Although I’ve written on this matter a few years ago, I’ve not given the practice of tithing any thought for some time. What’s the point, right? You either think a church mall is super awesome awesomeness, or is not.
It’s not like I can convince you to change your mind. So when I had this clear but brief dream the other night, I was a little surprised. One clear message: There are few things as displeasing to Somebody as taking the tithing of the poor.
From this phrase I understood two meanings:
First, taking the money donated from the poor and receiving it as tithing. Bad.
Second, taking the money tithed by others and not giving it to the poor. Also bad.
Tithing is to be given to the poor, to be used howsoever they see fit. The poor are not to pay tithes.
So, what wasn’t clear was an answer to the question, “What makes someone, or, how does one determine if one is poor?”
I am stuck working from a monetary perspective on tithing here, but from my own thoughts, I might say: If there is sacrifice involved in payment of tithing, say, resulting in you not paying for X, Y, or Z, you are poor. Crudely defined, but again, we are working with a tithing-as-money formula. That’s what I suppose, for now.
Of course, what if we give tithes to the poor? Aren’t they now rich? Shouldn’t they now pay tithing? It remains a strictly personal decision, on the tither’s side. What about those who receive tithes? Could be dangerous for them, right? If they unknowingly receive tithes from the poor?
Now, here’s where the dream took an unexpected turn. I dreamed of a website where one could submit tithes vicariously, for those who are taking the tithing of the poor, and it would be given to the poor in another person’s name. In the dream, folks were tithing in the name of Henry B. Eyring, in order to perhaps undo his taking of tithes.
Whether such a charitable work would actually grant mercy to those who take the tithes of the poor, I cannot say. But certainly one would be pleasing the Lord to give tithes in another person’s name, who cannot himself tithe; or who sins by taking the tithing of the poor. Consider the man who cannot attend a child’s wedding in the LDS temple because he cannot pay tithes, without sacrificing something else. Should you pay his tithing, you would lose your recommend, as a non-tithe payer. But bless another. A temple is for the rich man. Make of this what you will. To speak in a scriptural voice:
Will a man rob God? In taking tithes and offering, have ye (priests) robbed Him. Whatsoever thing ye do unto the least of these, ye do it unto God.