Jump to content

Robert F. Smith

Contributor
  • Content Count

    14,914
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

13,693 Excellent

About Robert F. Smith

  • Rank
    Creates Man & Woman

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    Are you calling Malachi (speaking for God) a liar? Or are you making a secular observation in accordance with what you want to believe? God says that he will open up the windows of heaven to bless those who pay tithes. You are saying that such never happens, or at least not consistently. Do I have that supposition right? However, it is not at all anecdotal to observe the fact that thousands of Mormon pioneers came to the Great Basin, where life was hard. Plenty of poverty. Yet here we are all these years later in a very prosperous Great Basin. All those Mormons who faithfully paid tithes are no longer poverty stricken. That is a secular fact. Is that an embarrassment to you who have rejected the Church? Why have you not engaged the points I have made about LDS Church programs which successfully conquer poverty? They are paid for by tithing. Do you have any conception of the context of any discussion of poverty and tithing? What would an honest and fair-minded non-Mormon reporter say?
  2. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    It all depends on what someone thinks tithing is. Is it club dues, same as you would pay to be the member of a country club or gymnasium? In other words you pay for the benefits of working out or meeting important people socially. If that is what tithing seems to be, then that person probably doesn't understand it at all. It is not about providing financial or physical improvement for the tithe payer. If that is what one seeks, he had better speak to an investment counselor. Another question you seem to raise is about "overpayments." How does one figure overpayment? How does one figure his tithe? Is it 10% of the gross, or ten percent of the net income, or ten percent of one's "increase"? The law is that one pays only ten percent of the "increase" or "interest." For a farmer, it is clearly only his profit (after all expenses have been paid), which would be zero in some bad years. At the same time, one is always eligible to receive welfare from the Church. Bishops regularly provide food orders (free food) to the needy, and other assistance as needed. These are crucial considerations which are typically left out of the discussion. From the Lord's POV, what is tithing all about? Malachi 3 makes it clear that one is obligated to pay tithes to the Lord as a matter of faith. Otherwise one is robbing God, the owner of everything. Why is that important? Because, without funds, God's kingdom cannot role forth. Fortunately the faithful always come through, whether in everyday tithes, or in offerings for disasters worldwide. What is noteworthy is that the LDS people are more generous than any other people in their charitable giving -- much of which is tax-deductible (another fact which naysayers always neglect to mention). Finally, who should give? Mosiah 4:19-25, Note how carefully King Benjamin distinguishes between those who have and those who have nothing. The context of tithing is everything here. You cannot give what you do not have. For God, this is a test of faith and of one's compassion. If you have no compassion, then you fail the test. It is about bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world. Naturally, if one does not believe in that Gospel, there is no point in supporting it.
  3. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    "The Poor" was a code-word for the early Christians, who had all things in common.
  4. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    Why then do you reject Jesus' view of the widow's mite? According to you, she couldn't afford to give, and that was only making her poverty worse. You are accusing Jesus of a heartless effort to take everything from that poor woman, and that is the same tortuous case you make against Doc Nelson. According to you, both Jesus and Nelson worsen poverty. How do you reach that absurd and false conclusion? By ignoring context. Real world context. Now why would you do that? Same applies to Elijah and the poor widow with only a little oil left in a jar and a handful of flour. Elijah requested that she make him some bread. She did as he asked, even though it meant death for her and her child. However, due to her faith, there was an endless supply of oil and flour (1 Kings 17:7-16). Elijah's or Jesus' widow might have taken the faithless Ouagadougou approach, but they did not. Those widows chose to follow the words of the prophets.
  5. Robert F. Smith

    What Would You Do?

    The Miracle of the Seagulls and Crickets is directly analogous to the miracles of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt -- the parting of the Red Sea, the Manna from Heaven, Water from a Rock, the Fiery Flying Serpents, etc. That is because the Mormon Exodus of 1847-48 took place in a Jewish Jubilee year, and the Miracle of the Gulls and Crickets took place in the midst of that Exodus (D&C 136). It is helpful to place that in biblical context: Excellent advice,, Anon. Trial and error, or the experimental method, is characteristic of Alma 32. A good plan for anyone. The LDS faith teaches that all of us are coeternal with God, and that each of us has the power to make our own free choices.
  6. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    Yes, and that PEF program has now been superseded by an even larger and more ambitious CES Global Education Initiative, including Pathway, which is run primarily out of BYU-Idaho. https://www.lds.org/church-education/global-education-initiative/introduction?lang=eng . That Ouagoudougou knows nothing of that and the other massive LDS welfare programs indicates to me that he may never have been an active LDS Church member -- though he claims to have been. Similar programs run by non-Mormons have been very successful in India as well. People (especially women) are being aided at the village level with small loans to start businesses.
  7. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    You made a whole passel of false statements, and you made them recklessly. The absence of concern for factual reportage is the most noteworthy thing about your facile comments on tithing. You do have the right to be wrong, but you also have the right to have your falsehoods served up to you openly and royally. Free speech works both ways. You need to learn to accept the opinions of others graciously.
  8. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    Your own harsh and judgmental words convict you. Your denial makes that all the more brazen and sad.
  9. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    I keep thinking of the Jewish (and biblical) notion of a "saving remnant." They do make all the difference.
  10. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    You have not replied to the factual points I made, but instead merely repeated your previous false statements. This indicates that during your period of active membership in the LDS Church you remained unaware and uninformed of the actual programs of the Church, the nature of tithing, and have no concept of the meaning of faith. Not surprisingly, with that sort of invulnerability to facts/data, it is not possible to carry on a rational conversation. Do you take any responsibility for that intractable problem?
  11. Robert F. Smith

    What Would You Do?

    So, what is the meaning of the miracle of the gulls and crickets?
  12. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    True enough, but Ougadougou doesn't believe in "spiritual benefits," nor in synergism. Nor is he willing to experiment with faith. If he were willing to take a closer look he would find that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to change lives and bring people out of poverty. Perhaps he doesn't want to believe that happy message. How sad.
  13. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    Your comments here are entirely false. We currently have two adult missionaries from my ward in the Accra Ghana West Mission. They are in their 6th year there out in the boondocks, helping people. They could be sitting at home in Provo, enjoying their retirement. Instead they do what the faithful do regularly. Paying it forward, and bringing God's blessings to the African bush. The LDS Church is not an "anecdotal" Church, and it does not "pad the books." Instead, the LDS Church functionaries spend there time keeping precise books on everything, knowing where every penny is spent and why. We are all about real returns on investments, real results of our vast educational enterprise -- in which, instead of giving a fish, we teach how to fish, so that fisherman can fish successfully for life. That's a metaphor, amigo. You are so attached to failed systems that you imagine that everyone else is also failure -prone. You owe Doc Nelson an abject apology.
  14. Robert F. Smith

    Tithing Breaks Poverty Cycles?

    A. Naturally, if you assume that Dr Nelson is a fool or senile, then all those other notions might seem justified. Some might think that one of the world's most prominent heart surgeons, who taught at Harvard, etc., is just a phony. No credit due for merit. Is that an appropriate way to render judgment? Especially in view of your ignorance as to what constitutes tithing: One pays 10% of his "increase." No increase, no tithing owed. A third world farmer, just like an American farmer, may make no profit at all in some years (do you know what a P&L statement is?). Sometimes, lack of rain or too much rain can destroy crops, thus leaving the farmer with heavy debt from purchase of seed, fertilizer, and farm machinery. Hint: If outgo exceeds income, it is called a "loss" in the Profit & Loss statement. That carries some weight with tax collectors. B. Another issue is the truth or falsity of the LDS faith. For you, those who have faith are delusional, ill-informed, and out of touch with reality. In Alma 32 in the Book of Mormon, the experimental method is discussed as a valid way to find out the truth about faith in God, faith in the Gospel, faith in tithing, etc. The experimental method is the basis of science and technology. It is the way in which humans have cleverly advanced themselves since time immemorial. God has made a promise: Malachi 3:7-10, Your lack of faith distinguishes you as uninformed and unwilling to test God's promise to pour out blessings upon those who willingly pay Him what he already owns anyhow. C. Finally, you ignore the standard practice within the LDS Church of providing for the poor and destitute. The Church has extensive programs to educate, feed, and clothe those in need. For one so faithless as you, it is all about robbing the poor. It is you, good buddy, who are out of touch with reality, you who is ill-informed and deeply prejudiced.
  15. Robert F. Smith

    Utah Highest Sex Abuse Rate

    Rev might be suggesting that mixed in with these stats is everything from rape to simply playing "doctor." I am reminded of first graders who have touched or kissed a fellow student being charged with sexual assault and getting arrested or suspended for it. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/12/sexual-harassment-6-year-old-dropped_n_4435382.html . Sometimes we lack any sense of proportion.
×