I'm starting this thread so we wouldn't continue to derail the thread about Glenn Beck's video on the Vatican. We went off topic about LDS tithing, so I wanted to move that discussion to a separate thread. There were several posts before and after these where things got offtrack, but this is where I jumped into the fray. I'll start with my response to this first one in my next post, followed by a response to another poster.
[quote="Telstar, post:51, topic:280133"]
It almost seems like JS created himself an elite men's club, the "temple of the celestial kingdom", that only the richest of men can afford to join without going broke. How they can get away with charging such a high 'membership fee' to be allowed to worship as a full member of any 'church' is beyond me. Charity isn't something that should be mandated, especially not if it's required before any member is allowed to enter the "temple". It should be a voluntary gift from the heart.
Since no one really knows for sure if any of that money is even used for charitable purposes, because the church refuses to divulge to anyone how the money is used, it makes it even more incredible. I have to ask one question. Are the members contributions to the church tax deductible? If they are, does the church also expect to get another 10% of those tax refunds, too? :shrug:
[quote="LivingWaters7, post:57, topic:280133"]
Latter-day Saints believe that tithing is a principle instituted by God. We of course see the Biblical basis for tithing (Gen 14:20, Gen 28:22, Num 18:26, Deut 12:6, 2 Chr 31:15, Luke 18:12, etc), and believe that it is one way to offer sacrifice to God. We believe that to enter the Lord's holy house, the temple, one should be striving to follow the Lord's commandments. Essentially, to enter the Lord's house, one should believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, have faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, believe in the restoration of the Gospel and the Lord's Church, sustain the inspired leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ, and follow commandments and teachings such as the law of chastity, the word of wisdom, and tithing. I see nothing about "only the richest of men can afford without going broke". Giving 10% of our income also teaches us to live more frugally and to manage our income better, to try to not go into debt, and also to rely on the Lord to provide us with what we need. Also, if one does not have any income at all, then obviously 10% of nothing is nothing. They will not be "barred" from the temple, and I know that when I was a student with no income, I certainly was not restricted from attending the Lord's house, and even now I am still not "the richest of men", nor are the vast majority of temple patrons. We believe that following the Lord's commandments, including tithing, brings blessings (both temporal and spiritual) into our lives, and I and many others have seen this, which is why we strive to follow Christ's commandments.