to pay the savings I make on receiving lifts to church back to the church as a tithing offering.

As some of you have suggested, it would be wise for me to consult somebody in authority to see what might be acceptable..

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do you know if you receive help from the church in a financial form your benefits should be cut? I didn't but the benefits agency classed anything we got from the church as income, when Richard's immigration got messed up and he didn't get the expected job/

-Charley

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Does that come under the same rule as if you earn above x amount you must let the DSS know? Also, you must let them know if you do any work, voluntary, paid or unpaid?

If you seek financial assistance from the Church then the bishop or Relief Society president will visit you and fill out a form called a needs assessment. They will also go over your budget. However, there is no minimum or maximum amount that you can earn that determines what, if any, assistance you receive. Rather, it is determined by what the bishop determines your needs are as opposed to your resources.

I can almost guarantee that you will be required to be a full tithe payer. However, only you can decide what constitutes full tithing.

Heck, I know people who are paying tithing, but based on their 'increase' over the last year the Church owes them more than $50,000! That is because they lost so much net worth. That is why detailed rules about tithing are almost impossible.

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If you seek financial assistance from the Church then the bishop or Relief Society president will visit you and fill out a form called a needs assessment. They will also go over your budget. However, there is no minimum or maximum amount that you can earn that determines what, if any, assistance you receive. Rather, it is determined by what the bishop determines your needs are as opposed to your resources.

I can almost guarantee that you will be required to be a full tithe payer. However, only you can decide what constitutes full tithing.

Heck, I know people who are paying tithing, but based on their 'increase' over the last year the Church owes them more than $50,000! That is because they lost so much net worth. That is why detailed rules about tithing are almost impossible.

in the UK your needs are considered met by the State and if you receive financial help from the church the State removes benefits or can.

My Branch President let us have assistance on full tithing because as soon as I realised I couldn't pay full tithing for various reasons and things got really tight (I ended up with £2000 unexpected bills), I went straight to him, we are still only part tithe payers after discussion with our Branch President. However now my husband now has a new job and we have filled in a Deed of Covenant form so our tithing comes straight out the bank.

-Charley

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Your tithing should be paid as you feel impressed to pay it.   It is a good thing to pay as you go along.   While there are full tithepayers who pay at the end of the year, that is usually done when a couple owns a business and cannot tell how much tithing they will owe until the end.  It is also exactly the recipe for disaster you fear.  

 

If I were in your place, I would tell my dh that I was responsible for tithing my income, and while I wouldn't stop him from waiting on his income, as long as I was bring in income, I would be paying it on that.

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I had a similar situation with my hubby. We disagreed on how to pay tithing or even if to pay. I felt I was less worthy because he wasn't paying it. I decided his choices didn't affect my worthiness. If I am truly doing what I think is right that is all that matters. I told him when it came to money he earned I would stand by any decision he made when it came to tithing but when it was money I earned, I would pay how I felt was right. Now no matter how much or how little my tithing is I can proudly claim to be a full tithe payer.

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As far as net or gross goes I consider my increase is all the benefits of government services. ie. Roads, highways. Schools Ect. Government officials/services and the buildings they work in that provide us those services. Etc. I also considered not paying on social security since we don’t know if or what we will end up getting back. So I will pay on what we get back. 

My question is about Fast Offerings...what is the average amount each person would pay for fast offerings?? Whenever we go out to eat for breakfast and lunch we average roughly $5-$10 a plate. Is that considered a generous FO per person?

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47 minutes ago, Sensible said:

My question is about Fast Offerings...what is the average amount each person would pay for fast offerings?? Whenever we go out to eat for breakfast and lunch we average roughly $5-$10 a plate. Is that considered a generous FO per person?

Hi Sensible!  

In my opinion, FO is really a good place to do charity that matters, something dependent on your ability to give, more than what is average or right.  The backbone of the church's welfare system.  If you are poor, it might be the cost of a couple of eggs or bowls of cereal.  If you're doing ok, what you mention above sounds good.  If you're well off, it's a great place to donate more.  I honestly like fast offerings more than, say, charity drives at work, even when the employer does a matching contribution.  I just see the good coming from FO every week.

I'm ward finance clerk.  This morning I had to stop off at the church on my way to work, to write an emergency check.  One of our ward members died, and the bishop is helping the family with funeral expenses.  Totally unexpected surprise for everyone.  Those funds came from fast offerings.  The big bill might put our ward into the red - paying out more than we're taking in for fast offerings.  Or it might not, I haven't looked at the monthly reports yet.  But what a blessing to this family in shock, totally unprepared for the loss of the family's main breadwinner.

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1 hour ago, Sensible said:

My question is about Fast Offerings...what is the average amount each person would pay for fast offerings?? Whenever we go out to eat for breakfast and lunch we average roughly $5-$10 a plate. Is that considered a generous FO per person?

When my all children were still at home, money was tight. (Not that that has really changed recently...) Our honest fast offering was generally about $20 for the whole family. That was a pretty good estimate for what it cost to feed us for a day. Those who are in the habit of eating out at restaurants often will probably find their cost for food significantly higher.

In the final analysis, there is no formula I know of to calculate a correct fast offering. You just give the value of the meals you missed to the bishop, or more if you can afford to.

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I think if a married couple doesn't agree on exactly how to handle tithing, then it makes perfect sense to separate it out between them.  After all, when you're sitting in that Temple Recommend interview, they don't ask you if your family as a whole is a full tithe payer, they ask if YOU are.

But, it can be a lot easier if both parties do agree.  In my household, my wife handles the money and she just moves the tithe over each time one of us gets paid into a separate account, then pays it online.  I don't know how often she does that, but it doesn't really matter.  As long as it's getting done I don't really care.  😎

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Whatever you and your Husband decide be sure to both be in agreement. I also would not reach back to become current tithe payers. 99% of Bishops will not ask you to do that, but I have heard of people taking out loans in order to back pay their tithing so they can be deemed "worthy" to have a recommend and go to a wedding or something. This at the direction of their Bishop or so they say. I do not quite believe that.

As there is no clear direction on how to pay tithing, there are many variations. I treat my own income as if my wife and I are a business. She and I both earn a paycheck and we have whatever is not taken out by payroll. Social Security and 401K contributions will result in income much later and we will pay tithing on that money when we get it.

As for what we pay on after we get our paychecks, we subtract all expenses we have which are "neccessary" such as mortgage, taxes, insurance, vehicle fuel and phone. The leftover becomes our "increase" and we pay tithing on that. It is commonly known as the surplus method. There have been a ton of fights over how to pay tithing over the years and bottom line but no one is right because the church cannot even give us a definitive answer and the leaders are not allowed to challenge anyone's declaration of a full tithe.

We have heard people state they want gross vs net blessings. From what I understand you are either a full tithe payer or not. I have never heard there are extra blessings for paying more. If that is the case, how much do blessings cost? Is there a price sheet? I'd like to see it because there are certain blessings I may want to purchase if I can afford them.

I hope it all works out for you- paying tithing is a blessing.

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5 minutes ago, ephedra said:

I also would not reach back to become current tithe payers.

I would.

5 minutes ago, ephedra said:

There have been a ton of fights over how to pay tithing over the years and bottom line but no one is right

Surely you jest.

6 minutes ago, ephedra said:

because the church cannot even give us a definitive answer

Not so. The Church has done so, repeatedly.

6 minutes ago, ephedra said:

and the leaders are not allowed to challenge anyone's declaration of a full tithe.

I don't believe this is true.

Edited by Vort

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