Tithing

Would a loving, kind, and empathic God really place parents in the horrible position of having to choose whether to feed their children or pay what little they have to a multi-billion luxury megamall owning church that receives an estimated $8,000,000,000 in annual tithing receipts?

“Well, God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son and besides, the Lord will take care of them through the Bishop’s storehouse.” Yes, the same god who tested Abraham is also the same capricious god who killed innocent babies and endorsed genocide, slavery, and rape. The claims, counsels, and directives of these General Authorities, compensated with annual six figure church salaries, to prioritize money before the needs, health, and well-being of children is hypocritical and morally reprehensible.

Besides, whatever happened to self-sufficiency? Begging the Bishop for food when you had the money for food but because you followed the above counsel and gave your food money to the Church you’re now dependent on the Church for food money? If you give your food and rent money to the Church, you are not self-reliant...you are Church-reliant.


CES Letter, Page 118

There is a Biblical precedent for the idea that even those that are destitute will be blessed by the Lord if they pay their tithing:

The Lord says to Elijah, “Arise, get thee to Zarephath … : behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee” (1 Kgs. 17:9).

It is interesting that Elijah is not told to go to Zarephath until the widow and her son are at the point of death. It is at this extreme moment—facing starvation—that her faith will be tested. As he comes into the city he sees her gathering sticks.

“And he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

“And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.

“And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die” (1 Kgs. 17:10–12).

A handful of meal would be very little indeed, perhaps just enough for one serving, which makes Elijah’s response intriguing. Listen: “And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first” (1 Kgs. 17:13).

This might be interpreted as insensitive to the woman's plight since he asked for all the food she appears to have, while she and her son are starving. Elijah understood the doctrine that blessings come after the trial of our faith (see Ether 12:6; D&C 132:5). He wasn't being selfish. As the Lord’s servant, Elijah was there to give, not to take. Continuing from the narrative:

“But make me thereof a little cake first [the firstlings], and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

“For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.

“And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

“And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah” (1 Kgs. 17:13–16).

When we keep the commandments and manifest faith, we untie God's hands so He can reach down into our lives and work miracles, both small and great. "For thus saith the Lord--I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end" (D&C 76:5).


 Additional Resources:

A Handful of Meal and a Little Oil - Jeffrey R. Holland

Care for the Life of the Soul - Neal A. Maxwell

Shall He Find Faith on the Earth? - Joseph B. Wirthlin

Tithing—a Commandment Even for the Destitute - Lynn G. Robbins

Spiritual Experiences as the Basis for Belief and Commitment (2007 FAIR Conference) by Blake T. Ostler

FairMormon Frameworks 15: Jim McConkie on Preserving and Nurturing Faith, Jim McConkie, 1:10:09

Spiritual Experiences as the Basis for Belief and Commitment by Blake Ostler