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Friday, July 01, 2005 

These are the yokes, folks

Is tithing a burden or a blessing? I am not sure that I really know. As someone who has never held down a real job and who continues to rely on the kindness of my family and friends (at least until I get the darn degree done) I have never really had any money to be concerned with. I've always paid tithing on what money I've earned myself, but the majority of the money has come in the forms of student and personal loans of late so it ain't exactly increase.

Tithing has never been something that I have had to think about because (blessedly) I have always had enough money to pay it. Perhaps it helps that I pay sooner rather than later in the paycheck cycle. More likely, it helps that I live in my in-laws' basement.

That said, one thing tithing isn't is an outward show of faith. Assuming that your bishop isn't your accountant, no-one but you knows if you are a full-tithe payer. You could probably even go through the show of putting empty envelopes into a bishopric member's hand and I kinda think they would put up with it for a time. Ultimately, it is the sort of covenant that you can easily keep track of but that is also deeply personal.

I have been dreading writing this post because tithing is one of those things that you either accept or you don't. You may be a part-tithe payer, but, my guess is, that if you pay any tithing at all you wish it was a full tithe. If you make a policy of not paying tithing, you simply don't think about it (except when you're out on your boat).

So, to my mind, tithing is a sacrifice that we only engage in if we want to and the status of our engagement is known, ultimately, only by ourselves and God. Can this be called a burden?

Yes it can.
Matthew 11:28-30
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

It's not like the person that matters believes that tithing is never hard (yokes are yokes after all). It's that He believes that the benefits you accrue will make the burden of paying tithing lighter (the same can be said for any of the other commandments that we have trouble with). Or, if nothing else, you won't feel guilty about it.

I like how you pointed out how tithing should (in a way) be a burden...or better said: a sacrifice. It's not supposed to be "easy"...

Eloquently put...I guess that degree is paying off!

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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