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Tithing and Temples Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
January 4, 2021 6:18 am

Tithing and Temples Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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I'm prepared to engage Mormon missionaries would knock on your door. Perhaps the book Mormonism 101 will help Mormonism 101. Published by Baker at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint is it examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a respected viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism do Mormons buy their way into heaven.

Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM there was an article in the March 26, 2018 edition of the Salt Lake Tribune. It was an article written by Peggy Fletcher stack titled does tithing requirement for entry into LDS temples amount to Mormons buying their way into heaven. When I read this article I thought a lot of the points that Peggy Fletcher stack was making in this piece sounded very similar to the points that I was trying to make in my article tithing by coercion.

That's posted on A lot of the things that she brings out are the same things that I thought about many many years ago, and I'm sure a lot of people of probably thought about because it is absolutely essential if a Mormon should hope to gain celestial exultation in the celestial kingdom. They have to keep celestial law. Tithing is a part of that celestial law so everything is all tied together, but Peggy Fletcher stack system things Eric and the opening three short paragraphs that I think concur with the point that I was trying to make in my article tithing by coercion and you can find that article on our website We've had that article on our website for a very long time and you had some feedback on it from some Latter Day Saints to said that they didn't feel like they were coerced to talk about that for second because I did receive my I don't know exactly how many but it was enough for me to remember this. I had emails from Latter Day Saints, who were saying they didn't like the title for one tithing by coercion. They felt that, that's not my personal circumstances.

I'm not giving because I'm feel like I'm being coerced into giving and let me just say that I don't want to give the impression that I'm trying to downplay a faithful member of the LDS churches desire to further the cause of their church. I'm not trying to say that at all. As a Christian I give to my church and Eric you give to your church and the reason why you and I give though we would say is because we want to further the cause of what our churches are standing for in the projects that they are involved in, and I'm sure there's many Latter Day Saints who feel the same towards giving towards the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, so please don't misunderstand what we are trying to say here, I'm sure there are many Latter Day Saints who give from their heart to see the cause of their church furthered. I get that taken away from that but the fact is, when you start saying as a church that you need to do this in order to gain salvation, the celestial exultation that you seek as a Mormon. That's where we would draw the line and say, look, you just cross the boundary. Now that is not a New Testament teaching or understanding if you're not a latter-day St. You may wonder well how are they coerced because, as you mentioned, salvation is dependent on that you cannot get into the temple without a temple recommend card that card you have to do certain things for the Bishop will interview you, but one of the main things I think is tithing that probably separates many Mormons from being able to go to the temple. We know that fewer than half of all Latter Day Saints are going to the temple. They don't have that recommend I remember going to a fast and testimony meeting a few years ago and a woman got up and explained how she was having to pay tithing settlement because she felt she was unable to pay the tithing in the years preceding that in her Bishop said if you want to get your card back you're going to have to pay this certain amount sheet for the next 15 minutes told stories of how she tried to talk her wedding ring she got a night job that took away from her kids but it was all worthwhile. She said so she could get back to the temple.

So if you're not a latter-day St.

You must understand how important the temple is to a faithful latter-day St., who hopes to make it to the celestial kingdom and be with his family forever, and it can't be done without tithing and I think that's the main part of what the title of your your article is tithing bike by coercion. As Christians, as you say, we are giving money to our churches but were not doing it because it's part of the requirement to become a Christian and certainly there is no New Testament percentage that is expected of the believer. What Paul simply writes about giving as far as New Testament Christians are concerned is that we are to be cheerful in our giving, we don't give begrudgingly, which makes me ask the question.

I wonder how many Mormons give the 10% begrudgingly. They really don't want to. They would much rather have it for other needs that they may have at the particular time, but they must do it if they hope to keep their standing in the church intact and when you mentioned the temple recommend you talk about it as a card it is. It's kind of an identification card and when you go to a Mormon temple you go to the recommend desk and you show them this card and they run it through some kind of computer system to make sure it's valid and if it is your allowed to go through the temple and do whatever ordinances that you feel are necessary. Whether the endowment ceremony or even to be married in the temple, you have to have this temple recommend some Mormons. Unfortunately, I think, misunderstand their own church's teachings and think that, well, I've qualified for the temple recommend. That must mean I'm celestial worthy know that's not the way it works in Mormonism. That's part of the whole. Yes, you must be temple worthy, but you still have to be doing other things as well. If you hope to get in the celestial kingdom. And of course we would have a difficulty with this idea because there are so many things that an individual has to do in order to qualify for the celestial kingdom that we don't know of any Mormon who is really doing this, everybody knows and the Mormon church. It seems like it seems like everyone that I talked to who was a member of the Mormon church knows exactly what's required of them, but yet when you ask them. Are you doing this on a consistent basis as you were told. Let's say in doctrine and covenants section 2515 that you are keeping his commandments continually. I don't know of any Mormon who is doing that. And if that's the case who's going to be in the celestial kingdom. I think many Latter Day Saints think that's their golden ticket that they have earned the right to be able to have that card to be able to get into the temple, but look at the story that Jesus told of the Pharisee and the publican who was the bad guy in the story and who was a good guy.

The Pharisee was full of pride and he was acting like a religious pompous jerk and he just he was not what God intended. And here's the public and is beaten his chest and Jesus points to the publican as being the right kind of attitude but when you are Latter Day Saints and you've qualified yourself so to speak, to go to the temple.

You're basically saying I have it all put together. And yeah, and I'm sure not all Latter Day Saints feel that but I could see the false sense of security by having that little card and it's a ticket to nowhere really well let's look at the first three paragraphs of piggy Fletcher's tax article because in it. I think she says pretty much what I was trying to get across in my article tithing by coercion and again this is a Salt Lake Tribune in this published on March 26, 2018.

She writes money may be the root of all evil but and by the way that's not true Bill money may be the root of all evil.

I think she's just misquoted from first Timothy or Paul said it was love, the love of money may be the root of all evil, but for Mormons it also provides a pathway to the highest heaven. That's because to gain access to the sacred spaces and saving rituals of a Mormon temple, LDS believers must donate 10% of their income to the church. No payment, no entrance, and that's exactly what I was trying to get across in my piece.

There's a process that must be followed if a Mormon hopes to gain celestial exultation, one of which is you have to pay a full tithe and we should say that the Mormon church has kind of a liberal way of determining what the 10% is for a tithe. They can either be the gross income that an individual makes prior to taxes being taken out or you can choose to go much more lucrative way you with thinking that is go by your net income and some choose to use the net income. Some choose the gross income so it's up to you what is say about that now. This is from the new era magazine from February 2008 and it's on and it says the first presidency is answered this question in this way, the simplest statement we know of is the statement that the Lord himself.

Namely, that the members of the church should pay 1/10 of all their interests annually, which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this, and that's the first presidency letter from March 19, 1970, and it. The article concludes this way. In other words, the way you define your income and consequently your tithing is a matter between you and the Lord prayerfully seek the Lord's guidance on issues like taxes, gifts, the scholarships and other matters to determine what qualifies as a full-time so I think you have a wide leeway to be able to determine yourself and if you want to be a net tither, then you have every right. According to this first presidency statement and I wonder, for those in the LDS church you choose to go by the gross amount. If there may not be an element of pride in hey I am a gross type payer Eure met type payer. There are so many things within Mormonism better laid in front of a member as stumbling blocks that they could easily trip over, and why am I saying that will because in Elmo chapter 5 verse 27. It makes it very clear that if you are not sufficiently humble if you were not stripped of pride. You're not prepared to die yet in Mormonism.

They lay out all these little landmines I would call them that would tend to trip up someone who might have a pride problem and this will only exacerbate that pride problem by thumping their own chest, saying, look what I do like the Pharisee in Jesus's story and as you mentioned quite appropriately.

It was the Pharisee that was seen as being the bad guy in the account.

It was the one who knew he wasn't worthy. That's the one that Jesus commended but I think what piggy Fletcher's stack. Says here is quite appropriate and quite accurate. LDS believers must donate 10% of their income to the church, whether it's gross or net that's irrelevant they must donate 10% of their income to the church and then she says no payment? No entrance. It's as simple as that. Mormons must pay that tithe if they hope to get into the temple if they don't get into the temple than they can also kiss their exultation goodbye because they're all tied together and that's the whole point of what this article was about. When in the headline it says this tithing requirement for entry into LDS temples amount to Mormons buying their way into heaven. Certainly, some might say no it doesn't. I don't do it for that reason, but at the same time yeah does because it's a matter of fact that if you don't pay the ties you don't get into that celestial kingdom that you seek. It's almost like an exclusive club that has membership dues if you don't pay the membership dues Iraqi to be allowed entrance in this church are certainly allowed to go to the Sunday meetings, but if you want the full privilege of what Mormonism is about you're going to have to pay the piper and that's the type tomorrow were going to continue looking at this article written by piggy Fletcher's that was posted on March 26 2018 Are Mormons Buying Their Way into heaven. Thank you for listening you would like more information is research ministry.

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