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_plusredditpinterestmail
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

  • Mark

    I wish people pick up there bibles and study it in particular Tithing. The bible says,”people die for lack of knowledge “. Once you read your bible then decide for yourself self where God said your tithe is money. Bible also said ” let no man add to or subtract from God’s Word “. Go to YouTube to see honest preaching of tithe….

Follow Gramps:

Is Mormon underwear magic?

October 22, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, I am not a Mormon, but a Born Again Christian faithfully attending a Protestant church.  I have recently been involved in a study in which we (more)

Why was the purchase of slaves allowed during Biblical times?

October 21, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, I have been discussing matters of misinterpretation with Bible versus with friends and was wondering, why are there parts of the Bible that allow the purchase (more)

If my father is the Branch President, can I repent to someone else?

October 20, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps, Hello.  I have broken the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom. I’ve been doing better and reading my scriptures and praying for forgiveness but (more)

How many Priesthoods are there?

October 19, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, How many priesthoods are there?  I know there is the Aaronic and Melchezidek, but someone mentioned there was also the Patriarchal Priesthood? Don   Answer Don, (more)

Will the church rescind the ban on coffee due to Alzheimers studies?

October 18, 2014 6:00 am

Question Gramps, I am a member and wonder why the church does not rescind the ban on coffee when scientific studies over the past 20 years have shown (more)

Can physical intimacy and spirituality be compatible?

October 17, 2014 11:37 am

Question Dear Gramps, When I am reading my scriptures or saying my prayers, I have no interest in physical intimacy with my spouse.  And when we do come (more)

Is God a respecter of persons sometimes?

October 16, 2014 12:47 am

Question Gramps, Why does the Lord seem to bless some of the faithful with prosperity? It seems that others who are faithful and also pay their tithes and (more)

In the Princess Bride, should Wesley have pursued a married woman?

October 15, 2014 10:28 am

Question Dear Gramps, Was it appropriate for Wesley from the Princess Bride to pursue a married woman? Fezzik   Answer Fezzik, The question is not whether Westley was (more)

How can I learn about the church as a teenager?

October 13, 2014 12:04 am

Question Gramps, Hello. I am 16 and I have zero affiliation with the church. I was interested in learning about the Mormons, so I got a copy of (more)

Was Joseph Smith just a con man?

October 12, 2014 8:18 am

Question Gramps, In 1971 Joseph Smith was arrested and brought before a Justice of the Peace for that practice of a “glass looker”. Before this he was in (more)

Is there a reference that people filled with the Spirit of Christ can heal?

October 9, 2014 5:00 am

Question Gramps. Is there a reference that people with the Spirit of Christ and filled with the Holy Ghost can heal people with faith? My granddaughter who is (more)

Since Lehi had left, how did the people know Jerusalem was destroyed?

October 8, 2014 5:25 pm

Question Gramps, Helaman 8:21 And now will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? (more)