Ordain Women – the Joke Is On You

Ordain Women - the Joke Is On YouI just read the “hilarious” post on Andy Kano’s blog titled: Some LDS Women Want The Priesthood? Well LDS Men Have Some Requests Too.

If you don’t want to read it, in a nutshell it’s a “comical” slapdown of Ordain Women in which he demands equality by, you know, providing a room where men can nurse their babies (I mean who wants to see all that exposed chest hair!), adding padded priesthood room chairs, and equalizing other disparities that he, apparently, thinks (in that über gut-busting way) are equivalent to not being able to share in the power of God and all that silly stuff that no one really wants to be part of.

To be clear, I have a wee tendency to be sarcastic. And I like parody and can enjoy good satire. I guess that’s what Andy was trying to accomplish. But I think he fails because he’s part of the church “power structure” ridiculing those who aren’t and who sincerely feel disenfranchised (to use an overwrought term). It’s pretty hard to pull of that kind of “humor.”

Apparently Andy has received scads of comments from myriad perspectives. Enough that he appears to have added a couple of caveats at the end. In a single paragraph he says both this:

I realize that my post is dismissive to the topic of female ordination without showing any empathy. Sometimes feelings get hurt when a person tries to be funny about a topic that is dear to the hearts of others.

and this:

Let’s be constructive and figure out what we can do if priesthood isn’t an option.

I’m not part of Ordain Women and don’t necessarily support everything they stand for, but I don’t think mocking and belittling OW meets his own suggested behavior.

Have you seen the new Mormon Message called Bullying – Stop It? If not, please do. I realize that I’m biased (my daughter, Monica, plays the blonde bullied girl), but I think there’s a reason it’s received over 300,000 view in only a week. It’s a universal theme.

Watch the main bully and the excuses he gives for his behavior (particularly when confronted in the nursing home).

Look…um…I was just joking around. So…people need to stop taking things so seriously.

It seems sadly familiar.

63 comments for “Ordain Women – the Joke Is On You

  1. Alison, noticing that a misconception is ridiculous is not bullying. I feel no compulsion to antagonize people, but when they promote false and failed ideas, the bad ideas must be refuted.

    Ideas that have been submitted to the public square for consideration are always subject to critical examination on their merits. If you can’t stand the heat, keep you private ideas private. An article in the NYTimes is not private.

    Perhaps it is unfortunate that some get emotionally attached to wrong ideas. When that happens there is no gentle way to argue without exposure to some personal trauma. It is painful to learn that your personal ideas are wrong.

  2. If the .002% can’t handle satire (which they dish out themselves regularly) then it’s time to put your big girl pants on. Comparing that to bullying is ridiculous.

  3. Thanks babaroni. Alo, it was down earlier, back now. Thanks Bryan G.

    Jim Cobabe:

    (1) Mocking isn’t the same as “noticing.”

    (2) What part is ridiculous? The priesthood? Wanting to hold the priesthood? Wanting to participate in ordinances, such as healing the sick, blessing babies, baptizing? Those silly things?

    (3) How is OW actually “refuted” in this piece?

    (4) For which ideas did Andy provide a “critical examination”?

    (5) So you’re saying that OW deserves to be mocked, but Andy can’t be?

    (6) What wrong ideas did Andy attempt to argue in a “gentle way”?

    C Rider: I see, so it’s not “bullying,” it’s just all in good fun. Kind of like when you used to lovingly tease black people for that eternal ministering angel stuff, right?

    People just need to stop taking things so seriously!

  4. It’s satire, it’s used to expose the silliness of the the OW movement. OW uses the same tactics and worse. When you dish it out you need to also be able to have a thicker skin when your own tactics are used on you, instead of whining and crying ‘they are bulling me!” It was a clever article, funny, and it hit its mark judging by all the histrionics over it. Kudos to Andy!

  5. C Rider, a few points:

    Andy doesn’t “expose the silliness of the OW movement” anymore than my saying “C Rider, you’re such a stupid dork” exposes the silliness of you. Unless, of course, you’re claiming that the “inequity” of denying men a room to nurse babies that they can’t nurse is of the same flavor as being excluded from the power of God. Are you?

    Or rather, is Andy using trivial things men are “denied” in an attempt make the position of OW seem equally as trivial — even though the comparison is ludicrous? (Also, please note, women do not have urinals. I don’t think OW has ever demanded that we get them.)

    You seem to be of the opinion that if OW mocked other groups (they might, but I haven’t heard it and I’m not writing about it (feel free to write your own post about such things)) that somehow means Andy’s mockery “works” or is appropriate. Obviously that’s fallacious.

    Also obvious are the facts that (1) “clever” and “funny” are subjective, so making that claim in some absolutist fashion (as you did) is meaningless and (2) ad hominem doesn’t prove your point.

    I’m not part of OW (if you read the post carefully, you’d know that) so I’m (obviously) not claiming to be bullied by Andy. I’m actually standing up for a group I’m NOT part of because I think such treatment is wrong and certainly doesn’t fit Andy’s own claim about what we should be doing.

  6. Alison, I must be missing the distinction between “noticing” and “mocking”. How does your post criticising Andy’s blog escape from the “bullying” characterization? And your responses? Maybe you therefore should be known as a “bully” too?

    Stop it!

    For that matter, I wonder how exactly does Jesus not fall into your “bully” category when he drove the moneychangers from the Temple? But then, we know Jesus was a guy, so we expect a little Divine insensitivity from Him, neh?

    Just where is the line of demarcation between “bully” and normal? In our faux-hypersenstive culture, everyone wears their “bullied victim” status on their sleeve as if it were some badge of distinction. The problem then phases into total silly space, where I believe I am entitled to a continuous state of “outrage” for the way everyone mistreats me, etc. If everyone contrives to be outraged all the time about something, it loses any unique meaning.

    There must be a saner approach that finds equilibrium somewhere west of the range of phony posturing of continual moral outrage. Otherwise everyone is a “bully” and “bullied” at the same time, and the state of “moral outrage” becomes the new “normal”.

    Perhaps we need some revision to the scale of “outrage”. Something like the new accommodations in Facebook for specifying finer nuances of “gender identity”. A “fifty shades of outrage” sort of thing.

  7. As if the Word of God is dependent upon the proper genitalia of the person who delivers it.

    That would make for an awfully small god, in my opinion.

  8. Let them eat cake!

    Jim, if you can actually answer my (specific, numbered) questions, please do. But you seem to want to avoid a real discussion for the sake of bluster. As for the difference between the mocking in the post and your downplaying verbiage of “noticing.” a dictionary should work for you.

    How does my post differ? On that point, reading should suffice. I don’t mock Andy at all (and I think you know that), rather I discuss what he actually said as opposed to making nonsensical comparisons in order to discredit him.

    I absolutely agree that the position of OW is up for discussion. (As I’ve said repeatedly, I’m not a member of the group and don’t support their entire mission.) But Andy’s post is as bit as much of for discussion. (Which (remember that dictionary thing?) isn’t the same as ad hominem and mocking from the privileged.)

    I wonder how exactly does Jesus not fall into your “bully” category when he drove the moneychangers from the Temple?

    LOL So Andy is now just Christ in the temple and OW are moneychangers. OK! Now I get it! Makes total sense! Or, wait, I don’t remember Christ standing around in the temple smirking and making rude, dopy comments about, say, how fat their mother’s were or how ugly their wives were. Maybe we read different versions of the Bible?

    I wouldn’t have a problem if Andy had actually discussed the issues and why he disagrees. And I wouldn’t have had a problem if his attempt at satire had been more carefully crafted, meaning that the comparisons had actually worked (rather than been ridiculous, trivial, and (in his own words) “dismissive…without showing any empathy) and if he’d been astute enough to recognize that much more care should be shown in using such a device given his own “male privilege” in the church.

    To be clear, I’m not “outraged. The continued hyperbole really doesn’t serve your position.

    It is interesting, though, that both you and C Rider seem to think that the best discussion tactic is to use extreme verbiage to describe both me, OW, and others with whom you disagree. Rather than discussing the actual content of my post, of Andy’s post, or the OW position, it’s just a huge leap to

  9. As I said in the comments over there before it was lost in the noise, I don’t think there’s any humor in his piece for one reason: I can’t think of a single guy who would be disappointed were his suggestions implemented. Why can’t some people see that fixing the problems we have between genders is not a zero sum game? Why _not_ give the EQ and HP some comfy chairs, too? Why not create a father’s lounge for egalitarian dads to calm their kids while listening to the meeting? Seriously, it’s not like implementing these things are needed to improve equality but I call his bluff on the idea that these suggestions are “just as” silly as women taking on equal responsibility. That is the best response to deflate this sort of “satire” against OW: sure, why not?

  10. Well, I don’t know about y’all, but *I’m* now feeling morally superior. Thanks, T&S!

    Will you make a weekly habit of dissecting your inferiors, or is this a one-time event because this particular blogger went after one of your sacred cows?

  11. I think you’re right. It’s definitely bullying. Especially the part where Andy Kano personally made all of those people go to his personal blog and read it line by line. He’s a monster and he needs to be stopped.

    Wait? That didn’t happen? You went to his blog and read his not funny personal opinion on a topic on which you have a differing opinion? Doesn’t sound like bullying to me. Even his alleged “mocking and belittling” was pretty tame. I hear worse from my grandmother when she doesn’t like my hair.

    For the life of me, I can’t understand why people get so worked up over one guy’s personal opinion. Anything written on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true or valuable, it just means that they have an internet connection. They are free to express their opinion, however stupid it may be, because ‘Merica.

    Feel free to disagree with someone’s opinion, if you feel you need to refute what a stranger you have never met thinks, that’s also within your right. But let’s keep it in perspective, you don’t know that guy, he doesn’t have any bearing on your actual life, nor do you have any on his. You don’t like what he has to say? Then don’t read his blog. See how easy that is?

  12. I’ve mentioned before, in our building everyone gets padded seats ( well apart from the 6 very small nursery chairs). Also, the ‘mother’s’ lounge is more of a cupboard with a single chair, a sink, the only changing table, and no natural light, and given only one person can use it at a time, both men and women use it primarily for this changing table.

  13. Specific numbered answers:

    1. Thanks for the tip.
    2. The ridiculous parts.
    3. I give up. How?
    4. Ask Andy.
    5. I did not say that.
    6. Don’t know. Do tell.

    My favorite mocking example has always been the duel between Elijah and the priests of Baal.

    And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

  14. From my perspective, the problem with Andy’s blog post is that it implies, “You’re not only wrong, you’re also obviously stupid.” That’s unhelpful and destructive — uncharitable. If OW has done the same sort of thing (I haven’t kept up enough to know) then they should stop too.

  15. Jake, I think you’re missing the obvious. I think OW has done and is doing the “same sort of thing”. Their contentions are equally as ridiculous.

    The ridiculous question arguing here seems to be about who has a proprietary right to ridiculousness. Why does one particular ridiculousness have ascendency?

    Alison was apparently inclined to the complaint that Andy’s ridiculous post constitutes “bullying”. So he should apparently just “Stop it!”

    Okay. So the ridiculousness of the OW movement is somehow more deserving of my respect? I would argue that there is no qualitative difference between one ridiculous extreme or the other. From my perspective all the whacky and bizarre ideas spinning off from the original ludicrous premise are equally implausible.

    Not that I don’t enjoy considering the implausible, mind you. ;-)

  16. Alison, you are doing a fine job on your own here, so I will only say that my own feelings on OW are mixed, but I have no more right to judge the merits and motivations of the OW movement than white tea party conservatives do to quantify the levels of racism in this country. C. Rider and Jim Cobabe, you are giving male privilege a bad name.

  17. Oh? Do tell.

    First define terms, I suppose. What exactly is intended by “male privilege”? Is it similar to “rape culture”?

    Obviously I am rather underwhelmed by the implications.

  18. kevinf’s statement is a well know tactic from feminists that claims unless you’re a member of said group you shouldn’t comment (statement is also often made by a guilt ridden male to earn acceptance as an “ally”). It a purposeful conversation-ender/diverter. It allows OW to mock opposing viewpoints without counter. Any comments challenging their mockery and polemics get met with “that’s “male privilege! White privilege!, Rape Culture! Mansplanning!”,etc. Like I said they love to dish out satire themselves, but have such thin-skins they can’t abide it when directed at them!

  19. Alison, great video. Your daughter did an excellent job and I said so in my latest post.

    Obviously I agree with all of the comments defending me so I’m sorry we see things differently. I don’t think I’m a bully, but a lot of bullies would probably say the same.

    Also your picture on the post doesn’t look anything like me. I’m short, fat, and not-white. Please don’t make fun.

  20. I don’t think Andy’s post constitutes bullying anymore than the typical post over at FMH…. But this should come as very little surprise. So much of the debate surrounding feminism has to do with the terms with which our social reality is described: once “privilege” and “alienation” are the terms that are freely chosen to describe things, then the feminist conclusions follow quite naturally. The same could be said for various terms (“humility”, “service”, etc.) which are used to support the status quo.

    Most importantly, since there is no rational reason why one set of terms *must*, of necessity, uniquely and exclusively describe the social phenomena at issue, there is nothing left to do but shout, bully, snark, parody, share heart-wrenching anecdotes and other forms of irrational persuasion. This, I think, is the very reason why both Andy’s and FMH posts not only do, but almost have to sound the way they do.

  21. Cobabe and Rider, It’s you guys who used the terms “rape culture,” not me. And I am surprised that you somehow seem to feel that “giving male privilege a bad name” was meant as anything but satire. Admittedly, I found Andy’s blog post probably more of a misfired attempt at humor than bullying, something I am all too familiar with from personal experience.

    But in a more substantive vein, here’s a quick exercise from the 84th section of the Doctrine & Covenants, We all recognize v33-44 as the “Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood,” something that under our current Church policy and principle as something that derives from the doctrine that priesthood is currently only given to males. With that basis, the gender specific language makes total sense. However, when we look at the few verses immediately following verse 44:

    45 For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

    46 And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.

    47 And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father.

    48 And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world.

    Can any of us look at these additional verses and believe that the gender specific language here refers only to males, rather than being universal to all of God’s children? Doesn’t that at least allow for asking questions?

  22. You can call Andy a dismissive and condescending jerk and say his post lacked empathy. Logic can at least be identified in those claims, but to label it as bullying is nothing short of absurd. And as someone else has already pointed out, by your own illogical definition, you yourself are a bully for attacking Andy, as would be every member of the high school debate team or anyone ever involved in a political discussion.

    I’m all for the anti-bullying movement, but you are digressing from the issue and damaging your own cause by making false claims of bullying. I’m a fan of the video but it has been somewhat ruined for me knowing that a person involved created such a misguided post as this. I’m sorry for any legitimate bullying you may have suffered in your life, but that does not give you the right to scream bully at the first sign of a sarcastic debate; and further, how exhausting that must be!

    Choose your battles and find appropriate ways to further your cause. I realize that a response like this likely casts me into your group of identified “bullies”; may Heaven have mercy on our souls. In case after all that, you are still confused, let me put it simply. It was satire not bullying, so you need to STOP IT!

  23. Women will never get the priesthood, just like blacks won’t just ever get the priesthood, just like polygamy is an eternal principle that will never be taken from the earth.

    What church do some of these people belong to, anyway?

  24. When O.D. no 3 comes out, is everyone prepared to faithfully follow the prophet and unconditionally accept these sisters as new Elders? Or will these sisters still be considered the willful, unreasonable women I see depicted in some of these responses?

  25. The latter part of point 26 is well said. We all seem to engage in cafeteria mormonism don’t we? We say “all men” means men when we want it to. Then, when we need it to mean men and women we do that too.

    We should be asking questions and I’m grateful so many are.

    Bullying happens when those who feel there is no need to question call those who do question apostates. Bullying happens when we shut another point of view down because we are uncomfortable with it and it exposes our own shortcomings.

  26. That bullying video would work better if they got some less dorky lookin’ guys to play the bullies. Just sayin’! <== Satire. (For the record, I was a frequent target of bullying in elementary and junior high school. And while I don't want to get involved in a debate about what is, and what is not, bullying, I would've been thrilled if my chief tormentors had posted some dorky picture of me with a stupid slogan all over the school and left it at that: I was a target of actual physical intimidation.)

  27. Oh my… so now every priesthood holder is a participant in the Mormon “male power structure” so any critique they apply to the repressed OW minority is bullying. Really? For a movement that wants to espouse pluralism as its highest virtues, this is the worst kind of binary thinking. Kano’s williness to acknowledge the satire in his writing makes it obvious that he has sympathy for the movement, although like many of us in the “male power structure” as well as the majority of women in the church, he questions some of the groups methods, it’s underlying motives, and the irony of some of its positions.

  28. Andy Kano is hilarious!
    What? We can’t say anything in regards to OW, only they can? Please! It seems, at times, those who claim they are openminded, are actually more close minded as they do not allow others with differing views a voice, because we just aren’t as enlightened as them.

  29. Greetings:
    My name is Cindy, I live in Mexico. I am an endowed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, my ancestors were Mormon pioneers…I am also an endowed member of the Church of the Firstborn. This is where my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

    It is this The Heavenly Church that I take communion with… may I speak this in all humbleness, as I have prayed about speaking of these holy things, that we all enjoy from our temple experiences…They have burned it in my bosom and I feel you in my heart, only to inspire you and others, how to come up to mount Zion! And take communion with Them…for that is one of the purposes of the endowment of power…

    I realize that many in the great and spacious buildings will laugh and mock at my words…and maybe desire to take away my membership on this earth. That this could even be possible today, especially a woman, to speak such things, using my priesthood to bless my daughter when she is sick, or to bless the sacrament in my own home…to partake of it in the presence of the Heavenly Church and Host…and communing with angels and the General Assembly of Heavenly and I am not dead…

    And I see as I am seen, and know as I am known in Their Presence, and I desire the same for all my brothers and sisters…because the church of the Firstborn is your Eternal Family…. That you go to the temple to be sealed into…The Celestial Kingdom that is coming down to the earth…Your Patriarchal and Matriarchal Family!
    To quote D&C:77:11A
    We are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests( priestesses), ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.
    I’m new to blogging, but I feel I must be personal…and prayerful of what I write. I see the crises in the church in the church of the telestial world, and it is a famine for the words of truth and comfort unto His daughters about their priesthood, which was conferred upon them from our Mother in Heaven.
    Mother in Heaven’s priesthood is called The Priesthood of Life and Light and this priesthood was conferred upon us from before the foundations of the world, by it we are justified, by the Lord to perform ordinances and all priesthood functions, to be a help meet for man and our husbands…

    As was our mother Eve, she was not a queen unto her husband, and he is not her head as only the Lord is her head, he has no dominion over the woman, or over the earth. He is a husbandman and has a stewardship. May I speak boldly Satan and the Lord do battle over dominion. We has woman are to covenant to with the Lord to be a help meet unto man.
    Mother Eve and all her faithful daughters are Queens and Priestesses and prophetesses, unto the Most High God! She covenanted with the Lord to be a help meet unto her husband and…This is the Matriarchal Priesthood of the Mother…and it was given by Her to all women…
    We may also seek to be called (commissioned) of the Lord…according as to the work He desires us to perform, and for the advancement and cause of His Kingdom, Zion…for we are the daughters of Zion…

  30. The Melchizedek Priesthood belongs to the Son of God the Great High Priest, and He conferred it upon men. So, I must try to follow His most kind and loving example…and if I speak about things that are most sacred to us as a people and the body of Christ, I hope to offend no one but only edify His people the saints of The Most High God…With that spirit in mind may I continue to speak

    to my brothers and especially to my beloved sisters, unto whom our Heavenly Mother endowed with Her Priesthood, and taught us before our sojourns into mortality. She taught us how to sacrifice to bring about life and light for all mankind. She taught us how to nurture with loving kindness all creation, and especially our families…She is Heavenly Mother Elohim the Other Member of the Godhead, unto whom there is no life without Her…

    All communications and prayers should be directed to our Heavenly Father, through our Mediator Their Only Begotten Son in the Flesh, and we should ask for a confirmation of the truth of all things, from the Other Member of the Godhead The Holy Ghost-The Holy Spirit of Promise-our companion and Friend…

    D&C 66:2 partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days…

    D&C 22:1 That is the New and Everlasting Covenant of our Baptism… to become part of Them again, redeemed from the fall…and inter in at the strait gate through immersion in the water and the blood, we are cleansed of our sins…being born again and by partaking these emblems of the sacrifice of Their Son…and promising to obey His commandments…because by Him were we created in Their Image…Male and Female…Then we can receive The Fire of The Holy Ghost, He is a Revelator and Testifier of All Truth where in ye are justified…to enter again into the Kingdom of Heaven!

    Progress on to more priesthood and covenants in the temple endowment, where we follow in the footsteps of our first parents Adam and Eve…they teach; along with the Holy Ghost who is our Guide… how to regain the Presence of our Heavenly Parents, by using our tokens to receive Heavenly Beings to instruct us…and how to remove Lucifer and the teachings of wise men mingled with scripture …Orthodox-Religion..We desire to receive further light and knowledge from messengers of Heavenly Father…in the name of Jesus Christ…Amen…

    I received this word, this morning one day before the Easter Sunday, from Mother in Heaven
    O MY Beloved captive daughters of Zion…
    Isaiah 52:2
    2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
    D&C 113: (My inspired words from Mother are in parentheses)
    7 Questions by Elias Higbee: What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion—and what people had Isaiah reference to? (MOTHERS…and DAUGHTERS…PRIESTHOOD…POWER…)
    8 He had reference to those (Women) whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.

    Goodbye for now, I pray you will all have a beautiful Easter in celebration of our Resurrected Lord and His Victory, for all of us! I hope you will take these words unto the Lord in humble prayer to receive a confirmation of The Holy Ghost if you also find they are true…Then rejoice as I do, and celebrate with the Heavens, and come singing and praising unto” The Most High God, Jesus Christ the King of Zion”…

  31. Jesus says, Deny no one.” Jesus threw out the money changers at the temple in Jerusalem. Well how about tossing out the money changers at the Mormon temples? Yes, did you know that thousands of times a day the LDS church the church goes against the law of Jesus? If one is too poor to tithe they are not allowed to go to the temple! This makes the so called thith into an admission fee.
    Also, what’s this about the LDS church building an exclusive mall? Also, do you know the church owns a railroad and other major businesses and is a major stockholder in many other top businesses.
    When Jesus tossed out the businesses, that’s right businesses, he was tossing out the profiteers.
    Toss out the LDS profiteers. Demand that the church divest itself of all business interests. No one can serve two masters. God and mammon.

  32. No one is too poor to pay tithing… It isn’t a fixed amount, it’s a percentage. Even 10% of 0 is payable and you can pay a full tithing by paying nothing!

  33. Jax, 10% of a $300 paycheck leaves $270 to care for one’s family. 10% of a $3,000 paycheck leaves $2,700 to care for one’s family. I wonder who will miss that 10% most, or find it more prohibitive?

  34. Babaroni… I make around $1700/mo, six kids under 12, and still pay a full tithe. My income has me at less than half of the poverty level. It hurts! My newest article of clothing is the free Tee-shirt for coaching my sons baseball team this year. My second newest is last years shirt. I could really use my tithing money for car repairs, clothes, shoes, diapers….etc! But tithing is supposed to be a sacrifice!!! Sacrifice brings blessings. Poor guy paying 10% of $10,000/mo doesn’t feel it as much (maybe not at all) and doesn’t get the blessings I get because he isn’t making a sacrifice. Guy making only $300 CAN still pay tithing and Christ will value their $$ more than mine and will bless them for it. That’s the story of the widow and her two mites. I make the sacrifice, and God has ALWAYS provided the things I need; sometimes in miraculous ways I’ll not share over the internet.

    If you’ll go read D&C 119 you’ll find the command to pay tithing. If you read it closely you learn that we’re supposed to give up ALL of our excess income first, and not just 10%. After we’ve given up all that excess THEN we are to pay 10% of our “interest” – meaning that after you’ve given all the excess you give up some of the non-excess – the money you really need to pay your bills and expenses. Now that you have LESS than you need, you are dependent on the Lord and that is EXACTLY how he likes it. He wants us to make the sacrifice to show we trust Him… He wants us to give up everything we don’t need and then some of what we do need so that we know that we can’t provided for ourselves, but that we trust He’ll take care of us now that we’ve exercised enough faith to give to Him what we need to survive. When you make that kind of sacrifice, blessings come.

    If we’d pay THAT kind of tithing, and prove Him therewith, He would open up the windows of heaven!! But instead we only pay of our excess and make claims that, “it is tooooo hard for the poor to pay it, because, wo is me, how would they survive??? Only the rich can afford tithing. The Church is oppressing the poor!!” Rubbish!! The blessings of this church and Kingdom are more available to the poor than the rich, if they’ll only have the faith to get them!!

    Keep in mind that after paying tithing and learning to make ourselves dependent on God for his Grace and blessings we are supposed to go a step further and give EVERYTHING to Him for the building of His Kingdom and the establishment of Zion.

  35. Jax, if you feel that is the best possible use of your resources, more power to you. I’m certainly not going to criticize someone else, however, who cannot make ends meet and take good care of their kids and still give 10%.

  36. My only position here is that really that tithing is NOT an admission fee, as claimed in #40, and that everyone is capable of paying tithing. They may not be willing to because of the sacrifice involved, but they are capable.

  37. Jax, it seems to me that that is a judgment best left to the individual and his/her conscience and bishop. It is incredibly presumptuous for you to put yourself in the position of determining what others can or cannot do. It works for *you*, fine. But you don’t get to make such determinations for others.

  38. “for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

    How presumptuous!

  39. Assuming that it is actually God’s wish, and not that of human beings framing their demands as “what God wants.”

  40. Are you questioning God’s wish for us to pay tithing? I thought that was as close to unarguable as we had in the gospel. We’ve clearly been commanded to pay tithing, God makes it possible to keep his commandments (see Nephi above), therefore EVERYONE can pay tithing!! Your possible arguements agaisnt everyone being able to pay tithing are that 1) God doesn’t command us to; or 2) Nephi was wrong and God doesn’t make it possible to keep His commandments. Good luck finding a gospel basis for those!!

  41. You’re making a lot of assumptions about what I do believe and what I should believe, Jax. I welcome you to believe what you want, both about tithing in general, tithing in an LDS-specific context, and tithing in your personal family economy. What I question is your right to judge others or impose your values upon them by insisting that, if you can do it, so can they, without knowing their specific circumstances (or so *should* they, regardless of whether or not they share your beliefs).

  42. Oh, I’m sorry Babaroni, I assumed that we would be opperating under the understanding that we all believed the scriptures, especially the BoM, to be true. You may not believe that. You may not even be LDS, but on an LDS blog I assume we can talk with understanding that certain things are accepted, such as 1) Jesus is the Christ; 2) BoM is true; 3)Tithing/WoW/Chastity/etc are commandments; Etc. If you don’t believe those things, then I stand corrected, but perhaps this isn’t the blog for you. The comment policy states this

    2. As a general matter, Times and Seasons is a forum for believing members or for others who are willing to respect members’ beliefs. Commenters do not need to believe in the Church, but comments that suggest that all believers are per se unintelligent or uninformed are not welcome.

    So if you want to argue that all us believing LDS tithe payers are ignorant of what God wants, or that our scriptures are all wrong, then please stop.

    Also, you need to be corrected. I haven’t imposed anything on anyone. Any argument you have about any person’s ability to pay tithing is not an argument with me, but with Malachi, who makes it clear it is a command, and with Nephi, who makes it clear that everyone can fulfill that command. Feel free to argue with them all you want.

  43. Jax, you’re confused. I absolutely respect your right to believe in tithing and your right to practice this, even to sacrificial levels, or possibly the detriment of yourself or your children (not saying your current tithing habits are detrimental, just that I support your right to impoverish yourself in order to pay a full tithe if you so choose — though I would say that if doing so causes you to end up using public assistance in any way, or to have your children go without enough to eat, I’d like to hope that you might rethink your priorities).

    My concern is when you make statements like, “No one is too poor to pay tithing…” and “everyone is capable of paying tithing. They may not be willing to because of the sacrifice involved, but they are capable.” That is passing judgment upon another person without knowing his or her circumstances. You get to decide whether you can pay a tithe. Not whether other people can.

  44. I would rather judge a passage in a holy book to be either wrong or wrongly understood, than judge my neighbor to be less worthy, less valuable, less acceptable in the sight of God than myself.

  45. Here’s Elder Oaks on judging others…

    The Savior also commanded individuals to be judges, both of circumstances and of other people. Through the prophet Moses, the Lord commanded Israel, “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour”


    We must, of course, make judgments every day in the exercise of our moral agency, but we must be careful that our judgments of people are intermediate and not final. Thus, our Savior’s teachings contain many commandments we cannot keep without making intermediate judgments of people: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine” (Matt. 7:6); “Beware of false prophets. … Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:15–16); and “Go ye out from among the wicked” (D&C 38:42).

    Notice that command there? “In righteousness SHALT THOU JUDGE THY NEIGHBOR.” So,according to Matt 7:6 as explained by an Apostle, I am commanded to make such judgments as, “I should beware of Barbaroni. His rejection of Holy Writ is a bad fruit.” Also, have to be able to distinquish the swine in order to not throw my “pearls” amongst them, don’t I? That whole parable makes no sense at all if you reject at the beginning that their might be swine at all. Proudly proclaiming that you think all people are equal and good is the same as proclaiming you don’t see the difference between wickedness and righteousness, between good and bad. You go ahead and keep that up, though. Hope it works out well for you!!

  46. First, who is “Barbaroni”?

    Second, Jesus’ words mean far more to me than those of Elder Oaks. Jesus said, “Judge not, lest you be judged,” and “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone,” and “First remove the plank from your own eye before trying to remove a speck from your neighbor’s eye.” He was pretty clear on this point. If you’re not perfect in every way, you don’t get to decide whether your neighbor ought to be doing better. That’s between your neighbor and God.

  47. Sorry about the typo there.

    Jesus also said those that I quoted earlier about pearls before swine, false prophets, and avoiding the wicked. Those are all Christ!! We must therefore be able to judge who the swine, false prophets, and wicked are. An Apostle tells us that we are commanded to judge, and highlights that it includes judging other people, and your claim is to ignore him because you trust Jesus. Well who do you think called that Apostle to begin with?

    To be fair, Elder Oaks did point out that there are many things we can’t judge…

    First, I speak of the final judgment. This is that future occasion in which all of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged according to our works (see 1 Ne. 15:33; 3 Ne. 27:15; Morm. 3:20; D&C 19:3). Some Christians look on this as the time when individuals are assigned to heaven or hell. With the increased understanding we have received from the Restoration, Latter-day Saints understand the final judgment as the time when all mankind will receive their personal dominions in the mansions prepared for them in the various kingdoms of glory (see D&C 76:111; John 14:2; 1 Cor. 15:40–44). I believe that the scriptural command to “judge not” refers most clearly to this final judgment, as in the Book of Mormon declaration that “man shall not … judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord” (Morm. 8:20).

    Even the Savior, during His mortal ministry, refrained from making final judgments. We see this in the account of the woman taken in adultery. After the crowd who intended to stone her had departed, Jesus asked her about her accusers. “Hath no man condemned thee?” (John 8:10). When she answered no, Jesus declared, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). In this context the word condemn apparently refers to the final judgment (see John 3:17).

    The Lord obviously did not justify the woman’s sin. He simply told her that He did not condemn her—that is, He would not pass final judgment on her at that time. This interpretation is confirmed by what He then said to the Pharisees: “Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man” (John 8:15). The woman taken in adultery was granted time to repent, time that would have been denied by those who wanted to stone her.

    Even when he rebuked those who stoned her, he continued to tell them to judge “according to the flesh”.

  48. Jax, you will never convince me that it is righteously justifiable to judge one’s neighbor for not tithing as well as oneself, so you may as well save your breath.

  49. This link is a great talk explaining that everyone CAN pay tithing. Please note these paragraphs

    Among those who do not sacrifice there are two extremes: one is the rich, gluttonous man who won’t and the other is the poor, destitute man who believes he can’t. But how can you ask someone who is starving to eat less? Is there a level of poverty so low that sacrifice should not be expected or a family so destitute that paying tithing should cease to be required?

    No bishop, no missionary should ever hesitate or lack the faith to teach the law of tithing to the poor. The sentiment of “They can’t afford to” needs to be replaced with “They can’t afford not to.”

    One of the first things a bishop must do to help the needy is ask them to pay their tithing. Like the widow, if a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing. The bishop can help them with their food and other basic needs until they become self-reliant.

  50. Babaroni:

    On one hand, we have Nephi, Malachi, Elder Oaks, and Elder Robbins. On the other hand, we have a semi-anonymous message-boarder going by the name of babaroni. For babaroni to be right, Nephi, Malachi, Elder Oaks, and Elder Robbins would all need to be wrong. Do we trust some of the best and most righteous religious thinkers in the history of the world? Or do we accept the reasoning of babaroni?

    “That is passing judgment upon another person without knowing his or her circumstances. You get to decide whether you can pay a tithe. Not whether other people can.”

    Doctrine passes judgment. Teaching doctrine necessitates judgment. “Thou shalt not kill.” By making that statement, I have in essence judged each and every person who has ever killed. “Thou shalt not steal.” I have just judged everyone who has stolen. ‘Tithing is a commandment and every one should pay their 10%.” I have just judged again. But to exclude this type of judgment excludes any conversation on doctrine. It is an indirect plan to try to quiet those who still hold to firm, Divinely-given standards.

    And barbaroni, I would remind you that Christ did not condemn the widow and her mite. In fact, she was praised for it. The widow kept the commandment and out of her nothing gave all that she had. Such acts as hers, far more than Jax or I relating doctrine, will condemn others at the last day.

  51. Well, not just Babaroni. Babaroni and Jesus. Gives a little more weight to the argument, don’t you think?

    As for Jesus “not condemning the widow and her mite,” I never said Jesus condemns people for tithing. Just that I’m not convinced Jesus would condemn someone who *didn’t* tithe or wasn’t able to pay a full tithe. Clearly, the story of the widow’s mite suggests that God looks kindly on sacrificial giving. It does not, however, support the idea that we have the right to judge one another for giving less than we, ourselves, may give.

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