Mormon tithing under national media microscope

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Here is an excerpt from an article about Mitt Romney and the spotlight that his candidacy has put on the practice of paying tithing.

That point was emphasized by Givens, who was also contacted by CNN's Dan Gilgoff about the subject.

"Mormon children are expected to begin tithing from their very first allowance," Givens told Gilgoff. "And there's never any variation on the 10 percent, whether you're on welfare or you're a millionaire."

For members of the LDS Church, Givens continued, "tithing is an article of faith, not an economic principal." He went on to call it "an important differentiator between devout Mormons and nominal Mormons."

Michael Otterson, director of Public Affairs for the LDS Church and a frequent guest contributor to the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog site, used the sudden interest in LDS tithing to talk about the history, the doctrine and the uses of tithing in the church.

"The principle is simple to understand and administer," Otterson wrote. "Each member, knowing their accountability to God, decides for themselves what 'one tenth of their increase' means, when and how to pay it. For people on regular salaries, it is usually a tenth of their income and paid weekly or monthly. It is an honor system that works very well, because each member has a sense of consecrating a portion of his or her means to God's work."

He quotes the late LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, who once observed that "the Lord's plan for financing the church is captured in just 35 words of modern scripture."

"We know that these funds are sacred," President Hinckley said. "We have a compelling trust to use them carefully and wisely…. I keep on the credenza in my office this genuine widow's mite …. I keep it as a reminder of the sacrifice it represents, that we are dealing with the consecration of the widow as well as the offering of the wealthy."

Otterson outlined some of the ways in which tithing dollars are used, pointing out that simply providing for the needs of 30,000 LDS congregations worldwide — including meetinghouses and temples — required a large part of the church's tithing income.

"In addition to their tithes," Otterson said, "most faithful members make other voluntary contributions to humanitarian aid and to the monthly 'fast offering.' Fast offerings are the result of fasting for two successive meals on the first Sunday of each month and donating the cost of the meals. Local bishops then use these funds to help the poor and needy."

Otterson concludes by saying that "tithing and other financial offerings are less about finances and more about personal attitude and commitment."

"It is difficult to pay tithing and be selfish at the same time," he writes. "For the millions of people who participate, there is something in the act of voluntary giving that is innately enriching to the human soul."

Read the rest at the Deseret News. Mormon tithing under national media microscope after Mitt Romney releases his financial data

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1 Response to Mormon tithing under national media microscope

Ben
October 21, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Tithing is such a blessing!

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