Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

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Not Buying It
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Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by Not Buying It » Sun May 20, 2018 7:45 pm

So Sharing Time in Primary today was about tithing - they shared Elder Cordon’s irresponsible, dangerous and toxic story about his parents paying tithing when they didn’t have money to feed their kids (see https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... l?lang=eng), and then this gem about Joseph F. Smith’s mother Mary Fielding Smith paying tithing after her husband Hyrum had been murdered:
Joseph F. Smith centered his faith in his Father in Heaven, in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the simple and constant truths of the gospel. When Joseph F. Smith was young, his faith was greatly strengthened by his mother’s devotion to duty and to righteousness.
He said: “I recollect most vividly a circumstance that occurred in the days of my childhood. My mother was a widow, with a large family to provide for. One spring [between 1849 and 1852] when we opened our potato pits, she had her boys get a load of the best potatoes and she took them to the tithing office; potatoes were scarce that season. I was a little boy at the time, and drove the team. When we drove up to the steps of the tithing office, ready to unload the potatoes, one of the clerks came out and said to my mother, ‘Widow Smith, it’s a shame that you should have to pay tithing.’ … He chided my mother for paying her tithing, called her anything but wise or prudent; and said there were others who were strong and able to work that were supported from the tithing office. My mother turned upon him and said: ‘… Would you deny me a blessing? If I did not pay my tithing, I should expect the Lord to withhold his blessings from me. I pay my tithing, not only because it is a law of God, but because I expect a blessing by doing it.’”
But here’s the kicker - Mary Fielding Smith was married at the time. The story leads you to think she was a poor widow with no husband, but she had been married to Heber C. Kimball since September 1844!!!

She wasn’t poor because she didn’t have a husband - she was poor because she had to keep her marriage secret because polygamy was secret at the time, and her deadbeat husband Heber had more wives than he could support (eventually marrying 43). And yet this was presented as though she didn’t have a husband at the time...the person telling the story was probably just ignorant, but this is yet another example of the misinformation we are constantly fed about Church history.
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asa
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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by asa » Sun May 20, 2018 10:46 pm

The question I would put to this poor teacher is if tithing is so imoptant why dont General Authories pay it . That ,in my experience always sends them into full flight

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by Hagoth » Mon May 21, 2018 6:55 am

asa wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:46 pm
The question I would put to this poor teacher is if tithing is so imoptant why dont General Authories pay it . That ,in my experience always sends them into full flight
They are only doing that which has been done in other dictatorships. Besides, once your calling and election is made sure you're exempt from all of those earthy concerns; too busy throne shopping for your mansion on high.

And there's another little gem buried in there:
He chided my mother for paying her tithing, called her anything but wise or prudent; and said there were others who were strong and able to work that were supported from the tithing office.
Tithing consisted mostly of giving food that would be used to feed hungry people, and was roughly synonymous with today's Bishop's Storehouse. They had to institute and entirely different fund (fast offerings) to fill that need and add an additional 10% gross on top of it because people paying 10% of their increase in potatoes and chickens would never provide adequate financial comfort for the High Sheriffs. And it was just a little bit too Jesus-y, I imagine.
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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by slavereeno » Mon May 21, 2018 8:37 am

Yeah I sat through sharing time yesterday and the Tithing lesson felt very cringy to me. They all but started breaking knee caps in the shakedown.

I find it interesting that we only talk about Jesus in Sharing time about once every quarter or so. Maybe they did more talking about Jesus in other years?

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by StarbucksMom » Mon May 21, 2018 12:22 pm

asa wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 10:46 pm
The question I would put to this poor teacher is if tithing is so imoptant why dont General Authories pay it . That ,in my experience always sends them into full flight
GAs don't pay tithing???? I knew about their over the top salaries and many benefits like cars, homes, free BYU tuition for family, etc...but not this. Do all GAs, 70s etc not pay tithing? Or just the 15? What about the gen RS and Primary presidencies?? (ok I already know that's a joke.)
Do you have a reference for this?

If that is true than it's worse than I thought when they tell these awful tithing stories NBI mentions in conference/lessons. Telling members to pay before feeding children, and all the stories of poverty-stricken saints doing YEARS of back breaking labor (while separated from their families) so they can attend the temple. When all the while they own multiple homes and make 6 figures in their retirement years--tithing free.

They have to know they're all a bunch of phonies out for money. I mean--pay to support our lavish tithing exempt lifestyles but LET YOUR KIDS STARVE. Wow. Sorry mods but GTH.

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by Cadahangel » Mon May 21, 2018 1:53 pm

General Authorities do not pay tithing
We don't know what the current practice is, but according to Michael Quinn, the apostles exempted themselves from tithing in August 1844 [emphasis added]:

In August 1844 the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued an epistle which required all Mormons to immediately pay 'a tenth of all their property and money . . . and then let them continue to pay in a tenth of their income from that time forth.' There was no exemption for Mormons who had already paid one-tenth of their property upon conversion. In January 1845 a Quorum of Twelve's epistle reemphasized 'the duty of all saints to tithe themselves one-tenth of all they possess when they enter into the new and everlasting covenant: and then one-tenth of their interest, or income, yearly afterwards.' However, two weeks later the Twelve voted to exempt themselves, the two general bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and the Nauvoo Temple Committee from any obligation to pay tithing. This was due to their services to the church.

Apostle John E. Page's enforcement of the full-tithing requirement for the rank-and-file led to his disaffection from his own quorum. Exempted from tithing himself, Page felt guilty about collecting tithing from others such as one Mormon who gave $4 which was 'the tenth of all' the man and his impoverished family possessed. Upon abandoning the Quorum of the Twelve in 1846, Page complained that he 'believes that many paid tithing & in consequence of [this, were in] want of money enough to procure misc. necessaries of life.'

Reference: D. Michael Quinn, "The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power," chapter 6

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by wtfluff » Mon May 21, 2018 2:58 pm

Cadahangel wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:53 pm
General Authorities do not pay tithing
We don't know what the current practice is, but according to Michael Quinn, the apostles exempted themselves from tithing in August 1844 [emphasis
... SNIP ...
I wonder if this is still the case today. The leaked pay-stub showed that the receiver of the "modes stipend" had calculated 10%, supposedly to "return to sender?"
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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by asa » Mon May 21, 2018 3:10 pm

I know what the current practice is . I have had 3 cousins who are or were GAs. They didn't pay tithing on their " modest living stipend " but did on outside sources of income ie investments,book royalties etc. My father in law who spent his life in church employment (working longer hours than GAs do) and received an even more modest stipend ( or wage ) had to pay tithing on everything or he would lose his job.

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by Kalikala » Mon May 21, 2018 3:50 pm

Cadahangel wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:53 pm
General Authorities do not pay tithing
We don't know what the current practice is, but according to Michael Quinn, the apostles exempted themselves from tithing in August 1844 [emphasis added]:

In August 1844 the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued an epistle which required all Mormons to immediately pay 'a tenth of all their property and money . . . and then let them continue to pay in a tenth of their income from that time forth.' There was no exemption for Mormons who had already paid one-tenth of their property upon conversion. In January 1845 a Quorum of Twelve's epistle reemphasized 'the duty of all saints to tithe themselves one-tenth of all they possess when they enter into the new and everlasting covenant: and then one-tenth of their interest, or income, yearly afterwards.' However, two weeks later the Twelve voted to exempt themselves, the two general bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and the Nauvoo Temple Committee from any obligation to pay tithing. This was due to their services to the church.

Apostle John E. Page's enforcement of the full-tithing requirement for the rank-and-file led to his disaffection from his own quorum. Exempted from tithing himself, Page felt guilty about collecting tithing from others such as one Mormon who gave $4 which was 'the tenth of all' the man and his impoverished family possessed. Upon abandoning the Quorum of the Twelve in 1846, Page complained that he 'believes that many paid tithing & in consequence of [this, were in] want of money enough to procure misc. necessaries of life.'

Reference: D. Michael Quinn, "The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power," chapter 6
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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by wtfluff » Mon May 21, 2018 4:24 pm

asa wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 3:10 pm
I know what the current practice is . I have had 3 cousins who are or were GAs. They didn't pay tithing on their " modest living stipend " but did on outside sources of income ie investments,book royalties etc.
... SNIP ...
Very interesting. I'm curious how you got into a conversation where the GA's admitted they didn't pay tithing on monies received from LDS-Inc.?
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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by IT_Veteran » Mon May 21, 2018 5:06 pm

To be fair, the same source that notes they don't pay tithing acknowledges a few paragraphs later that they did by 1900 (except for John Taylor, evidently). We don't know status today, but wouldn't it be really easy for the church to just laugh it off and tell us that "of course" they pay tithing, if that were the case?

Interesting that Eyring's pay stubs, the ones that have the handwritten calculations on them, also show him paying tax on the earnings. If it's taxable earnings what does that say about the nature of the payment? Uncle Sam gets his cut but God doesn't?

https://mormonleaks.io/wiki/documents/f ... 9-2000.pdf

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by blazerb » Mon May 21, 2018 6:23 pm

IT_Veteran wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 5:06 pm
To be fair, the same source that notes they don't pay tithing acknowledges a few paragraphs later that they did by 1900 (except for John Taylor, evidently). We don't know status today, but wouldn't it be really easy for the church to just laugh it off and tell us that "of course" they pay tithing, if that were the case?

Interesting that Eyring's pay stubs, the ones that have the handwritten calculations on them, also show him paying tax on the earnings. If it's taxable earnings what does that say about the nature of the payment? Uncle Sam gets his cut but God doesn't?

https://mormonleaks.io/wiki/documents/f ... 9-2000.pdf
That same check stub appears to show that he paid tithing on the allowance. I would guess that most, if not all, GA's do pay tithing. At least I would not be surprised.

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by Hagoth » Mon May 21, 2018 6:40 pm

asa wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 3:10 pm
I know what the current practice is . I have had 3 cousins who are or were GAs. They didn't pay tithing on their " modest living stipend " but did on outside sources of income ie investments,book royalties etc. My father in law who spent his life in church employment (working longer hours than GAs do) and received an even more modest stipend ( or wage ) had to pay tithing on everything or he would lose his job.
Asa, it sounds like your family is deeply entrenched. I'm just wondering if your remnant affiliations are an issue with extended family, or are others ialso casting their eyes in that direction?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by moksha » Tue May 22, 2018 3:25 am

I can understand such deductions as Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators, LDS Foundation for contributions to the CES, and the Sacred Group Term Life insurance. I do not understand the Parsonage allowance or the Children allowance for the LDS Apostles.
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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by IT_Veteran » Tue May 22, 2018 8:21 am

moksha wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:25 am
I can understand such deductions as Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators, LDS Foundation for contributions to the CES, and the Sacred Group Term Life insurance. I do not understand the Parsonage allowance or the Children allowance for the LDS Apostles.
The parsonage is probably the rent they pay on his house/apartment. That was one of the things I knew the church provided for the Q15. The children allowance, if I had to guess, is probably BYU tuition for his kids/grandkids/great grandkids.

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by moksha » Tue May 22, 2018 9:23 am

IT_Veteran wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:21 am
moksha wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 3:25 am
I can understand such deductions as Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators, LDS Foundation for contributions to the CES, and the Sacred Group Term Life insurance. I do not understand the Parsonage allowance or the Children allowance for the LDS Apostles.
The parsonage is probably the rent they pay on his house/apartment. That was one of the things I knew the church provided for the Q15. The children allowance, if I had to guess, is probably BYU tuition for his kids/grandkids/great grandkids.
Okay, I was thinking that the parsonage allowance could help pay for a vacation home or extra pocket money. Not sure if that allowance for kids/grandkids/great-grandkids makes sense since they are all tuition-free at the Church schools.

Not sure any church other than the LDS Church would ask the destitute for money.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by IT_Veteran » Tue May 22, 2018 9:43 am

moksha wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:23 am
Okay, I was thinking that the parsonage allowance could help pay for a vacation home or extra pocket money. Not sure if that allowance for kids/grandkids/great-grandkids makes sense since they are all tuition-free at the Church schools.

Not sure any church other than the LDS Church would ask the destitute for money.
I think they still have to account for the amount of rent provided and the cost of tuition for tax purposes. I don't think they can simply waive the cost of tuition, but structure it like a scholarship. That's still taxable, though I'm not sure it would appear on his tax statement and not theirs. It's just a guess on my part.

The parsonage component though seems pretty clear to me. Just like Google employees have to pay tax on the free shuttle provided to them, he would have to pay tax on the housing allowance (I think).

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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by Hagoth » Tue May 22, 2018 10:07 am

IT_Veteran wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:21 am
The children allowance, if I had to guess, is probably BYU tuition for his kids/grandkids/great grandkids.
No, there is actually a monthly allowance paid for each child in addition to education costs. Here's a letter via MormonLeaks in which a GA is informed of an adjustment to his child allowance:

https://mormonleaks.io/wiki/documents/5 ... -06-07.pdf
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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by moksha » Tue May 22, 2018 10:33 am

IT_Veteran wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:43 am
The parsonage component though seems pretty clear to me. Just like Google employees have to pay tax on the free shuttle provided to them, he would have to pay tax on the housing allowance (I think).
The parsonage allowance is in the income column, not the debit column. It perhaps is given because a parsonage allowance is probably non-taxable (used for other denominations that have established parsonages). In that case, it would be used to decrease the Elder's tax burden up to a federal permissible amount.
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Re: Primary Misinformation about Mary Fielding Smith

Post by Corsair » Tue May 22, 2018 11:03 am

This is such an astonishingly terrible story for one additional reason. Wasn't "taking care of widows" one the primary excuses for plural marriage? This is not just any widow. It's the widow of Hyrum Smith who stayed way more faithful than Emma Smith.

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