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10THAmendment

I'm beginning to have a tithing problem, only not in the traditional sense

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1 minute ago, Calm said:

Probably not the only one, but there are other ways to look at it, including being grateful to be in the situation that one has something to tithe or feeling love towards one's community and using tithing as one of the ways to express that love.

Maybe, but when Christ was asked how Peter could show love to Him, Christ told Peter to feed his sheep, not to obey him, or to pay money to the church He established.

So I have a hard time seeing tithing like you do.

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2 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Maybe, but when Christ was asked how Peter could show love to Him, Christ told Peter to feed his sheep, not to obey him, or to pay money to the church He established.

So I have a hard time seeing tithing like you do.

But feeding his sheep is obeying him.  If you don't feed his sheep, you are not obeying him.

I interpret feeding his sheep to be both physically and spiritually.  I believe the Church is a major vehicle for feeding his sheep spiritually, such as through missionary work and being able to meet together often to support each other in our faith.

Edited by Calm
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1 minute ago, Calm said:

Who is teaching obedience purely for obedience's sake?  I now it can come across that way at times because we are asked to take God's wisdom for us on faith.  My impression of most leaders is they don't see commandments as random rules where God is only testing us to see if we obey, but rather God knows that by being obedient we are serving others and God in ways we might not realize as well as developing our talents/skills/godly attributes.

Maybe. But when I tell my kids not to touch a hot stove, or to get a good education, if they get burned, or develop their minds less than they should, I don’t judge them for being “disobedient.”  I just wish they had listened to my advice because they would be happier.

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7 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Maybe. But when I tell my kids not to touch a hot stove, or to get a good education, if they get burned, or develop their minds less than they should, I don’t judge them for being “disobedient.”  I just wish they had listened to my advice because they would be happier.

Okay, I think that is probably where we see things very differently.  I don't believe God punishes us because we are disobedient.  I think the punishments are the natural consequences of our behaviour like burning my hand on the stove would be,  or not developing muscles because I refuse to exercise.

I don't believe God will force us to accept him or his blessings.  I don't think he can without changing who we are and he values us too much as individuals to force us to want him more than anything else.  I also believe we will only be capable of being in his presence by choosing to be and that means actually choosing and not just wishing it was so (the difference between exercising and just thinking it would be so nice to be fit).

Edited by Calm
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1 minute ago, Calm said:

But feeding his sheep is obeying him.  If you don't feed his sheep, you are not obeying him.

Yes - but the “point” is not obedience. The “point” is love. To first think of obedience seems wrong to me. Very wrong. We criticize the Pharisees for being caught up in obedience to a law, yet LDS also teach obedience “as the first law of the gospel.”

I despise that teaching.

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6 minutes ago, Calm said:

But feeding his sheep is obeying him.  If you don't feed his sheep, you are not obeying him.

I interpret feeding his sheep to be both physically and spiritually.  I believe the Church is a major vehicle for feeding his sheep spiritually, such as through missionary work and being able to meet together often to support each other in our faith.

Not to mention feeding his sheep on the other side of the vail through temple work, which tithing supports.

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10 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Yes - but the “point” is not obedience. The “point” is love. To first think of obedience seems wrong to me. Very wrong. We criticize the Pharisees for being caught up in obedience to a law, yet LDS also teach obedience “as the first law of the gospel.”

I despise that teaching.

My understanding is that LDS teach the two greatest commandments are both all about love and that everything else is to be viewed as a means of obeying those two love centric commandments.

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4 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Yes - but the “point” is not obedience. The “point” is love. To first think of obedience seems wrong to me. Very wrong. We criticize the Pharisees for being caught up in obedience to a law, yet LDS also teach obedience “as the first law of the gospel.”

I despise that teaching.

But there is no point to love without acting on that love, imo, and that is what obedience is about...acting.  Obedience is listening to God and then acting on what he tells us to do, including when he says the first commandment is love; obedience is listening to whatever he is talking about, which allows us to be the most effective we can be in serving him and others, which is expressing love.

Obey is just another way of saying command, we are obedient when we follow commandments.  If all the commandments are a way of expressing love to God and others...which is how .I see them...then by teaching obedience as the first law, we are saying acting on your love of God is the first law.

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32 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Maybe, but when Christ was asked how Peter could show love to Him, Christ told Peter to feed his sheep, not to obey him, or to pay money to the church He established.

So I have a hard time seeing tithing like you do.

Fast offerings literally feed His sheep.

Tithing builds places of spiritual refuge (Chapels) and places where His people (sheep) can be sealed together for eternity.

Becoming saviors on Mount Zion, to me, isn't limited to being given such a title due to Temple attendance alone but part of that title might come form helping to build those chapels and Temples in addition to serving there. The Savior isn't our Savior because He felt all of our pains, but rather He is everything - He felt all our guilt, anguish, overcame death, is our Advocate with the Father, etc. etc.

Prophet Joseph Smith

“Now, the word turn here should be translated bind, or seal. But what is the object of this important mission? or how is it to be fulfilled? The keys are to be delivered, the spirit of Elijah is to come, … and the Saints to come up as saviors on Mount Zion [see Obadiah 1:21].

“But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances … in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them … ; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 472–73). 

https://www.lds.org/manual/the-eternal-family-teacher-manual/lesson-14-becoming-saviors-on-mount-zion?lang=eng

 

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A lot of members have trouble parting with their money, because they think it is their money. It's not. It all belongs to God who has given us the strength and ability to earn a living in this life and be paid that money. Tithing is just giving some of His money back to Him. Once one does his obedient duty to obey the law of tithing he has no reason to worry about it anymore or how that money is spent, because it was never his in the first place. The Church leaders have to walk a fine line between how much they spend on growing the church, helping the community they work in, and giving to humanitarian aid. Their first and foremost duty is to save souls and where they can, help in also providing for the physical needs for God's children.  They are God's Church first and a charitable organization second.  

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8 hours ago, 10THAmendment said:

Hey all,

Recently I have really started to struggle with the issue of tithing. Not as a fundamental principle of the Gospel, but as an administrative policy. The more skeptical I have become of the church and its leaders, the more I really don't want to give money to it or them. It has actually started to make me sick and have a really bad feeling each month. I would much rather donate 10% of my income to organizations that actually help people. 

The church is very disproportionate to other churches in how much of their resources they use for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church is secret with their finances. I don't like that they build shopping malls. I don't like that they bring in tens of billions of dollars each year and only use $40 million or so for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church lobbies governments to make policies that I vehemently disagree with. It feels more like I am donating to a political organization that goes against every core principle I believe in politically.

 

Thoughts?

Given the odds of either our Church or the Catholic Church holding the true priesthood power, (https://strongreasons.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/you-mormons-are-ignoramuses/), and given the odds (slim) of my own personal ability to weigh the weaknesses of others (General Authorities) in the scales, I'm going to stick with paying my fire insurance. It's been incredibly difficult at times but has always paid off, to me, spiritually and financially. Every Temple that's been built in the last 20 years, I've helped pay for part of that, possibly every chapel as well - I may not have paid a large part of much of a part at all but fractional ownership = full ownership with the Lord

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52 minutes ago, pogi said:

Not to mention feeding his sheep on the other side of the vail through temple work, which tithing supports.

Did you know that early in the church, baptisms for the dead were done without a temple?  Endowments were not, but there’s no reason god NEEDS us to do that work in a temple.

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29 minutes ago, nuclearfuels said:

Fast offerings literally feed His sheep.

Tithing builds places of spiritual refuge (Chapels) and places where His people (sheep) can be sealed together for eternity.

Becoming saviors on Mount Zion, to me, isn't limited to being given such a title due to Temple attendance alone but part of that title might come form helping to build those chapels and Temples in addition to serving there. The Savior isn't our Savior because He felt all of our pains, but rather He is everything - He felt all our guilt, anguish, overcame death, is our Advocate with the Father, etc. etc.

Prophet Joseph Smith

“Now, the word turn here should be translated bind, or seal. But what is the object of this important mission? or how is it to be fulfilled? The keys are to be delivered, the spirit of Elijah is to come, … and the Saints to come up as saviors on Mount Zion [see Obadiah 1:21].

“But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances … in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them … ; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 472–73). 

https://www.lds.org/manual/the-eternal-family-teacher-manual/lesson-14-becoming-saviors-on-mount-zion?lang=eng

 

Do you know how many chapels were built while Joseph Smith was President of the church?

Zero.

Im not convinced that they are necessary to feed His sheep. I think there are better ways to use money.

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6 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Endowments were not, but there’s no reason god NEEDS us to do that work in a temple.

If he actually commanded us to do them in a temple when we could, telling God we are only going to do them without a temple is refusing to listen to him, imo.

I see it as similar to God accepting the tabernacle in the wilderness when his people couldn't build a temple, but then commanding a temple when his people had the means.

God probably doesn't need us to do anything, he asks us to do things a certain way for our own benefit ("our" being all his children, not just a few)., 

Edited by Calm
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5 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Im not convinced that they are necessary to feed His sheep.

And that is your privilege.  But if others believe God is asking them to do it that way, do you fault them for expressing their love in that manner?

I think the problem is everyone believes they are hearing from God what he wants us to do to the best of their ability, but we can't tell how hard others are trying to listen...so it can come across like my husband wasting money on flowers because he thinks that will make me happy when I instead got frustrated that he didn't spend time or the money on something I wanted much more.

You perhaps think we are giving God what we think he wants, not what he really wants.

Edited by Calm

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5 minutes ago, Calm said:

If he actually commanded us to do them in a temple when we could, telling God we are only going to do them without a temple is refusing to listen to him, imo.

I see it as similar to God accepting the tabernacle in the wilderness when his people couldn't build a temple, but then commanding a temple when his people had the means.

God probably doesn't need us to do anything, he asks us to do things a certain way for our own benefit ("our" being all his children, not just a few)., 

Perhaps - but he’s god, so he could change this at any time.

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

And that is your privilege.  But if others believe God is asking them to do it that way, do you fault them for expressing their love in that manner?

People can express their love for god however they see fit.

I just have a very hard time seeing who erecting expensive buildings, producing movies, buying land, etc... is something that shows love to others here on earth (second great commandment).

As you pointed out before in the story of your husband bringing you flowers you don’t want. There are needy people all around the world, and the LDS church shows them ‘love’ by building and maintaining chapels. Is that what they want?  think we can do better. But, that’s my opinion, and a very broad statement.

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9 hours ago, 10THAmendment said:

Hey all,

Recently I have really started to struggle with the issue of tithing. Not as a fundamental principle of the Gospel, but as an administrative policy. The more skeptical I have become of the church and its leaders, the more I really don't want to give money to it or them. It has actually started to make me sick and have a really bad feeling each month. I would much rather donate 10% of my income to organizations that actually help people. 

The church is very disproportionate to other churches in how much of their resources they use for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church is secret with their finances. I don't like that they build shopping malls. I don't like that they bring in tens of billions of dollars each year and only use $40 million or so for humanitarian aid. I don't like that the church lobbies governments to make policies that I vehemently disagree with. It feels more like I am donating to a political organization that goes against every core principle I believe in politically.

 

Thoughts?

I appreciate the view of the late Jon Huntsman Sr.: “My philanthropy is not borne out of my faith...They require 10% tithing. I don’t consider that to be philanthropy and I don’t consider it to be part of my philanthropic giving. I consider it as club dues.” (Forbes, June 2014)

If you like the Church and think it’s financial objectives are worthy of your support then pay your club dues, but I don’t think tithing has anything to do with what the Savior finds important. His Kingdom is found in serving the hungry, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned, etc. He advised the rich young ruler to liquidate his assets and give to the poor, not to his disciples for administrative purposes.

The poor and needy are everywhere. You’ll find no shortage of opportunities to help them. 

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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Maybe. But when I tell my kids not to touch a hot stove, or to get a good education, if they get burned, or develop their minds less than they should, I don’t judge them for being “disobedient.”  I just wish they had listened to my advice because they would be happier.

That is almost exactly analogous to how God sees us and our disobedience causes our own unhappiness in this life to a degree and in eternity.

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59 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

People can express their love for god however they see fit.

I just have a very hard time seeing who erecting expensive buildings, producing movies, buying land, etc... is something that shows love to others here on earth (second great commandment).

As you pointed out before in the story of your husband bringing you flowers you don’t want. There are needy people all around the world, and the LDS church shows them ‘love’ by building and maintaining chapels. Is that what they want?  think we can do better. But, that’s my opinion, and a very broad statement.

Do we care for the body that will die or the spirit that will like forever? We do both but we have more to offer then the necessities of life and if that is all we had to offer I agree the chapels and temples would be a waste.

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I am also concerned with the church hoarding money.  They should use the money to advertise so people can learn about the church.   We shouldn't be buying more real estate or stocks.

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13 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

That is almost exactly analogous to how God sees us and our disobedience causes our own unhappiness in this life to a degree and in eternity.

So why do we use the word obedience so much?  It conveys a demanding god, not a loving god.

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13 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Do we care for the body that will die or the spirit that will like forever? We do both but we have more to offer then the necessities of life and if that is all we had to offer I agree the chapels and temples would be a waste.

How do chapels save people, and why can’t god just conduct ordinances anywhere?  He did with Moses?

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The scriptures say God made man in His own images. Many of us spend our lives making God fit OUR image of what God should be. 

 

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