Why should I pay tithing when I can barely afford to keep the electricity on?

Posted on June 29, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Current issues

Follow Gramps:

Print Friendly

Dear Gramps,

After reading your answer to Shiloh regarding tithing I felt compelled to write to you. I have been a member of the Church for 4 years and I have a strong testimony and love the Church and everything about it. Before I was baptized I had a session with the bishop of the branch I was joining. I was completely honest with him regarding my financial situation. I am totally and permanently disabled. I receive a small disability payment from SSI monthly and nothing else. Needless to say I live way below the poverty level. Month to month I struggle to keep utilities turned on and pay rent. I own nothing. My bishop in California told me that I need not pay tithing on non-taxable income. I did pay what I could at the end of each month but it was not much. Since I moved to another state to be closer to family I am in a new branch with a new bishop. He tells me my last bishop was wrong and I must pay 10% of my disability. He offered help from the storehouse, but I have to call twice a month and ask for food and explain why I can’t manage. I can’t stand to beg. I look at my peers in the ward and I can see that they own homes, they own cars, they have decent clothing and food, none of which I have. Why would this bishop tell me to go without food or clothing or utilities. If I could work I would feel privileged to pay my tithing. But for me it means I can’t survive. Because others in my Ward are able to generate more income than I can, they are able to receive the full blessing of the gospel, they are able to have the blessings of a Temple Recommend. They are not better or more worthy than I am, they have the money to survive, and I don’t. I feel more and more Isolated from the church I love. I feel like a sinner, left out, unwanted as if cold hard cash is more important than my immortal soul.

Cheryl, from Louisiana

Dear Cheryl,

I believe that your new bishop is trying to help you to feel good about yourself rather than feeling like some sort of a second class citizen. I have never heard in my life that we do not need to pay tithing on non-taxable income. All the members that I know that are on Social Security pay their tithing on that income.

But to your own situation. You mentioned that other people in your ward are better off than you and that they enjoy all the amenities of life. I can understand how difficult it may be for you to receive welfare help from the Church, but I believe that that difficulty comes from a misunderstanding. You seem to feel that you are accepting charity, saying that you hate to beg. Not so! The law of the gospel is not like the law of man. The law of the gospel is that a person is to contribute into the Lord’s storehouse what he or she is able to contribute and is to receive in return what he or she needs. The welfare plan is not a dole, it is an insurance program. Would you feel ashamed to receive an insurance indemnity if you had paid the premiums? Why should you feel ashamed to receive welfare benefits if you pay your tithing? I simply cannot believe that your bishop would tell you to go without food or clothing or utilities. Rather, I’m sure that he would help you with food, clothing and utilities, as necessary, if you were a tithe payer.

Because of your physical condition you are undoubtedly required to do much less for what you receive than all those others in the Ward who seem to have so much. Rather then being required to make a few phone calls to state their needs, they all have to work all day, every day. If you were to pay your tithing, and were compliant with the other principles of the gospel you would be worthy of a temple recommend and would be able to benefit from the unspeakable blessings available to the faithful in the House of the Lord. Hopefully you will have the faith necessary to comply with all the laws of the gospel and allow the Church and the Welfare System to do their part as a source of the things that you need. I’m sure that in doing so you would be much happier and would feel closer to the Lord.

Gramps

Summary
Article Name
Why should I pay tithing when I can barely afford to keep the electricity on? - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
Author
Description
After reading your answer to Shiloh regarding tithing I felt compelled to write to you. I have been a member of the Church for 4 years and I have a strong testimony and love the Church and everything about it.

Follow Gramps:

Did Brigham Young really make a comment about unmarried men?

April 15, 2014 8:53 am

Question Gramps, “Men above the age of 25 and aren’t married are a menace to society” is a quote I hear a lot of members of the Church (more)

What will happen to my own salvation?

April 14, 2014 9:30 am

Question Gramps, My husband and I were sealed in the temple 20 years ago and have 5 children. We have been active in the church this whole time. (more)

How can I get over my anxiousness about being the only unwed mother in my ward?

April 13, 2014 8:28 am

Question Dear Gramps, I am a single unwed mother who is newly baptized into the LDS church. As well as looking for a church that practiced what it (more)

Why were the printing presses of the Nauvoo Expositor destroyed?

April 12, 2014 7:51 am

Question Gramps, Why did Joseph Smith have the offices of the Nauvoo Exposiorr ransacked and the printing press destroyed and thrown into the middle of the street? Steve (more)

How do you become a forgiving person even when there is pain?

April 11, 2014 5:31 am

Question Gramps, I have a friend who is a forgiving person, however, my friend keeps forgiving others while they take advantage of hurting my friend. I tried telling (more)

Am I condemned for living off of Social Security?

April 10, 2014 8:53 am

Question Gramps, I just read your answer to Robert’s question about retiring and living off of Social Security. He quoted President Kimball’s October 1977 General Conference address that (more)

Why did 1/3 part of God’s children not accept Christ’s plan?

April 9, 2014 8:58 am

Question Gramps, Why didn’t 1/3 part of God’s children accept God’s plan of salvation?  What was the main reason they followed Satan? Raja   Answer Raja, This is (more)

Were civil marriages ever performed in temples?

April 8, 2014 7:56 am

Question Gramps, Were civil marriages ever performed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint temples? If so, what was the time frame? Thanks. Sarah   Answer (more)

Why does there have to be 3 in the Godhead?

April 7, 2014 7:56 am

Question Gramps, Why does there have to be three in the Godhead or why is there three in the Godhead? Thanks, Jesus   Answer Dear Jesus, By having (more)

Does unrighteous dominion apply even in the work place?

April 6, 2014 6:20 am

Question Gramps, I would like to prove to my boss that unrighteous dominion applies to the work place as well as in the home. He is a Bishop (more)

What is the Mormon belief regarding the Spear of Destiny?

April 5, 2014 9:48 am

Question Gramps, What is the church’s understanding or belief in regards to the spear of destiny. Do we believe in its existence? I’m pretty sure we don’t believe (more)

Why do some have more trials than others?

April 4, 2014 9:31 am

Question Gramps, Why do some get so many trials while others are happy and prosperous? Why don’t people understand me and force me to do things I don’t (more)