Tag Archives: finances

Tithing My Way To The Temple

Tithing My Way To The Temple

Growing up, I went to a Baptist church where a collection plate was passed around each Sunday and members would drop their money inside. It was called an offering or a donation plate and to be honest, it didn’t seem like they collected a lot each Sunday. The majority of people were putting in only a few dollars. One dollar bills and ten dollar bills were the most common currency. I always wondered how that church was able to pay everybody and take care of everything they needed to when there was so little there.

Looking back, I’m not really sure how the church got the rest of their money, but for whatever reason, the money they received was enough to grow that single church into a congregation that is now roughly 4 times the size it was when I was younger. Something was surely happening there.

When I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2008 and talked about tithing it made me reflect on that prior church experience and tithing as I knew it. I couldn’t say for certain, but I began to wonder if perhaps members of that old church were paying a tithe equal to 10% of their income and I just didn’t realize it, but it seemed to make sense.

One of the blessings of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the privilege of paying tithing. This privilege is a double blessing. By paying tithing, Church members show their gratitude to God for their blessings and their resolve to trust in the Lord rather than in material things. They also help further the work of the Lord in the earth, blessing others of God’s children with the opportunity to learn of Him and grow in the gospel. LDS.org

Tithing My Way To The Temple by Aduke Schulist

Tithing and Struggling

In the LDS church, members are encouraged to pay a tithe equal to 10% of their income. 10% seems like a lot when you are struggling.

“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. The Lord will not abandon you.” –Bishop Orellana 

So, when I joined the church, it didn’t make sense to me that I – a struggling single mother – should pay 10% every month no matter what. Here I was, living paycheck to paycheck, barely covering the bills some months, borrowing money from people others and I was being asked to give up 10% of it. Perhaps it was my own selfishness or lack of faith, but I just couldn’t do it. Sure, there were months where I was faithful in paying my tithing, but there were many more where I was not.

I was assured many times that if I paid my tithing faithfully and fully that I would be blessed and I wouldn’t be left hanging. God would take care of me (See Malachi 3:10 below). The church would help me if I needed it, but I couldn’t wrap my head around giving money to the church only for it to be given back to me in the form of aid. Why couldn’t I just pay what I needed and cut out the middle man?

Prove Me Now…

I didn’t have faith that everything would work out. Instead I told myself that if I paid my tithing that I was definitely going to need some form of aid, and I am the type that hates to ask for help. It seemed easier to just not pay it.

I also didn’t see how the church giving me money back was a blessing from God when I could have just kept the money in the first place.

I even did a lesson for Activity Day Girls about tithing when I wasn’t even being faithful in paying mine.

I knew it was a matter of faith for me and if I could just let go of that, then everything would be okay and I would be blessed even more. By holding back, I was depriving myself of other blessings.

Malachi 3:10 is often quoted when dealing with tithes.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Prove Me Now…

By not paying tithing was I holding back blessings from myself?

Yes!

By not paying tithing I was unable to go to the temple. Even if everything else in my life was in order, I felt unworthy to go.

So, I made a decision recently that I would start paying my tithing every single month no matter what. Reading testimonies of other people who have struggled, but never failed paying tithing really helped me in this decision. We are often told that this is the one commandment we can be perfect at. So, I’m giving it my best. I’m tithing my way back to the temple.

2016 Goals and Word of the Year

2016 Goals and Word of the Year

Welcome to another year and me sharing my 2016 goals!!

Same me; new goals.

As usual, I am keeping my 2016 goals simple and focusing on things that I am already working on. Last year I had a similar strategy with goals that would be easy to achieve.. tho I did fail on completing all of them. This year’s goals are also easy to achieve, yet things that will benefit my life in some way.

Here we go!

2016 Goals and Word of the Year - by Life As A Convert

Bake pies and deliver to strangers.
This may be a totally selfish goal but it sounds very charitable, right? I want to learn how to make a good pie crust, but also not get fat in the process. This way, I can bake, and make other people fat. Win-Win!

Record 3 videos in public.
I vlog all the time in public, but making videos in public has been something that I have not done yet. For the longest time I have wanted to do some videos in public. I have a few ideas in mind, but nothing actually planned yet.

Read 30 books.
I set a goal last year to read 12 books and went way over my goal. This year I will be happy with 30.

Shoot more in Manual.
This is somewhat of a long-standing desire. I would like to get more familiar with my camera and learn how to shoot in manual. Learning how to edit would be the next thing.

Take a vacation.
Even if it is just a weekend away, we need a vacation! We didn’t leave the state at all last year. This year, we must remedy that. I want to take the kids to the beach.

Family Pictures!
This one was on my list last year, but I failed to make it happen. I am in desperate need of some updated family pictures. We usually take them in the Fall, so I guess that gives me plenty of time to plan.

Dinner Parties with FRIENDS.
I like hosting dinner parties. My dinner parties are normally just family though. I want to do more of that this year and include more friends.

Add Recipes to Document.
I have plans of putting my most used recipes in a recipe book. The first step is to put the recipes – single page format – into a document. I originally planned to do it from my cooking blog, and just turn my blog into a book, but realized I have a lot of blog posts that won’t look good enough or that I no longer use/like.

Learn to Play Piano.
Keyboard… Piano… Same thing, right? My oldest son, Kaia, recently acquired a keyboard and I am trying to learn it along with him. I know that “learn to play piano” is a very big goal, especially since I am finding that my fingers aren’t too coordinated, but with practice I hope to be able to play some Christmas tunes next year.

Complete 2015 Goals.
Seems fitting enough, right? I have some leftover goals/tasks that need to be done. The ones I have in mind are mostly blog related.

That’s about it folks.. Nothing drastic going on over here.

2016 Word of the Year

It took me until today to officially decide on my word.

I chose VALUE.

To value something is to notice it’s worth and to hold it dear to you. I want to value my relationship with God, my family and the time spent with them, my friends, strangers, my time, my finances, ME, my body, my mind, and….. You get the idea.

I don’t want to lose sight of what is important to me. And I want others to know what they meant to me.

I did a little search and found out that I am not the only one who chose value. Alexandra over at MOKUSKA chose Value too. How cool is that?!

What are some of your 2016 goals? 

Do you have a word for the year? 

Activity Day Girls – Budget and Tithing

Activity Day Girls – Budget and Tithing

When I was called to be an Activity Day Girls leader I felt so unprepared, but thanks to SugarDoodle, and other fabulous LDS bloggers, I have been able to come up with some fun ideas for the girls. The most recent lesson focused on Budgeting and Tithing and helped the girls earn another check towards completing their Faith in God requirements.

Activity Day Girls Budget Tithing

I opened the lesson by handing out a full sized chocolate bar to each girl. I told them that they may eat their chocolate bar now and be done with it, or they may save it until the end and get more chocolate. Though some girls were tempted, each held out until the end.

I used the following scriptures to help the activity day girls understand how much tithing they are suppose to pay (1/10) and what happens when they follow that commandment.

D&C 119:4 4 And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.
Malachi 3:10 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Most of the girls already had a good concept of tithing, but were unfamiliar with budgeting. Using the top portion of this printable, we learned how to write a check to pay tithing. We spent a lot of time on the budgeting activity. We made up the amounts as we went along and all stuck with the same numbers to make it easier.
Click on the image to download a PDF printable version.
Activity Day Girls - Budget and Tithing

Most of the girls had no idea how much things actually cost and were surprised to find that rent wasn’t going to be $50. They quickly learned that budgeting is an important thing and that they must live within their means and budget for extra things.  We discussed needs versus wants and each girl listed some things that were each.

For the activity portion, I brought Tootsie Roll banks, markers, stickers, and paper to wrap the banks. Each girl got to decorate her own bank for a savings fund. We discussed how putting money into a bank earns interest.

At the end of the lesson, I gave each girl another chocolate bar. This second bar was the “interest” they earned for saving their first bar. I used a fun sized bar to illustrate that the amount of interest they earn is less than what they put in the bank.

Overall, the lesson was well received. As a leader, I am constantly worrying if the lesson is going to be fun and fulfilling for the girls. They really enjoyed this one.

 

Increase my emergency fund..

Believe it or not, many people do not have a savings plan in place. When I say savings here I am being a little general and referring to people in the US and including college, emergency, retirement, etc. Basically, any kind of savings. I was a little curious what that number might be like so I asked Google.. Apparently 1/3 of people do not have a savings! That is a lot of people y’all. I am ashamed to be in that fraction. Another startling statistic that I pulled from Google is that 75% of people are living paycheck to paycheck. I am in that percentage as well. *cue the pity party*

Increase Emergency Savings Fund by LifeAsAConvert

When I listed out my 30 before 30 goals I made sure that one of them was to increase my emergency savings fund. To some people this means having $1,000. To others it means having enough to live for 1-6 months if income were to be stopped. For me, it is a mixture of the two. I am aiming at the $1,000, but ultimately planning on having enough for 6 months starting 1 month at a time in addition to the $1,000. I am here to tell you that I have made no considerable addition to that non-existent savings of mine. Why? I was overwhelmed with where to start. Being a single mother, I do not have a lot of income. I spend a lot of it shuffling kids to and from therapy and doctor appointments, paying bills, fixing broken down vehicles, and sipping lattes. This leaves little left over. But, how much is leftover? Good question! I have spent the last month figuring this out.

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