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Tithing - exempt status


drums12

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I've noticed for years that when I meet with the bishop to declare my status as a full tithe-payer, there is a box for "exempt."  Perhaps someone on this board who has been a bishop can tell me in what circumstances a member might be exempt and retain a temple recommend.

I'm asking because my wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years.  The infertility is mine, and we have about 1% chance of conceiving without in vitro fertilization.  The costs are staggering.  We both work full time, and have virtually no tax deductions since we have no children.  So we pay A TON in taxes.  What does this have to do with tithing?  Well,  I've been thinking of the temple endowment.  After Eve fell, Adam realized that he couldn't keep both of God's commandments (the one command not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the other to multiply and replenish), so he did what was necessary to keep the greater commandment.  Without getting into too much detail of my finances, suffice it to say that what we pay in tithing would go a long way toward fertility treatments.  Is it possible that an exemption could be granted while we're going through this?

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2 minutes ago, drums12 said:

I've noticed for years that when I meet with the bishop to declare my status as a full tithe-payer, there is a box for "exempt."  Perhaps someone on this board who has been a bishop can tell me in what circumstances a member might be exempt and retain a temple recommend.

I'm asking because my wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years.  The infertility is mine, and we have about 1% chance of conceiving without in vitro fertilization.  The costs are staggering.  We both work full time, and have virtually no tax deductions since we have no children.  So we pay A TON in taxes.  What does this have to do with tithing?  Well,  I've been thinking of the temple endowment.  After Eve fell, Adam realized that he couldn't keep both of God's commandments (the one command not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the other to multiply and replenish), so he did what was necessary to keep the greater commandment.  Without getting into too much detail of my finances, suffice it to say that what we pay in tithing would go a long way toward fertility treatments.  Is it possible that an exemption could be granted while we're going through this?

Exempt status was used for members who, I believe, were considered to be fully dependent on the church.  So the church would be paying all their expenses from the fast offering fund.  I believe that this year (or was it last) that the "exempt" category was done away with. 

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Good to know.  So here's my next question.  I'm sorely tempted to use the money we would pay as tithing toward fertility treatments.  I know it's between me and God at the end of the day.  But is it just rationalizing, or is does it make sense that God would understand that we're trying to obey the first commandment to multiply and replenish the earth?  

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38 minutes ago, drums12 said:

Good to know.  So here's my next question.  I'm sorely tempted to use the money we would pay as tithing toward fertility treatments.  I know it's between me and God at the end of the day.  But is it just rationalizing, or is does it make sense that God would understand that we're trying to obey the first commandment to multiply and replenish the earth?  

I know this is exactly the answer you're trying to avoid...but it's honestly one of those "between you and God" issues. We have the commandment of tithing. We have the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. The specifics of those including net, gross, increase, fertility treatments, infertility, adoption, etc are left up to yourself.

Again, I apologize for giving you the answer you don't really want, and maybe someone else has a better answer, but that's the best I can give.

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1 hour ago, drums12 said:

Good to know.  So here's my next question.  I'm sorely tempted to use the money we would pay as tithing toward fertility treatments.  I know it's between me and God at the end of the day.  But is it just rationalizing, or is does it make sense that God would understand that we're trying to obey the first commandment to multiply and replenish the earth?  

I completely agree with halconero's post.  Personally speaking, I think it's hard to be able to ask God for help with a situation, with confidence, when you know you aren't obeying all of His commandments.  And if anyone could use the windows of Heaven being opened on their behalf, it sounds like it's you and your wife.

Having said that though, I mean it sincerely when i say that i agree it is between you and God.  I believe that God accepts us when we sincerely believe we are trying to do His will (even if it turns out we're not).  The only way, in my opinion, for you to be justified in not paying tithing is for you to believe that God has given you permission not too.

I know in these kinds of situations it can be really hard to know God's will because personal feelings and desires can cloud out His voice.  Fasting and a trip to the temple might help you recognize His counsel better and separate it from your own wants.

:)

 

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3 hours ago, drums12 said:

I've noticed for years that when I meet with the bishop to declare my status as a full tithe-payer, there is a box for "exempt."  Perhaps someone on this board who has been a bishop can tell me in what circumstances a member might be exempt and retain a temple recommend.

I'm asking because my wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years.  The infertility is mine, and we have about 1% chance of conceiving without in vitro fertilization.  The costs are staggering.  We both work full time, and have virtually no tax deductions since we have no children.  So we pay A TON in taxes.  What does this have to do with tithing?  Well,  I've been thinking of the temple endowment.  After Eve fell, Adam realized that he couldn't keep both of God's commandments (the one command not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the other to multiply and replenish), so he did what was necessary to keep the greater commandment.  Without getting into too much detail of my finances, suffice it to say that what we pay in tithing would go a long way toward fertility treatments.  Is it possible that an exemption could be granted while we're going through this?

Just wanted to chime in to wish you and your wife the child you desire..I am not sure about the exempt stuff..maybe that has something to do with land donations or something from a will.  But I do wish you both the very best   Can you claim all those medical expenses on your regular taxes??  I would think the church would be desirable in your creating the family.

Hugs..Jeanne

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3 hours ago, drums12 said:

I've noticed for years that when I meet with the bishop to declare my status as a full tithe-payer, there is a box for "exempt."  Perhaps someone on this board who has been a bishop can tell me in what circumstances a member might be exempt and retain a temple recommend.

I'm asking because my wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years.  The infertility is mine, and we have about 1% chance of conceiving without in vitro fertilization.  The costs are staggering.  We both work full time, and have virtually no tax deductions since we have no children.  So we pay A TON in taxes.  What does this have to do with tithing?  Well,  I've been thinking of the temple endowment.  After Eve fell, Adam realized that he couldn't keep both of God's commandments (the one command not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the other to multiply and replenish), so he did what was necessary to keep the greater commandment.  Without getting into too much detail of my finances, suffice it to say that what we pay in tithing would go a long way toward fertility treatments.  Is it possible that an exemption could be granted while we're going through this?

Just wanted to chime in to wish you and your wife the child you desire..I am not sure about the exempt stuff..maybe that has something to do with land donations or something from a will.  But I do wish you both the very best   Can you claim all those medical expenses on your regular taxes??  I would think the church would find it desirable in your creating the family.

Hugs..Jeanne

Edited by Jeanne
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1 hour ago, halconero said:

...The specifics of those including ...adoption, etc are left up to yourself.

And then, of course, there is always...adoption.

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this..."

china-300-thousand-orphans-found-new-par

Edited by notHagoth7
add pic heart tug
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1 hour ago, drums12 said:

We talked to one adoption agency and they said it would cost about $30,000.   Yikes

Actually it doesn't have to be that expensive, but it may be difficult to find sources which can provide easy access.  I know of a couple of cases in which a lawyer handled immediate adoption of infants newly born to pregnant convicts.  One must make all the arrangements ahead of time (background check on you and the wife, economic circumstances of the family, etc.), the female prisoner must agree, and the lawyer gets his fee.  It costs a lot more to go through an agency.

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

I think a lot of times adoption is just as expensive.  My friend spent $10,000 to adopt and that was 12 years ago.

Depends. Like it was said if you are looking for a white baby in good health you will have to fight tooth and nail and it will cost a fortune as that is what almost everyone who is adopting wants. If you are willing to take in an older child many times the state will pay you and it is nearly free (at least in my state) and there are subsidies available.

That being said adoption is not for everyone.

4 hours ago, drums12 said:

Good to know.  So here's my next question.  I'm sorely tempted to use the money we would pay as tithing toward fertility treatments.  I know it's between me and God at the end of the day.  But is it just rationalizing, or is does it make sense that God would understand that we're trying to obey the first commandment to multiply and replenish the earth?  

Since you are seeking an exception to God's general law we cannot give it to you. Your bishop probably cannot give it to you. You need to ask God for an exception and be willing to accept either answer. I would not proceed with that plan unless I was sure God was okay with it.

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12 hours ago, drums12 said:

I've noticed for years that when I meet with the bishop to declare my status as a full tithe-payer, there is a box for "exempt."  Perhaps someone on this board who has been a bishop can tell me in what circumstances a member might be exempt and retain a temple recommend.

I'm asking because my wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years.  The infertility is mine, and we have about 1% chance of conceiving without in vitro fertilization.  The costs are staggering.  We both work full time, and have virtually no tax deductions since we have no children.  So we pay A TON in taxes.  What does this have to do with tithing?  Well,  I've been thinking of the temple endowment.  After Eve fell, Adam realized that he couldn't keep both of God's commandments (the one command not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the other to multiply and replenish), so he did what was necessary to keep the greater commandment.  Without getting into too much detail of my finances, suffice it to say that what we pay in tithing would go a long way toward fertility treatments.  Is it possible that an exemption could be granted while we're going through this?

"Exempt" may be (or may have been) reserved for those who had no income, but it especially applied to full-time missionaries, who were not required to pay tithing.  I don't know how it is now -- the last time I helped handle tithing settlement (for 2015), I don't remember if "Exempt" was still one of the options.

As to what you are asking, were I you, I would hesitate before deciding to become a part- or non-tithepayer, even in aid of this.   This is decidedly NOT the Garden of Eden, and you and your wife are NOT Adam and Eve.

On the other hand, you say you pay a ton of taxes.  Now, if you ask the TBMs on this board about it, you will get several different opinions about what one should tithe.  Gross or net, for example.  And if net, then what do you subtract? 

I will tell what I have done, before I retired anyway, and it felt right to me.  YMMV.  I have always paid tithing on my net, and specifically the net left over after subtracting my annual income tax, social security "contributions" (FICA), and pension contributions.  The reason I didn't tithe what I paid in income tax is because it is in fact a "cost of employment".  It is not a living expense, it's an income expense -- I can't be employed without paying it.  So paying it would be like a baker paying tithing on the cost of his baking supplies (flour etc).  The reason I didn't tithe FICA is because it represents funds that the Soc Sec Administration has diverted, and therefore have not yet been paid to me, but eventually will be (assuming I live long enough).  Same with my pension contributions.  I calculated that when I did retire, I would finally be getting all these funds, including whatever enhancements that would be added by the SSA or the fund managers, and at that time I would pay tithing on them.  I know it sounds like some kind of shifty accountantcy, but the simple fact of the matter is this: due to the nature of social security, unless one dies early, one will eventually be paid more than one ever paid in (and consider that your employer is matching your contributions).  In that case, one would be faced with a guess as to when one's pre-tithed contributions ran out and the non-tithed additions began.  So just delay tithing FICA, and tithe on the SSA funds when they arrive.  Same for a pension, since there are employer funds also added in with those.  Same for a 401k, or other retirement investment plan, since there will be interest and dividend accumulations, not to mention portfolio profit, and if you started trying to tithe all that from the beginning, you'd go nuts trying to determine gains and losses to pay tithing on, if you were trying to do it while you were actively contributing to it.  So in that case, just tithe what actually gets distributed, when you finally get it paid out.  If you die before it's all gone, have your estate tithe what's left and the remainder stays in your estate.  I'm going through all these niggling details to suggest how you could save a bit on your taxes, maybe come up with some funds for the fertility, AND pay a full tithing.

But in the end, make it a matter of prayer, seeking inspiration for what you need to do.  Get confirmation from the Spirit of what you decide to do.  And be honest with the Lord.

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On the 2016 Tithing Declaration Form the choices are Full, Part, and Non. Exempt is no longer a choice.  
 According to the directions regarding "Exempt" status the instructions said:
"Exempt members have no income and have not paid tithing, but they declare that they would have paid a full tithe if they had income."
However, the Bishop could not make that declaration for them when he filled out the declaration form; the member had to tell him that they would have paid if they had income.
"Exempt" included full-time missionaries. 
Now members in that situation are simply called full tithe payers. 
Current instructions:
"- Tithing status is normally the same for husband and wife who donate together. It may be different if they donate separately.
- Converts baptized during the year who have paid a full tithe since baptism are full-tithe payers.
- Full-time missionaries serving from your ward are full-tithe payers. (However, missionaries should pay tithing on personal income beyond the amounts they receive for their support.)
- Members entirely dependent upon Church welfare assistance are full-tithe payers." (Identifying and Recording Tithing Status) 

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22 hours ago, drums12 said:

I've noticed for years that when I meet with the bishop to declare my status as a full tithe-payer, there is a box for "exempt."  Perhaps someone on this board who has been a bishop can tell me in what circumstances a member might be exempt and retain a temple recommend.

I'm asking because my wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years.  The infertility is mine, and we have about 1% chance of conceiving without in vitro fertilization.  The costs are staggering.  We both work full time, and have virtually no tax deductions since we have no children.  So we pay A TON in taxes.  What does this have to do with tithing?  Well,  I've been thinking of the temple endowment.  After Eve fell, Adam realized that he couldn't keep both of God's commandments (the one command not to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the other to multiply and replenish), so he did what was necessary to keep the greater commandment.  Without getting into too much detail of my finances, suffice it to say that what we pay in tithing would go a long way toward fertility treatments.  Is it possible that an exemption could be granted while we're going through this?

Whichever route you take (medical or adoption) there are tax deductions and credits that may even offset the amount paid in tithing. 

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On Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 0:23 PM, ERayR said:

Whichever route you take (medical or adoption) there are tax deductions and credits that may even offset the amount paid in tithing. 

You might check your work as well.  When I was digging around for some tax info this year through all of my husband's work stuff I found his work will help with adoption as well. 

Edited by Rain
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On 3/16/2017 at 3:52 AM, Stargazer said:

"Exempt" may be (or may have been) reserved for those who had no income, but it especially applied to full-time missionaries, who were not required to pay tithing.  I don't know how it is now -- the last time I helped handle tithing settlement (for 2015), I don't remember if "Exempt" was still one of the options.

As to what you are asking, were I you, I would hesitate before deciding to become a part- or non-tithepayer, even in aid of this.   This is decidedly NOT the Garden of Eden, and you and your wife are NOT Adam and Eve.

On the other hand, you say you pay a ton of taxes.  Now, if you ask the TBMs on this board about it, you will get several different opinions about what one should tithe.  Gross or net, for example.  And if net, then what do you subtract? 

I will tell what I have done, before I retired anyway, and it felt right to me.  YMMV.  I have always paid tithing on my net, and specifically the net left over after subtracting my annual income tax, social security "contributions" (FICA), and pension contributions.  The reason I didn't tithe what I paid in income tax is because it is in fact a "cost of employment".  It is not a living expense, it's an income expense -- I can't be employed without paying it.  So paying it would be like a baker paying tithing on the cost of his baking supplies (flour etc).  The reason I didn't tithe FICA is because it represents funds that the Soc Sec Administration has diverted, and therefore have not yet been paid to me, but eventually will be (assuming I live long enough).  Same with my pension contributions.  I calculated that when I did retire, I would finally be getting all these funds, including whatever enhancements that would be added by the SSA or the fund managers, and at that time I would pay tithing on them.  I know it sounds like some kind of shifty accountantcy, but the simple fact of the matter is this: due to the nature of social security, unless one dies early, one will eventually be paid more than one ever paid in (and consider that your employer is matching your contributions).  In that case, one would be faced with a guess as to when one's pre-tithed contributions ran out and the non-tithed additions began.  So just delay tithing FICA, and tithe on the SSA funds when they arrive.  Same for a pension, since there are employer funds also added in with those.  Same for a 401k, or other retirement investment plan, since there will be interest and dividend accumulations, not to mention portfolio profit, and if you started trying to tithe all that from the beginning, you'd go nuts trying to determine gains and losses to pay tithing on, if you were trying to do it while you were actively contributing to it.  So in that case, just tithe what actually gets distributed, when you finally get it paid out.  If you die before it's all gone, have your estate tithe what's left and the remainder stays in your estate.  I'm going through all these niggling details to suggest how you could save a bit on your taxes, maybe come up with some funds for the fertility, AND pay a full tithing.

But in the end, make it a matter of prayer, seeking inspiration for what you need to do.  Get confirmation from the Spirit of what you decide to do.  And be honest with the Lord.

I appreciate your thoughtful reply.  What I would disagree with you about (at least somewhat) is the my wife and I "ARE NOT" Adam and Eve.  Think about the endowment.  Adam and Eve are typical of us - we are making covenants as if we were Adam and Eve.  God is likewise no respecter of persons, so I would think He would deal with us the same as them.

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Adam and Eve sacrificed their first fruits, etc. even though they didn't know why.

I agree we are each Adam or Eve, but we are still not in the Garden anymore.  

Edited by Calm
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14 hours ago, drums12 said:

I appreciate your thoughtful reply.  What I would disagree with you about (at least somewhat) is the my wife and I "ARE NOT" Adam and Eve.  Think about the endowment.  Adam and Eve are typical of us - we are making covenants as if we were Adam and Eve.  God is likewise no respecter of persons, so I would think He would deal with us the same as them.

Of course you're Adam and Eve from that perspective, but for making covenants, not breaking them.  Adam had to break the commandment not to eat of that tree in order to keep the commandment to multiply.  The fate of the human race depended upon it.  You are not in that situation.

I suppose that if you had no food and the only way to get food would be to steal it, then stealing would be the lesser of the two evils, compared to starving to death.  But it's still wrong to steal, and repentance is required if you break the commandment, necessary or not.

Well, you have to decide.  I'm just giving you my perspective.  I'm not in your shoes, so, it'd be hard for me to walk a mile in them.

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On 3/15/2017 at 1:41 PM, ksfisher said:

Exempt status was used for members who, I believe, were considered to be fully dependent on the church.  So the church would be paying all their expenses from the fast offering fund.  I believe that this year (or was it last) that the "exempt" category was done away with. 

You are exempt if you have no income. IE; The stay at home mother who has no outside income. She is not required to pay tithing on what her husband makes.

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40 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

You are exempt if you have no income. IE; The stay at home mother who has no outside income. She is not required to pay tithing on what her husband makes.

I don't think so.  I believe that a person with no income has always been counted as a full tithe payer. 

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