Tithing settlement

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Mormon 8
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Tithing settlement

Post by Mormon 8 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:18 am

I've got a little conundrum and was hoping for some advice. Back in March I began donating 10% of our discretionary income to local homeless shelters and food banks instead of to the church since I had become quite disenchanted with how it operates financially in terms of real estate, land and office high rise purchases which have nothing to do with religious purposes and given the relatively new disclaimer at the bottom of donation slips that says the church reserves the right to use the funds however it wants, the decision was even easier. I hadn't planned on signing up for tithing settlement but got a text from our Bishopric's Exec. Secretary yesterday wanting to know when was best for us to meet with the Bishop for it. I'm sure they're just reaching out to those who hadn't signed up yet so they can mark everybody off their list.

My conundrum is this: do I declare a full tithe, even though 7 months' tithing went directly to charitable causes and just hope the Bishop doesn't question it or ask questions if/when he notices 7 months of no donations? Do I declare partial? Do I volunteer that I've learned some ugly truths about the church, how it really operates financially and so our 7 months' donations to other charities was essentially done out of protest? If I declare partial, that could be a hindrance to getting a temple recommend and given that my spouse and both sides of family are mostly TBM's, could be problematic if/when we renew our recommends. I know the Bishop is supposed to accept what you tell him with no questions asked, but some are not like that and ours is new. As far as I'm concerned, I'm a full tithe payer and think God and Christ would agree, especially when Christ taught to give generously and directly to the poor. Any advice with how to deal with this would be appreciated. Thanks!
Last edited by Mormon 8 on Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Not Buying It
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Not Buying It » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:57 am

Ignore the text, and any others you get. It is highly impertinent for anyone to contact you to demand you meet with them to discuss your finances and voluntary contributions to a religious organization. They don't own you, they have no right to demand a meeting, and you owe them no response when they do.

Mormons are some of the nicest extremely pushy and impertinent people you will ever meet.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Hermey
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Hermey » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:01 am

Keep it simple. “Yes, I’m a full tithe payer. Thanks for asking.” Rinse and repeat, regardless of what is asked in terms of follow up questions. If that’s a problem, then don’t go. There’s nothing that says tithing settlement attendance is mandatory. If you don’t declare your tithe payer status, the bishop will just mark it down on the report to SLC as to what he thinks it is.

Tithing is nothing more than country club dues. Tithing Settlement is nothing more than a thinly veiled “shakedown” done in front of your wife and children in order to pressure you in to breaking out your checkbook using fear, guilt, shame, and humiliation. End of story.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:07 am

Send an email stating full.

The bishop will love to have that time back.

Does it seem like they are starting earlier every year?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Palerider
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Palerider » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:23 pm

Not Buying It wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:57 am
Ignore the text, and any others you get. It is highly impertinent for anyone to contact you to demand you meet with them to discuss your finances and voluntary contributions to a religious organization. They don't own you, they have no right to demand a meeting, and you owe them no response when they do.

Mormons are some of the nicest extremely pushy and impertinent people you will ever meet.
I gotta go with NBI here. Just don't acknowledge the email.

However, you're likely to be approached again at church sometime in the near future. I can't tell you how to handle that. Leaving the church is like taking the band-aid off. You can endure the pain over a slow, extended period of time or just rip the sucker off and it'll hurt like crap for a short time and then everything will be much better.

Best of luck. :|
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

Mormon 8
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Mormon 8 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:01 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone. It was a text message I got from the Exec. Sec'y and I already said next Sunday would work. What I'm trying to avoid is the Bishop finding out that I'm having major issues with the church right now and not paying our 10% anymore because it resembles a very wealthy Babylonian real estate corporation far more than a religious organization. Plus, I'm now aware of the true origins of the church and how Smith was a con-man and fraudster who came up with his own religion for ulterior motives. The problem is that I'm just not ready to pull the plug yet with the church with a wife who is still slowly learning and accepting that the church isn't what is claims to be as well as having families on both sides who are still all mostly TBM's. I think I'm just gonna declare full-tithe payer and go from there - if he questions it, I'll simply say we are full tithe payers and that his job is to ask me and then document my response, nothing more. In the case he questions 7 months' worth of no donations, I'll just tell him the truth and whatever happens from there happens. But I don't think he's the sort of Bishop to pry and ask questions - I think he'll accept my response and that will be it.

I just wish all members of the church knew that tithing (as directed by Smith in the D&C) is only supposed to be 10% of your discretionary income, not gross or even net - this is what really irks me about the church... how it expects far more from its members since the term 'interest' was interpreted by the apostles in the '70's to mean 'income'. Interpreted??? Look up the dang word and see what it means, which is surplus advantage or over-plus or excess. I hope that federal lawsuit filed against the church for fraud which Kay Burningham is spearheading sees the light of day in the Utah media because it will be a big wake up call for 90% of the members!
Last edited by Mormon 8 on Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:28 pm

You’re over thinking this.

You don’t owe the bishop anything. Until you’re ready to leave just keep your mouth shut.

Nowhere does it say you have to pay the full year’s tithes by tithing settlement. Nowhere does it say you have to pay monthly. Just pay your tithes according to the dictates of your conscious. If you consider yourself full then declare that.

If he asks tell him your full and then stare at him.

We don’t owe explanations to the bishop. We don’t even owe a visit to his office.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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wtfluff
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by wtfluff » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:48 pm

I know you've already stated that you are going to attend #8, but I'm still going to vote that you do this:
Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:07 am
Send an email stating full.
How the bishop handles that could give you an inkling as to how he's going to handle things.

In the case of him questioning 7 months missing, "my" reply would be: "I pay anonymously now." And give no further explanations. You are in fact paying "tithing", and it is in fact anonymous as far as LD$-Inc. is concerned.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

Mormon 8
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Mormon 8 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:03 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:28 pm
You’re over thinking this.

You don’t owe the bishop anything. Until you’re ready to leave just keep your mouth shut.

Nowhere does it say you have to pay the full year’s tithes by tithing settlement. Nowhere does it say you have to pay monthly. Just pay your tithes according to the dictates of your conscious. If you consider yourself full then declare that.

If he asks tell him your full and then stare at him.

We don’t owe explanations to the bishop. We don’t even owe a visit to his office.
I know this whole thing isn't even required and that there are no rules for paying tithing and that it's all nothing but membership dues for entrance into the temple but for me, it's more about maintaining relationships and not doing or saying anything that could lead to suspicion that you're questioning, having doubts or don't trust the church.

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Linked
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Linked » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:11 pm

I went to tithing settlement a couple times after significantly reducing my tithing amount and using the bill pay method which is supposed to be anonymous. I told the bishop I was a full tithe payer and went on my way. Since then I've texted the bishop that I was a full tithe payer one year, and just told the member of the bishopric that no, I was not interested in scheduling an appointment for tithing settlement. My status in the ward hasn't dipped too far that I can tell. I tell you my story so you have one anecdote. Of course every bishop is different.

At this point in the journey it feels like a lot of the stress about things like this were not necessary. I hope everything works out great for you!
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

Mormon 8
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Mormon 8 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:14 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:48 pm
I know you've already stated that you are going to attend #8, but I'm still going to vote that you do this:
Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:07 am
Send an email stating full.
How the bishop handles that could give you an inkling as to how he's going to handle things.

In the case of him questioning 7 months missing, "my" reply would be: "I pay anonymously now." And give no further explanations. You are in fact paying "tithing", and it is in fact anonymous as far as LD$-Inc. is concerned.
That's what I did last year, sent the Bishop a text message that we were full after getting a text about coming in. But last year I was donating strictly to the fast offering fund since I figured there was a better chance of my money going to help others instead of into an interest bearing account for a few years so the church can make money with which to build billion dollar malls or buy 3% of the land in Florida for a 500,000 person metropolis or office high rises and apartment complexes around the globe. But even then, the disclaimer at the bottom of the donation slip says they can use the money however they want.

Speaking of donating anonymously, how do you do that? I've heard very little about it but know you can with something called bill pay. This would be perfect since I could just donate directly to the poor while telling our Bishop we now donate anonymously but are full tithe-payers, end of story. :D

Gatorbait
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Gatorbait » Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:24 pm

Hermy nailed it.

Extortion is one word that he might have skillfully woven into the fabric of what he said.
"You're not supposed to be blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it" Malcolm X

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1smartdodog
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by 1smartdodog » Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:02 pm

Been down this road over the years. Use to try and make it all work out but it never did. Finally I just said no to tithing settlement and gave up my recommend. My family just had to deal with me not going to the temple.



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wtfluff
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by wtfluff » Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:08 pm

Mormon 8 wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:14 pm
Speaking of donating anonymously, how do you do that? I've heard very little about it but know you can with something called bill pay. This would be perfect since I could just donate directly to the poor while telling our Bishop we now donate anonymously but are full tithe-payers, end of story. :D
As you mention, anonymous donation has to be done through your bank's bill pay, and I believe you also have to call LD$-Inc. Headquarters to request that it remain anonymous.

Someone who has set it up will have to give better details than I am able.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:17 pm

1smartdodog wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:02 pm
Been down this road over the years. Use to try and make it all work out but it never did. Finally I just said no to tithing settlement and gave up my recommend. My family just had to deal with me not going to the temple.
Yup me too!

It’s super refreshing not to have to overthink this stuff anymore. It’s not my fault I can’t go. It’s their silly rules!

Losing the recommend reduced a lot of anxiety.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Palerider
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Palerider » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:18 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:17 pm
1smartdodog wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 3:02 pm
Been down this road over the years. Use to try and make it all work out but it never did. Finally I just said no to tithing settlement and gave up my recommend. My family just had to deal with me not going to the temple.
Yup me too!

It’s super refreshing not to have to overthink this stuff anymore. It’s not my fault I can’t go. It’s their silly rules!

Losing the recommend reduced a lot of anxiety.
Same here when I was going through that very short phase, my Bishop called me in since he noticed my recomend had lapsed and asked if I wanted to renew it?

I said I wasn't interested. And that ended that. I was a high priest at the time and he asked me if there was anything I wanted to discuss. Since high priests come under the SP jurisdiction, I told him thanks but I would take any concerns I had to the SP.

It's a fantastic feeling to know that you have taken back to yourself all the control the church had over you.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Random
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Random » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:23 pm

I understand that anonymous giving to the corp is no longer a thing, that your bishop can still see what you paid (whether or not he has to ask to see it, I don't know).
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
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MerrieMiss
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by MerrieMiss » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:36 pm

My husband's salary is partially paid with stock, so we paid for years in stock which is 100% confidential. We told the bishop that last year when he asked about the $0 on our tithing statement (and we didn't pay anything last year). He said that a lot of people pay that way. Maybe. Or maybe they don't pay at all.

Mormon 8
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by Mormon 8 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:39 pm

Gatorbait wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:24 pm
Hermy nailed it.

Extortion is one word that he might have skillfully woven into the fabric of what he said.
Yeah, it is unconscionable to me how the church not only uses a big percentage of its donations for investing into interest bearing accounts for several years for massive development projects having nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ but also expects members to hand over 10% of their income to it to be considered 'worthy' when a simple lookup of the term 'interest' clearly means surplus, not income. Even worse, mission presidents are allowed to deduct almost any expense you can think of before paying theirs and GA's are exempt totally. A friend of mine who was once a member of the church who walked and talked with the GA's in the COB lost his testimony over this stuff and once told me 'brother, the church is nothing but a giant club for wealthy businessmen who were financially successful in life who know how to run and manage a big business'. He even revealed that the FP and members of the Q of the 12, when called, are given a $1 million gift to satisfy all their worldly debts and obligations. And that's in addition to their six figure salary, unlimited credit card use, Toyota Avalon, benefits and other perks for themselves and even family members.

lostinmiddlemormonism
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Re: Tithing settlement

Post by lostinmiddlemormonism » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:57 pm

Why do you have to account to anyone for how you spend your discretionary income. Imagine for a moment if the local united way called you in at the end of the year to make sure you had given them enough money. How would you respond? Do the same thing here.

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