“I am glad we pay our tithing.”

My wife Lyndee got an email at work a few weeks ago. It turns out that they have been paying her the wrong amount.

They have been paying her significantly less than they should have been paid

They had placed her incorrectly on the pay scale. Lyndee has two bachelors degrees and they were only paying her for one. We knew this was the case but she had been told that this was how the district paid new teachers.sacredgrove_large

This development will move her over two columns on the school districts pay scale.

Somebody had told her that the district only paid for additional degrees or credits received AFTER one starts teaching. This was discouraging since she is currently our only full-time income and she deserves even more than the new revised amount.

I had even been told that if I taught for the school district (my plan for next year), they would start me at the bottom of the pay scale and not count any of my degrees beyond my bachelors.

Guess what? That also is not the case.

Given the rough shape of our school district and the numerous voices who had confirmed that the district started everyone at the bottom (as they had been doing with Lyndee), we had little reason to question the supposed policy, though it was discouraging. However, we are happy that it is not the policy at all.

In one afternoon, Lyndee’s salary jumped by ten percent, we found out she would soon be getting the back pay owed to her for her time worked since August, and we found out that I would make $10,000 more a year as a school teacher next year than we had previously been told.

“I am glad we pay our tithing, “Lyndee told me when she called me to tell me about the email.

I am glad, too.

42 comments for ““I am glad we pay our tithing.”

  1. Glad for your family, but be careful about equating paying tithing with receiving financial blessings. It doesn’t work like that

  2. I agree with James. Often, the blessings we receive are not monetary, so we need to be careful not to get into the trap of looking for only monetary blessings when paying our tithing.

  3. James,

    I actually do not believe that we are blessed directly for anything. Though, neither you or I knows how anything works.

    I was fired while paying tithing. I have been unemployed for a over a year while paying titihing on my unemployment and my wife’s income. While I may be implying many things, I am not equating financial blessing with the paying of titihing.

  4. How about this: When we pay tithing, the Lord takes care of us. Whether it’s seeing you through unemployment, or if it’s the form of an unexpected raise. I see both as blessings of tithing.

  5. I once paid tithing on forgotten, but fairly significant cash income and the next week my boss called me to tell me he was thinking he wanted to give me a large bonus – 50% of my annual salary.

    Take it for what you will. Immediately, the tithing payment came to mind and I felt pretty strongly it was the spirit drawing that connection. I think you wife receive the same impression. The hows and whys and universality are not to judge.

    Quite frankly, it would be silly not to suggest that God blesses some people in this manner. We all have such a diversity of “blessings” that only the equal-opportunity-I’m-offended crowd resent it.

    It would certainly be inappropriate and wrong to assume it’s always the case, or to suggest if someone would only pay tithing then they’d get a raise/promotion.

    (yes, I also paid taxes on the cash income)

  6. Christians dom’t “tithe”.

    For a “tithe” is a calculated gift. We give from the heart freely. And we don’t stop at a meager 10%.

    Jesus said that real giving , like that of the widow and her mites, is giving all that we have.

    And that word exposes us…and how we would just pinch it out, when it doesn’t cut into our stack too badly.

  7. Ben, that it was out of the blue really made it all the more fun.

    Steve, hello. Go away.

  8. I’m saying that it isn’t a Christian principle.

    Christians are not (or should not be, anyway) ‘calculated givers’.

    We are free. And really ought give much more than a mere 10%. But many will not.

  9. “I was fired while paying tithing. I have been unemployed for a over a year while paying titihing on my unemployment and my wife’s income. While I may be implying many things, I am not equating financial blessing with the paying of titihing.”

    Nicely said. It makes God pleased, which is enough.

  10. Steve: in the LDs tradition, we also give other, non-prescribed offerings supernumerary to tithing, but for other purposes.

    Chris: nice. I agree with you (and others) that financial blessings are never guaranteed, but it’s nice when it shakes out that way. Blessings always do, and to quote the Stones (who have probably never paid tithing), “you get what you need.” This is what you needed. Glad you got it.

  11. Cool share.

    On a side note: isn’t this the kind of thing your union should be looking out for?

  12. I am truly glad you feel blessed. But it is discouraging when one pays tithing for a lifetime and receives no such blessing. It is better to teach that paying one’s tithing is no guarantee of individual financial security any more than keeping the Word of Wisdom is a guarantee of individual good health.
    The wording of the blessings of tithing are blessings to the church as a group, not to individuals. The members of the group are supposed to help each other through hard times. See James Rasband, Singular and Plural Address in the Scriptures, at byustudies.byu.edu (41:2). http://tinyurl.com/lhethnj

  13. Well said Steve Martin. To be sure, Mormons don’t consider tithing to be the boundary of what the Lord expects of their giving, merely one of the myriad of opportunities we have. We share your goal at struggling to serve with all our might, mind, and strength, to give of our time, talents. We covenant with God to consecrate ourselves to doing good, serving others, and building His Kingdom.

  14. There is faith and there is superstition. We have to ask ourselves which of the two motivates us whenever we choose to keep any of the commandments.

  15. The father of a young family in our ward was recently involved in an unpleasant dispute with his former employer over his right to a significant amount of compensation. The parties had parted company on unpleasant terms, so it was unclear whether the employer would make good on its contractual obligation to pay this young man the money he was owed—money his family seriously needed.

    After prayerful consideration, he and his wife decided to pay tithing on the disputed amount WITHOUT KNOWING whether they would ever receive it. Now that’s faith! (Yes, his former employer later paid the full amount that was due and owing.)

  16. I recently stopped paying tithing because the church won’t adequately disclose what it does with the money. I found that I’m 10% richer as a result.

  17. I like what D&C 119:5 has to say about tithing: “Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties.”

    I also like what James E. Talmage had to say about tithing: “now, instead of doing as mortal landlords do—require you to contract with them to pay in advance, whatever your fortunes or your prospects may be—you shall pay me not in advance, but when you have received; and you shall pay me in accordance with what you receive. If it so be that in one year your income is abundant, then you can afford to pay me a little more; and if it be so that the next year is one of distress and your income is not what it was, then you shall pay me less; and should it be that you are reduced to the utmost penury so that you have nothing coming in, you will pay me nothing.”

    Pay on the surplus of your income after your financial obligations have been met. Pay tithing after you have received your income. Don’t go into debt to pay tithing. Don’t put your family’s livelihood at risk by paying tithing. I object to the promotion of self-sacrificial risky tithe-paying. I object to anyone boasting about how they themselves paid tithing or encouraged someone else to pay tithing at risk as if it is some sort of act of great faith and devotion to God. It is an act of illogical blind foolishness that I’m sure Elder Talmage would greatly discourage. The church is here to take care of the poor and to help those in need, not extort them.

  18. God simply promised open windows of heaven, with blessings pouring out, so much so that one would not have room to receive it, to all who bring their tithes and offering to His storehouse. By your faithful obedience you have proved Him yet again.

  19. Steve Smith, you assert that self-sacrificial tithe-paying is possible. I don’t think it is.

  20. Chris, my comment is completely relevant to the OP. My objections are in reference to some of the reactions to tithe-paying that your OP has elicited. The sort of gung-ho ‘tithing at all costs’ mentality manifests itself too frequently in the Mormon community whenever tithing is mentioned. It must be addressed and dealt with when expressed.

    Cameron, going into debt and risking default on loans and financial obligations just to pay tithing isn’t self-sacrifice?

  21. Gung-ho? Ummm, either we are not reading the same thread or you are not following the Word of Wisdom.

    “It must be addressed and dealt with when expressed.”

    Oh, dear.

  22. Since Steve brought up surplus, I’ll share that I switched to paying on surplus about two years ago. I see from my taxes now that I pay between 40 and 50% of what I used to (and I feel completely honest in telling my bishop that I am a full tithe payer). Since switching, my ability to give to other charitable causes and to neighbors, family, or friends in need has increased dramatically. I find myself getting more joy from giving than ever before (including to the Church). Like Chris, I’m glad we pay our tithing, and I’m also grateful we’ve been blessed with additional resources to give elsewhere.

    Also, I don’t want to disagree with anyone else’s tithing math. To Steve’s point, I don’t think the Lord wants it to become burdensome, or ever put shelter, food, or health at risk. I subscribe to the First Presidency statement 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 payment accordingly”.

  23. JST Genesis 14:39. Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need.

    More than that which he had need. Interesting…

    Tithing 10% of gross can lead to a situation wherein those who make only a little more than they need to survive actually fall behind each month. And the amount they come up short each month is greater and greater. Those who make a significant amount more than they need to survive actually carry money over the next month after tithing is met. Tithing 10% of all income disproportionately creates a burden on low earners.

    Under the United Order, all people were guaranteed to have their basic needs met. Under the Law of Tithing, this guarantee is not there for certain people. I know it is a lesser law, but that is supposed to mean it is easier to live, right? For the wealthy, yes. For the poor, no.

    Read JST Genesis again. I think the wording is so significant.

  24. Chris, denial and snide remarks, huh? Real classy. Great way to dodge real issues when brought up.

  25. Chris,

    For every person proclaiming a cash payment from God as a result of their own contractually based financial intercourse with deity, there are on the other side of the heavenly ledger legions succumbing to the painful realities of want, with no check showing up in the mail.

    How can a person in the midst of want and pain reconcile your post with the stark realities of their own situation.

    I can assure you that when loved ones go without basic necessities a finger wagging discourse on patience from someone secure and prosperous is of little comfort.

    Is your situation a blessing from God? I don’t have a clue, nor would I suggest yea or nay on the issue. That is for you and God alone to decide.

    I have one suggestion. When you perceive a financial blessing from God, when the overwhelming body of evidence suggests that God rarely deals with his children in such a manner, perhaps you might apply this from the 63rd section of the Doctrine & Covenants:

    64 Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit; and in this there is no condemnation, and ye receive the Spirit through prayer; wherefore, without this there remaineth condemnation.

    Please be careful.

  26. To those who are suggesting a “minimal” tithe is sufficient, don’t talk about things you do not understand. You are extolling the blessings of having more money. I personally know a sister who faithfully paid tithing while she was losing her home to foreclosure. She was working two full-time jobs to resolve her financial difficulties. Her husband is an ex-Mormon and unemployed. He refused church aid. But he could not stop her from paying a full tithe. I will not reveal the blessings she has received for her sacrifice, but they far outweigh anything I have ever heard of in any church lesson or testimony regarding tithing.

    The long and short of it is, I would suggest that any person who wants and needs a relationship with Deity should NEVER neglect the law of tithing. I believe that the spiritual blessings that flow from the tithes and offerings we make far outweigh the physical and financial blessings.

  27. Also, show me the finger wagging in my post. BTW, I NEVER CLAIMED A FINANCIAL BLESSING. I tend to not believe in such things. All I said was that we are glad that we paid tithing. The post is an exercise in seeing what people would read into it. You will see whatever you want in it. It is very human.

  28. I wonder why we are still getting grossly underpaid. We pay our tithing. Maybe God loves you more.

  29. Old Man, the instance you mention of the sister paying tithing when she couldn’t meet other extremely important financial obligations (including providing shelter for her family) is yet another example of foolishness motivated by blind faith that likely would have been decried by Elder Talmage and other early LDS leaders. But I don’t lay the blame squarely on the sister for such a foolish decision, but more so a radical cultural trend, which has emerged in the LDS church as of recent, that uses shaming, guilt-tripping, and other high pressure tactics to get members to paying tithing at all costs, even if it means putting your family at financial risk. Early LDS leaders and the scriptures have been clear: pay tithing on your surplus and your increase. If you have no money to pay tithing, then you pay nothing. Your comment suggests that you do not have a good understanding of tithe-paying in earlier periods. You’re perpetuating a culture of mild extortion and blind faith.

  30. I’ve always had a testimony of tithing. I think some of my blessings for paying have been financial, and I think some have not. Just because I am blessed in a certain way does not mean that God will necessarily bless another in the exact same way.

    Frankly, I get a bit tired of people saying it’s offensive to praise God for blessings when so many don’t seem to receive them. It would certainly be much easier to praise God if it were more clear the blessings came from him. Just because it’s not clear does not mean He doesn’t want our gratitude.

    D&C 59:21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

  31. After thinking about it a bit, I think I’m repelled by the idea that people who experience an improvement in their lives should be scolded for seeing that improvement as a blessing, or that people must be prevented from ever seeing themselves as having been blessed for keeping commandments. People who are offended by Chris’s post should probably find a different site to express their outrage.

  32. Let us show gratitude in all things. And tithing is a commandment. But I am mindful of JST Romans 13:6-7 teaching us that we pay tithing AFTER we have paid everything we owe to others, not before.

  33. Mike (no. 38) — Not very often — the teachings today seem to be to pay your tithing first, before rent and groceries and taxes. Somehow, though, I think the JST makes sense in this matter…


    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of rationally thinking readers would conclude that your post strongly suggested a link between tithe-paying and financial blessings, even if you didn’t overtly state that. Why did you follow that you would make 10K more as a school teacher than you thought with an expression of how you and your wife are glad that you pay tithing? This isn’t suggesting anything? This is a complete non-sequitur? And now you’re claiming that your post was some sort of test to see what people would read into it? I get the sense that you like playing little rhetorical games more than you like seriously engaging topics.

  35. Seriously engaging the anal retentive and self-righteous is a tad different than seriously engaging topics. The danger of sharing personal pearls is that they invite the swine. Clearly you are the best judge of my intentions. Steve, I pity those who have to deal with you in real life. I am glad not to be one of them.

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