Obedience

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So if someone is told to pay ten percent tithing, and he pays eleven percent, does that make him more obedient? If someone is told not to drink coffee and never drinks anything hot, does that make her more obedient? If someone it told to read a page of the Book of Mormon a day and reads two, does that make him more obedient?

48 thoughts on “Obedience

  1. I don’t know whether it makes them more obedient. Perhaps it makes them more eligible to receive the blessings upon which those laws are predicated.

  2. Hi Kim,

    I was just reading your Official Declarations post and comments…and since there’s really nothing to add (you handled the heel-nipping well), I thought I’d pop-in here.

    I recall something in the Stripling Warrior story about exactness in obedience. So I’m inclined to not try to interpret a commandment in over-achievement terms…which I would consider a form of prideful and competative disobedience (should your purpose be to be “more obedient”). And I can see how the competition for most obedient among us Mormons can get quickly out of hand…and often does.

    My honest guess is that God refrains from giving more than the minimum commandments in general, and those he does give are meant to be obeyed with exactness and no more.

    One can of course do more, but it wouldn’t be out of obedience…but for some other reason.

  3. I think it is the quality not quantity…perhaps it is the intentions of your heart and not the quantity of obedience. Is someone who has no real income less obedient if they would pay their tithing (for example) if they had $ to pay tithing on?

    K.

  4. Kris, I want to apologize for criticizing you. I was insensitive to you in my irritation and I’m truly sorry for hurting your feelings. I’ll try very hard not to do it again.

    I hope you forgive me.

  5. I believe we are here on Earth to learn how to make correct choices. for example – Suppose a LDS couple with 3 young children divorces (reason does not mater). The wife has custody of the 3 children and she receives $ 1,000.00 per month in child support from her ex-husband. Would you recommend she take $ 100.00 and pay tithing on the child support? If she paid tithing on the child support that would only leave her $ 900.00 for support.

    Child support is for the support of the children, is it her money or the children’s money? If it is the children’s money, then should they pay tithing on it?

    What if the ex-husband has already paid tithing on his money before he sent the child support. Would this change things?

    If the ex-husband and the ex-wife both paid tithing on child support, would this not be double tithe paying compared to a non-divorced couple?

    What do think about this? Is Child Support subject to tithing? If tithing is paid on Child Support, how does it affect the main question of this blog?

  6. I think Saul was trying to be an “overachiever” in 1 Samuel 15:10-23. He was being less obedient, not more.

  7. I don’t know that obedience is a continuum with some things (like tithing). Isn’t it a yes/no switch? Do you pay tithing, not how much do you pay? (though I guess the notion of a part-tithe payer punches holes in that theory).

    Though, my point is that, obedience is sometimes a range (magnifying your calling) and sometimes binary. Making the binaries ranges only leads to sticky situations.

  8. Either you are obedient or not. There is no “more or less” If you keep the law more strickly you are ok unless you teach your higher standard as “the Law” then you are in trouble. (Stephen A Robinson, Following Christ)

  9. Is tithing 10% of your gross pay, net pay, after taxes or perhaps the amount you made more than you made the year before. I have heard all of the above as being the true amount to pay.

  10. “The simplest statement we know of is the statement of the Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should pay ‘one tenth of all their interest annually,’ which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this.” (First Presidency letter, 19 March 1970.)

  11. What does ten per cent of your increase really mean? If I had 100 dollars last year and I have 200 dollars this year, do I pay 10 dollars or 20 dollars in tithing? My increase would have been 100 dollars. What if I had 100 dollars last year and only 50 dolars this year. What if I have a loss instead of an increase?

  12. Bill, see #12. In particular, see the last sentence: NO ONE is justified in making ANY OTHER STATEMENT.

  13. I am not asking for a statement. Just a better understanding of what the Lord means by increase.

  14. “If I had 100 dollars last year and I have 200 dollars this year, do I pay 10 dollars or 20 dollars in tithing?”

    10

    “What if I have a loss instead of an increase?”

    0

  15. Yes, and I’m explaining that neither Kim nor anyone else has the authority to make any statement other than the one that the First Presidency made. The First Presidency said you should pay 10% of your income. That’s it. Income.

  16. Nothing I said should be construed as being in contrast to the statement quoted in #12. In fact, President Faust, currently in the First Presidency even used the same wording as I did.

    The law of tithing is simple: we pay one-tenth of our individual increase annually. (“Opening the Windows of Heaven,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 54)

  17. Agreed. But I do fear that someone is going to misconstrue “increase” as meaning “whether I made more money this year than last year,” rather than “how much money I made this year.”

  18. I know a guy who grows a garden and he goes to the store to find out how much tomatoes cost and he pays tithing on the items he grows in his garden. Does this make him more obedient?

  19. I am not sure where to post this but I have a problem I need help with.

    My wife and I are married for time only in the temple. Since then she has not been to the temple. She is inactive and a little critical of the church. I cannot even talk about it around the home. she knows I attend andwill not stop me. She keeps trying to make me stop paying tithing but I told her I would not stop under any circumstance. ou8r roles are reversed. She works all the time and I work 40 hours a week. When I come home I do all of the cooking, planning meals, buying them and basicly playing slave for her. When she come home from work she sits on the chair turns the TV on and asks where her dinner is. Her idea of a romantic evening is sitting watching tv with me sitting on the floor next to her waiting to be told what to do. She has a temper, and has quite a vocabulary. I have the choice of spending time with my wife watching an R rated movie or going to my office down stairs. I try to live the gospel but I am sure I am not doing very well most of the time. I am not sure whether this is a case of me deciding to choose my own happiness or if I am supposed to “submit to all things whatsoever the Lord seeith fit…” What ever choice I have made I am sometimes convinced that it is wrong.

    I don’t know if this makes sense but in some ways, I am more lonely now than when I was single. There is no affection and no romance. I gave up on trying. What should I do? I am looking for opinions and advice

  20. Ask her if she’s willing to recognize that your marriage has serious problems and is willing to go to counseling. Also ask if she’s willing to be counseled by church leaders, in addition to professional counselors.

  21. Ray

    I think what you need is counselling. Your relationship is deteriorating and it seems like your wife isn’t aware of how this is affecting you. You don’t need to continue accepting this way of life because it isn’t good for either of you. If you were married in the Temple for time, were you both previously married in the temple to other people?

    Anyway, I strongly advise getting counselling asap, and if she won’t go with you, you go by yourself.

    Good Luck.

  22. I have gotten some counseling. I have changed alot since then, for the better. I was emotionally a mess due to the past I have been through. Which is why I want to be in a relationship that is uplifting. Full of respect. I want to have family prayer and family scripture study. Temple dates and long talks and service projects together. But I feel like I am alone most of the time

  23. Ray

    Has your wife gone? Don’t stop counselling and don’t strop trying, if it is going somewhere. And remember this, marriage is a three way street, you, your wife and the Lord. If only two of you are involved it won’t work. Your wife needs to decide if this is a priority as well.

  24. She does not want to give up her servant I think. But I have recomended counseling to her for both of us. She is not interested.

  25. Ray,

    Keep going to counselling, but one more thought…you don’t HAVE to be her servant. My aunt reminded me a long time ago about that, you can only be a doormat if you lie down and let someone step on you. I am sorry if I am being too personal, but I know that though you can’t make someone else change, you can change yourself. If she sees you in this regard and is treating you so, then in some ways you are giving her the impression that this is alright. Since it is not, don’t let it continue. Good Luck.

  26. I know that if I stand up then she yells and calls me names.(Which I am used to) Am I learning patience? YES!! Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of these wimps that walks around saying “Yes Dear” I made a choice to be submissive to the Lord, not my wife. I swallow alot of pride to keep the peace and avoid contention. But what about what I want? am I being selfish wanting normal affection both give and take? I am not talking about sex here, sex is not that important. (Yes a man is admitting that) Due to my past I am alot more emotionally driven than most men.

  27. If you were a woman whose husband treated you as you’ve described, and whose husband was unalterably opposed to counseling or change, I would advise her to leave. Submitting to unrighteous dominion is not charity. So I can’t think of why the same wouldn’t apply to you. But be sure there is really no chance of making things better.

  28. Ray

    You are being emotionally abused, and ltbugaf is right. It is wrong for her to treat you this way and you do need to continuing standing up and if necessary, leave. No one needs to be subjected to such abuse. That’s exactly what it is. You are not being selfish and if she is unwilling to change, then you need to start valuing yourself and do what you need to do. If that means leaving, then you need to do so. Don’t allow yourself to be called names. That is not right behaviour between anyone, never mind a husband and a wife. I have witnessed emotionally abusive marriages and swore a long time ago to never tolerate it. Heavenly Father doesn’t expect it, and nor should you.

  29. What is, I don’t know, funny? is that I would never put up with this in other situations. I have almost gotten in a fight at work ( a long time ago) over something similar. Her son (My step son) and I were playing basketball a couple years ago at the church and he started hitting me so I decked him. (he has grown up alot but he still only plays video games all day every day at 27 years old)
    I have asked in the past if I should move out and always got a definate NO from the Lord, but a while back I felt that the Lord was leaving it up to me. But I am not sure about that. How much of this is me wanting top leave? am I trying to do as Martin Harris? (Harrassing Joseph about the Lost manuscript)
    I already have a place to live if I leave. My Friend Dave, single and 42 beeds a room mate. (He prefers female and married in the temple) but needs the additional income for now. I am not sure what to do. I hope I am not being selfish just wanting normal affection? Normal communication?

    Talking about the Church is my favorite subject. that’s why I am glad I found this site. But I cannot talk about it at home. That really drives me crazy. All we can talk about is the Dog and Cats or her work. My projects around the house. Nothing Intellictually stimulating or spiritually motivating.

  30. I’ve had the same experience at my in-laws family gatherings, although it went more like:

    Talking about (anything but the Church) is my favorite subject. All we can talk about is (hometeaching) and (the temple) or their (callings). Nothing Intellictually stimulating or (socially relevant).

    I think this is a clear case of a couple growing apart.

    I’m the last person to give advice in reagrd to church things, but if you don’t enjoy her company – and she verbally abuses you and you share no common interests; what precisely is keeping you together?

    Ask yourself if you would marry (again) this person if you just met them.

    It sounds like oil and water to me.

    Your mileage may vary.

  31. What a great topic. Should a man stay in a bad marriage? Hope you don’t mind me asking some questions. Since your wife works long hours – does she make more money than you do? How long have you been married to her? I assume the two of you do not have children together. Did she treat her husband or husbands before you the same way?

    Why do you put up with it? Be a man and tell her to treat you with respect or she can hit the road. A woman will not respect a man who allows her to treat him the way she treats you. What do you have to lose if you split? Which is more important to you? Your self respect or this marriage?

    You say sex is not important. Sounds like you are a roommate instead of a husband/lover best friend etc.

    This is to the women out there – Would you want a husband that allows you to boss him around or do you prefer a man that takes charge and you feel safe being with him?

  32. Rick: “Talking about (anything but the Church) is my favorite subject.”

    Is that why you spend so much time on a website devoted to discussing the Church?

  33. Rick: Yes that is exactly why I come to this site.

    Bill: I really don’t “allow” it I have, in the past, prayed about it and felt that this was where I belong. That I was supposed to make peace and learn patience. So that is why I have swallowed alot of pride. But now I don’t get the same answer. That is why I asked if this was like Martin Harris and the Lost Manuscript. Am I just harrassing the Lord about moving? I want to leave but don’t want to make a mistake.

    I also don’t want to be single the rest of my life. What if I don’t find anyone else? Is a bad marriage better than no marriage at all?

  34. ltbugaf, Our Thoughts is not devoted to discussing the Church. It may be a primary thread in our posts, but it is by no means the only thread.

  35. Ray, that was me asking Rick why he comes to a Mormon web site to discuss all things Mormon, if he hates discussing anything Mormon. It wasn’t Rick asking you why you come to the site.

  36. “Is a bad marriage better than no marriage at all?”

    No it isn’t. It’s better to be single and have self worth than it is to allow someone to abuse you.

  37. ltbugaf, I come to Kim’s site primarily because he’s in the same city as me, and had previously posted on several non-LDS topics.

    Once drawn here, I was unable to keep myself from commenting on the church related posts. Mea culpa. :P

  38. No problem, Rick. It’s just something I’ve seen on other sites as well–someone on Mormanity the other day was going on and on about how the Church just won’t leave her alone, and she can’t escape the Mormons. Made me wonder why she’s spending her leisure time on a Mormon ‘blog.

  39. Mary: I am not so sure. I don’t mind being alone, don’t get me wrong, but I think with nmy past I need to be carefull about what situations I let myself be put in

  40. Im very active member. Reading has inspired… I’ll stay active. To much happiness in life to be like others… if you help one person. What is the reward? If I help one person… I smile and fall to sleep easy.

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