Should I pay my tithing even though my financial situation is so desparate that I often don’t even have enough to eat?

Posted on May 26, 2007 at 1:00 am

Babies

Follow Gramps:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Print Friendly

Dear Gramps,

I desperately want to pay my tithing again. I have £28,000 debt and after paying my debt there is no money left for enough food for me and my children. I am told to pay your tithing first but if I do that then I will get into more debt with penalty charges for missed payments, maybe become homeless. I want to be sensible about the debt and pay my tithing and don’t know what to do. My life style in not extravagant. I have been a single mum for a long time without any child support and have gained debt over the past 20 years. I am now at the breaking point. Should I just stop paying bills and pay what I owe the Lord?

Debbie, from England

 

Dear Debbie,

Your rather desperate situation is shared by numbers of people. But let’s see if we can sort things out a bit. What are the consequences of not paying your tithing? One who doesn’t pay tithing is not eligible to hold any major calling in the Ward or Stake. A non-tithe payer may not receive a temple recommend. A non-tithe payer is not eligible to receive assistance from the fast offering funds or from the bishop’s storehouse. The windows of heaven tend to be shut to such a person. From the book of Malachi—

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? in tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:8-10).

Now, what is the lot of those who do pay their tithing? This, from Elder Lynn Robbins—

“Because the natural man tends to hoard or consume everything, the Lord wisely commanded ancient Israel to sacrifice not the last and poorest of the flock, but the firstlings, not the leftovers of the field, but the firstfruits (see Deuteronomy 26:2; Mosiah 2:3; Moses 5:5). Genuine sacrifice has been a hallmark of the faithful from the beginning.

“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?

“The Lord often teaches using extreme circumstances to illustrate a principle. The story of the widow of Zarephath is an example of extreme poverty used to teach the doctrine that mercy cannot rob sacrifice any more than it can rob justice. In fact, the truer measure of sacrifice isn’t so much what one gives to sacrifice as what one sacrifices to give (see Mark 12:43). Faith isn’t tested so much when the cupboard is full as when it is bare. In these defining moments, the crisis doesn’t create one’s character, it reveals it. The crisis is the test. (Elder Lynn G. Robbins, Tithing a Commandment Even for the Destitute, Ensign (CR), April 2005)

If one does not pay tithing because of destitute circumstances, one tends to stand alone. But if one obeys the commandments of the Lord in spite of difficulty and hardship, the Lord becomes an active partner in the person’s affairs. We are not talking about abstract concepts here, but about the real, difficult world. Here is what one could do in circumstances such as yours. First, pay your tithing! Make the tithing the very first payment you make from your monthly bills, and be sure that it is a complete, honest tithing. Then prioritize your bills–the most important first, and so on down the line, and pay in order of priority all that you can. Next, get an appointment with your bishop. Bring to the meeting all your financial accounts. Lay them before the bishop, and ask for his advise on how to handle the payments that are due in light of the fact that you don’t have enough income to pay them. The bishop’s advise may not be what you expect or would like to hear. But he is your bishop, and represents the Lord to you. Do what he says! Then have the faith, belief and confidence that if you stay with it, and are willing to obediently suffer through the tough times, the Lord will not leave you alone. He will bless you in marvelous ways, and you will overcome your difficulties.

Gramps

Standard Podcast [5:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Summary
Article Name
Should I pay my tithing even though my financial situation is so desparate that I often don't even have enough to eat? - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
Author
Description
I desperately want to pay my tithing again. I have £28,000 debt and after paying my debt there is no money left for enough food for me and my children. I am told to pay your tithing first but if I do that then I will get into more debt with penalty charges for missed payments, maybe become homeless.
  • Nikolai Terry

    This is a strange question, the church teaches pay tithing no matter what, in the UK there is no Bishops storehouse, though relief society will arrange for shopping if food is short, help with bills is refused, so if you pay tithing, then prioritize bills as gramps suggests food will usually be helped with in the UK, the other bills no matter the temporal consequences will just have to be dealt with. But from all I have read, tithing must be paid

Follow Gramps:

How did Christ get anything done while on the earth?

September 1, 2014 6:00 am

Question Dear Gramps, I was just wondering how Christ, when He was on the earth, was able to get anything done, with so many things distracting Him.  For (more)

Why did God need Jesus to atone for our sins?

August 31, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, With all of God’s knowledge and power, why did he need Jesus to atone and sacrifice for our sins? Sherlene   Answer Hello Sherlene, In teachings (more)

Why did we have the Civil War?

August 30, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, Why did we have the American Civil War and what does it mean as said in DC 87? Will those people be saved due to fighting (more)

Did Joseph Smith use a hat during the translation of the Book of Mormon?

August 29, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, There was a question about Joseph’s stone and hat but you never mentioned either. What is this about a hat? I was taught that the seer (more)

Did Adam and Eve get baptized?

August 28, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, I have what I think is a simple question.  Were Adam and Eve baptized?  If not, why? Kalola   Answer Kalola, We read about Adam’s baptism (more)

Is it okay to swear during a play?

August 27, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, I used to go to my brother’s plays and he would have to swear in them.  Is that bad and will he get punished? Also what (more)

Why do my prayers seem to hit the ceiling due to my depression?

August 26, 2014 7:00 am

Question Hi Gramps, I have been suffering from depression and anxiety most of my life.  I don’t know if the Lord will remove it in this life or (more)

Was the celestial kingdom empty before the LDS church was restored?

August 25, 2014 12:34 pm

Question Hi Gramps,I understand the three levels of Heaven. If non-Mormons cannot enter the celestial kingdom, does that mean that it was empty of spirits before The Book (more)

Why are the words Christ and church used in the Book of Mormon?

August 24, 2014 7:17 am

Question Hi Gramps! My husband and I have recently started reading the book of Mormon. I would like to know why in Alma the word Christ and Church (more)

Are there degrees of Priesthood power?

August 23, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, Are their degrees of priesthood power?  The Savior said that if we had the faith as a grain of a mustard seed that we could move (more)

Why do we use Old English when saying prayers?

August 22, 2014 8:50 am

Question Gramps, Why do we use old English when we say prayers?  Also, how do we do it correctly?  Words like “Canst” “Wilt” and similar conjugations can be (more)

Should the talents we have be freewill offerings to build up the Kingdom?

August 21, 2014 6:48 am

Question Dear Gramps, Many of the hymns we have in the LDS hymnal have copyright restrictions, which prevent us from fully utilizing the material as we would sometimes (more)