Subject: Mormon Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 26 14:10 2004
Author: Deceive & Conceive

I stopped paying tithing several months ago. My wife asked me yesterday if I still planned to go with her to tithing settlement at the end of the year. It made me shutter.

I can't think of any other religion that shakes down members for contributions the way the Mormons do. Yes, other churche pass around baskets and pressure you into giving money. But the Mormons require (yes, it is required) that members attending a meeting with the bishop at the end of the year to state, on the record, if they have paid a full tithe. If you have not, for any reason, you will be lectured on the need to repent and come back into compliance with the law of tithing.

I spoke with my wife about how odd tithing settlement is when you think about it. She said it is largely to get tax records and so the bishop can socialize with you for a few minutes. That is so obviously silly that it is not worth the effort to refute. The church has way too many personal worthiness interviews. Tithing settlement, temple recommends (which have a big tithing component) and PPIs. I think tithing settlement is the worst.

Someone once told me in the early days they would have people stand up in sacrament meeting and declare if they were a full tithe payer in front of everyone. I don't know if that is true. Does anyone know the history of tithing settlement as we know it today? When did the church start calling everyone in to make them state on the record if they are paying a full tithe?

Subject: power-freak bishop
Date: Oct 26 15:35
Author: Alison_is_free

I think tithing settlement is a complete invasion. I bristled every time I had to do it. It just reinforces the fact that you have to pay your way into the temple and into the "celestial kingdom". Back when I was a member, my bishop once withheld my recommend because I was a month behind on paying my tithing. I was working my ass of in ward and stake callings, taking my kids to church every week by myself, doing my visiting teaching, etc., but he felt I wasn't worthy to go to the temple, that I was "stealing from the lord." I missed my cousin's wedding because I didn't have the recommend. I was devastated and completely embarrassed to miss the wedding. I was so ashamed because of the things the bishop said to me.

I am so relieved to be out of that mental, emotional, financial trap.

Subject: Here is a typical morg view of tithing settlement ...
Date: Oct 26 15:38
Author: Jim Smith

You might want to look up my story on the Bio board, as tithing settlement factors in to my story.

My opinion is just don't go.


Subject: I just love this quote from the beginning of article...
Date: Oct 27 11:00
Author: ME

..."Tithing is an important test of our personal righteousness. President Joseph F. Smith (1838-1918) said: “By this principle it shall be known who is for the kingdom of God and who is against it. … By it it shall be known whether we are faithful or unfaithful” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 276)."

To think, according to the Mormon church, your faith and righteousness/worthiness depends upon how many sheckles you divvy over to God. How utterly absurd! The filthy bastards!

Subject: Some questions to ask your wife
Date: Oct 26 15:56
Author: anon4reply

With thanks to previous posters who posed these questions:

Members are required to hold annual tithing settlements to declare their tithing faithfulness. Why is tithing more important than chastity? Why not hold annual “chastity settlements” or “honesty settlements” or “doing good to our fellow man settlements.” Why is a 10% admission charge required for entry into the temple and eventually into the CK?

Most other faiths and other non-profit organizations publish their financial statements. The LDS church never reveals to members what their money is being spent on. There is no reason this shouldn’t be done in the form of public financial statements as it is done in other religions and as it was done in the church’s past. Members are expected to be responsible to the church in their tithing; shouldn’t the church be just as forthcoming with where their money is spent?

In 1997, Time magazine estimated that the net worth of the LDS church was at the minimum $30 billion. (Some estimates put the net worth at $50 billion today.) The church is already rich, so why does it need money from poor members? Couldn’t an organization this wealthy allow its poorest members to forgo the 10% tithing requirement? Why doesn’t the church give more money to charity rather than spend all that cash on more multi-million dollar temples, shopping malls, TV/radio stations and cattle ranches in Florida and Nebraska?

In order to receive any assistance from the Bishop’s Storehouse, a member in financial difficulty must first be declared a “full tithe payer”. Why does someone who is hungry have to prove their “worthiness” to eat? When Jesus fed the multitude with the loaves and fishes, did he conduct “worthiness” interviews first?

Subject: Here here!
Date: Oct 26 17:30
Author: Kim

Everyone knows the Morg is beyond filthy rich. I think it's time for the tables to be turned and let the church be accountable to its members for a change when it comes to finances.

For Deceive & Conceive: Is it possible for you to just refuse to attend or participate in Tithing Settlement? Do you care if you have a temple recommend?

I can tell you, it's very liberating to be able to just NOT do things you don't want to do. Everything to do with tithing is one huge manipulation or another. I hope you don't ever give the Morg one more dime.

If you end up being forced to go to that damn Tithing Settlement, just tell the bishop that what you paid is a full tithing. Lie to him. Lie to the church that has lied countless times and much more significantly to you.

Subject: Funny, my ex-Baptist friend and I were talking about this just the other night...
Date: Oct 26 17:56
Author: the dreaded single adult (at work)

She was saying that her former pastor used to hound, hound, hound them for money all the time. The money went to him, he had is daughter employed as the church secretary, his wife in another position, and another daughter in yet another position.

She said he was not at all accountable to the church membership for where all of the money went (sound familiar?). That was one of the reasons she & her husband left.

My uncle was a faithful Catholic his entire life. He gave money to the church, as well as many, many charities (both Catholic and non-sectarian). When he passed away, we called the Catholic church he'd been attending & contributing to, to arrange for a funeral. They refused to bury him from their parish, because he "hadn't donated enough." I had never heard of such a thing!!

They referred us to a "non-parish" priest, and suggested we hold the service at the funeral home. This "priest" comes, and it turns out that he works with the 'Prison Mass' program, to bring Catholic services to prison inmates. He did not one, but TWO commercials for his program, dunning us for money, during my uncle's funeral service!!

Now, my uncle was neither a prison inmate, or a contributor to this charity. There was NO reason for that man to bring that up, but he did, asking us for funds while we were grieving for a lost family member.

I hated tithing settlement, and I didn't pay tithing the last few years I was in the church---but the LDS church is not the only one that keeps records & duns its members for money. It seems to be a 'christian' kinda thing to do...


Subject: I don't know about that!
Date: Oct 26 20:05
Author: anon.

I know that all churches ask for money, but I never heard of one that kept records like the morg. I never heard of a Catholic church even asking for money at all.
Are you sure about this?

Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 26 18:06
Author: LHuffman

Yikes, Tithing settlements. What a scary blast from my past. I hated them. Even when I walked in knowing I was...or at least feeling I was a full tithe payer. I was always a bit nervous, as if they were going to find something that I should have tithed and blow my temple chances.

Actually this is not for tax records, it is your temple audit. It is where the BofCG (Bank of Celestial Glory) compiles your yearly statement and you find out if you made all of your temple payments on time.

My wife and I one time were so nervous, we walked in and she broke into tears. No reason. All was good. That was our first settlement right before we went to the temple for the first time.

But as I said, it was all about the is a shame how they can use going to the temple to get us to give money. We had lost our first child when she was 2 and a half, and every church leader after that used her as a reason for us to give them to the temple.

Larry Huffman

Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 26 18:23
Author: Anon

I bitched about this last year so I apologize for repeating myself.

It used to be in the morg you just signed up for t.s. on the sheet of paper the bishop hung outside his office, and if you did not go you were a part tithe payer, end of story.

Now they summon you via a letter to show up at an appointed time in the bishop's office. Last year we ignored the stupid summons and we had FIVE follow-up messages in our machine. Screw this. We never answered any of them and we don't owe this stupid "church" any money.

We also stopped going to church, period. They have the members over a barrel if they want a temple recommend, though.

Yes, all other churches will ask for funds to run on but I have never seen the kind of extortion that goes on in the Mormon-mafia.

People are really stupid to put up with this abuse. A simple NO, without further explanations, should suffice when ordered to come see the bishop.

Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 27 10:46
Author: LHuffman

Yes, it is so true that they have members over a barrel. The church is wealthy for a reason. Most churches do ask for money, and will play the guilt card very heavily to get those funds. Those churches usually do not keep an accounting of who gives what (although the minister will often pay

No, the morg has a very cunning and unique way of getting is directly tied to your personal salvation. You must be a full tithe payer to go to the temple and to go to the celestial kingdom you must go to the temple.

And then, once you have been to the temple, they tell you that you will have to be a temple recommend holder at all times ----> meaning a full tithe payer. You get to wear wacky cloths and do the mormon hokey-pokey and they 10% of your income. :-)

Larry Huffman

Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 26 18:37
Author: Andy

Jennyfoo and I both went through times when we were fairly inactive, where we thought we might be able "Appease the Extended Family" by taking our 2 adoptive children to the temple. We have never paid tithing (maybe once) since we've been married, (I personally have barely contributed $200 in my whole life - that would have been better spent) and we calculated the cost just to take the kiddos to the temple to be sealed, and it would have been such a blow to our normal single-income funds - It was a choice of tithing or something really important like a car payment or mortgage or food or kid's clothes, etc... -- We even thought of (sacrificing) paying tithing just long enough to get a recommend, then stopping once we got it, go to the temple, get sealed and be inactive for the rest of our lives.

Thankfully we realized the silliness and dishonesty of even going to the temple when we don't really believe, saw reason (and are now out) without giving the Morg a single red cent. We still need to tell our family members of our decision to leave, but now that we are out, it seems that we have crossed a threshold that makes it somewhat easier/more logical.

We always avoided Tithing Settlement and if we happened to go to church around Xmas time, we just stayed away from any church leadership (if we recognized them anyway). We were always anxious and "guilty" if they found us and invited us to settlement. We would always respond that we would look at the schedule and find a good time for us. We never did and quickly got the hell out of there.

Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 26 19:41
Author: Laur

You made wise decisions.

I personally know some large families who paid tithes no matter what and boy, did they ever wind up in a mess.

Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 27 11:00
Author: LHuffman

Yes, my wife and I had 5 kids total...our oldest passed away when she was 2 after a long hospital stay. We wanted to go to the temple so bad after she died to be sealed to her but we had terrible medical bills and our finances were terrible...and never really recovered.

One of the main reasons we have had such financial difficulties was that we did pay our tithing. We needed every penny of our one income just to exist and raise our family, which was ever-growing (following the prophet you know...spit them babies out). So we had huge medical bills, the normal expenses that comes with raising 4 little children and only one income...I would say my wife did not work, but she worked harder than anyone I know.

The point to all of this? When I went to talk to the bishop about it, he always told me that I should pay god first. Not the electric bill or rent, but god...meaning him. So we always paid god first and all of those blessings we were promised just did not come.

It was particularly frustrating to hear the wealthy members of the ward stand up and tell us in testimony meeting how much god had blessed them. I suppose the message was that god wanted them to have money and comfort...and healthy children with no medical bills I might add.

I hated the settlements though. I look back and it just makes me angry that the church, which I am 'donating' to, could make me feel as though I owed it the money. Like it did so much for me??? My wife and I held callings and did work FOR the church. I did get help with bills a couple of times but I always paid that back through the fast offering, which I always considered the more worthwhile to give to anyway. But the message was clear...I owed god, which meant I paid the church.

Once when I was talking to my bish, this was close to my departure, he had told me that god chose my wife and I to have our daughter (who passed away)...since she needed special care and love. Well, then god would certainly understand if I paid the medical bills instead of tithing, right? I mean, after all, he chose to give us those medical bills. To this I was told that was part of the challenge god gave be able to have her and be able to balance the medical bills and tithing. Well, thanks for that, I suppose.

Larry Huffman

Wealth of the church:

Subject: After reading that I'm certainly glad that I'm not contributing to the morg anymore. scary stuff..

Subject: Whoa!!! and that doesn't include fast offerings!
Date: Oct 27 17:10
Author: JohnTheFred

According to the article entitled "Mormons Inc.: The Secret of America's Most Prosperous Religion," the church last year brought in $5.2 billion in tithings alone from its roughly 10 million members, who are asked to give 10 percent of their income.

Subject: Re: Has anyone ever done an estimate on how much the morg collects on Tithing annually? n/t
Date: Oct 26 20:15
Author: Yse

Too much from what I can see.

The church is building a hotel complex on Hawaii's North shore, among other things.

Few of the faithful tithe payers whose money pays for this will ever be able to go there because - you guessed it - tithing eats up their fun money.

Beware of this ravenous cult.

Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 26 20:08
Author: Anon too

Simply tell your wife you're not going, that should be the end of it.

If anyone from church tries to collar you just tell them you don't want to discuss it, repeat ad nauseum as needed.

Refuse to meet with ANYONE at church thereafter.

Subject: I confess I enjoyed going to tithing settlement because I was...
Date: Oct 26 21:45
Author: Still-Too-Close

always able to proudly declare that I was fully compliant. My personality craves the approval of others. So, for many years, that approval need was greater than the facts of bad doctrine and deceptive history. Finally, my self worth improved to the point (with the help of a great wife) where I no longer needed the uplift from the churches approval. At that moment, I was catapulted out of involvement in the org. Tithing settlement and other validations are now just demeaning hassles that have no place in my life.

Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 26 22:16
Author: SoUtSkeptic

Anon4replyt wrote:
Most other faiths and other non-profit organizations publish their financial statements. The LDS church never reveals to members what their money is being spent on.

In an address at BYU, Gordon B. Hinckley gave a talk with a sub title of Trust and Accountability. See
Now just how is the church suppose to be accountable when they do not publish their financial statements? Now what is wrong with this picture.

Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 27 11:02
Author: LHuffman

lol...very true.

Other churches publish their financial statements but do not keep an accounting of their members donations.

The morg keep very detailed records of who gave what, but never publishes it's own statements.


Subject: I refused to go to settlement. This is my experience:
Date: Oct 26 22:35
Author: FormerFaithful

Long long ago I was a full tithe payer but over the years I waned.

My experience for the last 6 years or so in the church was that I would sometimes start out the new year strong and make a tithing payment or 2. Or else I would be a partial tithe payer. I didn't really believe god needed this struggling single mom's paycheck nor did I have a testimony of the blessings I would receive if I paid.

When you know you aren't a full tithe payer you really don't feel like going to settlement. I certainly wasn't going to "settle up" what I owed and I was never in the mood for a lecture or stern warning.

If you ignore the sign up lists and simply not return calls to the secretary for an appointment, they will simply mail you your receipts to your home or hand them to you in person after settlement time is over. You can have those for tax purposes and for your own records without having to attend. I have never heard that it was a commandment to attend tithing settlement and you don't have to do any explaining to anyone by simply letting them mail you your tithing records.

Subject: Re: I refused to go to settlement. This is my experience:
Date: Oct 27 11:05
Author: LHuffman

No, it is not a commandment to attend...but you cannot be a full tithe payer unless you do (usually, some bishops are more understanding that others on this)...which means that you cannot attend the temple.

So, while not a direct commandment, it becomes part of the celestial requirement chain.


Subject: A link to the chapter on "Church Finances"..
Date: Oct 27 03:55
Author: darquestar

from D. Michael Quinn's book The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power

It's enough to make you puke...

Subject: it is NOT required
Date: Oct 27 10:32
Author: temple name: Jonathan

It is not MANDATORY to attend tithing settlement. But everybody thinks it is. When they announce the sign-up sheets are out on the wall by the bishops' door, just "forget" to sign up.

I have never been to tithing settlement, nor have I ever been called on it. To keep my TR active, I just start paying a token amount of "tithing" about a month before my appointment...or better yet, if a new bishopric is installed, I simply immediately schedule a TR interview as quickly as possible, since their heads are swimming from all the new stuff, the status of tithing is overlooked.

I have been in the church 7 years and I have maybe paid a grand total of $500...and I have had a TR continuously for 6 years.

Subject: Re: it is NOT required
Date: Oct 27 11:10
Author: LHuffman

OK, ok...true. You can lie to get your temple recommend and do so at opportune times, but...

I did not want to lie to get my temple recommend. Although now I know they were deceiving me, back then I loved the church and wanted to do what was right. I WANTED to be a full tithe payer and to honestly obtain a temple recommend. I always figured that lying to get the TR would negate any blessings that I might have gotten anyway.

So, to get a TR honestly, you had to be a full tithe payer, which meant that you usually had to attend settlements.

Note: I would walk into an interview now and lie through my teeth to get back into the temple...I would go to the SLC temple and heckle the live actors. mwahahaha. Of course, they would see my horns in the interview and hold a church court immediately and demand blood atonement or something. :-)


Subject: Re: Tithing Settlement
Date: Oct 27 18:17
Author: Never-Mo Wife and Mom

I can see there is a lot of pain in this subject..But maybe you all will get a laugh from what happened to me last year. Someone called right after Christmas and told me that the bishop wanted him to call and set up a tithing settlement meeting. Keep in mind that I have never been a member, and DH (a member on the rolls only) hasn't set foot in church for 45 years or so... anyway...I was stunned...after a few moments of silence I just busted out laughing! He started to laugh..then I explained what I just told you all....He then said.."Well your on the list"...Geez....Still makes me laugh...I thought boy what a crappy calling this guy has...And don't these people know better than to call someone they have never met in their lives? There was a time I would have been very angry a let it ruin my night..It does help to see the humor sometimes....

Subject: That is pretty funny
Date: Oct 27 18:29
Author: Kim

That's good of you to have a sense of humor about it. I'm sure the guy that called felt like a total idiot, and maybe it made him realize that more scrutiny is required than just calling from a "list."

They certainly have no shame, do they?

You could have said, "Well, I'm not going to give you any real money, but could I interest you in some phony Monopoly Game money? Phony money for a phony church seems appropriate to me!"

Related topics on Mormon Tithing:

114 Tithing in a Mixed Marriage    

136 Tithing - 10% of Gross?    

274  Pay Tithing - Ignore Other Obligations

313 Paying Tithing Never Brought Blessings

332 March 2004 Ensign on Tithing

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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