Tithing Settlement

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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gregwanderson
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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby gregwanderson » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:34 pm

aebrown wrote:But if they were baptized at some point during the year, their only responsibility in order to be a full-tithe payer for the year is to pay tithing on income earned since they were baptized.

So how does it work when a less-active member returns to full activity and wants to get a temple recommend again after having stopped paying tithing for a period of time? Suppose, for example, that I started being a full tithe payer again in February and have been faithful in all other ways. Do I owe "back tithing" before I can get another temple recommend? Do I have to wait until the new year before I can become an official, full-tithe payer?

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aebrown
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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby aebrown » Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:52 am

mrrad wrote:
aebrown wrote:But if they were baptized at some point during the year, their only responsibility in order to be a full-tithe payer for the year is to pay tithing on income earned since they were baptized.

So how does it work when a less-active member returns to full activity and wants to get a temple recommend again after having stopped paying tithing for a period of time? Suppose, for example, that I started being a full tithe payer again in February and have been faithful in all other ways. Do I owe "back tithing" before I can get another temple recommend? Do I have to wait until the new year before I can become an official, full-tithe payer?

The question about a new convert is addressed directly in Handbook 1, but there is no similar guidance on the subject of reactivation. I could certainly imagine that there could be different answers for the official tithing settlement versus temple worthiness. So I would say that it is the bishop's call, perhaps in consultation with the stake president.

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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby lajackson » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:41 am

mrrad wrote:So how does it work when a less-active member returns to full activity and wants to get a temple recommend again after having stopped paying tithing for a period of time? . . . Do I have to wait until the new year before I can become an official, full-tithe payer?

For tithing settlement, a full-tithe payer is a donor whose tithing is "one-tenth of all their interest annually" (D&C 119), which the First Presidency has stated is understood to mean income (FP Letter, March 19, 1970). As aebrown mentioned, converts who have paid a full tithe since baptism are considered to be full-tithe payers.

The question are you a full-tithe payer in a temple recommend interview relates more to a member's current status as a tithe payer and is not an accounting of tithing status for the year.
aebrown wrote:The question about a new convert is addressed directly in Handbook 1, but there is no similar guidance on the subject of reactivation. I could certainly imagine that there could be different answers for the official tithing settlement versus temple worthiness. So I would say that it is the bishop's call, perhaps in consultation with the stake president.

This is correct. I would hardly consider not paying tithing a "serious transgression" (other than the eternal consequences), but the standard for a temple recommend in that circumstance provides a bishop guidance in the matter of paying tithing. The standard for issuing a recommend is that the member has repented. The waiting period between the transgression and the issuing of a recommend is left to the bishop's discretion. When the bishop feels the time has been sufficient to determine that the member has genuinely repented, he may issue a recommend.

Using that standard, if a member stopped paying tithing for a season, I would not expect a bishop to issue a recommend at the first payment of tithing that followed. In my experience, bishops and stake presidents would expect a member to have demonstrated a change in the member's commitment to paying tithing over a certain period of time before issuing a recommend.

As aebrown correctly says, it is the bishop's call and the stake president, who will also sign the recommend, will also have a say. In my experience, several months of paying tithing will usually demonstrate a change of heart, and the Spirit will confirm to the bishop and stake president that a member is once again "a full-tithe payer" without having to wait until an official declaration of tithing status for the year at tithing settlement.

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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby gregwanderson » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:04 am

So, as long as we're speaking in "technicalities" here, are we saying that a person could be a full-tithe payer for the purposes of a temple recommend but not be a full-tithe payer for the purposes of tithing settlement? Pretend I was "less-active" for a period of time but I came back in February and started paying tithing again. I went to the Bishop in November to get a temple recommend and I had been a full-tithe payer for at least 9 months already, so I obtained the recommend. But then when I went to Tithing Settlement in December I had to be a "part-tithe" payer for the year 2014 because I never made up for not paying tithing in January. Is that, technically, the way this situation should appear on the paperwork? I was declared a part-tithe payer just a month after legitimately receiving my temple recommend yet I hadn't stopped paying a full tithe after receiving my temple recommend.

In that case, I'd hope that the Bishop would put something clear in the "notes" box at the end of my tithing declaration because, otherwise, a stake leader might see the discrepancy on the paperwork after January 31st and de-authorize the temple recommend.

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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby jwnice » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:32 am

If we go back to the "old days" (Pre-computer), the Tithing forms were printed in triplicate (carbon paper) by SLC and sent to the Wards. Every week you manually entered the donations, both on the typed receipt (3 to a page on NCR paper) and hand entered the donation on the Tithing Report. Because donations were entered until December 31st on this report could possibly be the "carry over" that is being discussed. Of the 10 Bishops that I served under as clerk, they had the counselors collect and "additional" donations when the individual came in for TS. The Bishop used the form for the individual to record their status, then typically at a later time either he or the clerk enters the information into the Tithing Status Report that is submitted to the Stake and SLC. The Bishop would not want to use this form when he is interviewing individuals/families as it shows many people per page and that information is confidential.

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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby aebrown » Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:18 pm

mrrad wrote:In that case, I'd hope that the Bishop would put something clear in the "notes" box at the end of my tithing declaration because, otherwise, a stake leader might see the discrepancy on the paperwork after January 31st and de-authorize the temple recommend.

I can't imagine that a member of the stake presidency would presume to cancel a temple recommend in that situation without first consulting with the bishop. It certainly would never happen in my stake.

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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby lajackson » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:00 pm

mrrad wrote:So, as long as we're speaking in "technicalities" here, are we saying that a person could be a full-tithe payer for the purposes of a temple recommend but not be a full-tithe payer for the purposes of tithing settlement? . . . [In the example given] I was declared a part-tithe payer just a month after legitimately receiving my temple recommend yet I hadn't stopped paying a full tithe after receiving my temple recommend.

Yes. The example you have given is possible, and in my experience has occasionally happened. The tithing settlement visit usually takes a little longer in those circumstances.
mrrad wrote:In that case, I'd hope that the Bishop would put something clear in the "notes" box at the end of my tithing declaration because, otherwise, a stake leader might see the discrepancy on the paperwork after January 31st and de-authorize the temple recommend.

I echo aebrown's comment. First, it would never happen in our stake, and second, counselors need the permission of the stake president to cancel a recommend. Ours usually does it himself, rather than asking a counselor to do it. Besides, the counselors would not see the annual tithing report.

Our presidency also knows the difference between the temple recommend requirement and the tithing settlement requirement.

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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby coreyj » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:16 pm

I don't want to bandy words, but I just want to state some things after I have read all of the above comments. I go to tithing settlement to declare my status to my Father in Heaven. Not to my bishop and not to mankind. I am pleased that I have this opportunity with my bishop to do so, because he holds those keys. Other members can feel of the importance, by doing the same thing and declaring their dealings with the Lord. This is Christs' church and tithing settlement is a part of it (I don't foresee this going away at all). Its a great time for members to reflect upon their dealings with the Lord. As leaders we are required to give much, and we should be serving the Lord because we love him, despite the long hours. They are many sacrifices to be made when serving in the church as leaders. And as a clerk I am very grateful to assist the bishop in this process. It just reaffirms to me that the Lord is in charge of his Church.

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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby gregwanderson » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:42 am

Years ago I had a Bishop whose Tithing Settlement "Interview" lasted only about a minute. Honestly, it was little more than "Hello. Welcome to Tithing Settlement. Are you a full-tithe payer? Okay. Thanks for coming here tonight." Maybe he just didn't like me and/or just didn't want to talk to me (and didn't want to talk to my parents either, because they had a similar experience). In the end, however, I realized that he'd done his duty. It really could be as simple as that.

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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby lajackson » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:21 am

mrrad wrote:Years ago I had a Bishop whose Tithing Settlement "Interview" lasted only about a minute.

Yes, he did his duty. On the other hand, my bishops have taken the opportunity to use the visit for other things than just a declaration of tithing status.

For those who are not full-tithe payers, it becomes an opportunity to teach the blessings of this commandment. For those who are, and who contribute other offerings, it becomes an opportunity for the bishop to express his appreciation for their contributions. When a family is present, a bishop might take a minute or two on another topic that will help the family better live the gospel, a simple goal suggestion, a word of encouragement, a scripture he may be inspired to share with that particular individual or family. Very few bishops would not take advantage of an opportunity such as this to meet with a member and simply get a tithing declaration that could have been phoned in.

That said, the most thorough personal worthiness interview I ever had in my lifetime lasted less than 60 seconds.


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