Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ho Ho Ho! Now Pay Your Tithing (Again)

Note to my dear Readers: this post was originally published on December 28, 2009 when the only people reading my blog were either family members or people who owed me money. I trotted it out for a second run in the hope that more might enjoy it. Also so Mark and I can spend the day celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary. Enjoy and happy holidays!

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Ward Mission Leader, H. LaVar Turley
Subject: The blessings of tithing

Less Actives can be so selfish. Always carping about tithing. Claiming it's too expensive and they can't afford it, even inventing delusional complaints about church finances. Some pay only five percent, some none at all. At times we're tempted to leave them to their sinful choice. After all it's theirs to make. But here's the thing. No investment is more important than Heavenly Father's tithe. Consider how the Less Active squanders the Lord's due: designer clothes, sports cars, and boozy marathons in front of the porn channel. Face it, he's selfish, and in need of spiritual repair. So when I learned that a number of Less Actives have yet to sign up for tithing settlement, I thought, it's a cry for help.

The following exchange occurred in the living room of one such Less Active:

Me: Good evening Brother Selfish. I've brought my wife's famous nut loaf.

I set the gift on his coffee table.

Brother Selfish: You didn't come here to give me nut loaf. You want me to pony up the dough, and if I refuse, the bishop won't let me in the temple for my only daughter's wedding. It's blackmail, that's what it is.

Me: Oh you! I would never suggest such a thing. I merely want to testify of the many ways paying a full tithe can bless your life.

Brother Selfish: Like losing my house? That's what'll happen if I don't make the mortgage this month.

Me: Brother Selfish, you need to have more faith. The Lord will provide. In the mean time, the ward can put you up at the Pine Cone Motel.

Brother Selfish: I don't want to stay in that dump.

Me: But Brother, the church picked it up for a song. We're renovating it to house members in need. A boy from the third ward has taken it on as his Eagle Scout project.

Brother Selfish: Great. And what am I supposed to eat?

I nudge the nut loaf in his direction. He rolls his eyes.

Brother Selfish: I'm also behind on my taxes. If I don't pay them now, I could go to prison.

Me: This is serious indeed. But look on the bright side. It would solve your housing problem. And in the final analysis, which would you prefer -- federal prison or Spirit Prison? Anyway, aren't you bothered by the way the government wastes your money?

Brother Selfish: At least I know how it wastes it. I've no idea what the LDS Church does with my tithing, it doesn't report its finances.

Me: You expect the Lord to report His finances? Would you expect Him to report when He plans the next earthquake, flood, or heat wave?

Brother Selfish: No. I just want to know what He does with my money.

Me: Why you're implying that you don't trust the Lord. That you don't trust His church. That you think Joseph Smith made the whole thing up. That the LDS Church is a big fraud that promises eternal life in exchange for bilking people out of their savings. Like one of those miracle skin creams.

Brother Selfish: You mean the kind those young, perky people sell door to door?

Me: Exactly!

I set the tithing envelope on the table next to the nut loaf.

Brother Selfish: I know one thing the church is doing with my money. They're tearing down historic structures to build that ostentatious commercial mecca next to temple square in Salt Lake.

Me: Isn't it marvelous! The City Creek development will include shopping, theaters, restaurants and condominiums. Everything to make our church headquarters the shining beacon it has become.

Brother Selfish: Uh-huh. So if I pay my tithing, do I get a discount at the mall?

I burst out laughing. He falls silent.

Me: Only the mall in heaven.

I laugh a little more, sober then meet his eyes. My heart brims with compassion.

Me: I understand your only daughter is set to marry in the Oakland temple this spring.

Brother Selfish: Why you miserable @#$%ing little piece of $*^%.

He pulls his checkbook from his pocket. I supply him with a pen.

Me: Don't forget to include ten percent of Sister Selfish's income.

Brother Selfish: She died last May.

Me: Which was within the Lord's fiscal year. Wouldn't want her waiting outside the pearly gates, postage due.

Brother Selfish: Don't push it, ^%$-face.

He signs the check then sends it kiting across the room. I grab for it once, twice, then finally nab it before it floats behind the couch.

Me: Have a happy New Year.

Brother Selfish: Get the ^%$ out of my house.

I sing a cheery too-da-loo and march triumphantly through the door. It slams behind me.

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, take it up with Brother Turley when he visits.


  1. Congrats on your anniversary! Our 30th is coming up in a few months.

    Now I understand why god needs so much cash.

  2. Congrats to you too, Jono. When it works, marriage is pretty amazing.

  3. Not sure why the Mormon-Haters make such a big deal about tithing, if you don't like it, don't pay it. See how simple that was? Next time, instead of making some big Anti-Mormon post going on and on about tithing, just tell people not to pay it if they don't like it.

  4. Okay. Dear readers, if you don't like tithing, don't pay it. And forget about going to your kids' weddings.

  5. Churchco is about the bottom dollar, simple as that. They don't give a shyster about your "salvation" just about the buck.

    32 years? My hubs and I are about to celebrate 14. =)

  6. Awesome Heather, Congrats on your 14th!