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Tithing

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16 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

But I as well see that ordinary members that pay 100% tithing, and maybe more, do need a break when it comes to a ward budget.

How exactly does one pay more than 100 per cent tithing???

By the way, I'm happy for my 10 per cent (which is what tithing is by definition) to support the work of the Church in any and all ways. Not many years ago, a ward's budget was in addition to tithing, and meetinghouses and temples required member fund-raising and volunteer labour. No more. I'm grateful for every faithful tithe payer, past and current, who has made this all possible. I had the Elders 'round for tea Sunday evening to meet one of my friends and share a message with him. As we ate, I explained to them that I was completely self-funded as a missionary and even had to pay for our car, the fuel we put in it, etc., as well as buy copies of the Book or Mormon or pamphlets to give away. What a wonderful change!

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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35 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I understand now.  You assumed I felt good about general authorities all being wealthy. 

I never liked that but was comforted in knowing that there is no paid clergy in our church.  I knew that the wealthy had to give up a lot so it made the message feel more pure than the guys in my neighborhood who run churches for gain. Not all paid ministers are in it for money, I know (lest someone is ready to pounce on that too)- I’m not so black and white. 

My family is knee deep in the institute program .  I was raised by folks who have no tolerance for colleagues who are in it for fame and fortune.  I have a need, therefore, for my church to be free of outside motivations.  That need obviously skewed my understanding.  I’d never heard the amount, only the word “stipend”. 

Power, money, etc are real forces that I’m very sensitive to when it comes to leadership.

***For the record*** I’m not nor have I ever been ok with a majority wealthy (or majority male or majority Utah or majority white) leadership.  

This was at least something that I was proud of.  Unpaid clergy.  10k a month is paid, I don’t care how you slice that up.  That doesn’t make them *bad men ***in my opinion***.  It simply changes my narrative.  That is all.

Actually, my assumption is that you don’t feel good about learning that they are paid. I’m saying that it’s not unreasonable under the circumstances or apt cause for disillusionment that they would be. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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2 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Actually, my assumption is that you don’t feel good about learning that they are paid. I’m saying that it’s not unreasonable under the circumstances or apt cause for disillusionment that they would be. 

Ok then. 

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35 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Or without a willingness to spend massive hours in paid ones. Essentially, they consecrate every waking minute for the rest of their lives to a cause utterly lacking in  self-interest. 

I got an inkling this week of what that might be like. I got a calling as assistant ward clerk over finances. It means I’ll now be occupied for at least an hour after church every Sunday. Ask yourself how you would feel to have the extra hour you gained with the change in meeting block schedule summarily taken away. 

I would be horrified at the thought my life was now pretty much scheduled for me until I died...or even my husband's life...30 plus years possibly.

Edited by Calm
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My husband was clerk for 10 years and is now an auditor.  With the right point of view it can be a very meaningful offering to the ward and the Lord. Even if it fills that extra hour you were counting on. 

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55 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

How exactly does one pay more than 100 per cent tithing???

By the way, I'm happy for my 10 per cent (which is what tithing is by definition) to support the work of the Church in any and all ways. Not many years ago, a ward's budget was in addition to tithing, and meetinghouses and temples required member fund-raising and volunteer labour. No more. I'm grateful for every faithful tithe payer, past and current, who has made this all possible. I had the Elders 'round for tea Sunday evening to meet one of my friends and share a message with him. As we ate, I explained to them that I was completely self-funded as a missionary and even had to pay for our car, the fuel we put in it, etc., as well as buy copies of the Book or Mormon or pamphlets to give away. What a wonderful change!

Fast offerings!

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1 hour ago, MustardSeed said:

Ok then. 

I am just really surprised this is something you did not know. I thought it was pretty common knowledge. I made sure tonight in FHE that all my kids knew this.

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18 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Fast offerings!

100 per cent of one's income plus fast offerings equal debt, not to mention eviction and starvation ...

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7 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

I am just really surprised this is something you did not know. I thought it was pretty common knowledge. I made sure tonight in FHE that all my kids knew this.

"Unpaid ministry" isn't used so much these days at LDS.org (and therefore probably less than used to be at local levels as well), but when used only on occasion is "at the congregational level" added, so I can understand how if one has been assuming and not hanging out in groups like this one or not exposed to "leaks", it can be missed even if hinted at.  I do tend to assume people who post on message boards pay attention to the controversies, so good reminder we really vary in awareness and interests.

Edited by Calm

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3 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

 

I’ll ignore the suggestion that I am an elitist, or that I would insist on anything. 

I prefer religion to be free of increase. I don’t know how to put it more clearly than that.  I’m not looking to change you, or the system, or the testimony of any believer.  I thought the general authorities received a stipend and I’m learning that they receive what **is my opinion** a career comparative income.  It’s a surprise to me, and changes my paradigm. 

You are either woefully or deliberately ignorant if  you think the stipend is “career comparative”.

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2 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

My husband was clerk for 10 years and is now an auditor.  With the right point of view it can be a very meaningful offering to the ward and the Lord. Even if it fills that extra hour you were counting on. 

I’m not complaining. That was just an illustration. I’m sure the General Authorities view the demands on their time, energy and means “with the right point of view” as well. Which is why I admire them greatly. And which is why I don’t begrudge them being paid a modest living allowance (and it is comparatively modest, given what a comparable professional position would command and given all they have sacrificed to respond to the calling). 

Because I admire their attitude and their sacrifice, and because I want the Kingdom of God to roll forth, I want them to be freed as much as possible from the frustrations and distractions of ensuring they have sufficient material means for their families and themselves. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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9 minutes ago, Raingirl said:

You are either woefully or deliberately ignorant if  you think the stipend is “career comparative”.

I got the sense it was meant as 'enough for a career' as opposed to 'replacing their careers' income.  Most people even in the US would see 120,000 a year as a decent income for any career (top 6% according to this:  http://graphics.wsj.com/what-percent/)

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2 minutes ago, Calm said:

Most people even in the US would see 120,000 a year as a decent income for any career (top 6% according to this:  http://graphics.wsj.com/what-percent/)

Interesting if you apply the filters. I went from top 16 per cent to top 59 per cent.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

I would be horrified at the thought my life was now pretty much scheduled for me until I died...or even my husband's life...30 plus years possibly.

My experience has been that, if anything, one’s discretionary time becomes even more precious in retirement than it was before. 

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It just occurred to me that wives of General Authorities, for the most part, have a great deal of demands on them as well. For example, On area visits, wives often conduct meetings or devotionals separately while their husbands are engaged in other duties. They are very often called upon to speak when attending meetings with their husbands. So if we consider that the living allowance or stipend is dispersed among two people, it would seem to be even less than we thought. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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I think the Wikepedia explanation of a stipend is instructive:

Quote

A stipend ... represents a payment that enables somebody to be exempt partly or wholly from waged or salaried employment in order to undertake a role that is normally unpaid (e.g. a magistrate in the United Kingdom) or voluntary, or which cannot be measured in terms of a task (e.g. members of the clergy).

 

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On 2/3/2019 at 6:11 PM, MustardSeed said:

I imagine the Bishop would think, here's a charitable person. 

And would not sign a temple recommend.  

 

So tithing goes to the church, rather than to "the least of these".  ... 

 Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, `even' these least, ye did it unto me.  → giving to the poor = giving to Jesus.

Feeding those who are starving, taking care of those in 3rd world countries, those are the "least of these"

Paying for rich people's church buildings, temples, living expenses for prophets etc. → most LDS members are not "the least of these".  Does not feel like giving $ to poor people, does not feel like you are donating it to Jesus.  

Can someone explain how 100% of tithing goes to the "least" of those currently alive on earth?

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3 hours ago, Raingirl said:

You are either woefully or deliberately ignorant if  you think the stipend is “career comparative”.

Pretty rude, really.

As to the rest, I have learned a lot today that I didn’t know before.  Thank you. 

Edited by MustardSeed

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12 hours ago, changed said:

 

So tithing goes to the church, rather than to "the least of these".  ... 

 Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, `even' these least, ye did it unto me.  → giving to the poor = giving to Jesus.

Feeding those who are starving, taking care of those in 3rd world countries, those are the "least of these"

Paying for rich people's church buildings, temples, living expenses for prophets etc. → most LDS members are not "the least of these".  Does not feel like giving $ to poor people, does not feel like you are donating it to Jesus.  

Can someone explain how 100% of tithing goes to the "least" of those currently alive on earth?

Fast offerings and humanitarian fund donations are the means by which  such things are accomplished. 

If you think the Church of Jesus Christ is not doing enough in this regard, you should by all means contribute to or increase your contributions to these funds, as the Church is, in the final analysis, the mechanism by which its members collectively tend to the poor and the needy. 

Tithing has a separate purpose, which is to fund the operation of the Lord’s kingdom on earth and thereby help accomplish the eternal salvation of mankind and prepare for the coming of Christ in glory to reign personally on the earth. Those who don’t believe the Church is God’s kingdom on earth or who don’t believe in that mission have the option not to pay tithing. 

It’s really very simple. 

Church buildings and temples are for the use of all Church members, not just the rich. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 hour ago, changed said:

Paying for rich people's church buildings, temples, living expenses for prophets etc.

We have repeated statements to the effect that the stipends provided to full-time authorities in the Church do not come from members' tithes.

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On 12/21/2018 at 5:21 PM, SouthernMo said:

 

Or, do they take a more liberal approach and do what Jospeh Smith suggested, and let members govern themselves?

Which is exactly how it works... Compare how we can decide for ourselves if we are full tithe payers vs. full tax payers.

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On 2/4/2019 at 4:10 PM, MustardSeed said:

 

I’ll ignore the suggestion that I am an elitist, or that I would insist on anything. 

I prefer religion to be free of increase. I don’t know how to put it more clearly than that.  I’m not looking to change you, or the system, or the testimony of any believer.  I thought the general authorities received a stipend and I’m learning that they receive what **is my opinion** a career comparative income.  It’s a surprise to me, and changes my paradigm. 

What about our CES educators paid to preach the gospel?

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11 hours ago, jpv said:

What about our CES educators paid to preach the gospel?

Don't ask someone who had to go to early morning seminary with volunteer teachers including a sweet, old lady who was clueless on how to interact with teenagers about whether some seminary students should be allowed not only to get school hours off, but trained professionals! ;)

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On 2/7/2019 at 7:53 AM, jpv said:

What about our CES educators paid to preach the gospel?

I've never been OK with that.  
I have also written a letter to Sheri Dew about TOFW.  I do not think religion should be sold.  She called my best friend who had done the same to ask more about her thoughts. Nothing changed but I didn't expect it to.

 

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