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I was told by a former bishopric member that you pay tithing on what YOU earn, not what your spouse earns. It is your spouses responsibility to pay tithing on what they earn, no matter who writes out the check. Thus, as a stay at home mother with no income, I do not have to pay tithing. However, I am also being told by other sources that this is wrong. My husband does not pay his tithing. I was told that to be a full tithe payer. I am obligated to pay tithing on our families income, because I am benefitting from my husbands income being the one who pays the bills, etc.? I have a temple recommend and have told the bishop that I am full tithe payer. Was I wrong in doing this? Do I have to sacrifice these added blessings I get when I attend the temple because of the choices my husband has made?

K, from Idaho

Dear K,

Since you have a temple recommend your bishop apparently agrees that you are a full tithe payer. You say that your husband does not pay his tithing, but that you pay the bills. That could be interpreted that your husband does not pay the rent or the house payment or the utility bills, etc. Would you classify him as a non-utility bill payer because you make out the checks? Maybe he expects you to take care of all the bills, including tithing.

I have no idea what level of communication you have in your home, but it would certainly be well to be in agreement on how the money is expended. If your husband objects to the payment of tithing and would be against your making out a check for it, he is a non-tithe payer. You, however, cannot be judged for your husband’s attitude. Since he is the wage earner, the tithing responsibility is his, and he should agree to that payment, even if you make out the checks. If you had independent income, the tithing on that income would be your responsibility. We are held accountable only for our own obedience to the principles of the gospel.


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