Much to the surprise of the entire world President Thomas S Monson has issued a revelation.
After reviewing the current general apostasy of members with IQ's over 75, the vast dormant wealth in real estate and the stock market and fear that General Conference attendance will soon evaporate, the prophet "studied this out in his mind" prayed and obtained a big "OK" whispered to him by the still small voice.
The whisper tickled Thomas' ears causing them to wiggle.
Monson proclaimed, "Lo and behold, the Lord has issued a spiritual stimulus package, those who have ears to hear, listen. Those who have empty wallets to fill, step forward."
Monson continued to wax eloquent, "In honor of your faithful tithing over past years the Lord will reimburse you out of His vast riches and holdings that will sustain you with continued temporal blessing until He doth return again or until you die, which ever comes first."
And it came to pass that the following scales and tables shall apply to this "New and Everlasting Doctrine of the Dollar."
Reimbursement Tables and Scales:
1. $25 for entire family attending all three meetings of the Sunday Block schedule.
2. $10 per family you home teach or visit teach by the 25th of each month.
3. $50 per person for completing and entire endowment for one deceased person. This includes, baptism, confirmation, washing and anointing, endowment, marriage sealing, sealing to parents. A $10 bonus is added if the deceased person is NOT a Jewish holocaust victim.
4. $5,000 per couple who receive the Second Anointing and DO NOT hassle Elder Jeffrey Holland over the shock of Jesus not appearing to them during the ordinance.
5. $1,000 for converting a reasonable sane male who has a full time job and earns over $50K a year. Increase this to $2,000 per family with head of household meeting the same description. Deferred payment for one year after the baptism to ensure the person/family remain active after receiving temple endowment without running out the temple screaming at the top of their lungs, "WTF this is a cult!"
6. $100 per person who will attend and sit through all sessions of General Conference in the Conference Center. To reap the reward one must actually appear to remain awake and interested in case the TV camera scans by.
7. $10 per young person ages 12 through 18 who attend their weekly Young Men or Young Women activity.
8. $4,000 per Elder or Sister who complete a full time mission.
9. $10 per person who writes a faith promoting letter to the editor published in the Deseret News.
10. $10 dollars per hour spent cleaning the local meeting house, stake center, temple or other church facility.
Finally, it pays to be an active Mormon! And The Corporation Sole of the President of the Church will avoid becoming the richest church on the planet with no remaining members.
After I quit paying tithing, I started a seperate account and put my 10% into it. I had planned on doing that even when I paid tithing, to just put 10% of my earnings into an emergency account, but I never really could afford to.
When I quit paying tithing, it was easy to start my account. I found the easiest way was to have an automatic withdrawal from my checking account into a seperate savings account. That made it easy to kind of forget about and then not be tempted to use the money for something else.
I am really lucky to have a decent job, and lucky to not have needed to use the money. After several years of doing this, I now have over $100,000 in this account. This is money that would have been lost to a cult if I continued to pay. This is money I can use for retiring, for investments, or any emergency that comes up. I have that security because of my decision to quit paying tithing.
I understand how talking about how much money you have is tactless and a horrible trait, and I don't want it to come across that way, hence, the anon post. What I am trying to get across is that those of you just learning the truth about the church, and deciding to not give your 10% to the cult anymore, can do the same thing by startiing now. If you have been able to make ends meet by paying tithing, start putting that money into a seperate account. I wish I had put it into a mutual fund instead of a savings account, but I went for safety.
Even if you don't have a lot to put in there, it is amazing how it grows over the years. If I hadn't started saving tithing money I don't think I would have realized the amount of money I threw away paying tithing.
Saving 10% of your earnings will make an amazing difference in your life as you get older. It feels so good knowing the church doesn't have my money, that is the best part.
We also took our 10% and added to 401k contributions and company stock. We've only been out 3 years.
My DH will be retiring 5 years earlier. If we'd done this 10 years ago, he would be retired already. We would have had close to 3 million in retirement money. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. As it is, we're still going to be just fine and much better set in retirement than we thought. There are a lot of blessings that ome from not blindly giving money to a corporation that doesn't share the wealth. - by madalice
I think this information is understated when showing others what can be achieved financially when not paying an exorbitant God tax.
Understanding clearly the Future Value of Money is key. That $5000 you paid this year is worth $50,000 in thirty years (an example only). This is what you are truly giving to the church and the future value is what they want. - by AmIDarkNow
It's not too late to invest if you haven't already. You can max out a Roth IRA and put the rest into another mutual fund. I would find a nice, mellow balanced fund (balanced between stocks and bonds.) You have Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, some Fidelity funds, and many others.
Good for you for saving your money. No church on this planet needs 10% of members' incomes to run itself. When a church invests in non-church related real estate and businesses, it has *too much money.* In this case, way too much money. - by summer
The "transformed" Worldwide Church of God (which has now renamed itself Grace Communion International), is an excellent example for Mormons to look to if they want to find out how to completely slip under the radar and not be bothered by those pesky cult-watch groups ever again!
This topic has already been covered on memoirs-of-a-one-true-church another ex-Mormonblog, where you can see the charming Christianity of a Grace Communion International member "in the flesh", as it were.
For more information on the on-going lack of financial accountability, two-tiered information system, and the unelected Pastor-General-in-Perpetuity, I refer the interested observer to purplehymnal my blog, as well as Ambassador Reports, the archives of Ambassador Watch, and the online copies of a postal magazine that was circulated up to the year 2000, Ambassador Report Postal. For the history on the current leadership, start with the links dated 1986 and go forward.
Anecdotal evidence (which I find to be plausible, as I was born and raised in the Worldwide Church of God) suggests that members are free to not believe in the trinity (which I was under the impression was supposed to be a deal-breaker, for the professing Christians -- I guess not, if at least one WCG/GCI pastor has counseled one person in the past that it isn't necessary), members still keep their own "holy days" (going out of town to observe them with the splinter groups, or keeping them at home), as well as the dietary laws, and the Sabbath. These people consider themselves "God's Righteous Under Much Persecution", and they are staying in the church, waiting for "God's correction" (which hasn't come yet, almost two decades on, which is as good an argument for their being no god as I've ever experienced).
To be fair, ministers may be looking the other way on these Armstrongist/conservative members, because they're too desperate to retain membership. The other red flag is that many congregations have misleading names (this is true for both the United States and Canada.
There are still far too many questions, and far too little accountability, to declare the Worldwide Church of God/Grace Communion International "transformed by truth". Unfortunately, since church leaders are able to spit out all the "right things" the evangelical Christians want to hear (whether or not any of members can even understand, let alone believe, the rhetoric), they are still heralded as some kind of success story by the Christian counter-cult groups, unfortunately.
I just did a calculation for my bishop as to the number of full-tithers in my ward. Now, folks, I live in what I believe is one of the most TBM wards in the world. I've lived in other places and seen first hand how there is always a really high percentage of inactives. But my ward is in the middle of the morridor and very, very TBM. Very few inactives. It has always had a reputation of leading the Stake in stats.
Anyway, I was shocked when I did the calculation. A full 40% of the adults, are either non-tithers or part. So 60% claim to be full-tithers and I know from the numbers at tithing settlement that a good number of them were fudgin' things to try and stay in the good graces of the bp and sp and keep "temple worthy." And all this after the bishopric called and pressured everyone to come in and the ones who didn't show up, if they paid anything the BP gave them the benefit of the doubt and declared them full on his report. I am dumbfounded. In this extremely TBM ward, there are just a little over half that are actually claiming to be paying a full tithing. I would have expected it to be more like 80%. Seriously.
In an average ward where there are more inactives, there must be no more than 30% or so who actually pay the big bucks. This is an interesting statistic to me.
I've served as the ward financial clerk for the last 2 years, but can't take it any more. I'm going to get released soon and then go completely inactive, then resign when the time is right. Before I leave the morg I was thinking about doing something to really screw up tithing settlement this year...but on second thought maybe I would just ask if anybody out there has some funny clerk stories. Or maybe some ideas on going out with a bang. I have become the financial clerk who pays no tithing.
It seems to me the morg has become a church of clerks. There are statistical clerks, financial clerks, ward clerks, membership clerks, assistant clerk, etc. Lots of boring men with access to confidential info.
One of the best parts of being a financial clerk is getting bounced checks for tithing and then giving the member a copy of their bad check...it is so hard not to just burst out laughing. The last time this happened I couldn't resist and just said "Well so much for the Lord blessing YOU for trying to pay your tithing." I also get a kick out of tithing settlement watching the members squirm and apologize when I give them their end of the year statement..."Oh I know it doesn't look like much but I still will be paying more before the end of the year." Ha ha. I really don't care. I wish they would get wise and just quit paying. One guy came in with a big check at the end of December to make up for his back tithing and then a week later I get a notice that the check was no good. I split a gut. It is such a ridiculous system. As a ward we send Salt Lake upwards of half a million dollars during the year and they only let us spend about $5,000.00 or so for the ward budget. AND NO ONE BATS AN EYE AT THIS DISPARITY!!!
Another thing that kicks my butt is some of the fast offering money we dole out. The bishop is really tight with those who don't pay tithing but if you pay tithing they will help you with rent, mortgage, medical bills, insurance, etc. I wonder if it would make more sense to tell them to "take a break from tithing and get caught up on your bills."
Executive Secretary Report - by Fubeca
I know what you mean. For 20 years I'd had the calling of Executive Secretary over 5 different times with as many bishops. I remember meeting with other exec secs at the Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting and we all seemed a bit jaded. It was a weird frustration at having to be at all the same meetings as the bishopric and yet not having the same authority or responsibility. We saw all the crap and didn't have the extra burden of the manipulative "spiritual experiences."
I especially hated having to call people up to come in for an interview with the bishop. I usually knew why, but always claimed I didn't. I knew WAY too much about other members in the ward and I always felt uncomfortable with the information. Looking back I realize it was because the information crossed their normal personal boundaries and I should never have been privy to the information under any circumstances.
Some bishops respected ward member's privacy while others didn't. Most of the time I knew everything and I'd NEVER tell an LDS bishop anything I expected to remain confidential. One time my wife was RS President at the same time under one of these loose lipped bishops and he'd tell us both private things individually...and funny thing was, we'd feel uncomfortable talking to each other about it so we rarely did!
The Ward budget really opened my eyes - by confused
I was Finance Clerk too. When the budget came out I had seen it, we had discussed it, and at this time I also printed out the tithing statements. I realized that my tithing statement was just about the same as the ward budget. I figured that with about 70 full tithe payers, the church was raking in about 60 times what I contributed just from our ward, and only giving back mine for us all to function with.
For the last few months before I finally left I only contributed to the Fast offerings- tithing money went there too. SLC gets all the tithes, but Fast Offerings stay in the Stake and I'd rather people I knew had access in times of need than SLC playing in it like a kid in raked leaves.
Re: The Ward budget really opened my eyes - by Brother Spendlove
Yeah, I think that is about right. When I was paying tithing it would amount to pretty close to the amount of our ward budget. In a really good year, our ward contributed close to a million dollars in tithing to the morg. In a down year maybe half that...we have some really well to do members in our ward who are thoroughly brainwashed. One guy alone last year paid a little over $100,000.00. Another even more than that.
There is a way to bypass the ward and pay direct to SLC if you want it all confidential from the bishop and his worker bees. I once thought that if I were going to stay in the church I would just pay money into the humanitarian fund direct to SLC and leave it at that. But I don't even trust them to use the money for humanitarian purposes, there is no accountability built into the system at all. So I think I will just leave after this year and not give them a dime. I'm quite jaded at this point.
The disparity in my ward was one of the big thorns that led to my disbelief - by Finance Clerk
I was finance clerk for 4 years in a upper middle class ward about 10 years ago. I got the calling after I turned down the stake president for a high counsel calling. At the time I was a questioning believer and did't think it was right to be in that position. Anyway as ward clerk I found that:
- Our ward raked in just over $1 million dollars a year, and our annual ward budget was $2600. "Hmmmmm!"
- I was the highest tithe payer in the ward. Only one other family came close.
- In fact our family alone paid enough in tithing to cover the ward budget AND hire at least a part-time janitor, even though we ward members had to clean the building ourselves.
- Some families who seemed to be doing pretty well financially only paid peanuts...often only at the end of the year. And just the opposite some families who seemed to be living paycheck to paycheck seemed to be sacrifing significantly to keep the "law of tithing". I thought "save your $500 and go buy yourselves some clothes".
My last straw was - by Designed4Joy
I quit paying to tithing and only did fast offerings the last year of activity when I found out that 80% of BYU was funded by TITHING. I thought, 'why should I bust my butt to pay for some smart, rich, affluent kid to get a prestigious education for peanuts while my hard-working middle class kid couldn't get in with a 3.7 GPA....it was all downhill from there for me and the MORG.
Six bishops in three different wards - by luminouswatcher
I have been Ward Clerk under six bishops in three different wards over the years. Under two of those I had no assistance and did finance and membership duties in addition to the curriculum order and endless meetings.
In Virginia I single handedly raised the home teaching stats from low single digits to 40%, just by moving out the records for those people who no longer lived there. This was before they started using the modem to transfer membership records and you got the reconciliation report only twice a year. I find it interesting how jaded and cynical I was, even in those days, while most of my "head" was still "out of control" TBM. I found it interesting that they had the financial transactions on computer and used modems to keep things up to date and timely while they kept what I considered the most important, the membership records (because they represented living breathing souls) in the dark ages. I spent at least one all nighter a week for six months to get things cleaned up. Grrr.
During those days as an AF officer, I was working around 16 hours a day, with most of it being in front of a computer terminal, and Sunday being my only "break" from work. So one day the wife of the Bp 2CC exclaimed in front of a big group how "off" I was, because I just wanted to spend Sundays on a computer (the ward computer). Those words still sting a bit and make me angry too, even after all of these years. All that work and dedication, and to have it all devalued as a bit of miss directed selfishness. In those days, if you had computer skills, you were almost guaranteed to be stuck in a "support" role, never having the opportunity for an ecclesiastical job. It all seems so silly now, how we as morgbots search for that "ratification" that we are loved and blessed of God. Ha.
One bishop I worked for was awesome, and he bent over backwards to make me feel I was a valued part of his team. Like a third councilor. The others were various levels of disrespected servitude.
I am finding the memories of the courts of love bother me more than anything else in my life, even some unpleasant things while in the military. I am really disappointed in myself that I did not stand up and call BS on the manipulative and abusive behaviors directed toward some really interesting and lovely people. It is just awful how an incorrect world view can shape how you hear and interpret what people really say, and more importantly, how you reach out, not to help them up, but to slap them down into submissiveness.
My DW still comments on how she was the only wife of a bishopric member who did not know what was going on in the ward. In government circles, people usually try pretty hard to protect her secrets, because they believe it to be important. In retrospect, I find it funny how mormon leaders don't have that same drive to protect confidences, etc. It just is not that important, but a tool for wielding power. But what can you expect from amateur hour? From top to bottom, having a professional set of skills for one's job is more due to luck than planning.
I had a Bishop from the bowels of hell - by Steven
who had perfected the art of guilt trips and condemnation. This guy would have been a natural born Nazi, just born in the wrong era and country. I remember walking in to my Tithing Settlement with him one year, with my wife and 3 little children. I told him I was $1,000 short on tithing, but that the $3,000 I gave was given with "much sacrifice and faith." He looked at me and said in front of my wife and children, "Did the savior give his all to you? You should have budgeted your money better." The look on his face was one of disgust. Later he told me that I had embarrassed my family by showing such a lack of faith.
Since then, in another ward, I was a financial clerk for many years. I have seen so many people struggle through tough times, but yet spend their last dime paying the morg. I have noticed that if you have a popular MOMO name, or are related to heirarchy, you are helped in extraordinary ways. There was a guy in my last ward who was relatd to a GA. He had 7 children. The church paid his mortgage every month w/o fail ($1,300) for three years, while he was w/o a job. I know because I co-signed the checks. Other less prominent folks were not given the same courtesy.
In the end, if you've been a fnl clerk, it becomes readily apparent how extremely difficult the church is on ordinary family's, sucking their finances and time dry to the bone. The church hurts families.
Getting around your auxilliary running out of money - imaworkinonit
I have a totally TBM (True Believing Mormon) sister in law that was in charge of an activity and they ran out of money, but still needed some things for the project. The bishop wouldn't approve more money, so SHE paid for it (maybe $100-200) out of her own pocket and counted it (in her mind) as tithing, since it WAS for the church.
Everybody was fine with that. . . . . don't know if she told the bishop, though.
My dearly dead mother - by Baka Boy
Worked a full time job till 6 months before she died. She worked as a ward librarian as her church job for all the years that I can remember.
She would buy ALL of the supplies that the library used. Pencils, pens, staples, paper, sissors, chaulk, crayons, cardboard, construction paper, mimeograph crap....everything on her own dime. She refused to submit any receipt to the bishop. Goddamn, she was a proud woman.
Meanwhile, she worked her fingers to the bone, and tithed 10% on her gross, gave WAY more than fast offerings called for, donated to that stupid missionary book of mormon thing, sent money to the missionaries, went to temple, donated to the building funds, humanitarian funds, ad naseum.
When she died, I was too embarassed to have her funeral in our ward building because the carpet was literally in shreds in the foyer.
But the mormon cult got her money!
What pisses me off even more is when I remember cutting a check for my inheritance!
They are all desperate callings - by luminouswatcher
You are not allowed to have a bank account controlled ... by the Ward. [From my experience, but it may be dated now] You make the deposit on Sunday at the Bank, and the Ward software transfers the accounting information for the transaction to SLC as part of the process. All the monies are safely transferred to SLC banks by COB Monday.
If the computer is down or the modem connection could not be made, they have a telephone number you call to complete the transaction the old way, like they used to use before adopting computer modems.
Money for use in local expenditures is allocated back to the Stake. It is derived from sacrament meeting attendance figures taken from a "magic month" and on a ward by ward basis. The SP then decides what amount to allocate to each ward for their yearly budget. In some stakes like the one in Austin, TX that I lived in, the SP was focused on temple attendance, so they would charter monthly buses between Austin and the Dallas temple. (They are expensive if you have ever hired one.) So there the wards had a much smaller budget than in other places (the total YM budget for the entire year was $200 - To pay all scouting awards, camping fees, and share of combined APYW activities). If the ward busts a budget, the SP catches the heat from SLC over it, and the stuff rolls down hill from there.
With respect to fast offering. In Virginia when I got my first clerk assignment, our ward spent 3-4 dollars for ever one we took in. They had a big push to convince families to pay more than the cost of the meals you did not eat. Our family, on 1st Lieutenant pay in the DC area, and as part of the "bishopric team", went from $15 a month to $125. And this is in addition to tithing if you remember.
The big problem was the cost of living. If someone lost their job for three months and had their bills picked up by the bishop, you burned through a lot of small contributions very fast. But at least they helped folks who needed it and they still lived by the mantra "We take care of our own." Bishops were then forced to be more restrictive and had to justify everything they did to the corporate infrastructure during PPIs. The wards then dropped to about 3 to 1 as the norm, with the occasional surplus month.
One of the interesting things in all of this is that there was only one unit in the stake during the early period my experience covers that was in the "black", meaning they took in more FO monies than they spent. That unit was the Spanish branch. Those who made the least per capita. The big difference was probably they paid rent and apartment sized utilities rather than mortgages and house expenses, as well as other cultural differences.
The last time I was called as a clerk it was for the finances and I lasted a month or so. It is one of the "straws" they accelerated the thinking shift that made possible my exit. I hated being a support guy in the clerk job. I had done it in the different places for well over 10 years accumulated time, and I had developed the skill set to be very efficient and good at it. But there was not any personal growth anymore. It does not do anything for personal "spirituality" at least for me, as I don't receive spiritual fulfillment from just being "in the know" or being close to the power base. I wanted to help people (a following Jesus thing). I could not understand why God would disregard my feelings to the degree that I would have to do this "thing" again. DW felt the same was and was confused also.
I was frustrated to get tagged with a "desperation" calling instead of being blessed with an "inspired" calling. Isn't it weird how we condition ourselves to make the plate of crap palatable? It took so much effort to snap the world view and see the all the pieces make the true puzzle. We sit in BPc meetings and see how the callings are made, yet we pretend, pretend, pretend. We fail to accept and acknowledge the truth. They are all desperation callings.
2009 Return and Report Tithing Settlement by Brother Spendlove
Well, we finished up tithing settlement. I thought I would finish out my thoughts on it. All those who didn't make it in previously were called by a member of the bishopric to come in. I had to snicker listening to the calls being made at the last minute. I knew some of those being called had either paid no tithing or very little and really didn't want to be bothered with it. The stupid bishopric counselors were so brainwashed they thought they were doing the Lord's will trying to drag these poor souls in to meet. In the end, they ended up dragging more people in this year than last so they should have pulled more tithing out of people this year than last but that was not the case.
I took a few minutes and compared last year's stats with this year. We had more people attend tithing settlement this year but we actually brought in less money than last. Our ward last year sent in something like $775,000.00 or so, I can't remember the exact figure. This year we sent roughly $650,000.00. I live in an extremely TBM ward. If these figures our indicative of the church as a whole it looks like revenues are definitely down. This is a decrease of almost 20% so I would think the church has taken a big hit this year. Is it the recession or is it less belief in the church or both? I know there were a small number who paid very little this year who used to be active and have kind of dropped off the radar. I'm not the only one who has quit paying. Unfortunately, there are just a few of us.
When I had my tithing settlement I told the bish I had quit paying when the church lost meaning for me. I told him some of my probs with the church and the lies and such and he basically acted like he knew that all along. Surprisingly he didn't lecture or anything. He had no answers. He just wanted me to keep doing what I could and he would leave me alone. Wow. It is nice to not have a total jerk off bishop. So my plan is to continue to just fade away. He knows I want out and I guess he is hoping that leaving me alone will bring me to my senses. Ha ha...not gonna happen. I'm just going to be seen less and less until I make the formal break.
I currently am a finance clerk and you're correct in stating there is no overhead. However, what is not recognized or known by the average member is the wasteful use of the fast offerings.
From my observation during three years of writing out checks, any Joe Blow can go to the bishop and get financial help. I have untold examples of what I term abuse that made me cringe. For example, a member family was living in a house owned by the member's LDS father, who lived in a different state. For a few months we made out $1600 rent checks to the dad for the son's rent of his house! So much for the idea of going to family first. We pay utility bills and mortgage payments for people driving new cars and dressed in the latest fashions. We frequently pay for "essentials" like internet and cell phone bills. It goes on and on. Fitting the definition of humanitarian aid here is really stretching it.
I had always felt so good about my generous donations to the fast offering fund, believing it was helping the hungry and naked with no loss to expensive overhead, but I, for one, will never contribute another penny because of the program's wasteful management.
And that I know being un-Mormon is true.
Just before the market crash my wife and I decided to make a life transition and I quit my job to start a business. That is going well however we had decided to adjust our living standards until full income was returned. So things were tighter than usual. A few years ago when we left the church we decided not to pay tithing and we knew the blessings would flow.
A few days ago we received an unexpected cheque in the mail for just over $800, our tax return was $1,000's more than we expected, interest rates have dropped significantly in Australia recently, our investments have gone gang busters when most things are tanking, petrol has dropped in price, we sold our minivan for $2,000 more than expected and rental income from our rental property recently went up by 30%.
While the mormon gods looked after OK, they did require 10% of our money as an ongoing fee. Since withdrawing from that investment scheme, we have done a lot better!
I bear my untestimony that happiness can only be found in unmormonism and that blessings will flow from ignoring its precepts.
In the name of cheese and rice, Amen.
1. A Word of Weird-dumb, for the fattening of that silly circle of naturally high priests, assembled in Salt Lake City, and the lesser Joe Mo priests, and also the saints in eating the high quality beef of Zion--
2. To be sent with much eating; not by commitment patterns or restraint, but by regurgitation in the words of wizened old men, showing much froth in the ordering of root beer and the candy of God in the whole bowl of mastication of all saints until the last crumb--
3. Given for the principle servings with promise of more servings, adapted to the stomach capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.
4. Behold, cheerily, thus saith the Lord unto your cravings: In consequence of evils of vegetarians and designs of weight loss companies which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring vegans in the almost but not quite last days, I have sworn you, and sworn you more, to give me your word that you will see the wisdom of consumption bolstered by revelation--
5. That inasmuch as any Mormon eateth animals or strong animal byproducts among you, behold it is very good, and either meat or the things made from it is tasty in the sight of your Father, only make sure you often assemble yourselves together to offer up your animal sacraments before him.
6. And, behold, this should be consumed with root beer, yea, pure and not caffeinated root beer of the greatest tasting kind, of your own make.
7. And, again, caffeinated drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of gentile, inactive and apostate bellies.
8. And again, food cooked with wine or spirits is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for Mormons, but butter, lard, and vegetable oils are for meats and all baked goodies, to be used generously and with judiciousness and skill.
9. And again, coffee, teas, energy drinks, colas, wine, beer, hard liquors, smoking and drugs deemed illegal by the government are not for the body or belly.
10. And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome government approved drugs God hath ordained for the depression, overweight nature, and general complaints of Mormons--
11. Every drug in the season of your complaints thereof, and every ham after the funeral thereof; all these to be used substances and to be obtuse of their chemical natures and thanksgiving to the doctors who proscribe them.
12. Yea, flesh also of cows, pigs, sheep and of the chickens and turkeys of the farm, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of Mormons and not just on Thanksgiving; nevertheless they must to be used ever Sunday;
13. And it is pleasing unto me that they should be used, at all occasions, cold or hot, and definitely at family meals.
14. All grains, sugars, substitutes, additives and corn syrups are ordained for the use of Mormons and of hormonally enhanced domestic animals, to be the stuff to eat, not only for Mormons but women to increase their waists and the men of heaven to keep fat and their interests from all wild temptations that run or creep on the earth;
15. And these food cravings hath God made for the use of Mormons in times of excess pornography and excess sexual hunger.
16. All gaining weight is good for the Mormon; it is also the fatness of the divine; that which yieldeth fatness, whether in the upper body round or the lower body round--
17. Nevertheless, meat and potatoes for men, and corn syrup and bread for the woman, and baked goods for the children, and heads, feet, bones, blood, intestines, lungs, spleens, livers, ligaments, fat trimmings, unborn babies, and other parts not generally consumed by humans for the dogs and for cats, and for all beasts of the field, and other barely useful animals.
18. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to ignore the ingredients, shall receive healthy expansions in their navels and narrowness to their minds;
19. And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures that have no real connection to the scriptures;
20. And shall have fun and not be cheery, and shall talk and not show restraint.
21. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the organics and anti-additive bug shall pass by them, as the children of The True Church, and not bite them. Amen.
During a recent lesson in Relief Society, our resident Food Storage Nazi asked each of us publicly about our current stage of preparedness. When she got to me, I replied that I'm all set: I have a Mossburg shotgun, 10,000 rounds of ammunition, and whatever my good friend has stored in HER basement!
The Food Storage Nazi didn't crack a smile. She has NO sense of humor whatsoever.
My other friend's reply was that she's 'good to go' as well; she has 40 cases of Slim-Fast and Diet Coke stored up. Everyone saw the humor in it except this nutty broad; who brought as a 'treat' to the meeting: stored bottled tap water and some really nasty homemade snack bars that looked like particleboard, but probably tasted worse!
She berated us all for not signing up with her to buy dried carrots in a can and margarine powder.
True Believing Mormons argue that �Most honest tithe payers are able to pay their tithes and still budget their money to maintain a happy life.�
I suspect they are correct, but they entirely miss the point, as do most people who comment on this topic. The issue is not whether paying tithing �causes� bankruptcy, per se, but whether paying tithing �contributes at the margin� in a significant way to bankruptcy.
I think that we are on shaky ground to suggest that tithing is the cause of bankruptcy in Utah. We are on more solid ground to argue that tithing is a contributory cause of bankruptcy in Utah.
It is also important to note that all states have a bankruptcy rate. And people in those states by and large don�t pay tithing. So clearly there are other forces at work, and clearly some important ones.
Framed as a question for empirical research, the relevant question is why is the bankruptcy rate in Utah higher than in other states? Evidently, people in Utah appear to systematically possess certain attributes not shared by people in other states that contribute to their marginally higher bankruptcy rates. What we want to find out is what those attributes are.
Casual observation leads one quite reasonably to identify tithing as one attribute of Utahans not shared by residents of other states. More, we know (thanks to Noggin�s analysis) that tithing constitutes a significant portion of disposable income, which, at the margin, can have a significant impact on the household budget of particularly poor, lower middle-class, and middle-class households, but also on upper middle-class households, depending on their other financial flows.
Thus it is perfectly reasonable and indeed expected that one would hypothesize that tithing is a contributory factor in explaining Utah�s higher bankruptcy rates. Indeed, any social scientist worth his or her salt would include tithing as a �explanatory� variable in any model trying to explain differential bankruptcy rates.
When I was a professor at BYU, I was involved to some extent in the founding of the Center for Economic Self-Reliance in the Marriott School. During one of the planning meetings, we were told that then President Bateman suggested that the Center try to account for the high bankruptcy rates in Utah. So, we (we being several well-published and reputable social scientists) stood around discussing Utah bankruptcy and its possible causes. Not one person there mentioned tithing as a possibly contributory factor. I�m not sure whether it was because they did not consider it relevant, or because they were too afraid to bring it up for fear of social censure, although I suspect it was a bit of both. (I did not bring it up, as I was already in the closet regarding my beliefs, or non-beliefs, and I did not want to draw attention to myself.) But to me the whole scene was surreal in that several very capable social scientists either did not notice or were afraid to mention was obvious to anyone else, trained social scientist or no. The Emperor�s New Clothes played out in the halls of academia.
I am certain that this is a microcosm of what goes on within the LDS hierarchy every day: people exercising self-censorship out of fear of recrimination, even refusing to state the obvious, when debating issues important to the church and the well-being of its members. I would imagine that the LDS bureaucracy is riddled with inefficiencies for this very reason, among others.
Anyone who says that freedom of thought and expression exist in LDS doctrine and culture clearly are self-deluded or have no idea what they�re talking about.
I no longer practice in that area and when I did it was only a small part of my practice. I have never practiced in Utah and so cannot comment on contributing factors as a result of personal experience. But I have read regarding the high level of bankruptcy filing in Utah and would make the following educated comments:
1. Tithing is a contributing factor. Ten percent of a person's income, together with a generous fast offering, could be used to pay personal living expenses instead of the church. All of the LDS bankruptcies I did were tithe payors.
2. Having a large family is still another contributing factor. Many LDS members have larger than normal families requiring larger than normal incomes. Usually, the incomes aren't sufficient for large family size.
3. Lack of dual incomes. Many LDS members believe that only the husband should earn income while the wife stays home with the children. This reduces the amount of income available to LDS members to pay living expenses.
4. The "inflated" Utah real estate market. In my opinion, real estate values are exaggerated in Utah. Young couples are paying too much to live in Zion, resulting in large mortgage payments.
5. Educational debt. Utah prides itself in the high educational level of its residents. This level of education comes with a price tag. Usually, educational loans are considered non-dischargeable. The problem is coupled when the wife is saddled with educational loans but no income to pay them. So husband's already stretched income is serving both of their student loan debt.
If you look at this list, at least four of the items (1, 2, 3, and 5) are a result of LDS teachings. People are told to overcome their fear (which is a natural process of self-protection) and exercise faith in paying tithing, having large families, getting advanced degrees and having mom stay at home. The result of this type of living is bankruptcy.
Be assured that you can be cured of your difficulty. Many have been, both male and female, and you can be also if you determine that it must be so.
This determination is the first step. That is where we begin. You must decide that you will end this practice, and when you make that decision, the problem will be greatly reduced at once.
But it must be more than a hope or a wish, more than knowing that it is financially good for you. It must be actually a DECISION. If you truly make up your mind that you will be cured, then you will have the strength to resist any tendencies which you may have and any temptations which may come to you.
After you have made this decision, then observe the following specific guidelines:
A Guide to Self-Control:
1. Never touch your checkbook except during bill-paying and gift-giving to normal organizations and persons.
2. Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company - never Mormons - and stay in this good company.
3. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, YOU MUST BREAK OFF THEIR FRIENDSHIP. Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don't suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will. You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind. The problem must be taken OUT OF YOUR MIND for that is where it really exists. Your mind must be on other and more wholesome things.
4. When you reconcile your bank account, do not admire your balance. Never stay at your desk more than five or six minutes -- just long enough to pay bills AND THEN GET OUT into a room where you will have some member of your family present.
5. When in bed, if that is where your problem is most severe, dress yourself for the night so securely - mittens are a must - that you cannot easily hold your ball point pen, and so that it would be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those clothes. By the time you started to remove protective clothing you would have sufficiently controlled your thinking that the temptation would leave you.
6. If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, GET OUT OF BED AND GO INTO THE KITCHEN AND FIX YOURSELF A SNACK OF GREEN JELL-O, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining weight. The purpose behind this suggestion is that you GET YOUR MIND ON SOMETHING ELSE. You are the subject of your thoughts, so to speak.
7. Never read Mormon material. Never read about those trying to shame you into paying or wanting you to stop dreaming about having your name removed. Keep it out of mind. Remember -- "First a thought, then an act."
The thought pattern must be changed. You must not allow this problem to remain in your mind. When you accomplish that, you soon will be free of the act.
8. Put wholesome thoughts like coffee into your mind at all times. Read good books. Make a daily habit of reading at least one screen of posts on RfM or the Salamander Society because of their uplifting qualities.
9. If you pray, don't pray about this problem, for that will tend to keep it in your mind more than ever. Pray for others to stop writing tithing settlement checks. BUT KEEP THE PROBLEM OUT OF YOUR MIND BY NOT MENTIONING IT EVER -- NOT IN CONVERSATION WITH OTHERS, NOT IN YOUR PRAYERS. KEEP IT OUT of your mind! The attitude of a person toward his problem has an effect on how easy it is to overcome. It is essential that a firm commitment be made to control the habit. As a person understands his reasons for the behavior, and is sensitive to the conditions or situations that may trigger a desire for the act, he develops the power to control it.
1. Shout fervently and out loud when the temptations are the strongest.
2. Follow a program of vigorous daily exercise. The exercises reduce emotional tension and depression and are absolutely basic to the solution of this problem. Double your physical activity when you feel stress increasing.
3. When the temptation to pay up is strong, yell STOP to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind. It is important to turn your thoughts away from the foolish need to indulge in extortion.
4. Set goals of abstinence, begin with a day, then a week, month, year and finally commit to never doing it again. Until you commit yourself to never again you will always be open to temptation.
5. Change in behavior and attitude is most easily achieved through a changed self-image. Spend time every day imagining yourself strong and in control, easily overcoming tempting situations.
6. Begin to work daily on a self-improvement program. Relate this plan to improving relationships with your family, Exmormons and others. Strive to enhance your strengths and talents.
7. Be outgoing and friendly. Force yourself to be with others and learn to enjoy working and talking to them. Use principles of developing friendships found in books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
8. Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to feel lonely, bored, frustrated or discouraged. These emotional states can trigger the desire to support the Mormon secret underwear cult as a way of escape. Plan in advance to counter these low periods through various activities, such as reading a book, visiting a friend, doing something athletic, etc.
9. Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card. Carry it with you, but show it to no one. If you have a lapse of self control, color the day red (the color of your finances if you keep paying). Your goal will be to have no red days. The calendar becomes a strong visual reminder of self control and should be looked at when you are tempted to add another red day. Keep your calendar up until you have at least three clear months.
10. A careful study will indicate you have had the problem at certain times and under certain conditions. Try and recall, in detail, what your particular times and conditions were. Now that you understand how it happens, plan to break the pattern through counter activities.
11. In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to tithe, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eat several of them as you do the act.
12. During your toileting and shower activities leave the bathroom door partly open, to discourage being alone in total privacy if you took your checkbook in with you. Take cool brief showers.
13. Arise immediately in the mornings. Do not lie in bed awake, no matter what time of day it is. Get up and do something. Start each day with an enthusiastic activity.
14. Keep your bladder empty. Refrain from drinking large amounts of red punch before retiring.
15. Reduce the amount of funeral food and casseroles in your diet. Eat as lightly as possible at night.
16. Wear pajamas with long sleeves tied off over the hand you write with.
17. Avoid people, situations, pictures or reading materials that might create the urge to pay.
18. It is sometimes helpful to have a physical object to use in overcoming this problem. A Playboy magazine, firmly held in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme cases.
19. In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a necktie in order that the habit in a semi-sleep condition can be broken.
20. Set up a reward system for your successes. It does not have to be a big reward. A quarter in a receptacle each time you overcome or reach a goal. Spend it on something which delights you and will be a continuing reminder of your progress.
21. Do not let yourself return to any past habit or attitude patterns which were part of your problem. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Never Gives Up. Be calmly and confidently on guard. Keep a positive mental attitude. You can win this fight! The joy and strength you will feel when you do will give your whole life a radiant and financial glow of satisfaction and fulfillment.
With thanks to Mark E. Petersen
Council of the 12 Apostles
For his anti-masturbation piece distributed in the 1970's
I wonder why the church does add a bit more charitable incentive? I mean, why not grant certain levels of "assured" heavenly merit for financial giving.
More than $500,000 but less than $1,000,000 the giver gets a free upgrade from the Telestial to the Terrestial.
More than $1,000,000 but less than 2.0 million, the giver gets his/her genitals restored for unlimited usage in the Terrestial Kingdom.
More than 2.0 million but less than 3.0 million, the giver gets to be "an helpmeet" in the lowest level of the Celestial Kingdom.
More than 3.0 million, but less than 4.0 million, the giver is still in the lowest level of the CK but is no lowly "an helpmeet, but has full genital resurrection to have up to 300,000 celestial mates.
More than 5.0 million, and the giver gets their calling and election made sure and an invite to the celebratory banquet in heaven with Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Adam, Noah, Elias, Moses and all the other bigwigs.
We're trying to figure out some way to make Utah fiscally healthy. Public education is by far the biggest challenge. We all know where those kids are coming from and are aware of the ecclesiastical engine that keeps them coming.
The Nov. 11 Tribune reported that the LDS Church rakes in $5.3 billion in tithing per year, all of which is tax deductible, and a significant percentage of which has to come from Utah. Not surprisingly, state leaders are loathe to make the church contribute its fair share to the economy. Tithers get to take up to 10 percent off the top of their taxable income while overpopulating the state with precious tax deductions. When you add it all up, it is inescapable that non-Mormons in Utah are disproportionately taxed to the direct benefit of the LDS Church and its members.
In the same Tribune article, State Tax Commissioner Bruce Jensen stated that members of the tax reform task force consider tithing deductions as sacred, confirming that, for all intents and purposes, the church is the state.
If tithing is sacred, it ought to be done as a matter of faith, without benefit of a reward from the State Tax Commission. If overbreeding is the will of the Lord, it ought not be subsidized by the state and its taxpayers.
You want a fix for the state economy right now? Eliminate those two economic holy terrors and we're there.
Many years ago when I was the ward clerk, I was responsible for noting temple recommend expiration dates as well as helping with financial statements. I was amazed at the number of people in the ward who had temple recommends that didn�t pay tithing. In fact, only 6 or 7 families had paid what could be reasonably be considered a full tithing. Yet about 60 people held current recommends. It sure seems that the bishop could have looked at the bank deposits when granting a recommend. Rather, this Judge of Israel accepted the lies of the faithful elite of the ward, the temple goers. Weird, huh. Lie and go to the temple or tell the truth and not be allowed.
Some background: My mission pres from 77-79 Venezuela was a native. He taught/supervised the church ed system in Ven for 20+years - before and after the MP stint. We had a mission reunion around 2000. I was happy that he had finally moved up to the states. He was in his 70's. There hadn't been a reunion for his MP time in almost 20 years. It was quite a treat to find 100 of us and actually have close to 50 show up after so many years. Anyway, I degress. During a quiet time at his apartment in Provo, he confided in me that the church retirement was only about $400/mo. He needed work. At 70+ and poor english - not much available. He was the bishop in the local latin ward and then the patriarch. He explained that the church retirement was based on his pay in Ven. during his working years which was very low in $$$ because of the exchange rate. He had given his life to the church - 7 or so kids - at least 5 kids went on missions etc. All this and he couldn't get more than the $400 per month for him and his wife. And he bore a solemn witness to the truth and bowed his head in humility. I was appalled.
Chapter 2: I was contacted in 2002 by his bishop to ask for help in paying for my old MP's new calling in the new Ven. Temple Presidency. I helped for a while but when the Org decided to buy downtown SLC, I decided they didn't really need my money anymore.... It is just a disgrace. The only way for him to survive is to work more - and be paid by members - not the church for whom he works. Unbelievable.
Any other amazing sacrifices in the modern Org?
My wife's cognitive dissonance has to be kicking into high gear. She was very worried when I stopped paying tithing at the end of 2002. She just new some disaster was right around the corner. We even went to tithing settlement together together this year and she sat there while the bishop told me how disappointed he was that I didn't pay any tithing this year. He was very worried about us. I always get my bonus check in Feb. I warned my wife ahead of time not to expect anything, and at the very most I would be getting x number of dollars for my bonus.
I sincerely didn't expect a big bonus this year and was prepared for no bonus at all and I prepared my wife for it. We were pleasantly surprised. Not only did I get a bonus, but it was more than twice the maximum amount I thought I might get. It was on par with the nice big bonus I got last year when I first started doubting the church. Since I stopped believeing, our finances have really improved, and my bonuses have increased. My wife is so excited. She'll have this bonus spent before the end of the month. I'm happy I can provide this for her, but is it wrong for me to hope some cognitive dissonance about tithing kicks in?
(posted exactly as received - no editing)
I have an issue with tithing .I do believe in this church.But I believe they are denying me and my family the right to go to the temple unless we pay a fee of course! THEY CALL TITHING.THIS REALLY DISTURBES ME.We did try to pay a full tithing once before.our bishop told us to have faith in the lord and he will help us and then others told us of blessings they received while paying tithing.I told the bishop we did not have the money to pay 300 or 400. dollars a month! but he just reasured me again so I said okay? well the blessings we got were a washer and dryer that broke and two car engines blew up! wow what great blessings huh!? he also said after we started paying for awhile that he could no longer give us food which is why we were able to pay in the first place so, I smiled and agreed. well,the month we had to buy our own food toliet paper etc.the tithing check bounced! needless to say the bishop told us to hold off on paying tithing for a while because it screws up the books. we never got food help again either.Im more convienced everyday that GOD does not want me to suffer my 8 children with 10 percent of my husbands 40,000 a year job.the person making the money is supposed to pay the tithing not the one who sends the out the bills which is me the wife.but one bishop said to me.well who pays the bills? you know writes the checks,well I do so he told me I had to pay it (wrong)anyway this has got me so pissed off! sorry about that but this is how I feel.got would not want our morgage to bounceand leave our 8 children homeless to pay tithing! - 02/01/2004 - from bichon4u
Editor's note: The Lampoon regrets that you had better luck following your Bishop and Prophet's advice not to use birth control.
Thr best way for a TBM (True Believing Mormon) to kick the tithing habit is a little at a time. Start off by not paying on the small stuff like garden produce which amounts to less than ten bucks in most cases. Next is the gross or net tax issue and saving for a mission can push them into the net camp. Then start taking other church expenses out of tithing. Like the time you eat a hundred bucks planning the ward activity. I really like the idea of the guy paying his parking tickets at BYU out of tithng. Next is the realizatin that time is money and that everone in the church is equal. So that attorney in your Bishopric who charges a thousand a hour justifies taking thousands off for home teaching or service projects. Finally you cross the line into ways to get the church to pay you. - 09/19/2003 - from Kick the Tithing Habit
While I was in an Elder's Quorum meeting, the lesson topic was tithing. When one elder asked whether it was appropriate to pay tithing on his gross or net income (a crass question, yes, but relevant), he was told by the EQ President, "That depends, Brother. Do you want gross or net blessings."
Lesson brought to you by the Bank of the Church of Zion.
I spent many years prepping docs for consumer loans at Gods (Zions) Bank beginning about Thanksgiving the tithing loans would start coming in. Under purpose of loan they would put down "tithing." I was amazed at the number of loans that came through for this.
It really pissed off the manager of the loan center. He was a bishop and later a member of the stake presidency. e felt that one of the purposes of tithing was to teach sacrifice and borrowing money to pay it did not teach sacrifice.
This gets right at the "divinity" of Mormon Tithing.
I saw a very interesting Documentary on KUED. It was about Brigham Young, Mormon Labor, and the Rail Road construction in Utah including the completion of the U.S. Transcontinental Rail Road at Promintory Point. It told how Brigham supplied Mormon labor for the R.R. Construction in Utah. No doubt Brigham had the contract set up so that he would pocket the Lion's share of the money.
The Rail Road Baron's had other plans and they refused to pay Brigham. The amount in question was just over a million dollars which was a lot of money back then. Brigham sent a son back East to Washington to petition/lobby for the collection of the debt. Things drug out and there was so much riding on the unseen money that the Utah economy was stifled. Brigham plead for tolerance between the suffering Utahns. When things got even more desperate he suspended "The LAW of Tithing".
If the principle was real and Divine,this would have been a most critical time to have it in force to prove it by having it pouring out those immeasurable blessings, But that's not what Prophet/Profit Brigham did! Brigham had to put Tithing on hold because he knew it does NOT really work.
Funny! How this story is never related in contemporary meetings or lesson manuals. Tithing is theft by Church leaders in the name of God. It makes me sick to think of all the money they are still stealing from True Believing Mormon family members.
There is an exhaustive article by a BYU professor, Robert F. Bohn, in the January 1984 issue of Sunstone, 9:1:17, "A Modern Look at Tithable Income." In it, he analyzes not only the net vs. gross question, but about a dozen other questions about how to figure one's tithing obligation.
He concludes: "In spite of such occasional explicit interpretations by individual General Authorities, the First Presidency of the LDS church has not issued any definitive statement on the proper way to calculate tithing. The General Handbook of Instructions, which presents the official position of the Church, says only that annual interest "is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this.... We feel that every member of the Church is entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he owes the Lord and to make payments accordingly." [He is citing the 1984 version of the GHI, of course, but the same wording is included in the 1999 CHI.]
Or, you can follow my method of figuring tithing: I add up all my blessings for the year, calculate how much of that is thanks to Mormonism, and I pay one-tenth of that. Of course, it's always ZERO (one tenth of nothing is nothing).
Back in Brigham's day you gave your tithing to the Bishop. He spent it on people
and projects in the ward. He might have kept some for his own efforts, that was
allowed. He was suppose to send 10% of it to the Stake and they were suppose to
send 10% of that (1%) to Salt Lake. And they only did that if Porter Rockwell
came snooping around.
Today you give your tithing to the Bishop and he immediately sends all of it to Salt Lake. Most wards collect around $1 to 2 million a year. The church sends the ward back a measly amount for their budget, usually in the range of $10,000 a year. That would be about 1% of what is collected. Exactly the reverse from Brigham's day. - 10/31/2001
I never paid one red cent to the Morg. I figured what I gave to God was between God and me, not a church figure. Being a convert, I was used to the plate being passed around, and really didn't like the idea of paying someone face to face and letting them know the exact amount I give. So, I would go to church at a Catholic or a Lutheran service, get a real sermon, and pay my money to God there. And only God knows what I paid, and He isn't the receipt-giving-out kind of being. - 10/26/2001 - anon
My Father was "South Trained." I'm talking
about the Old South. And he hated the Black folks. He was none too happy about
Kimball's Revelation in 1978 giving them the Priesthood. So in protest, he quit
But he felt guilty with that extra money, the Lord's money. So he put it into a simple Mutual fund with a low load that was indexed to the S&P 500.
For over twenty years he faithfully paid his tithing into this fund. At first it would have been easy to sign the whole thing back over to the church. But the bigger it got, the more foolish it seemed, to give it up.
Like I said, my Father was "South trained." That also means he didn't have the benefits of a very good education. He worked in blue-collar jobs all his life and made somewhat less than an average income. He wasn't lazy but he wasn't driving a Mercedes either.
By the time he retired last year, he had over TWO MILLION DOLLARS in his tithing fund! Now is he suppose to give it all back to the church to avoid the fires of hell? Or only the original capital he payed in every month plus 10% of the accrued interest, which wouldn't even be half of it?
I think this is not so much a story of the parasite-ism of the Mormon church as it is a story of the effects of frugality coupled with a wise investment plan. But it does point out vividly, just what they're really asking for when they innocently demand 10% of your lifetime income. Its millions of dollars.
It is easier to become a millionaire than to be a life-time 100% tithing payer.
Several weeks ago, I posted an analysis to demonstrate that wealthy people pay a smaller percentage of their income into tithing, when the tax benefits are considered. Someone recently posted about paying tithing with appreciated assets, which provides an even greater tax break, since the contributor receives a tax deduction for the market value of the asset even though he never paid tax on the appreciation.
For example, suppose that Boyd K. Packer makes $125,000 in apostolic salary, and his investment in 10,000 shares of a Utah technology firm, Daw Technologies, increases in value from $25,000 to $125,000. If he sold his stock, he would have a gross income of $225,000, on which he should pay $22,500 in tithing. Instead, he donates 1000 shares of the appreciated stock, worth $12,500 (for which he only paid $2500), to the church, to cover his tithing. Furthermore, the contribution reduces his taxes by $3875 (assuming 31% marginal tax rate). His net outlay is $8,625, or less than 4% of his increase in net worth.
Is there any wonder why the rich Mormons get richer while the poor get poorer?
The Church doesn't trade stocks much really. They buy companies that they hold forever (Bonneville Communications being the best example) and they sell stock that has been donated by members for their tithing. I paid tithing with appreciated stock every year. Tax advantages are huge. In that case they flip the stock immediately and pocket the cash. Cool thing about donating "in-kind" as its called, is that you pay directly to SLC so your Bish has no idea how much, if any, you've donated so he can't question your tithe-paying status at all.
Tip to True Believing Mormons who may be lurking: quit paying and tell your Bish you've made donations of stock. Works like a charm.
In rich wards I've heard guys Bitch about stock going up after they donated it. "If I'd waited one more month I would have only had to give 1000 shares instead of 2000." Cry me a river.
12/29/1999 - Randy J.
I was a clerk in three wards, and a bishop's counselor for two years. I handled the weekly finances and made the bank deposit for years. In my experience, the percentage of active members as opposed to total members on the ward rolls was always about 40%. The percentage of full tithers among the active members seemed to be about 50-60%. That means that only about 25-30% of total members are full tithers. But since a certain percentage of full-tithers will have high incomes, each contributing $5,000-$10,000 per year, their money makes up for the non-payers, and still makes it cost-effective for the church to justify a ward and chapel, etc. I read somewhere that LDS chapels take in an average of six times the money needed to build and maintain them.
Those figures are actually in line with other non-profit organizations I'm familiar with. My wife used to be the secretary for the local Junior Chamber of Commerce, and she collected and recorded annual dues. She found that only about 40-50% of total Jaycees on the rolls actually participated in the organization, and only about 25% paid their dues faithfully, and another 25% lagged behind or had to be sent notices. But the difference between the Jaycees and the Mos is that if you don't pay, the Jaycees eventually drop you.
07/21/1999 - anon
I dont know how many morons pay their union dues in full. But I do know that if you work for the mafia/church you better have a reciept of your dues PAID IN FULL at the end of the year. Or go find a soup line to hang out at.
All the stuff you said in your article is a bunch of lies not one thing is true.When you said that Romney gave ten precent of his gross to Monson was not blind obedience.Latter Day Saints(Mormons)give ten percent of there money to the church as tithing to build more temples and churches. And Monson is the true and living prophet,not just some actor. So before you talk about someones religion you should probably do some resaech on it. - 02/02/2012 - dh87487
Please stop writing these negative things. It's kind of useless, and doesn't really help either person writing it or reading it. Whatever your opinions are just stop being so bitter and enjoy what you've got! And whatever religion you want to guess I am go ahead. Maybe you're wrong and maybe you're right, but it's truly a waste of time judging and making assumptions. Go read a good book. Maybe reread the Hobbit since they're making a movie-woot woot! - 01/12/2012 - anon
Nobody is forced to pay tithing. Keep things simple. Things like paying 10%, net or gross, etc. are all out there as a guideline. Individual circumstances should always be taken to account otherwise the gospel of Jesus Christ wouldn’t reconcile back to the churches tithing principles.
But let’s face it, that’s not the problem, you are. Most of you are just scared to speak up to your bishops and stake presidents. It's sad really, you've all created this little support group to sit around and moan about your inability to communicate properly your feelings to the leadership of your local church without burning bridges. Blind faith? I don’t think so. You just need to sit down with them and say look. I'm going to pay off this credit card and I'm only going to give what I can manage for the time being to the church or you can say bishop, I’m not going to pay anymore because of this this and this. At least be human about it. You made a commitment when you were baptised, YOU JOINED THE CHURCH, and the least you can do is have a bit of character and self respect to deal with things like an adult. - 02/25/2010 - loadarubbish
When you look at the authority for tithing it is found in the Book of Malachi. The Jews lived in a society that was effectively a theocracy. The church was the state. Tithing was a tax at 10% and it was redistributed to help the poor. Most people tithed their produce which was shared out with those in need. Today in the West we pay taxes in excess of 10% we feed the hungry and clothe the naked, we build hospitals and schools. We all do this from our tthing or tax deductions. I am sure God never intended us to pay another 10% as well to self serving cults like the mormon church that does not even practice honesty by opening to public inspection it's financial reports. Article of faith 13 We believe in being honest. I don't think so. - 02/23/2010 - hyrumfyrum
Wow, looks like a lot of clerks that don't understand finances! The $5000 or so budget is just for extra expenses. That usually doesn't include maintenance and upkeep of the building. Most importantly, it doesn't include the cost of the building itself. Buildings are purchased up front by tithing funds. That means no mortgage payment. Where does this money come from? It comes from the tithing funds of other faithful members in other wards. So basically, you are just paying for more buildings just like someone else paid for yours. - 01/18/2010 - clerks998
Seems to me that most of these stories are written by the same person. Certainly someone without a testimony. - 11/16/2009 - anon
i cant believe you think its alright to make fun of someones religion. How would you like it if i made a website talking about u religion in a rude and disgraceful way i looked up story about tithing looking for a good story for my family home evening i think u need to cancel this site and apologize to every Mormon and the church of Jesus Christ and latter day saints. i feel bad for you because u made this site to be rude to the members and u dont feel bad so i feel bad for you! - 11/02/2009 - anon
Tithing is not about money. It is a principle of faith, obedience and charity which is the pure love of Christ.
Ward clerks forget that their role is to process the paperwork and leave the judgment to the Lord. There is no call for disdain, envy, unrighteous judgment which seem to accompany the subject of money.
Money is a tool. Use it. Don't let it use you. If you don't want to pay tithing, don't pay it. Be a cheerful giver or not one at all. Where is your love of the Lord in your offering?
We may pay a 10 percent tithe, but remember that God graciously and generously allows us to keep 90 percent of what He provides for us. What the church does with the 10 percent is between His servants in the church and Him. - 09/15/2009 - hope
If you don't pay, the so called leaders try to impose guilt on you by denying you from the "blessings" of God (Temple, etc.)
Do you have to pay to get blessed? Please...
*Can somebody explain why Monson and friends have accumulated millions while being in the humble service of the Lord?
Tip: by appointing himself to be part of board of directors of several organizations owned by Church. So he's full time servant of the Lord..How does he find the time to be in such mundane activities? Does he pay tithing? No. He doesn't because he's a full time general authority traveling for free getting richer off your back.
Does this make sense??? Stop paying tithing. More blessings will come to you if you devote that money for the college funds of your kids. The Church doesn't give a damn about you. You are just another stat and a barcode. - 08/26/2009 - anon
Doctrine and covenants 119 says pay your tithing of your surplus and well after my needs are met I no longer have money so you could say yes iam a full tithe payer - 07/21/2009 - T. Doctrine
why would you ever put something up like this? way to ruin my day. tithing blessing arent always financial. there are many people that just need eachother to survive. money isnt everything. and i disagree completely with your article. - 01/07/2009 - anon
I agree with Pres. Hinckley! I don't want my contributions being disclosed to the world. I'm not contibuting it for the recognition (or condemnation) of the world. That's not the purpose. Obviously by the ammount of members faithfully paying tithing, there sure must be a pretty great reason they keep doing it. - 01/06/2009 - Jessica
I have found that if a person wants to they can prove or disprove just about anything and everything. The LDS church is constantly under the microscope because people are afraid of the teachings of this Church. The reason they fear it is because it goes against the "norm". It all comes down to this, either the Church is teaching the Truth or it is teaching alot of False. If the Church's doctrines are false, then all is well for mainstream society. However, if the Church is indeed teaching what Our Heavenly Father wants, then mainstream society is completely off-base. That would mean CHANGE would be necessary. Those who wish to judge the LDS Church or its doctrines usually do so out of fear, ignorance, or the desire to excuse their own lifestyles. Former members of the Church criticize, and try to disprove it because they are faced with their own guilt for falling into transgression. They are trying to validate their actions. The LDS Church didn't fail them, they just simply couldn't follow its precepts. Does that make them evil? NO! Does that make the Church wrong? NO! In order for a person to know the TRUTH they must search it out,and then PRAY about it. The reason I say that is simple, HEAVENLY FATHER, JESUS CHRIST, AND THE HOLY GHOST CANNOT LIE! They are the only people who will NEVER lead you down the wrong path. Do you want to know if the Word of Wisdom is the truth? Read it and then PRAY. - 01/01/2009 - anon
Sorry to hear so many who have such strong negative feelings towards the payment of tithing. Unfortunately, there we, as beings who rely on money not only for our needs, but our wants, have always had difficulty sacrificing certain wants. If it weren't difficult, if everyone willingly gave without issue, tithepaying wouldn't be called a "sacrifice". I must say my own experience has been quite the opposite of those who have made comments on this website. In my short 34 yrs, tithing, although difficult at times to pay, has always brought me closer to my God. The divine expectation of sacrifice does tend to separate God's children. It always have. History (and modernity) has shown that for every Abel, there are ten Cains. Tithing, of course, is not unique to Mormonism. Believers of many other faiths (whose leaders, undoubtedly, skim off much more of the tithing cream, due to the fact that they don't have their own sources of income as do most LDS leaders), similarly exercise a certain amount of faith, in the expectation that their sacrifice will be recognized in Heaven, and recompensed accordingly. Will we get rich from paying tithing, as many from this website have supposed? Well, that depends on how you define wealth. If wealth means one develops a closer relationship to that God who has given all, if wealth means overcoming the lust of money, if wealth means "having sufficient for your needs" (but, mind you, not always enough for your "wants"), then I can attest, from personal, and countless indirect experiences, that TITHING MAKES YOU WEALTHY. But, let's remember not to let our left hand know what our right hand doeth (especially when God is our judge.) I hope I haven't given the impression that I think myself anybody special for my simple payment of tithing. Like all of us, I have my own issues and vices. But the payment of an honest tithe has helped me to partially overcome my own love of money, and has helped me correct certain priorities in my life. The notion that our leaders are getting rich off our tithe is ludicrous. The presence of temples, free literature, church property (used for humanitarian purposes), and well-constructed church buildings worldwide, hint that something else is going on. And data on incomes published to the contrary, coupled with a personal acquaintance with any such leaders, begs the honest reader not even dignify such lies with a reply. We can, and should, deal with the honest facts of our theology re "God-making", polygny, and the likes, but should be loathe to respond to those who would distort or spread false truths. The notion that bankruptcy has been "caused" by the payment of an honest tithe is similarly irrational when one has a sound scriptural understanding of tithing (although, I do not doubt that many honest tithe-payers have succombed to the easy-out of declaring bankruptcy, ignoring the more difficult but appropriate option of working themselves of their own hole, usually dug with the shovel of materialism. Certainly, the perfectionist Mormon society that emphasizes self-reliance and avoidance of debt has, not for any fault of it's own, pushed many a member to declare bankruptcy to avoid such financial chains.)
In summary, when an individual confesses difficulty with the principle of tithing, one sheds more light on their own personal character, than do they detract from the character of the Mormon faith. Tithing has ruined many a churchgoer's faith (or has evidenced their lack of faith), be it Mormon, Protestant, or Catholic; it will always be a divisive practice. Whose side are we on? Tithe-payers or non tithe-payers. I suggest that this is the issue with most of the comments above (and not, as has been supposed, Mormons or non-Mormons.) The scriptures, and good conscience clear of worldly influence and desires, suggest we should be on the tithe-paying side. - 12/23/2008 - Matt
Not all of the statistics presented here agree.
God knows every need, and would logically command His servants to lead in such a way that will benefit according to the time. Compair the Old and New Testements. Heavenly Father acted differently in both situations. The principles were the same, but carried out differently. God is the same yesterday today and forever, so his methods may change to accomodate need, as He did in the Old and New Testement times.
All clergy in the mormon church is not paid.
Tithing and fast offerings go to those who have LESS money.
As said by many non-morman men and women, "Money is the root of all evil."
Not everyone in Utah is mormon, like not everyone in Colorado is skinny.
Can you honestly judge millions of people by the mistakes or imperfections of one person?
Lastly, I believe that people with good intentions such as yourselves should have some better business than attempting to tear down other people's religions. - 10/06/2007 - Whatever
Yes, I actually believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and am a full tithe payer. The way I found this site is by doing a search on "where to send tithing lds" on Yahoo. The reason I did such a search was because in my last tithing settlement my bishop said he sends some of his own tithing directly to church headquarters so that no one person in our ward will have an accurate idea of how much money he makes. I have some indications as to how much he makes and I have good reason to believe he has several million dollars stashed away after taxes, tithing, etc. I was trying to find the address to send my own tithing to so that no one person in my ward will have an accurate idea how little money I make (currently). To those complaining that they have to show their bishop how much money they make then maybe you can try this solution of sending some of your tithing directly to church headquarters. Then when tithing settlement comes and it shows only $150 was donated through typical ward channels you can still honestly state that you are a full tithe payer. This *may* also explain some of the other comments here by ward secretaries who say they felt like some members were lying when they claimed to be full tithe payers. Then again, it may not explain it but the point is that bishops aren't (or at least shouldn't be) overly analytical about dollar figures they see on the end-of-year tithing printout.
Anyways, the bankruptcy issue is irrelevant. There's rich Mormons and poor Mormons and everywhere-inbetween Mormons just like with non-Mormons. - 09/15/2007 - anon
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