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10THAmendment

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

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1 hour ago, member10_1 said:

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. 

I wonder: if tithes are just club dues, did Jon Huntsman claim them as tax deductions?  If you agree with him, do you claim your tithing as a tax deduction?

The IRS considers tithing charitable giving.

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1 hour ago, SouthernMo said:

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

Not to me and others I know, though I know it does to many.  To me, obedience is more about being concerned about protection and growth of those under my care and I saw that from my parents for the most part, so perhaps I project that on to God's desire for obedience.

Perhaps perception of what obedience is depends on our own experience with our parents and other parental type figures.  It would be interesting to study the differences of perception based on life experiences.

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Posted (edited)

I think the wide range of synonyms for obedience demonstrates not everyone interprets obedience as a "demand":

https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/obedience

For me it depends a great deal on context.  I have felt quite differently about the meaning of "obedience to the state" when I was living in Canada as opposed to when I was in Russia, for example, when in each country we ran into issues with our visas.

If I trust God to be perfect in love, then surely all his commands must be loving as well.  They cannot go against his nature.  If what is taught as a command appears to be unloving to me, I need to figure out if it is actually a command from God or not.  I don't automatically assume it is not from God because I know my understanding of God is not perfect.  Neither do I assume just because someone, even a prophet, says God gives a command, it is actually his command.

I believe tithing is a command because of a number of reasons, experiences in my life including how I feel when I am in temples.

Edited by Calm
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4 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

What do you mean?  I don’t understand. 

You said you’d stopped tithing but had perceived no difference in you life since doing so.  I invited you to reflect on what motivated you to pay tithing when you we’re doing so to see if that might give you some insight.

Why do you think Jesus praised, rather than corrected the widow who gave her mite to a church managed by men Jesus criticized more than praised, and when she clearly was in more need of that mite than was the church?  I’d suggest His focus was on the depth of sincerity and love behind the offering.  If so, perhaps ours should be as well. 

As I try to do so, the Spirit moves me to make my offerings in the way God has prescribed striving to do so with the same depth of love and sincerity demonstrated by the widow.

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12 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?

Tithing is a minimal law. Perhaps the Church views that as what is necessary to support it in its efforts. However, most of us have covenanted all we have, so if you want to ensure more of your money goes to welfare, just indicate so on your tithing slip, and tithe the minimum required with whatever else being pegged for humanitarian causes. I used to give regularly to the Perpetual Education Fund, because I thought that was a great idea. Apparently a lot of other people did too, because it got totally funded. Doing the bare minimum and then complaining doesn't seem well, very gracious to the Lord. Could the Church do more humanitarian aid? I believe sure, yes it could. It seems very concerned about preparing for a rainy day, etc. However, the Church could give away all its assets and not make a tiny dent on the needs of the world. By an d large it gives generously to those who ask for help. Perhaps, it behooves the Lord to see to their needs first.

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3 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

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

God is both a demanding and loving God. Not in the sense that he demands obedience (he gave agency) but in the sense that he is very serious about wanting us to be happy and obedience is how the groundwork for that happiness is laid.

3 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

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

Chapels enable people to organize and worship God together along with building the bonds we need to construct the Kingdom of God. According to Brigham Young there are rules as to where God can conduct temple ordinances. The need to hie away to a high mountain to do work for the dead would greatly slow the process and make it more difficult for the elderly to participate.

Yeah, we could meet in an empty field for church but why?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

He did with Moses?

Have your studied the description of Moses' tabernacle?

Ex 25

Quote

25 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. 3 These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4 blue, purple and scarlet yarnand fine linen; goat hair; 5 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather[a]; acacia wood; 6 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 7 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.

8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.

The Ark

10 “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.[c] 11 Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. 13 Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it.15 The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. 16 Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you.

17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant lawthat I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

The Table

23 “Make a table of acacia wood—two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high.[d]24 Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. 25 Also make around it a rim a handbreadth[e] wide and put a gold molding on the rim. 26 Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are. 27 The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. 28 Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them. 29 And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. 30 Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.

The Lampstand

31 “Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. 32 Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 33 Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. 34 And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 35 One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. 36 The buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.

37 “Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it.38 Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. 39 A talent[f] of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. 40 See that you make them according to the patternshown you on the mountain.

 Ex 26

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26 “Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by a skilled worker. 2 All the curtains are to be the same size—twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide.[a] 3 Join five of the curtains together, and do the same with the other five. 4 Make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and do the same with the end curtain in the other set. 5 Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other. 6 Then make fifty gold clasps and use them to fasten the curtains together so that the tabernacle is a unit.

7 “Make curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle—eleven altogether. 8 All eleven curtains are to be the same size—thirty cubits long and four cubits wide. 9 Join five of the curtains together into one set and the other six into another set. Fold the sixth curtain double at the front of the tent. 10 Make fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and also along the edge of the end curtain in the other set. 11 Then make fifty bronze clasps and put them in the loops to fasten the tent together as a unit. 12 As for the additional length of the tent curtains, the half curtain that is left over is to hang down at the rear of the tabernacle.13 The tent curtains will be a cubit[c] longer on both sides; what is left will hang over the sides of the tabernacle so as to cover it. 14 Make for the tent a covering of ram skins dyed red, and over that a covering of the other durable leather.[d]

15 “Make upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. 16 Each frame is to be ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide,[e] 17 with two projections set parallel to each other. Make all the frames of the tabernacle in this way. 18 Make twenty frames for the south side of the tabernacle 19 and make forty silver bases to go under them—two bases for each frame, one under each projection. 20 For the other side, the north side of the tabernacle, make twenty frames 21 and forty silver bases—two under each frame. 22 Make six frames for the far end, that is, the west end of the tabernacle, 23 and make two frames for the corners at the far end.24 At these two corners they must be double from the bottom all the way to the top and fitted into a single ring; both shall be like that. 25 So there will be eight frames and sixteen silver bases—two under each frame.

26 “Also make crossbars of acacia wood: five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle,27 five for those on the other side, and five for the frames on the west, at the far end of the tabernacle. 28 The center crossbar is to extend from end to end at the middle of the frames.29 Overlay the frames with gold and make gold rings to hold the crossbars. Also overlay the crossbars with gold.

30 “Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain.

31 “Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubimwoven into it by a skilled worker. 32 Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases. 33 Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. 34 Put the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law in the Most Holy Place. 35 Place the table outside the curtain on the north side of the tabernacle and put the lampstand opposite it on the south side.

36 “For the entrance to the tent make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer. 37 Make gold hooks for this curtain and five posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold. And cast five bronze bases for them.

 Ex 35

Quote

4 Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the Lord has commanded:5 From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze; 6 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 7 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather[a]; acacia wood; 8 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 9 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.

10 “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded: 11 the tabernacle with its tent and its covering, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts and bases; 12 the ark with its poles and the atonement cover and the curtain that shields it;13 the table with its poles and all its articles and the bread of the Presence; 14 the lampstandthat is for light with its accessories, lamps and oil for the light; 15 the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; the curtain for the doorway at the entrance to the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering with its bronze grating, its poles and all its utensils; the bronze basin with its stand; 17 the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases, and the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard; 18 the tent pegs for the tabernacle and for the courtyard, and their ropes; 19 the woven garments worn for ministering in the sanctuary—both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests.”

20 Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, 21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. 22 All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord.23 Everyone who had blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen, or goat hair, ram skins dyed red or the other durable leather brought them. 24 Those presenting an offering of silver or bronze brought it as an offering to the Lord, and everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the work brought it. 25 Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spun—blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. 26 And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair. 27 The leaders brought onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 28 They also brought spices and olive oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. 29 All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do.

Bezalel and Oholiab

30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of workas engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.

 

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

I wonder: if tithes are just club dues, did Jon Huntsman claim them as tax deductions?  If you agree with him, do you claim your tithing as a tax deduction?

The IRS considers tithing charitable giving.

I assume he used the tax code to minimize his tax burden, not as guidance for implementing the Savior’s teachings. 

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And he is requiring this of people wandering around without claim to land for 40 years...

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36 1 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.”

2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lordhad given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.”

6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.

The Tabernacle

8 All those who were skilled among the workers made the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by expert hands. 9 All the curtains were the same size—twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide.[a] 10 They joined five of the curtains together and did the same with the other five.11 Then they made loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and the same was done with the end curtain in the other set. 12 They also made fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other.13 Then they made fifty gold clasps and used them to fasten the two sets of curtains together so that the tabernacle was a unit.

14 They made curtains of goat hair for the tent over the tabernacle—eleven altogether. 15 All eleven curtains were the same size—thirty cubits long and four cubits wide. 16 They joined five of the curtains into one set and the other six into another set. 17 Then they made fifty loops along the edge of the end curtain in one set and also along the edge of the end curtain in the other set. 18 They made fifty bronze clasps to fasten the tent together as a unit. 19 Then they made for the tent a covering of ram skins dyed red, and over that a covering of the other durable leather.[c]

20 They made upright frames of acacia wood for the tabernacle. 21 Each frame was ten cubits long and a cubit and a half wide,[d] 22 with two projections set parallel to each other. They made all the frames of the tabernacle in this way. 23 They made twenty frames for the south side of the tabernacle 24 and made forty silver bases to go under them—two bases for each frame, one under each projection. 25 For the other side, the north side of the tabernacle, they made twenty frames 26 and forty silver bases—two under each frame. 27 They made six frames for the far end, that is, the west end of the tabernacle, 28 and two frames were made for the corners of the tabernacle at the far end. 29 At these two corners the frames were double from the bottom all the way to the top and fitted into a single ring; both were made alike. 30 So there were eight frames and sixteen silver bases—two under each frame.

31 They also made crossbars of acacia wood: five for the frames on one side of the tabernacle, 32 five for those on the other side, and five for the frames on the west, at the far end of the tabernacle. 33 They made the center crossbar so that it extended from end to end at the middle of the frames. 34 They overlaid the frames with gold and made gold rings to hold the crossbars. They also overlaid the crossbars with gold.

35 They made the curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker. 36 They made four posts of acacia wood for it and overlaid them with gold. They made gold hooks for them and cast their four silver bases.37 For the entrance to the tent they made a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer; 38 and they made five posts with hooks for them. They overlaid the tops of the posts and their bands with gold and made their five bases of bronze.

It is interesting to me that even given their situation, they were so eager to fulfill God's command and be bless with the Tabernacle in their midst, they brought so much they had to be commanded not to bring any more.

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Posted (edited)

Sorry for the formatting issues, the only one there should be is in 36, verse 3-7.

Moses had his burning bush moment.  If anyone knew God didn't need a temple to manifest, it would be him.  And yet there was no protest documented in scriptures by him to building the tabernacle as commanded for ordinances to take place and to house the seat of God.  It would seem he saw value in both the empty mountainside  and the tent decked out in their finest possessions as temples.

Edited by Calm

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17 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?

Tenth,

I understand what you are saying. But consider this;

The church is playing the long game...

The emphasis on spending (or in this case, saving) is when the world finally goes kaput. Imagine the world in Revelation looking like something out of any dystopian sci-fi film. The world will be a wild place and I think that the church is gearing up for that world.

In other words, think of the church's stance of self-sufficiency, only instead of on a personal level, think of it on a global scale for an organization. 

I would say not only is the church playing the long game...it is looking at the big picture too. 

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6 hours ago, Calm said:

Have your studied the description of Moses' tabernacle?

Ex 25

 Ex 26

 Ex 35

 

I was thinking about Moses communing with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration.

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6 hours ago, Calm said:

Sorry for the formatting issues, the only one there should be is in 36, verse 3-7.

Moses had his burning bush moment.  If anyone knew God didn't need a temple to manifest, it would be him.  And yet there was no protest documented in scriptures by him to building the tabernacle as commanded for ordinances to take place and to house the seat of God.  It would seem he saw value in both the empty mountainside  and the tent decked out in their finest possessions as temples.

This is a good point. If we believe Moses was in line with God’s will, we need to consider your point here.

But, it begs the question: Why does god love fine linens and gold and expensive things in His home?  And if we are trying to be like God, should we adorn our own homes as He demands?  Should we make our homes as temples?

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13 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

So are there any non-minutiae in how tithing is spent, or are you of the mind that it’s none of the laiety’s business how the money is spent, and that the point is we give and do not question?

Sure.  Why not.

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13 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

No. I want individuals with excess to use their personal funds to help and serve those they know. Make a human connection of love.  That seems more in line with how Christ (I think) would serve than sending a check and patting myself on the back.

Go and do thou what thou sayest, then.

And let the Lord deal with his own servants according to His will.

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8 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Sure.  Why not.

I understand this perspective. It’s not one I share, but there is some simplicity and comfort here that i envy.

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15 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

This is a good point. If we believe Moses was in line with God’s will, we need to consider your point here.

But, it begs the question: Why does god love fine linens and gold and expensive things in His home?  And if we are trying to be like God, should we adorn our own homes as He demands?  Should we make our homes as temples?

The Lord asked for the best because He had given it to them in Egypt, and wanted to know how the people would respond. Even in their sacrifice they were asked to give their best - lambs without blemish, etc. Why is that? Because He loves a willing heart. It's a show of faith. It also represents what the people think of their God, and His law. If they don't think much, they would make God live in a house of mud. Actually, all the parts of the temple are representative of things of heaven, which should be highly sought after. That is the point - on earth as it is in heaven. Should we make our homes as temples? Did he command you too?  He did command the Church to build temples. Of course you should strive to order your house to be heavenly, but that is not a community effort. Heaven is not a place of one or one family - that wouldn't be much of a heaven. 

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9 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

I wonder: if tithes are just club dues, did Jon Huntsman claim them as tax deductions?  If you agree with him, do you claim your tithing as a tax deduction?

The IRS considers tithing charitable giving.

Donating to a symphony also is considered charitable giving, if if it doesn't feed a single person.

Only looking at humanitarian aid as a measure of what good the Church does is very narrow-minded, IMHO.  Tithing covers the overhead for humanitarian and fast offering funds, as well as the Perpetual Education Fund.  I assume it in some measure supports TCATS.  It covers the materials for self-reliance classes and helps support the Church educational system, which is trying to make higher education available to all members regardless of their income.  Both of these are far more beneficial in the long run than just throwing money at people.  And it is a church trying to turn its members into the kind of people who go out and good on their own, instead of expect an institution to do it for them.

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22 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 think the fundamental principle of the Gospel (which it is) is more important than the administrative policy (which it is not). I would keep paying it while addressing the reasons for becoming skeptical of the Church and her leaders (or the Gospel, if it is the Gospel that is causing you grief).

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40 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I think the fundamental principle of the Gospel (which it is) is more important than the administrative policy (which it is not). I would keep paying it while addressing the reasons for becoming skeptical of the Church and her leaders (or the Gospel, if it is the Gospel that is causing you grief).

I think the principle and administrative policy are inevitably tied together. 

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1 hour ago, Traela said:

And it is a church trying to turn its members into the kind of people who go out and good on their own, instead of expect an institution to do it for them.

Interesting. So you think one of the reasons the LDS church doesn’t spend more on humanitarian needs is to encourage members to do it on their own?

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2 hours ago, RevTestament said:

The Lord asked for the best because He had given it to them in Egypt, and wanted to know how the people would respond. Even in their sacrifice they were asked to give their best - lambs without blemish, etc. Why is that? Because He loves a willing heart. It's a show of faith. It also represents what the people think of their God, and His law. If they don't think much, they would make God live in a house of mud. Actually, all the parts of the temple are representative of things of heaven, which should be highly sought after. That is the point - on earth as it is in heaven. Should we make our homes as temples? Did he command you too?  He did command the Church to build temples. Of course you should strive to order your house to be heavenly, but that is not a community effort. Heaven is not a place of one or one family - that wouldn't be much of a heaven. 

If God asks for the best in his house today, we aren’t giving it to him. Our temples could be much finer.  More gold, diamond, and pearls!

Sorry to be sarcastic, but the argument doesn’t hold water.

Your position in reality (the application of the principle you’re espousing) is that we need to give god not our best, but really good. Better than regular (as most temples are built today).

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There have been times when I have given to a street beggar. 

I know the likelihood of funds used wisely is low.  I have given for personal needs. 

Most of the time, I refuse.  I don’t always feel good about that, either. 

My decisions say volumes about me. 

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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

I understand this perspective. It’s not one I share, but there is some simplicity and comfort here that i envy.

Rest (as supplied by the Savior) or restlessness.  We each get to choose.

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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

I understand this perspective. It’s not one I share, but there is some simplicity and comfort here that i envy.

Well, I have to say I appreciate your reaction here.  I was hesitant to answer the way I did, because I was a little concerned that you might think I was being flippant, when I was not.

 

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