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10THAmendment

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

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, 10THAmendment said:

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

Even with such a perspective, that doesn't render the administrative policy more important than the Gospel principle. The principle of tithing is sustained through faith and its payment is made through  administrative policy and procedure (online or envelope and slips, etc.). Turning the funds over to someone else is the point where you are still tied to the principle but not to the policy which need to follow in its subsequent administration, unless such handling and disposition of funds becomes part of your calling.

So if you like the principle, keep paying it. If you don't like the administrative policies that follow after you pay it, and that dislike creates concern about the principle itself, decide which is more important (the principle or the policy) no matter how inevitably tied together you consider them to be. You simply aren't involved with every administrative step. I think the common wisdom is to choose principle over policy and be faithful and charitable. The same is true for many other Gospel principles and Church policies.

I have found that a dependency on transparency can be as antithetical to sustaining / consent as a dependency on knowledge can be to faith, but faith and sustaining always lead to the perception of greater transparency and deeper knowledge.

Edited by CV75
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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

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?

There's an old saying, if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day but if you teach him to fish he'll have food every day.  Handing out fish is good for short term disasters, but in the long run is expensive, destroys initiative, and can ruin local economies.  Wherever and whenever possible, the Church tries to teach its members to fish.  It's cheaper and doesn't look like humanitarian work, but it's better in the long run.  

 

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27 minutes ago, Traela said:

There's an old saying, if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day but if you teach him to fish he'll have food every day.  Handing out fish is good for short term disasters, but in the long run is expensive, destroys initiative, and can ruin local economies.  Wherever and whenever possible, the Church tries to teach its members to fish.  It's cheaper and doesn't look like humanitarian work, but it's better in the long run.  

 

I seem to recall Christ feeding the multitudes while he taught them...

Maybe as a church we can do both?  Are they mutually exclusive?

The optimal balance can be debated, but it’s hard for me to say that the $40M in humanitarian aid is in balance with the other things the COJCOLDS spends money on.

 

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5 hours ago, CV75 said:

Even with such a perspective, that doesn't render the administrative policy more important than the Gospel principle. The principle of tithing is sustained through faith and its payment is made through  administrative policy and procedure (online or envelope and slips, etc.). Turning the funds over to someone else is the point where you are still tied to the principle but not to the policy which need to follow in its subsequent administration, unless such handling and disposition of funds becomes part of your calling.

So if you like the principle, keep paying it. If you don't like the administrative policies that follow after you pay it, and that dislike creates concern about the principle itself, decide which is more important (the principle or the policy) no matter how inevitably tied together you consider them to be. You simply aren't involved with every administrative step. I think the common wisdom is to choose principle over policy and be faithful and charitable. The same is true for many other Gospel principles and Church policies.

I have found that a dependency on transparency can be as antithetical to sustaining / consent as a dependency on knowledge can be to faith, but faith and sustaining always lead to the perception of greater transparency and deeper knowledge.

I’ll always choose principle over policy. I am a strong believer in the principle of tithing. It’s just getting really hard to believe that giving 10% to the LDS church is the only way to comply with the law of the tithe. 

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9 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

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).

I probably haven't given my best either. I have many ancestors whose work remains undone. That is on me. Like I said the worldly things don't really concern God too much - they are more a show of faith. He could create all the gold He wants. I think you are still missing the point.

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11 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I probably haven't given my best either. I have many ancestors whose work remains undone. That is on me. Like I said the worldly things don't really concern God too much - they are more a show of faith. He could create all the gold He wants. I think you are still missing the point.

I may be missing your point. Continue to enlighten me.

I wish I saw it clearly (as you seem to), but that kind of a God is undeserving of my love.

Because the God who loves it when buildings are raised to honor him with funds that could be used to help others is not a god I want to worship.

God just wants a show of faith from his children?  Would you do that to your kids?  You’d tell them to use their money to build you a host of nice houses rather than care for each other?  Why - your kids may ask - do you want them to build houses for you adorned with fine things?  What kind of a God is so insecure that he needs our adoration and faith?

I want to be a parent who loves and cares for my children, and is unconcerned with how much they care about me. I want my kids to be happy, REGARDLESS of how obedient they are to me, or how much they worship me.

I don’t want my kids buying me things I don’t need or have infinite amounts of (to your point). I want them to be good people and serve others.

But, in the LDS tradition, we are told to tithe (used to support/grow the church infrastructure) first, and give fast offerings (used to help the poor) second.  Again, if that really is God’s will, that is not the kind of God I’m willing to honor.

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58 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

I may be missing your point. Continue to enlighten me.

I wish I saw it clearly (as you seem to), but that kind of a God is undeserving of my love.

Because the God who loves it when buildings are raised to honor him with funds that could be used to help others is not a god I want to worship.

You keep losing me. Essentially the whole point of our temples is to help others. You keep thinking of material things. Simply giving material things is overrated. The thing is used, and the person is right back where they started unless they are able to improve themselves. People desperately cling to them, but they do nothing to feed the soul. 

Quote

God just wants a show of faith from his children?  Would you do that to your kids?  You’d tell them to use their money to build you a host of nice houses rather than care for each other?  Why - your kids may ask - do you want them to build houses for you adorned with fine things?  What kind of a God is so insecure that he needs our adoration and faith?

Showing faith is faith promoting. Does the Lord test the faith of His people? I believe He absolutely does. Why? Because it helps them grow, and it helps Him know who is godly. God doesn't really personally need our faith - we need our faith.

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I want to be a parent who loves and cares for my children, and is unconcerned with how much they care about me. I want my kids to be happy, REGARDLESS of how obedient they are to me, or how much they worship me.

I don’t want my kids buying me things I don’t need or have infinite amounts of (to your point). I want them to be good people and serve others.

But, in the LDS tradition, we are told to tithe (used to support/grow the church infrastructure) first, and give fast offerings (used to help the poor) second.  Again, if that really is God’s will, that is not the kind of God I’m willing to honor.

At this point it sounds like you have made up your mind. I proffer there are few, if any churches which will meet your criteria. One of the things I liked about this Church when I joined is that it provided a family feel outside of the rest of my life. If I was going to be that weird little "Mormon Boy," it allowed a new source of activities and friends to offset the loss. I enjoyed going to Church and playing basketball, having ward dinners, going to dances and the like. You simply aren't going to have that without a building to meet in, and some structural support. Your criticism strikes me as having a bit of sour grapes. Just like people have basic needs, I think a Church has basic needs, and in this time one of those is having some place to meet and share activities, hold baptisms and other ordinances, etc. 

I think you have a point about building up things on earth to excess, but our church ward buildings are really quite plain. I think Joseph Smith emphasized that to us. No fancy ornamentation nor huge halls, expensive huge pipe organs, expensive robes, etc. Plain Jane. They are simple, but nice. Good luck in your un-airconditioned, unheated, meetinghouse-less Church where people meet to decide how to give their money away. That is not really  something I think that meets the needs of a Church. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

I may be missing your point. Continue to enlighten me.

I wish I saw it clearly (as you seem to), but that kind of a God is undeserving of my love.

Because the God who loves it when buildings are raised to honor him with funds that could be used to help others is not a god I want to worship.

God just wants a show of faith from his children?  Would you do that to your kids?  You’d tell them to use their money to build you a host of nice houses rather than care for each other?  Why - your kids may ask - do you want them to build houses for you adorned with fine things?  What kind of a God is so insecure that he needs our adoration and faith?

I want to be a parent who loves and cares for my children, and is unconcerned with how much they care about me. I want my kids to be happy, REGARDLESS of how obedient they are to me, or how much they worship me.

I don’t want my kids buying me things I don’t need or have infinite amounts of (to your point). I want them to be good people and serve others.

But, in the LDS tradition, we are told to tithe (used to support/grow the church infrastructure) first, and give fast offerings (used to help the poor) second.  Again, if that really is God’s will, that is not the kind of God I’m willing to honor.

Sincere questions.

Do you believe there is a God?

If so, do you believe God is omniscient and omnipotent?

Do you worship God?

If so, the God you worship presided while millions of children died last year, and every year prior to that, from starvation and millions more from disease.  All certainly preventable by an omnipotent God.

If you don’t believe in God, then your opinion on what others believe is a Divine law should be understood in that context.

If you do, it bears pointing out that you advocate that the church adopt an approach (putting temporal needs before spiritual ones), that God Himself does nor endorse, or follow, in word or deed, while at the same time deeming Him unworthy of love for not taking your approach.

Futher, while you’re free to adopt any goals you choose as a parent, your attempt to project your goals on Deity is untenable, mainly because God is omniscient and omnipotent and you are not.  

You do share one parenting goal with Deity, the desire that your children be happy. 

But while you may not care whether your children learn anything from you or care about you on their road to happiness, God cares that His children commune and strive to become one with Him because He is the path to, and the source of, that happiness.

His desire that we love Him isn’t based in ego, but in His desire that we reach our full divine potential.

 

Edited by let’s roll

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

God cannot make his kids happy if they are disobedient and do not worship him.

This is odd to me. Is happiness in your belief something god dispenses on those who obey and worship him?  He decides when we are happy and when we are not?

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Long time ago when I served as a branch president in a small servicemen's branch in Germany, we had a family in the branch whose father was an excommunicated member.  He was not in the military (we had both Army and Air Force personnel in the branch, but they were the only civilians).  As he had been exed before ever showing up in the branch, I didn't have any jurisdiction over him, ecclesiastically, so I didn't consider it my business to dig into his situation vis-a-vis the Church, but I came to know about it anyway.  He had been exed because he had embezzled tithing funds.  He still had his testimony, and still attended church with his family weekly.  His problem was that he couldn't be re-baptized until he paid back what he had stolen.  It was apparently a hefty amount, and it wasn't going to be paid back quickly.  

One reason why the church regards misuse of tithing funds so seriously is because it erodes confidence in the church in general, and confidence in how sacred funds are handled.  And can theoretically affect tithing faithfulness.  @10THAmendment's concerns are, even if I feel they are misplaced, evidence for the reality of the concern.

Let me bring up the matter of Eli and his sons (Old Testament time).  Eli's sons were priests, and did the office of receipt of sacrifice.  But they did it unrighteously, taking from the portion that was supposed to be the Lord's, instead of being satisfied with the portion that was allotted to them by the Law of Moses.  Eli did little about it except to fuss with them over it.  Eventually the Lord dealt with them personally, and with Eli, but one of the effects of their behavior (which involved not only fiscal malfeasance, but moral as well) was to cause the people of Israel to sin themselves.  I'm pretty sure that one of the effects would have been the refusal of some of the people to come forward to offer the required sacrifices, seeing how these were being treated unrighteously.  

22 ¶ Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress.
25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them. (1 Samuel 2)

The thing that concerns me is this: the Lord requires the sacrifice of tithing.  He will deal with his servants appointed to receive the sacrifice according to his will, as he treated Eli's sons, for the Lord sent a prophet to Eli who essentially gave him a last chance to rectify the situation by saying to him:

34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.
35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

But at no time did the Lord say that if those appointed to receive the sacrifice should be untrustworthy, or misuse them, that this then relieved those obligated to make the sacrifice from making it.  The Law of Moses required those sacrifices to be made.  No exceptions.  And the sacrifice was to be made by entrusting it to those whom the Lord had designated it to go.

If there is to be such a concern for principle above all, it needs to be a concern over the true principle, which is obedience.  If you have a testimony of the authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then your obligation is to be honest with the Lord in your dealings as it pertains to tithing, and let Him deal with His servants as seemeth Him good.  

For some reason the Old Testament comes to mind again. 

In 1 Samuel 13 there was a war with the Philistines, and King Saul had arranged for the Prophet Samuel to come to offer a sacrifice before the battle.  But for some reason Samuel was delayed, and Saul, worried that the Philistines might arrive before the sacrifice could be made, decided to offer the sacrifice himself.  So he did, but shortly thereafter Samuel did arrive.  And he condemned Saul's action, proclaiming that he was now rejected from being King.  And why was that?  Disobedience, because Saul did not have ecclesiastical authority to offer a sacrifice.  And there's another problem in there, too.  He had in effect also misdirected that which was the Lord's into his own use.  It was not his right to decide that he knew better how to use that which was the Lord's property.

On another occasion, King Saul had been commanded to utterly destroy the kingdom of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15), but instead saved the best of the cattle:

9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

The Lord was displeased at this, and sent Samuel to proclaim Saul's kingship forfeit.  Saul's excuse for saving the best of the cattle was that he was going to sacrifice them to the Lord, but in reality (it seems) he was more concerned with the wealth that these cattle represented.  In response, Samuel told him that he was wrong:

22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Saul's sin was disobedience.  What he did was to object to the disposition of the spoil from the action he had been commanded to do -- in other words, he decided that he didn't like how the funds were being spent, decided that he had a superior idea of how to spend them, and so misappropriated them according to his own judgement.  

The principle seems clear to me.  If one does not approve of how the Lord's funds are being used, this does not relieve one of paying His funds to those who have been appointed to receive and manage them.  Giving the funds to another who has not been so appointed, or declining to give them, is disobedience to the Lord's command.

To say again, one's obligation is obedience in paying what one owes to the Lord.  If those whose responsibility is to manage those funds are doing so unrighteously that is for the Lord to judge.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Stargazer said:

To say again, one's obligation is obedience in paying what one owes to the Lord.

Your thoughts are scriptural based, insightful, and well-reasoned.

However, my mind keeps going back to my struggle with the idea you emphasize over and over again in your position: that God loves obedience and worship.  Even if that idea has scriptural backing, it makes no sense to me in the context of a god who loves me.

How does burning a sacrifice help me or anyone?  Specifically?  If the answer stops at “obedience” you have lost me because the principle becomes a benefit for God, nor his children.  Alternatively, the lesson to be obedient for obedience’s sake is lost on me as well. 

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The Church realizes demanding 10% of it's adherents moneys lest they die an ignominious spiritual death is perhaps one of the finest business models ever conjured up.  That's billions of free dollars coming in yearly.  I'm not saying the Church doesn't do much good with it.  Some of it's ventures are great.  But if you look at it with the mindset that a church should be doing all it can to relieve the poor and needy, then tithing might not be the most practical investment.  If you believe that God will forever hold a grudge against you condemning you for failing to give him moneys, then you might as well do it.  I personally find such a god teeny and tiny so I don't participate.  If he holds his grudge against me for eternity, oh well.  I tried, I figure.  And I suppose at least I won't be alone.  

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13 hours ago, 10THAmendment said:

I’ll always choose principle over policy. I am a strong believer in the principle of tithing. It’s just getting really hard to believe that giving 10% to the LDS church is the only way to comply with the law of the tithe. 

Of course many denominations define and practice it in various ways, and you can do the same and come up with your own.

Giving it to the Lord through the administrative intermediation of those who are sustained as the His legal administrators does seem to to be the only way to comply with the law as the Church defines and practices it.

Any member may believe and do things other than the way the Church defines and practices them.

What is the most important point you are trying to make, or discuss?

 

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5 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

This is odd to me. Is happiness in your belief something god dispenses on those who obey and worship him?  He decides when we are happy and when we are not?

No, reality takes care of that. God guides us to what will make us happy. This is mostly achieved by increasing our capacity to love, specifically our capacity to love God above all things and our fellow brothers and sisters and ourselves with a pure love. Dispensing with loving God in order to exclusively love others (and ourselves) will not work to maximize happiness.

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

The Church realizes demanding 10% of it's adherents moneys lest they die an ignominious spiritual death is perhaps one of the finest business models ever conjured up.  That's billions of free dollars coming in yearly.  I'm not saying the Church doesn't do much good with it.  Some of it's ventures are great.  But if you look at it with the mindset that a church should be doing all it can to relieve the poor and needy, then tithing might not be the most practical investment.  If you believe that God will forever hold a grudge against you condemning you for failing to give him moneys, then you might as well do it.  I personally find such a god teeny and tiny so I don't participate.  If he holds his grudge against me for eternity, oh well.  I tried, I figure.  And I suppose at least I won't be alone.  

God does not hold grudges but you placing your judgement and mindset above the will of God will inevitably weaken your ability to be happy in eternity.

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33 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

God does not hold grudges but you placing your judgement and mindset above the will of God will inevitably weaken your ability to be happy in eternity.

Whatever floats it for you, the Nehor.  As I see it, if God is going to say to me, "you dared to give your moneys to charities instead of my corporation?  This after you insistently prayed to me to help you see my will, and you come here expecting me to do anything other than toss you into the burning lake so you can, in the greatest of anguish I, even God, can fathom for ye?  Yeah right, you're dead to me, I ever knew you.  Step here in my mouth so I can spew you out."  SOunds pretty grudge holding to me.  But as I said, whatever floats it for you.  

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58 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

No, reality takes care of that. God guides us to what will make us happy. This is mostly achieved by increasing our capacity to love, specifically our capacity to love God above all things and our fellow brothers and sisters and ourselves with a pure love. Dispensing with loving God in order to exclusively love others (and ourselves) will not work to maximize happiness.

What if I’ve had personal experience being happier not (or finding my happiness is not affected) obeying what the LDS church teaches?

Am I wrong?  Deep down am I really unhappy because obviously those who don’t pay tithing or drink green tea aren’t obedient, and therefore MUST BE unhappy?

This is where the principle of obedience falls apart to me - personal experience.  When a church or a god or whatever promises that one act will make you happy and another act will make you unhappy, and your own experience tells you otherwise, it causes doubt in that god/church.

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46 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

What if I’ve had personal experience being happier not (or finding my happiness is not affected) obeying what the LDS church teaches?

Am I wrong?  Deep down am I really unhappy because obviously those who don’t pay tithing or drink green tea aren’t obedient, and therefore MUST BE unhappy?

This is where the principle of obedience falls apart to me - personal experience.  When a church or a god or whatever promises that one act will make you happy and another act will make you unhappy, and your own experience tells you otherwise, it causes doubt in that god/church.

Sometimes happiness lasts and sometimes it does not. The happiness I describe is a lasting kind. If I chucked my faith I expect that in many ways I would be happier for a time.

Still, your call. Good luck.

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

Whatever floats it for you, the Nehor.  As I see it, if God is going to say to me, "you dared to give your moneys to charities instead of my corporation?  This after you insistently prayed to me to help you see my will, and you come here expecting me to do anything other than toss you into the burning lake so you can, in the greatest of anguish I, even God, can fathom for ye?  Yeah right, you're dead to me, I ever knew you.  Step here in my mouth so I can spew you out."  SOunds pretty grudge holding to me.  But as I said, whatever floats it for you.  

The Lake of Fire is a metaphor for the state of the wicked dead. It is not a place God chucks you. It is a state you choose to be in. Blaming God for choosing to be miserable is the sin that wiped out the Nephite nation.

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12 hours ago, RevTestament said:

You keep losing me. Essentially the whole point of our temples is to help others. You keep thinking of material things. Simply giving material things is overrated. The thing is used, and the person is right back where they started unless they are able to improve themselves. People desperately cling to them, but they do nothing to feed the soul. 

Showing faith is faith promoting. Does the Lord test the faith of His people? I believe He absolutely does. Why? Because it helps them grow, and it helps Him know who is godly. God doesn't really personally need our faith - we need our faith.

At this point it sounds like you have made up your mind. I proffer there are few, if any churches which will meet your criteria. One of the things I liked about this Church when I joined is that it provided a family feel outside of the rest of my life. If I was going to be that weird little "Mormon Boy," it allowed a new source of activities and friends to offset the loss. I enjoyed going to Church and playing basketball, having ward dinners, going to dances and the like. You simply aren't going to have that without a building to meet in, and some structural support. Your criticism strikes me as having a bit of sour grapes. Just like people have basic needs, I think a Church has basic needs, and in this time one of those is having some place to meet and share activities, hold baptisms and other ordinances, etc. 

I think you have a point about building up things on earth to excess, but our church ward buildings are really quite plain. I think Joseph Smith emphasized that to us. No fancy ornamentation nor huge halls, expensive huge pipe organs, expensive robes, etc. Plain Jane. They are simple, but nice. Good luck in your un-airconditioned, unheated, meetinghouse-less Church where people meet to decide how to give their money away. That is not really  something I think that meets the needs of a Church. 

Lots to respond to here. I’ll be as concise as I can:

You say point of temples is to help other people. I assume you mean vicarious ordinance work.  My question: why does god “require” this be done in temples at all?  Can that goal be achieved without an expensive building?

I get your point about faith. The principle of faith has helped me grow as a person. I’m skeptical that funding a massive corporation is the best way to grow God’s children’s faith.

See - a big point here that your words underline is that so many LDS do not see a difference between God/truth/church. You (jokingly 😊) mock me for wanting to meetinghouse) without air conditioning.  Not a single chapel was built while Joseph Smith was President of the church.  I must consider what implications that fact has on how we could run this faith today.

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38 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Sometimes happiness lasts and sometimes it does not. The happiness I describe is a lasting kind. If I chucked my faith I expect that in many ways I would be happier for a time.

Still, your call. Good luck.

I see what you mean.  Hedonism can be detrimental to long-term happiness.

But, here are the implications of your position (as I understand it):

The Mormons (who supposedly have the best insight into God’s commandments, and hence obedience) should be happier than those who do not have as many of gods commandments (and hence are disobedient).

Do you believe that the active Mormons who keep the commandments are happier than the other 5 billion+ people in the world?

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1 hour ago, SouthernMo said:

What if I’ve had personal experience being happier not (or finding my happiness is not affected) obeying what the LDS church teaches?

Am I wrong?  Deep down am I really unhappy because obviously those who don’t pay tithing or drink green tea aren’t obedient, and therefore MUST BE unhappy?

This is where the principle of obedience falls apart to me - personal experience.  When a church or a god or whatever promises that one act will make you happy and another act will make you unhappy, and your own experience tells you otherwise, it causes doubt in that god/church.

I invite you to consider the possibility that you’ve noted no difference between how you feel when you do and don’t pay tithing because you didn’t experience the peace, comfort, certainty and love that is available by tithing in a way that provides those blessings.  Thus you don’t have that experience to contrast against your current state.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

I see what you mean.  Hedonism can be detrimental to long-term happiness.

But, here are the implications of your position (as I understand it):

The Mormons (who supposedly have the best insight into God’s commandments, and hence obedience) should be happier than those who do not have as many of gods commandments (and hence are disobedient).

Do you believe that the active Mormons who keep the commandments are happier than the other 5 billion+ people in the world?

I believe they have more lasting happiness. I am not convinced that they are always happier. I know I am pretty miserable a lot of the time. Part of that is due to my sins and my weaknesses (which are not sins). Part of it is probably due to bad genetic luck. Part of it is the loneliness of being single for reasons I do not understand.

It is a different kind of happiness the Savior promises. I remember Peter’s complaint when he was sent to teach the Gospel after the 40 day ministry of the resurrected Jesus where he is told that he will be crucified and he laments that it is not fair and why when John will get to live forever and the Savior’s command is to follow him and the implicit message is that that means even into ignominy and death by slow torture. Yet we are still told to be of good cheer and told that our objective is to find happiness.

in the vision of the Tree of Life the fruit of the tree is the love of God. I used to think that meant you would be loved by God when you found the tree which makes no sense since God loves us all. I have since been taught that the fruit of the tree is the ability to love others as God does, to acquire charity. That can lead in mortality to endless trouble but it also leads to a kind of happiness that can be experienced no other way.

Edited by The Nehor
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