Criticism of Mormonism/Websites/MormonThink/Tithing/Source quotes without commentary

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A FairMormon Analysis of:
MormonThink/Tithing
A work by author: Anonymous

Resources.png    MormonThink web page "The Witnesses" content without commentary

This page simply displays all of the source quotes and citations used on the critical web page in the order that they appear. There are no "Critic's comment," "Apologetic response," or "Our Thoughts" sections. We make no attempt to explain, summarize or draw conclusions from these quotes. We will provide additional context by including additional text from these quotes when necessary. We also attempt to add sources and links to the full original text, rather than links to other websites which simply quote the text.

Source quotes

Critical website's source quote
(4) The Mormon church is too legalistic on tithing. The word tithe is only mentioned six times in the New Testament, at Mat. 23:23, Luke 11:42 and Heb. 7:5,6,8,9. "Tithing was an Old Testament obligation that was incumbent on the Jews under the Law of Moses. Christians are dispensed from the obligation of tithing ten percent of their incomes, but not from the obligation to help the Church. The key to understanding how God wants us to give to the Church is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2, "On the first day of the week [Sunday] each of you should set aside whatever he can afford," and in 2 Corinthians 9:5-8, "So I thought it necessary to encourage the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for your promised gift [donation], so that in this way it might be ready as a bountiful gift and not as an exaction. Consider this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work."



To paraphrase: God doesn't demand a fixed amount of money from us; he wants us to give from the heart. If people are forced by their church to give a certain percent of their income, that's extortion. If they give freely and cheerfully the amount they are able, that's a gift.

Critical website's source(s)

Not specified.

Critical website's source quote
For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their INTEREST annually, which is understood to mean income. NO ONE IS JUSTIFIED IN MAKING ANY OTHER STATEMENT THAN THIS. We feel that every member of the Church should be ENTITLED TO MAKE HIS OWN DECISION as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly.

Critical website's source(s)

March 19, 1970, the First Presidency letter

  • Context:

My wife and I want to fully obey the Lord’s commandment to pay tithing, but we are confused as to what figure we should base our tithing on. Can you help us?

Bishop Victor L. Brown, Presiding Bishop of the Church Since we learn in the Book of Mormon that Abraham paid his tithing to Melchizedek, we know the law of tithing was lived in ancient times. This law was reestablished in the Church in this dispensation through a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith at Far West, Missouri, on July 18, 1838, as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 119, verses 3–4:

“And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.

“And after that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.”

On March 19, 1970, the First Presidency sent the following letter to presidents of stakes and missions, bishops of wards, and presidents of branches in answer to the question, “What is a proper tithe?”

“For your guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their interest annually, which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this. We feel that every member of the Church should be entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly.”

At the close of each year, each member of the Church has the responsibility of attending tithing settlement with his bishop. At this time, each member has the opportunity to declare whether he is a full, part, or non-tithe payer. The payment of tithing is a matter between the individual and the Lord. The bishop is merely the Lord’s servant who receives and accounts for the contribution.

The Lord has promised that he will open the windows of heaven to those who pay their tithes and offerings. We read in Malachi:

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

“Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Mal. 3:8–10.)

When one has been completely honest with the Lord, a feeling of peace and tranquility enters his heart and he knows that he is a full tithe payer.

Pay your tithing on the basis on which you wish to be blessed.

  • Source text: "I Have a Question," Ensign, April 1974. off-site

Critical website's source quote
The simplest statement we know of is the statement of the Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should pay ?one-tenth of all their interest annually,' which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this.

Critical website's source(s)

First Presidency letter, 19 Mar. 1970; see also D&C 119:4

Critical website's source quote
Discuss the following attitudes and decide on the right solution: 1. A man once said, "I pay tithing on all my salary after deductions, since I don't get the money that is taken for taxes." Is he correct? (Tithing is one-tenth of all our interest or increase, before anything else is taken out. See D&C 119:4

Critical website's source(s)

Family Home Evening Resource Book, Lesson Ideas, Tithing, 227

Critical website's source quote
REPORTER:

IN MY COUNTRY, THE.WE SAY THE PEOPLE'S CHURCHES, THE PROTESTANTS, THE CATHOLICS, THEY PUBLISH ALL THEIR BUDGETS, TO ALL THE PUBLIC.

HINCKLEY: YEAH. YEAH.

REPORTER: WHY IS IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOUR CHURCH?

HINCKLEY:

WELL, WE SIMPLY THINK THAT THE.THAT INFORMATION BELONGS TO THOSE WHO MADE THE CONTRIBUTION, AND NOT TO THE WORLD. THAT'S THE ONLY THING. YES.

Critical website's source(s)

"President Hinckley was interviewed just before the 2002 Olympics"

Critical website's source quote
A recent magazine article praised us as a well-run financial institution of great wealth. It grossly exaggerated the figures. The money the Church receives from faithful members is consecrated. It is the Lord’s purse. Our Church facilities are money consuming and not money producing. We are not a financial institution. We are The Church of Jesus Christ. The funds for which we are responsible involve a sacred trust to be handled with absolute honesty and integrity, and with great prudence as the dedicated consecrations of the people.We feel a tremendous responsibility to you who make these contributions. We feel an even greater responsibility to the Lord whose money this is.

Critical website's source(s)

Gordon B Hinckley, Latter Day Saints in Very Deed, Ensign, Nov 1995

  • Source text: Gordon B. Hinckley, "Latter-day Saints in Very Deed," Ensign, October 1997. off-site

Critical website's source quote
In 1997, U.S. congregations of the similarly sized Evangelical Lutheran Church in America raised $11.8 million in cash donations for worldwide hunger. The same year it raised $3.64 million for domestic and international disaster response, for a one-year humanitarian cash total of $15.44 million, more than half the amount the LDS provided over fourteen years.

Critical website's source(s)

P. 129, Mormon America, Richard Ostling

Critical website's source quote
According to an official church Welfare Services fact sheet, the church gave $1.3 billion in humanitarian aid in over 178 countries and territories during the 25 years between 1985 and 2010. A fact sheet from the previous year indicates that less than one-third of the sum was monetary assistance, while the rest was in the form of “material assistance.” All in all, if one were to evenly distribute that $1.3 billion over a quarter century, it would mean that the church gave $52 million annually. A recently published article co-written by Cragun estimates that the Mormon Church donates only about 0.7 percent of its annual income to charity; the United Methodist Church gives about 29 percent.

Critical website's source(s)

"Business Week reported the following in this July 2012 article"

Critical website's source quote
Thoughtful saints might wonder whether the church should spend more of its assets on programs that benefit the membership rather than further enriching an already huge financial base.

Critical website's source(s)

P 119, Mormon America, Richard Ostling

Critical website's source quote
The wealth moves generally in the form of building projects and not, as one might expect, in welfare from congregations in the United States to congregations overseas.

Critical website's source(s)

P. 126, Mormon America, Richard Ostling

Critical website's source quote
The church is undertaking a huge development project in the interest of protecting the environment of Temple Square. While the costs will be great, it will not involve the expenditure of tithing funds.

Critical website's source(s)

Oct. 2006 General Conference, Pres. Hinckley

  • Context:

Circumstances change, but our message does not change. We bear testimony to the world that the heavens have been opened, that God, our Eternal Father, and His Son, the risen Lord, have appeared and spoken. We offer our solemn witness that the priesthood has been restored with the keys and authority of eternal blessings.

We recently dedicated the new Sacramento California Temple, the 7th in that state and the 123rd in the world. We also broke ground for another temple in the Salt Lake area.

We are pleased to announce that the renovation of the Salt Lake Tabernacle is proceeding on schedule and that this unique and wonderful facility will next spring again accommodate the Tabernacle Choir in its weekly broadcasts.

The Church is undertaking a huge development project in the interest of protecting the environment of Temple Square. While the costs will be great, it will not involve the expenditure of tithing funds.

However, the faithfulness of our people continues to be demonstrated in the payment of tithes and offerings.

Altogether, I can only report that the Lord is richly blessing His Church, and our duty is to do all we can to move it forward.

  • Source text: Gordon B. Hinckley, "We Bear Testimony to the World," Ensign, October 2006. off-site

Critical website's source quote
I remember my heart sinking when I first saw the pictures of the expensive Conference Center, and remembering the Mormon families I had known who let their kids go without proper medical care just to pay tithes.

Critical website's source(s)

"From a member"

Critical website's source quote
If we decide now to be a full-tithe payer and if we are steady in paying it, blessings will flow.

Critical website's source(s)

Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady," Ensign, Nov. 2005, 40.

Critical website's source quote
BYU Experts are quick to remind Church members to take tithing into account when budgeting for expenses large and small. Having 10 percent less money will likely mean you live in a smaller home, purchase a less-expensive car, or take a less-lavish family vacation that the average American household

Critical website's source(s)

Winter 2008 BYU Magazine

Critical website's source quote
"[Faust] emphasized the need to sacrifice for temple building and shared how members in Argentina found ways to donate during the construction of the São Paulo Brazil Temple. They gave the gold from their dental work to help pay for the temple. He said that he had purchased some of the gold fillings for more than the market price to share with congregations the nature of the sacrifice made by these members

Critical website's source(s)

Church News, 9 May 1998

Critical website's source quote
While my older children were at school and the little ones napped, I spread the household bills across the kitchen table. I began this dreaded monthly task by praying for wisdom and ability to stretch our meager income. The tithing check, as always, would be the first one written.

When I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young wife and mother, I had committed to pay tithing. I had never wavered from that promise. I was deeply distressed, however, by inadequate funds to cover yet another month of utility, mortgage, and insurance bills. Now I was a single mother of six young children. I frequently felt overwhelmed by the constant workload, financial worries, and endless decisions involved in my efforts to be both mother and father with no extended family to give me relief or support.

As I sat at the table pleading with the Lord for His help and mercy, the Holy Ghost opened to my view a beautiful and comforting manifestation of the Savior’s love. I was able to see the money owed for household expenses with a new perspective as the sacred priorities of life were brought to my remembrance. I knew that our Heavenly Father wanted me to have the blessings promised to those who faithfully paid tithes and offerings. I also knew that tithe paying should be a joyful act of love, devoid of fear and worry.

As the Spirit of the Lord filled me, I found myself bearing testimony of convictions I had long held firm and sacred. My voice broke the silence of the kitchen as I declared that I would rather lose the water source to my house than lose the living water offered by the Savior. I would rather have no food on our table than be without the Bread of Life. I would prefer to endure the darkness and discomfort of no electricity than to forfeit the Light of Christ in my life. I would rather abide with my children in a tent than relinquish my privilege of entering the house of the Lord. The burden of worry immediately lifted. My love for the Lord overcame the weakness generated by my fears. Our Heavenly Father is our deliverer, our benefactor, and our protector. He truly does supply all our needs. His promises are sure and unfailing. He commands us to pay tithing on our increase so that He may shower down blessings from heaven—including peace of mind, freedom from worldly and material worry, and confidence in His holy name.

From that day forward I have counted it a joy to pay my tithing, without reservation or fear, to Him and for Him who first loved me.

Critical website's source(s)

Nancy Kay Smith, “Could Tithing Ease My Worries?,” Ensign, July 2009, pg 73

  • Source text: Nancy Kay Smith, "Latter-day Saint Voices," Ensign, July 2009. off-site

Critical website's source quote
After reading these scriptures together, Bishop Orellana looked at the new convert and said, “If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing. The Lord will not abandon you."

Critical website's source(s)

2012 Ensign article "Sacred Transformations"

  • Context:

The Vigils’ bishop, César Orellana, also saw changes in their lives. Soon after their baptism, Amado approached Bishop Orellana and said, “We want to pay tithing, but we don’t know how.”

Bishop Orellana explained that tithing was 10 percent of their increase. Amado was somewhat concerned. At the time, Evelyn had a job, but he did not. “We always come up short,” Amado explained to his bishop, “but we want to pay tithing.”

Bishop Orellana responded, “Brother, the Lord has made many promises.” Together they read scriptures about the blessings that come from faithfully paying tithing, including the Lord’s words through the prophet Malachi: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, … and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

After reading these scriptures together, Bishop Orellana looked at the new convert and said, “If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing. The Lord will not abandon you.”

The next Sunday, Amado approached Bishop Orellana again. This time he didn’t ask any questions. He simply handed his bishop an envelope and said, “Bishop, here is our tithing.”

Reflecting on this experience, Bishop Orellana says, “Ever since then, they have been faithful tithe payers.” The family received some commodities from the bishops’ storehouse during their financial difficulties. Beyond that, the Lord blessed them to be able to care for themselves. Evelyn received a promotion, and Amado found a good job. Evelyn later lost her job, but they continued to pay tithing and to receive spiritual and temporal blessings for their faithfulness. Once Bishop Orellana asked Amado how the family was doing financially. Amado responded, “We’re doing all right. Sometimes we don’t have much to eat, but we have enough. And more than anything, we trust in the Lord.”

After paying tithing for some time, Evelyn and Amado spoke with Bishop Orellana about the blessings they had received. Referring to Malachi 3:10, they said, “We have proven the Lord.” And true to Bishop Orellana’s promise, the Lord never abandoned them.

  • Source text: Aaron L. West, "Sacred Transformations," Ensign, December 2012. off-site