Tag Archives: mormon

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.

Marriage and the Mormon Church

Marriage and the Mormon Church

If there is one thing Mormon’s place great importance on, it is marriage… and for good reason. Marriage is eternal. Picking your partner is pretty dang important. I don’t know about you guys, but there are few people I would want to spend ETERNITY with. So, what I’m going to say below is 100% my opinion and you may not agree with it. That’s okay.

I am thankful that God chose to bless me with children before he gave me a husband.. (I’m still hoping that one day I will have a mate)..

Now stay with me here… I don’t want to lose anybody with this twisted way of thinking or give anybody the wrong impression.

Marriage and the Mormon Church

I believe God had a plan by doing this.

Because of my children I came to have a relationship with God that I don’t think I would have had otherwise, at least not at this point in my life, perhaps not ever. Because of that I am immensely blessed.

God’s Plan

So far, God’s plan has been preparing me for what is to come. I have been a single mother my entire mother-hood. A week before my first child was born, his father committed suicide.

Yet, because of this, I have been able to devote my time and attention to my children. If I were married throughout the struggles I have been through with each of my children I don’t know if the marriage would have lasted. I didn’t have a God (meaning a relationship with God) to rely on when times were tough. Only when my last child was born did I develop that relationship.

I received something else when I formed that relationship with God. I got a new-found way of thinking about relationships. I realized that when my partner does come that I will be more prepared for the changes and challenges and have learned valuable lessons/tools to help me along the way in that journey.

Until then I will let the Lord continue to prepare my heart for an eternal marriage with that one special person.

Are you married? If so, what advice would you give to a newly wed couple to help them keep their marriage strong?

Believing Christ – Having and Living Faith

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Believing Christ – Having and Living Faith.

Today in Church the Sunday School lesson was about the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. It reminded me of a book called A taste of Believing God by Beth Moore. It appears to be a small part of a greater whole of book and video lessons. This small part focuses on faith. Its broken down into 5 Chapters with each one focusing on another point. These points are:

1. God is who He says He is
2. God can do what He says He can do
3. I am who God says I am
4. I can do all things through Christ
5. God’s Word is alive and active in me
Believing Christ

1. God is who He says He is

“Know that the Lord is God… Surrounded by a society that spouts many gods but at best nobly agrees to equate them, you and I can know that the Lord is God”

This is something that I struggled with before converting. I often thought, if God is who He says He is, then why can nobody agree and see that? Well, we are human. We often let other people influence our thoughts and choices. We chose to believe what we want, but others can often times easily sway our thoughts. This book discusses how intellectuals and scholars are very good at convincing us of untrue things.

We then turn to those scholars for answers and upon receiving an answer we deem worthy we tend to disregard what we have been taught. We cease to believe in things.

2. God can do what He says He can do

This section focuses more on miracles and that claims that the world has far fewer miracles now than it did in the Kingdom time. It says the West has the fewest of them all possibly because we have less faith than others and points out that places with more faith seem to have more miracles.

“Sensationalism seeks an experience, and cessationism believes only what it personally sees and experiences.”

I think we each fall into these categories at one time or another. Something happens to us that is completely unexpected and it leaves us with the sensationalism viewpoint but when we desire something to happen we have that of cessationism.

We don’t have faith that miracles happen. We feel like God must prove Himself to us. It is not because there are few wonders of God, it is because we dismiss them. We chose to believe they are from something else. We ignore the tiny miracles and seek bigger ones. We desire that note from God telling us our miracle has arrived. Only when something happens to us personally do we chose to call it a miracle. Open your eyes. Miracles are all around.

Believing Christ - Having and Living Faith

3. I am who God says I am

Talking about how Joshua received his new name…

“In essense, the name Hoshea means “deliverer” while Joshua (Jehoshua) means “Jehovah delivers.”… If I were chosen by God to lead a grasshopper people into a land of giant opposition, I’d want to know He, not me, was the true Deliverer.”

Often we forget that Heavenly Father, not us is what has helped us to overcome a certain obstacle in our life. We often think that we are what led things to happen. We dont give credit where it is due. We need to think about Moses and how he changed Joshuas names and remember to change our way of thinking.

“We are blessed, chosen, adopted, favored, redeemed, and forgiven.”

We are!

“Understand that while it isn’t always easy to believe we are who God says we are, blessing comes to those who do!”

If we deny these things which He tells us, then we are denying Him. We are saying that we do not believe Him and we doubt Him. Believing somethings can be hard at times but if we become like a child and have that pure faith then this will become easier. We will KNOW that we are who God says we are.

4. I can do all things through Christ

This section reminded me of another book called Believing Christ. Its a fabulous read. Here is a short speech that coincides with the book. Pay special attention to the section titled Becoming One
Believing Christ

5. God’s Word is alive and active in me

“An ongoing relationship with God through His Word is essential to the Christians’ consistent victory! Making the study of God’s Word a priority is undoubtedly the best place to start.”

I seem to think that this is pretty common sense here. In order to be with God in the end then we need to continue on the right path. If we fall off we can always step back on but wouldnt it be much easier to just maintain that relationship? Having that ongoing relationship can make us better. Studying God’s Word (not just reading it) can also make us better and it truly is a great place to start.

“When we receive it by reading it, meditating on it, believing it, and applying it, the life of the Word becomes lively in us… Try Jeremiah’s approach while your’e at it. Don’t just read God’s Words. Receive them like a famished man at a feast.”

Notice this did not just say reading it. We have to read, study, meditate and apply in order for it to become effective. We cannot simply read an instruction booklet on how to put a bookcase together and expect the bookcase to magically be put together. We have to read the booklet, think about what it says, believe that the instructions are true and then do them. If we do those things then we end up with a bookcase. If we fail to do those things then we end up with a lot of wood, but no bookcase.

How do you apply the gospel to your life? 

Living With Thanksgiving Daily

I’m not sure how I’ve been a member of my church for 8 years and only asked to speak once, but a few weeks ago I had the chance to speak again. My talk was on living with thanksgiving daily and since the Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner, I decided to share my talk with you…

LIVING WITH THANKSGIVING DAILY

 Living With Thanksgiving Daily

I like to think that I am a thankful person and that I live with gratitude, but I know that I don’t always say it or show it in a way that others would understand. If I were to make a list of things I am grateful for, I know it would vary from your lists. I realize my list has changed through the seasons of our lives. At one time I prayed often for the nurses and doctors keeping my children alive. Now, I find my prayers focusing on their therapists and those who are helping them grow. It doesn’t mean that I am no longer thankful for those that helped in the past, my point is, our lists change with time.

We often take things for granted, especially here in the States where it seems we have all these opportunities without having to do much ourselves. It’s easy to say “Thank God school is starting soon” when we have little ones at home during the Summer driving us up a wall, but how grateful are we truly for that blessing that is education?

Thomas S. Monson in a conference talk in 2010 said “A grateful heart comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives.” Have we prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for the everyday things in our life often taken for granted? Have we shown appreciation for those around us who give so much to serve us?

Pathway of Gratitude

We can begin showing gratitude today. God gave us just a few basic needs, but in today’s world we are overcome with so many wants and desires. Are we even showing thanksgiving daily for all of those things we already have?

Imagine your life now as a path through the woods. You know right where this path is, right where it leads, and you always take it. It’s well worn, familiar, and easily traveled. Now, imagine that this is a path of living with very little gratitude.

How can we change that? It’s simple. We start by taking a new path – one that we must create. At first, you may try to go down that old pathway. Somedays you may make it through to the very end of it without realizing you traveled the old path, but then you begin making that new path your main course of travel. As you travel down it, it starts to resemble the old pathway; It becomes well worn and easy to navigate, but this time you are traveling with gratitude in your heart. Overtime it becomes natural to use this path.

Humbling Ourselves

Just recently I sat in on Aloshua’s physical therapy session. He works multiple times a week with a physical therapist who helps him with gross motor functions like transferring from his wheelchair, working on upper body strength and even walking. I was able to capture a picture of him standing without supporting himself with his hands. I teared up thinking of the progress he has made. Because Aloshua lives with me, I am sometimes blind to the progress he is making. When I got home that day, I realized that I have been slacking on thanking his therapists for those everyday blessings.

In that moment, I was able to humble myself. I am not to credit for Aloshua’s progress. There is an entire team of people who deserve that credit, but at the top is Heavenly Father. I know that without Him, Aloshua wouldn’t be where he is now.

Being Sincere

In Mosiah 26:39 It says “… being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.” – God commanded them to give thanks in all things.

What happens when we follow God’s commandments? Simple. We are blessed. Also in a 2010 conference talk President Monson says “My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”

Alma 34:18-26 says “Yea, cry unto him for mercy for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. Yea, cry unto him against the devil who is an enemy to all righteousness. Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields that they may increase. But this is not all, ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.”

If we replace “cry” with “give thanks” we can see that Heavenly Father wants us to humble ourselves and thank him for those blessings sincerely.

Words And Deeds

It’s important that we recognize those we are thankful for by telling them “Thank you”. It’s equally important that we recognize that thanksgiving isn’t always spoken words. We can show appreciation by our actions – small actions even. Give a hug to show appreciation. Send flowers. After a meal, clean off the table.

How you act will lead people to being thankful for you.

I know that as you live with thanksgiving daily that you will be blessed. You will see an uplifting in your mood and blessings from Heavenly Father will appear that you didn’t see before. It is my hope that all of you can live with thanksgiving daily.