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Question

 

Gramps,

Hello. What if we were to pay our tithes in other ways besides money? It seems that we are told to pay a tithing on our increase, not necessarily our income. What if we do not have an increase in income? For example, we don’t bring home as much as we spend to sustain our family? Could it be possible to temporarily pay our tithes with service, as in 10% of our time, and still be considered a full tithe payer so as to obtain a temple recommend?
A

 

Answer

 

A,

I believe I need to address a couple of important misconceptions inherent in your question.  Then I hope to answer it.

First, it appears that you believe that tithing is a means of financially aiding the poor or similar efforts when we usually consider the word “charitable donations”.  But tithing is actually the Lord’s law of finance.  That is quite different.  The Lord has required us to be a temple building people.  We also have buildings worldwide to meet in each week.  We have a multitude of other structures which each need to pay property taxes, utilities, maintenance, etc.  That all costs money.  The method the Lord has chosen to pay for all this is through the law of tithing.

Second, there is an interesting misquotation that you’ve offered.  “Increase”.  That has been said a few times.  But the standard description, and the one found most commonly in scriptures is “Interest”.  Interest means compensation or income.  In fact, most official pronouncements today reiterate this meaning by often saying.

The Law of Tithing requires that we give one-tenth of our interest annually, which is understood to mean income

I’ve found it peculiar that they make such efforts to include this extra statement each time.  But it is perhaps because of misinterpretations as what you’ve offered here.

Finally, to answer your question, you seem to be confusing the Law of Consecration with the Law of Tithing.  Think about it.  Tithing only requires 10% of our monetary income.  While it is somewhat about sacrifice, it is mainly the Lord’s law of finance.  The Law of Consecration on the other hand requires EVERYTHING.  Would “everything” require at least 10% of your income?  Yes, it would.  The Law of Consecration is about sacrifice, offering of yourself, your means, your time, love, talents, and all the things you may intend with your service.  But it isn’t just 10%.  it is everything.  So, if you’re trying to justify not obeying the law of tithing because you believe you’re living a higher, or at least different, law then remember that you’re not really living that law.

If you’re having difficulty with the actual monetary issues, please see your bishop and possibly ward/stake employment specialists to see if you can get training to help find a better job or to learn how to budget better.  Financial advisers have worked with a multitude of individuals in situations like yours and have been able to find ways to make ends meet.  Give them a chance, do everything you can to make it work.  Then depend on the Lord.  Have faith.  And the Lord will open to you the windows of heaven.

 

Gramps

 

 

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