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Yours, Mine, Ours. Family Finances And Tithing Implications

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I'd be interested on your perspectives on family finances and the implications for tithing. To help the discussion here are 4 potential situations.

In all the following cases, for the sake of discussion, the husband works full time and the wife is a full time parent. The scenario could work just as well with the roles reversed.

1) Bro. & Sis. Jones consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe but in Bro Jones' name. As such, Sister Jones has '0' tithing against her name. Is Sister Jones a full tithe payer?

2) Bro. & Sis. Smith consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe by paying 5% each in their own name. Their total income is tithed at 10%. Are they both full tithe payers?

3) Bro. & Sis. Evans consider it 'our' money but Sister Evans is not active and not willing to pay tithing. Bro. Evans, out of respect for it being 'our money,' pays tithing at 5% of his salary (10% of half the salary). Sis. Evans declares as a non-tithe payer, but is Bro. Evans a full tithe payer?

4) Bro. Harris is not active and is not willing to pay tithing. Sis. Harris, is a full-time parent but is also active at church. With no personal income and husband unwilling to pay she has '0' tithing against her name. Is she still a full tithe payer?

I was surprised to hear from a friend who was in the same situation as the 'Jones' (1) that his Bishop had said that he was struggling to give his wife a calling as he considered her a non-tithe payer.

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I'd be interested on your perspectives on family finances and the implications for tithing. To help the discussion here are 4 potential situations.

In all the following cases, for the sake of discussion, the husband works full time and the wife is a full time parent. The scenario could work just as well with the roles reversed.

1) Bro. & Sis. Jones consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe but in Bro Jones' name. As such, Sister Jones has '0' tithing against her name. Is Sister Jones a full tithe payer?

Yes, Sis Jones income is zero and 10% of zero is zero.

2) Bro. & Sis. Smith consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe by paying 5% each in their own name. Their total income is tithed at 10%. Are they both full tithe payers?

Yes, 10% of the income is being paid though split between 2 names therefore full tithing is being paid.

3) Bro. & Sis. Evans consider it 'our' money but Sister Evans is not active and not willing to pay tithing. Bro. Evans, out of respect for it being 'our money,' pays tithing at 5% of his salary (10% of half the salary). Sis. Evans declares as a non-tithe payer, but is Bro. Evans a full tithe payer?

Grey area, technically it's his income so it could be argued that tithing should be paid on the full amount. But as his wife she does have a say in how the money is spent. On this one I would say if he can stand before God with a clear conscience then he is fine.

4) Bro. Harris is not active and is not willing to pay tithing. Sis. Harris, is a full-time parent but is also active at church. With no personal income and husband unwilling to pay she has '0' tithing against her name. Is she still a full tithe payer?

Once again she has zero income and 10% of zero is zero.

I was surprised to hear from a friend who was in the same situation as the 'Jones' (1) that his Bishop had said that he was struggling to give his wife a calling as he considered her a non-tithe payer.

I too would be surprised at this,

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Grey area, technically it's his income so it could be argued that tithing should be paid on the full amount. But as his wife she does have a say in how the money is spent. On this one I would say if he can stand before God with a clear conscience then he is fine.

I guess in the end it's all personal interpretation and application. I think that the attitude of "it's his income" would prevail for some, but in a relationship where one is a full-time-parent the attitude of "it's ours" should prevail.

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Our new bishop has just completed his first tithing settlement, and he asked for a bit of assistance from me, his first counsellor. Consequently I'm aware of guidelines on at least three of these scenarios since they've occurred in our ward, as follows:

1) Bro. & Sis. Jones consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe but in Bro Jones' name. As such, Sister Jones has '0' tithing against her name. Is Sister Jones a full tithe payer?

Yes.

2) Bro. & Sis. Smith consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe by paying 5% each in their own name. Their total income is tithed at 10%. Are they both full tithe payers?

Yes.

3) Bro. & Sis. Evans consider it 'our' money but Sister Evans is not active and not willing to pay tithing. Bro. Evans, out of respect for it being 'our money,' pays tithing at 5% of his salary (10% of half the salary). Sis. Evans declares as a non-tithe payer, but is Bro. Evans a full tithe payer?

The closest we have to this is a situation with a member sister married to a non-member husband. They both work and have a single banking account. However, the husband has strictly forbidden his wife tithing her portion of their joint income. In this case, she was listed (as per guidelines) as 'exempt'.

4) Bro. Harris is not active and is not willing to pay tithing. Sis. Harris, is a full-time parent but is also active at church. With no personal income and husband unwilling to pay she has '0' tithing against her name. Is she still a full tithe payer?

Yes.

I was surprised to hear from a friend who was in the same situation as the 'Jones' (1) that his Bishop had said that he was struggling to give his wife a calling as he considered her a non-tithe payer.

This is out of harmony with official guidelines.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan

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I thought tithing is usually just assumed to be from the couple. Growing up my mom always paid it and they had one tithing sheet between them.

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I thought tithing is usually just assumed to be from the couple. Growing up my mom always paid it and they had one tithing sheet between them.

I think you used to be able to put two names down, but today MLS needs one membership record to record the donation against.

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Our new bishop has just completed his first tithing settlement, and he asked for a bit of assistance from me, his first counsellor. Consequently I'm aware of guidelines on at least three of these scenarios since they've occurred in our ward, as follows:

The closest we have to this is a situation with a member sister married to a non-member husband. They both work and have a single banking account. However, the husband has strictly forbidden his wife tithing her portion of their joint income. In this case, she was listed (as per guidelines) as 'exempt'.

That's sad to hear. I've always admired my (non-attending) wife's willingness to full support me in my religious practice. I've given her the same courtesy.

This is out of harmony with official guidelines.

I'd imagined as much. It wasn't a huge issue and happened a while ago. I think it was perhaps just an old-school Bishop's misunderstanding.

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I guess in the end it's all personal interpretation and application. I think that the attitude of "it's his income" would prevail for some, but in a relationship where one is a full-time-parent the attitude of "it's ours" should prevail.

I think also domestic harmony should have it's influence aswell. There is a statement in the Handbook, I'm sure it's been posted on these boards recently, that says if it's a choice between family & church obligations then family must come first. If the wife is happy with him paying 5% on his half but paying a full 10% would cause contention in the home then this is the way it has to be.

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If that bishop is struggling to declare sis. Jones a full tithe payer then he is messed up!

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That's sad to hear. I've always admired my (non-attending) wife's willingness to full support me in my religious practice. I've given her the same courtesy.

To his credit, he does support his wife as she serves faithfully and diligently in her two callings.

I think it was perhaps just an old-school Bishop's misunderstanding.

So much harm could be avoided by simply following the inspired guidelines/counsel we are given. When I was set apart as second counsellor to our previous bishop, I was specifically instructed in my blessing to become so familiar with the handbooks and other sources of policy that I could correct any of his 'misunderstandings'. I'm still not on top of everything, but I certainly have tried, and I'm happy to be corrected myself.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan

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The person who has no income or increase remains a full tithepayer if they pay zero. (though if I were in that spot, I'd tithe gifts, and things I bought for myself, and garden produce).

I would not consider myself to be a full tithepayer if I had incrrease, but only paid 5% of it, for any reason. I am aware that some bishops continue to give recommends in such situations. But I do not see that whatever arrangement I had with my spouse, trumped this obligation to God.

And the solution to the problem of who gets tithing credit is to put both their names on the tithing slip (and insist that the accounts be linked.so both names are on it. In my view, the bishop who argued that the wife wasn't a full tithepayer because it wasn't paid in her name is just doing administrative myopia.

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I'd be interested on your perspectives on family finances and the implications for tithing. To help the discussion here are 4 potential situations.

In all the following cases, for the sake of discussion, the husband works full time and the wife is a full time parent. The scenario could work just as well with the roles reversed.

1) Bro. & Sis. Jones consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe but in Bro Jones' name. As such, Sister Jones has '0' tithing against her name. Is Sister Jones a full tithe payer?

2) Bro. & Sis. Smith consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe by paying 5% each in their own name. Their total income is tithed at 10%. Are they both full tithe payers?

3) Bro. & Sis. Evans consider it 'our' money but Sister Evans is not active and not willing to pay tithing. Bro. Evans, out of respect for it being 'our money,' pays tithing at 5% of his salary (10% of half the salary). Sis. Evans declares as a non-tithe payer, but is Bro. Evans a full tithe payer?

4) Bro. Harris is not active and is not willing to pay tithing. Sis. Harris, is a full-time parent but is also active at church. With no personal income and husband unwilling to pay she has '0' tithing against her name. Is she still a full tithe payer?

I was surprised to hear from a friend who was in the same situation as the 'Jones' (1) that his Bishop had said that he was struggling to give his wife a calling as he considered her a non-tithe payer.

Yes in all cases. I am a case number 1 these days and most others since having a kid. Never had a problem with a bishop over it.

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To his credit, he does support his wife as she serves faithfully and diligently in her two callings.

I personally think that is more important.

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The person who has no income or increase remains a full tithepayer if they pay zero. (though if I were in that spot, I'd tithe gifts, and things I bought for myself, and garden produce).

I would not consider myself to be a full tithepayer if I had incrrease, but only paid 5% of it, for any reason. I am aware that some bishops continue to give recommends in such situations. But I do not see that whatever arrangement I had with my spouse, trumped this obligation to God.

And the solution to the problem of who gets tithing credit is to put both their names on the tithing slip (and insist that the accounts be linked.so both names are on it. In my view, the bishop who argued that the wife wasn't a full tithepayer because it wasn't paid in her name is just doing administrative myopia.

So what would your advice to the hypothetical Bro. Evans be?

If Bro. Evans sees the total salary as the couple's money, not his money, then would it not be finding a compromise in paying half if his wife doesn't want to pay tithing?

Or should Bro. Evans make an ultimatum: let me pay 10% or this marriage is over. Doesn't that really mean that the money is all his, not really theirs.

If the couple is trying to be united, shouldn't they discuss this together and reach agreement over how to spend their money (even though he earns it).

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I was pleased as a non-member when I was married to my faithful LDS-wife that the issue of being considered a full-tithe payer with our respective churches was never an issue. Only her income was associated with her respective tithing and I paid according to the guidelines of my church. While we had issues in regards to practicing our respective faiths, I'm glad that this wasn't one of those issues.

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I'd be interested on your perspectives on family finances and the implications for tithing. To help the discussion here are 4 potential situations.

In all cases, they are full tithe payers if they can honestly say they are. Bishops may also have good reasons for challenging them or deciding otherwise. In case #1, who knows what is going on under the surface for either the couple, the woman or the Bishop.

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My question would be then, and this may have been previously answered, my wife and I pay a full tithe, but I only put her name on the tithing slip, does that I mean I don't pay my tithing, since the money comes from our income, if the answer is no, my question would be what does it matter who's name is on the slip, the Lord knows who's money it is

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My question would be then, and this may have been previously answered, my wife and I pay a full tithe, but I only put her name on the tithing slip, does that I mean I don't pay my tithing, since the money comes from our income, if the answer is no, my question would be what does it matter who's name is on the slip, the Lord knows who's money it is

Hamba answered this - you're a full tithe payer, don't worry.

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I guess I was lucky... I had worked full time for 30 years and though we pooled our incomes, there was still a sense of separateness. I didn't feel guilty if I bought a new dress without asking... but neither of us made any large purchases without the other's approval or knowledge.

When I reactivated my husband did object to the tithing (which surprised me because he was such a generous, good hearted person) and we did have a serious argument about it... I simply told him I paid tithing only on my pension... the one I worked 30 years for... and that it was non-negotiable. He never mentioned it again, and every month I just quietly paid my 10% tithing.

In all other aspects of my Church activity he was thoroughly supportive... my callings, temple attendance, Sundays at church... one time we hosted some of the Stake youth when a dance/conf was held at our ward... 8 teenage girls and their leader... the next morning he was up early, fixing one of his "Famous Raymos" breakfasts... eggs, sausage/bacon, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, juice... I put all the leafs in the big trestle table and we sat everyone around it and had a wonderful time...

GG

edit to add: We had separate bank accounts...

Edited by Garden Girl

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If Bro. Evans sees the total salary as the couple's money, not his money, then would it not be finding a compromise in paying half if his wife doesn't want to pay tithing?

This is a false conundrum. Bro Evens, because he has full lawful authority over his money says to wife, I know that we've always treated our money together. But this is money that is increase to me, so I am going to tithe it, which means I will pay 10% of it to God through the church, when I get it each paycheck, before it flows into the joint household accounts. It is the covenant I made with God, and I need to honor those covenants. I understand that you don't like this. So what would you like me to give up otherwise to help you feel better about my doing it? If you want me to not ever spend any personal money, that is a sacrifice I will make. If you want me never to eat lunch at work, that is what I will do. I will make the sacrifices you tell me will help you accept this choice. (And not a word about Bro Evans asking for a divorce.)

Edited by rpn

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This is a false conundrum. Bro Evens, because he has full lawful authority over his money says to wife, I know that we've always treated our money together. But this is money that is increase to me, so I am going to tithe it, which means I will pay 10% of it to God through the church, when I get it each paycheck, before it flows into the joint household accounts.

So you believe the best course of action in this situation is for the husband to declare that regardless of how his wife feels, legally the money is ALL his and he's going to whatever he wants with it?

It is the covenant I made with God, and I need to honor those covenants. I understand that you don't like this. So what would you like me to give up otherwise to help you feel better about my doing it? If you want me to not ever spend any personal money, that is a sacrifice I will make. If you want me never to eat lunch at work, that is what I will do. I will make the sacrifices you tell me will help you accept this choice. (And not a word about Bro Evans asking for a divorce.)

What if she says the only thing she wants is for him to treat the money like it is both of theirs?

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My wife pays 5% of our income for her tithing.

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I'd be interested on your perspectives on family finances and the implications for tithing. To help the discussion here are 4 potential situations.

When all is said and done it is the Bishop's call. He turns in a tithing declarations report every year. That report is completed with the information from his interview with the members at tithing settlement. If they declare to him they are full tithe payers, They are marked as such. If they don't come to tithing settlement the Bishop makes the call with the knowledge he has.

In all the following cases, for the sake of discussion, the husband works full time and the wife is a full time parent. The scenario could work just as well with the roles reversed.

1) Bro. & Sis. Jones consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe but in Bro Jones' name. As such, Sister Jones has '0' tithing against her name. Is Sister Jones a full tithe payer?

Most donations are recorded in one or the other of their names unless they request otherwise and there is a place to check if the husband and wife are reporting jointly and the receipt is printed in both their names. Sister Jones is a full tithe payer. Bishops Handbook of instructions.

2) Bro. & Sis. Smith consider it 'our' money and they pay a full tithe by paying 5% each in their own name. Their total income is tithed at 10%. Are they both full tithe payers?

Yes see above.

3) Bro. & Sis. Evans consider it 'our' money but Sister Evans is not active and not willing to pay tithing. Bro. Evans, out of respect for it being 'our money,' pays tithing at 5% of his salary (10% of half the salary). Sis. Evans declares as a non-tithe payer, but is Bro. Evans a full tithe payer?

Yes.

4) Bro. Harris is not active and is not willing to pay tithing. Sis. Harris, is a full-time parent but is also active at church. With no personal income and husband unwilling to pay she has '0' tithing against her name. Is she still a full tithe payer?

Bishops Call but in all cases I am aware of Yes.

I was surprised to hear from a friend who was in the same situation as the 'Jones' (1) that his Bishop had said that he was struggling to give his wife a calling as he considered her a non-tithe payer.

Facts and circumstances. Without knowing what the Bishop knows a definitive answer is not possible. If it is only a tithing issue as you have presented it I have never seen a person denied a calling because of tithing. In such a circumstance as described a calling may not be extended because of the spouses objections. A calling usually will not be extended to either spouse if the other objects. It is against policy for church callings to be the cause of friction in the marriage.

Edited by ERayR

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Yes in all cases. I am a case number 1 these days and most others since having a kid. Never had a problem with a bishop over it.

As already noted there is provision in the program to print the receipt jointly.

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This is a false conundrum. Bro Evens, because he has full lawful authority over his money says to wife, I know that we've always treated our money together. But this is money that is increase to me, so I am going to tithe it, which means I will pay 10% of it to God through the church, when I get it each paycheck, before it flows into the joint household accounts. It is the covenant I made with God, and I need to honor those covenants. I understand that you don't like this. So what would you like me to give up otherwise to help you feel better about my doing it? If you want me to not ever spend any personal money, that is a sacrifice I will make. If you want me never to eat lunch at work, that is what I will do. I will make the sacrifices you tell me will help you accept this choice. (And not a word about Bro Evans asking for a divorce.)

What ever happened to the partners thing? I have some real sympathy for your wife.

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