Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 17: Tithing . . . Again.

OK, help me out here. The lesson is on tithing. Don't get me wrong - - I am pro-tithing. But, what on earth are we all going to say that is new and interesting?

Oh, yeah. The lesson covers fasting, too.


  1. Sharon LDS in TennesseeMay 7, 2009 at 6:18 AM

    Sometimes there is one or two of us that is slower than The Teacher, I guess. Takes a month or two, maybe a year or two to "get it". Get the TRUE message Heavenly Father is trying to "knock into our 'pumpkin' heads" and we can progress...even that reptatively slow inch by inch.
    It DOES help when lessons of old or lessons of new might be taught WITH THE HOLY GHOST in tow...yielding true LIGHT as the spirit touches our spirit with comprehension and testimony on a particular principle. I am just now in my sixties...a newbie to Senior status, and "MY, why did it take ME so long to 'get' so many things about Jesus Christ and the Atonement, ad item, ad naseum?" Maybe, it would have helped me before in class, maybe it WILL help my brothers and sisters now you aren't yet 'getting it and need to hear it for the hundreth time'..IF I was lending my faith and prayers just before a teacher talks and while the lesson is progressing....GREAT FAITH and yearning for everyone to understand, desire to obey and then REJOICE ! D&C 50:17-24.
    I finally got it few years ago. I am so grateful God was patient with me and gave me 200 chances to "get it" on tithing!
    Love to all...Sharon LDS in Tennessee

  2. Sharon LDS in TennesseeMay 7, 2009 at 6:29 AM

    Woops, darn, I forgot to address the "new and interesting" wish to The Teacher and the audience.......I used to be there with you wishing...and was STARVED for additional material and subjects, so...
    SOLUTION: I prayed to Father, hungering and searching for NEW knowledge and understandings.
    After a little time and my continuing in personal study and diligence...BAM BAM, WHAM !
    To my own little brain and spirit came.....LOTS of great NEW insights....FACTS...UNDERSTANDINGS !
    As I continued on a path progressing, being obedient and listening to the Holy Ghost on what book to read, which sentence to ponder, which principle to pray about...AND MOST to apply that principle or insight to my daily grinding effort towards my own immortality and eternal life.....HE GAVE ME MORE AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE !! That system of learning "NEW and INTERESTING things" now is my prmiary source, not our Sun. teachers. Yes, I learn tid bits by the Spirit in formal class, but ON THE WHOLE, I am tutored directly from above. It has given me JOY, PEACE, TRUTH, LIGHT and most importantly I am NEVER HUNGRY for more.
    I so FEEL Heavenly Father's love and care, all because I ASKED HIM for MORE !!!
    Hope that encourages you all out there to do the same. Happy Learning !!

  3. There is nothing you can say that is new and interesting. You must have milk before meat.

    I figured, having been a member of the church my entire life, that I have sat through approximately 5000 hours of church classes. That's not counting Sacrament meetings, firesides, etc. I'm only counting actual class time here.
    In any other field, I would be far about PhD level. In the church, I don't get any more knowledge and insight than any average teenager. There is nothing more to give.
    People may claim they pray to God, and that God gives me further knowledge and light and truth and all that, but I have yet to hear anything new from one of those people, in a testimony, lesson, or anything. They have nothing new. If they have, let them say it.

    I'm sorry to be a downer here, but that's how it is, and that's how it's going to be for the rest of our lives, our children's lives, our grandchildren's lives, and so forth. The point of the lessons is not to teach new information. The point is to convince everyone to be on the same page, and show anyone who is struggling with doubts that they are alone in that, and that the church is where the truth is. Nothing more, nothing less. Testimony is what it is all about. Information is secondary to the feeling that the church is true, and that leaving it is bad. Teach that, and you will be teaching what God wants.

  4. Whoa. I love the bipolar posting above. I think both points are certainly valid in context. I always struggle with the new information dilemma, especially when there are those in the class who are positively against the concept of "new" in Gospel Doctrine.

    Regardless, I've learned a great deal of new stuff from our friend Ardis Parshall. My feeble attempts to keep her busy searching out tithing and fast offering history weren't even a challenge. She still managed to post a bunch of very interesting stuff on her blog that had nothing to do with my interests. What an amazing mind.

    Our exchange is found in the comments section on her post of Lesson 17, how we taught it in the past, if you're interested. I thought the history behind these concepts, especially in Utah is quite fascinating.

  5. I meant bipolar postings (plural). No offense meant. Sorry.

  6. So here's a funny joke I found regarding how tithing was done in 19th Century Utah. While it's probably not reliable fact, it illustrates some great history, regarding the use of tithing as a traded commodity (in Tithing Scrip):

    "In these days if you wanted to go to the theater you took butter, eggs, chickens, potatoes, wheat or anything like that to a tithing house, and they would give you scrip for it. Then you took the scrip to the theater or to any store and bought what you wanted with it.

    On one occasion, I took a big fat turkey up to the tithing yard to sell for scrip and the tithing clerk had gone to supper. I waited and he did not return, so I had to go and get the young lady I had invited to go with me, and I carried the turkey into the window of the box office and asked for two balcony seats.

    That clerk at the window handed out the two tickets and two spring chickens for change. I had to sit there all through the performance with a chicken under each arm and the young lady I was with was quite peeved that I paid so little attention to her. I was never so embarrassed and uncomfortable in all my life."

  7. The reading assignment for Lesson 17 includes: Doctrine and Covenants 59:13–14, 21; 119; 120. The verses in Section 59 tell us how to more fully sanctify our observance of the Sabbath day. Section 120 is the revelation creating the Council on the Disposition of Tithes, which continues to guide the Church's financial and property management. The supplemental scriptures assigned are: Isaiah 58:6–12 (purpose and blessings of the fast); Malachi 3:8–12 or 3 Nephi 24:8–12 (the blessings promised to the Hebrews who gave tithes and offerings to the poor under the Mosaic Law); Matthew 6:16–18 or 3 Nephi 13:16–18 (the proper attitude to assume during the fast). Section 119 is the actual scripture that the current law of tithing is based on. As covenant members of the Church we are subject to this commandment as it is herein recorded and canonized.Regarding tithing, I just read LDS Anarchy's four part discussion about Section 119. The analysis and discussion of the law, blessings, and penalties are interesting food for thought.

  8. Sharon and Mel: Interesting point/counterpoint. I agree that much of the most important learning we do is individually and from the spirit. That said, however, Sunday School teachers are called to teach. So, Sharon, how can Sunday School class help in that process? Inspire and motivate the students to follow the same quest you have been on? And how do we do that? I certainly was not suggesting that I knew all there was to know about tithing, but I do think that a lesson that offers no new insight is unlikely to motivate others to think about or study the topic on their own. My whole thought process, and the purpose of this blog, is to help me learn more, so that I can teach more and better.

    Easton: I, of course, am not suprised that Ardis Parshall has good stuiff on this topic. She usually does!

    Doug: Thanks for the tip on LDS Anarchy. He really gives us a lot to think about. I had some of some of the same ideas as I read Section 119. Now I wonder if I should post my thoughts, or if it has already been done. Hmmm.

  9. Read the April Conference talk from Elder Robert D. Hales, "Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually."

  10. Hope you may be able to help?
    We are doing a film project and would love any kind of support.
    Our film is on Religion and its effects on the Economy.
    Tithing is one of the themes in our documentry.
    We feel no one has ever done an intencive study in to tithing and how other religions practice it, not to mention the after effects?

    Could you please help us in any way or form.

    Are you aware of anyone who may have also studied tithing in the Qur'an? or other Religions?

    This help might be through statistics or put us in contact with people that would help put the film together.

    Val G

    P.S. I am from Australia, right now live in Ukraine and have beeing for five years gathering material for this documentary film.
    After 20 years of addiction to narcotics and 20 years of recovery it became clear to me that this film needs to be done…



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