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LDS World: 'Iffy' blessings and paying tithing

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  • Mark from Montana Aurora, CO
    Sept. 15, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    There are times when these blessings do not come immediately. There will be times of trial, and part of that trial may be to pay a full tithe & offerings with no blessings. To think that doing 'a' will result immediately in 'b' sets you up for disappointment. God will do what He knows to be in our best interest and sometimes that means a delayed blessing, and by delayed I mean possibly for years. When it happens, as it will to every person in their life, it will try your faith as never before.

    As with all commandments, paying tithing should be about living the law out of desire to be obedient, not because we want blessings.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    One of the problems with trying to come up with a cause/effect relationship between obedience and blessings is that of specificity. That is, connecting action "A" as a cause of expected/hoped for/needed result/blessing "B".

    That is the kind of cause/effect relationship that is the basis of the empirical method but ought not to be the basis of determining the predictability of actions on our part producing actions on God's part.

    Through sometimes hard to endure and accept personal experience, I've discovered that the time line and real versus perceived value of what we **think** we need/want is often NOT what is **really** in our best interest. Which, of course, is what God knows and seeks to bring to pass.

    For me, I try to live according to what I think are the best principles and practices in the expectation that it will get me headed, generally, in the right direction, and that in doing so it will give me the best odds of achieving the ends I hope for. In other words, I'm not expecting a specific cause/effect relationship between obedience and blessing. If nothing else, that reduces the disappointment.

  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    Some may wonder: "what if the full tithe is paid, and the expected blessing does not come?" The answer is the same with this or any commandment, we must wait upon the Lord. Elder Robert D. Hales October 2011 Conference Address was particularly insightful on the subject. Anyone suffering tribulation, as we all do in one form or another, ought to read it frequently.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 15, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    Paying tithes has nothing to do with money, it has everything to do with faith. It is a test of one's faith whether he/she is with the Lord in both hard and bad times. The promised blessings of this law are true, I have witnessed them in my own life

  • rattler Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    I know hundreds of non-tithe-paying people who get "blessings" immediately/constantly, and many payers who seem to never get a break. I have lived both sides of this one and it's working better for me now (not faithfully paying) than it ever has.
    Just offering up my personal experience as testimony.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Sept. 15, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    I have come to recognize that paying a faithful tithing has more to do with the love in our home that it could ever do with our family income. The Windows of Heaven showering blessings on a marriage are far more potent than anything else.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Sept. 15, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    What is meant by the "law if tithe"? I do believe this is a man made law. I do not believe Jesus ever said it is a law that one must tithe. I believe his message was of giving of oneself. That can take many forms. IMVHO the law of tithe was created by humans and is on equal footing with extortion.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    I echo the first comments above. Blessings for complete obedience sometimes come quickly and sometimes come slowly. We have experienced both. The "slowly" was difficult, and the expected blessings did not come. However, the blessings that did come later have proven to be better than we expected. Let me be clear though, we have been monetary blessed at times, and other times money has not been the blessing but the means to care for our family's needs emotionally, spiritually and physically have.

    A long period of unemployment finally necessitated a difficult career change from a monetarily abundant career to a much less lucrative one. However, this necessary change brought more time with our children, especially for my husband. The increased availability of their dad has been a strength to our teenage sons in particular in a way that never would have been possible before. It also brought so much more contentment and enjoyment to my husband than his former career. These things we never would have guessed.

    As we obey commandments it is wise to accept the timing and blessings of the Lord.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    The law of tithing comes from God through his prophets. Those who obey it will be blessed. In what way or at what time we know not. But those blessings will come. The Church does not extort. It is done freely through our agency--not force.

  • thelogicalone salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    Sometimes we make the mistake of determining what blessing we need and want and expecting that the Lord will grant the same. We always receive the blessings we need; we may fail to recognize it as such.

  • rudman provo, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    We live the law of tithing, we receive a ton of blessings, in fact there isn't room enough to receive them, these blessings often come as trials, like not having enough money.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    Malachi 3:8-12 is the answer to a question posed in verse 7.

    "Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?"

    Tithing includes the principle of "return". A way to help us return to God when our hearts have not been close or our lives not obedient. It helps us to use our treasure to put our hearts where they ought to be. The promise in verse 7 is that as we return to God, he will return to us and we will find the blessings we once had. Here He speaks to the people. But I believe that applies to us as individuals as well.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    Life, with whatever rewards or tribulations it may present, occurs. It is a sequence of events, be they happenstance, chance, or something we or someone else creates or influences. It is not, I believe, the product of a divine being intervening in the natural laws and order of things in order to provide us with a desired outcome because we have contributed to alleviate said deity's cashflow problem. Let's face it, the people who actually spend this money are human no greater than you and I. God, from what I've observed in contemporary media and religion, is watching football, not micromanaging the books. This specific issue is the one where Hitchens got it most right; this is where religion manifests itself best as the record of a successful con job.

  • Mimi Venice, CA
    Sept. 15, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    I pay tithing but I don't keep a tally sheet with respect to commandments kept and blessings received. I let the Lord do that. All I know is that though many trials and challenges have come into my life, some particularly difficult, I can say I have always managed to somehow endure and work through them, and I truly consider myself to be very blessed.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 15, 2013 6:15 p.m.

    Do I get those same blessings for donating money to charities, animal shelters, etc instead of paying money to the mormon church? I find it inconsistant that one can say pay tithing and you will get blessings, but only on the lord's time. I have seen families who pay a full tithe be decimated financially to the point of no return. Perhaps if god is so quick to collect the money, he could be equally quick on giving the blessings back. Tithing is all about money, and doesn't have a thing to do with god, in my opinion.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    The promised blessing was made through a prophet (Malachi) to a nation (Judah). Part of the promise can be applied to individuals but not all. Judah (one land) was promised if their people were faithful in paying their tithes other lands (or their peoples) would call Judah blessed. It cannot apply to me as an individual because I am not a land that other lands can call blessed. Other nations, and for the most part this nation, haven't even heard of me to call me anything.

    Other blessings referred to fruits not being destroyed or cast unripened from the tree, and not being destroyed. Great blessings come to individuals though in paying "tithes and offerings". I can vouch for that.

    We have to use a certain amount of common sense. D and C Section 25 states "Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come... THIS IS MY VOICE UNTO ALL." (v 15-16)
    Some have applied "unto ALL" to the whole section, but I have not been called "to make a selection of sacred hymns" or be a scribe to Joseph Smith etc.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 6:32 p.m.

    RE: Twin Lights, 2Cor 9:7 sets the central N.T. principle for giving: “Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
    N. T. tithing advocates argue that this verse refers to freewill offerings as opposed to tithing, but this involves an a priori assumption that tithing is N. T, that simply can’t be proven. We must take this passage as instructive for all instances of giving in the church.
    What, then, does the Holy Spirit through the apostle have to say about N. T. He stresses that the gift must be from the heart. When people teach a requirement of tithing, they run the risk of negating the revealed will of God for N. T. giving?

    Love and devotion to God! That imparts the real value to giving. And this perhaps serves to explain why no command as to the amount is laid down for believers. To obey a command stating the amount or proportion would be easy, but what exercise of heart would there be? Loyalty would be superseded by mechanical religion. Love would be replaced by formalism.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 6:38 p.m.

    To Cats:

    The church does not force people to pay them money. But there is a lot of peer pressure to pay the church in our society. If you choose not to pay them then you are not allowed into certain ceremonies and activities in the church. This is hard for many families.

    On a side note. My wife and I stopped paying our tithing 5 years ago and life has never been better. I am still waiting for my life to go down hill but it never has.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 6:43 p.m.

    Moses 5:6
    And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.

    ======

    That's good enough for me.
    We shouldn't expect to be getting anything in return.

    But sacrifice is best defined as giving one thing, in return for something better.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 15, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    Sharrona,

    I do not care to argue the specifics with you. All I can say is that MANY non-LDS Christian churches teach tithing. I sometimes listen to preachers on the radio and tithing is often mentioned.

    A non-preacher (but famous Evangelical) I sometimes listen to is Dave Ramsey. He also advocates tithing.

    Perhaps you should take up this fight with them.

  • granitelocal Sandy, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 8:53 p.m.

    I have been putting my tithing into retirement savings since 1976 and I am doing fine. I like to know where my money is going and the Church is not transparent on how they spend the hard earned dollars of its membership.

  • endoftimes ,
    Sept. 15, 2013 10:43 p.m.

    No matter what the Brethren or members do, those who live to find fault with the Church will never be convinced by the good works performed by them. Any mistake made by imperfect members are magnified by the haters. I do know one thing, my tithe dollars are used to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not spent on Gulfstream 6 private jets, 20 million dollar mansions and things of the world. For security reasons precautions are taken in behalf of the authority and good people who have done well, donate time, talents and goods in order the spread the Word. I invest for my temporal and spiritual retirement. I do know my temporal retirement fund isn't going with me at death.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Sept. 16, 2013 5:29 a.m.

    Brahmabull

    Tithing is a commandment to those who have covenanted with God through His Priesthood to pay 10% of their annual increase as a token of faith, sacrifice, and obedience. This does not negate the value of personal external charity offerings (money, time, etc.). Rather, they are two different things.

    sharrona

    Tithing is a free will offering, but one that is sealed by covenant to God directly. For those who think God does not work in the patterns of the Bible today, tithing appears as a forced man-made provision.

    But, if you turn to the Bible, you can see that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedic (among other examples). But, because such precious truths of any specific nature were lost from the Bible in the New Testament era, or changed by modern churches, people don't follow much of anything specific like Sabbath Day observance.

    From manna to miracles, everything Jehovah did to guide the Israelites during their 40 year exodus from Egypt helped point them to utter reliance on God for all physical and spiritual needs. Tithing is another way God reminds us that obedience is foundational to spiritual growth and protection to become our potential as God's children.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 16, 2013 5:39 a.m.

    Paying tithing in the LDS is just as optional as buying a ticket to Disney World.

    You don't have to buy a ticket, unless you want to enter the park.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Sept. 16, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    For over forty years while living in Utah, I have heard that those of the LDS faith, who have a great deal of assets along with their tremendous amounts of money are "very blessed" because they pay enormous amounts of money to "their Church".
    What does that say about the humble, hard working family, who is very spiritual, follows the Ten Commandments, and never reaches the spectrum of the rich man?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 16, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    riverofsun,

    It says nothing of such folks. Many of the general authorities came from such stock.

    Though I believe there are certain temporal blessings associated with tithing, I do not believe that wealth is one of them.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    A sincere question

    Do LDS have a choice in who they pay their tithing to.

    For example, can one pay 10% of their income to, say, a homeless shelter for troubled youth and forgo paying to the LDS church. Could one bring their charity receipts to the bishop and get a check mark.

    Wouldn't 10% to the homeless shelter meet the "requirements" as described in the bible?

    I suspect that I know the answer, but have never heard it.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    RE: EternalPerspective, Tithing is an O. T. concept. The tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give 10 percent of everything they earned and grew to the Tabernacle/Temple (Lev 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deu 14:24; 2 Chr 31:5). In fact, the O.T . Law required multiple tithes which would have pushed the total to around 23.3 percent, not the 10 percent which is generally considered the tithe amount today. Some understand the O.T.as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites in the sacrificial system.

    The N. T. nowhere commands, or even recommends, that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. Paul states that believers should set aside a portion of their income in order to support the church (1 Cor 16:1-2).

    Christians should pray and seek God’s wisdom in participating in how much to give (James 1:5). but Mormons are under O.T. law.

    @Twin Lights (Mal 3:7…) Return to me, and I will return to you,”... Israel’s redemption, she must repent. See (Zech 1:2-4). Not tithing

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Money we earn isn't even ours to begin with. God created all things on this Earth, and also gave us the opportunity to have a physical body so we could work in mortality in the first place. We are merely asked to give back 10% of what we have earned even though our efforts really are not that significant.

    Yes, we are promised blessings for being honest with our tithes and offerings. However, a lot of the blessings have already been given to us! We're paying a small part of the infinite amount we are indebted to God anyway.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 16, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    I know better then to obey a commandment given thousands of years ago to a people far away from here. Tithing is a way for churches to control their members. They say it is in the bible, nevermind it isn't in the new testament. They say your soul is in danger if you don't pay tithing, and people believe them so they give money. I am sure that god isn't going to punish me for not obeying a commandment he never made to me directly, but to a people thousands of years ago.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 16, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    Sharrona,

    Here is the heading for verses 6-12 from the NIV:

    “Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes”

    Also, the last sentence of verse 7 makes it clear that there is a question to be answered. The following verses (reference tithing) answer that question.

    Again, MANY protestant denominations teach tithing. Are you saying they are wrong? Yes or no please.

    .

    Brahmabull,

    Wouldn't each of the Ten Commandments also qualify as "a commandment given thousands of years ago to a people far away"?

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    Brahmabull-

    For Mormons, tithing has been re-affirmed through living prophets very close by. You could burn all the Bibles (and Books of Mormon, etc.) in the world and Mormons would still practice the law of tithing -- because we are taught from living, inspired servants of God (prophets & apostles). Tithing also provides a way to bless the lives of many people. Tithing funds are used for good and noble purposes.

    Also, with the marvel of modern technology, learning the ways of God are not out of reach -- we have the Internet, televisions, radios, magazines, and such to name a few.

    Lastly, to Mormons, tithing is not about money -- it really isn't. In one of our scriptures, Doctrine & Covenants, it states the following (section 29, verse 34): "Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; [...]

    In summary, tithing is a spiritual law and is not about money. Tithing is about sacrifice, overcoming selfishness, developing Christ-like love, serving others, etc., etc.

  • Hoosier Hot Shot Indianapolis, IN
    Sept. 16, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    To associate blessings with tithing is a wrong road. If the Lord says to pay tithing, we otta do it. We pay and feel good about ourselves and our relationship with God. Lots of people are rich, have good lives, pay no tithing or give to the poor. So what? In additon to tithing, we give time, allegiance, and service and hope worldly blessings will come. And if they don't, so what? I'm looking forward to what happens on the other side, not especially what happens today.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 16, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    Twin lights - Yes, all ten commandments would qualify. The ten commandments are also things that if not followed are immoral. Thou shalt not kill, steal, lie, commit adultery, bear false witness against your neighbor, etc. Those are things that are sins, they are immoral. It isn't immoral to not pay tithing. And for the church to make paying money a prerequisite to entering the temple is somewhat suspect to say the least.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    RE: Twin Lights, Instead of a legal requirement to tithe, One can decide for himself whether he should give five percent,10%, 15%, or more. It's up to him, according to whatever he has purposed in his own heart as God has prospered him.

    To put it in a straightforward way,there is no moral obligation in the N.T. to give 10 % of one's income regardless of the circumstances. That was a provision given to Israel under the theocracy that is not repeated in the N.T. it is replaced by a new ethic that we see in 2 Cor 6\8.

    @(Mal 3:7…)Return to me, and I will return to you,”... Israel’s redemption, she must repent. See (Zech 1:2-4).

    3:8 “Can a person rob God? In tithes and contributions, How are we robbing you?” The tithes and contributions were for the Levitical(priesthood) (see Num 18:8, 11, 19, 21-24).

    3:10 “Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse”. A place for storing grain, frankincense, temple vessels, wine, and oil (Neh 13:5). “for the[LDS] Temple”?

  • mountain man Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 2:51 a.m.

    Help me out here. When did "church" articles specifically meant for church members become part of the mainstream deseret news. I thought we had the ensign and the church news for these kind of articles. It's a slow news day...time to put in a talk from last weeks sacrament meeting on sacrifice. I don't know that the Deseret News is the right place for these kind of articles. maybe the target audience for the paper is only mormons. Maybe the news is trying to "serve" the mormon subscribers better by having church talks included the paper? I think these belong in the ensign or church news.
    Lets keep the deseret news about real news.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:39 a.m.

    sharrona

    Tithing as an "Old Testament" only association is like saying temples, covenants, and Priesthood authority is too.

    The New Testament shows Jesus maintaining reverence for the temple in Jerusalem as "His Father's House" despite the fact that it was polluted by "money changers" and had not been sanctified in many centuries. The temple is at the center of ancient Israelite history but isn’t mentioned much in the New Testament. Does that make it only part of Mosaic Law fulfilled by Christ?

    Covenants bound by Priesthood authority were central in the Old Testament. The New Testament loosely mentions them but you have to search for the references among relatively sparse coverage. Does that mean covenants were only part of Mosaic Law fulfilled by Christ?

    Priesthood authority was the binding power in the Old Testament to anoint leaders, perform ordinances, and do the work of God by authority delegated to those who held the Priesthood. Not much is mentioned in the New Testament about the Priesthood outside of Hebrews and expressions like "laying on of the hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost". Does that mean Priesthood authority was only part of Mosaic Law fulfilled by Christ?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 19, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    EternalPerspective, Priesthood authority? In(D&C 110: 1-16) Elias and Elijah appear to JS, but in the Bible they are the same person. The KJV translators attempted to transliterate Elijah to Elias because there isn’t a Greek character for the English letter J.

    To avoid confusion, modern translations: NIV, NJKV, and NASB have Elijah instead of Elias in(Mt 11:14,; Luke 1:17)JS was fooled.

    Jesus had to become human to be our high priest. Hebrews 2:17,For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Jesus has a permanent priesthood.
    The Aaronic or Levitical priesthood ended with the death of Christ. The function ,and the term Cohen means, ’one who stands up for another, and mediate the cause.” Before the Great Sacrifice ,the priest had to stand in the gap for the people and offer animal sacrifices. Do Mormons still carry out this function. No!

    He gave the right(authority) to become children of God(John 1:12 KJV& JST)