LDS Church Teachings on Tithing:
- contributing is an outward sign of belief in God
"By this principle [Tithing] the loyalty of the people of this Church shall be put to the test. By this principle it shall be known who is for the kingdom of God and who is against it."
(Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p. 225)
- a tithe constitutes ten percent of ones total earnings (DC 119: 4)
- tithing needs to be paid first before paying bills
"If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing."
- tithing money goes to building the Lords house, laying the foundation of Zion and for the Priesthood, and the debts of the Presidency of the Church (DC 119: 2)
- paying a full tithe brings blessings from God (Malachi 3: 10)
- tithe paying is a law that every member of the church is expected to obey regardless of circumstances (Temple Recommend Question)
Now that we are clear concerning what the church teaches, lets talk about my problem.
At this point (2 years ago), my shelf has come crumbling down and I can no longer, in good conscience, support an organisation that participates in acts and deeds that do not align with my moral and ethical code. However, I have a Hubby who does believe and he will want to pay Tithing. Our major problem comes with me being a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM). I am currently not bringing in any money. So, does this mean I don't have a say in what happens with the money? He is the provider and I'm the nurturer. What do we do?
My Thoughts and Fears attached to our possible conversation:
- What will he say?
- Will he be mad or will he understand?
- Will he be possessive of the money that he brought in?
- I'm doing what the Church wants me to do, be at home. That HAS to be worth something.
- I hope he thinks my work at home is worth something.
- How would we decide how much money does or doesn't go to tithing? We are both contributing to our family, even if it's not monetary.
- Will it cost him his temple recommend because he isn't a "full tithe payer."
- Money is the number one reason people get divorced, I hope this doesn't send him over the edge.
Our conversation was in the car. After a date. Just before we were coming in to relieve our babysitter. In retrospect, this was the wrong time to bring any serious conversation up. I did it anyway. I stumbled through my thoughts on Tithing and how I was worth something even without a job and I really didn't want to pay tithing, but I didn't want to keep him from attending the temple and being in good standing with the church. So, while I was blubbering and had tears running down my face, my Hubby reassured me that he loves me and appreciates all time I spend with our kids at home. Because that's what we decided to do while they were little.
My Hubby reminded me that when we first got married and talked about how our finances would work, we decided to put our money together. It became OUR money. This was part of our definition of "equal partner" in our marriage and supporting our family. Currently, I'm the one who handles all our money and I have been taking out the tithing and placing it in it's own account. It sits there all year until Tithing Settlement in December, where we pay it in a lump sum. Since this is how we handle tithing, then we could separate it in equal halves. My Hubby said he thought splitting the money was fair and that his half was a full tithe of his familial contribution. He didn't want me to do anything that I didn't want to do just as much as I didn't want him to stop doing something he wanted to. Understanding all the reasons I didn't want to pay tithing was a desire of my Hubby, so I directed him to a source that discusses the law, the history, and the uses of tithing. You can find it HERE.
We split our tithing money in half. He took his half and paid tithing to the Church, while I took the other half and wanted to help other people who needed it. We spent all December fulfilling requests on Angel Trees and Secret Santa, and then contributed the rest to The Road Home.