There was a lot that I liked about this month’s Ensign; but one of the short articles bothered me. It was the tithing article where the writer, a single mother of six, compared utility and mortgage bills to tithing, and then stated that:
I would rather lose the water source to my house than lose the living water offered by the Savior. I would rather have no food on our table than be without the Bread of Life. I would prefer to endure the darkness and discomfort of no electricity than to forfeit the Light of Christ in my life. I would rather abide with my children in a tent than relinquish my privilege of entering the house of the Lord.
Is anyone else uncomfortable with the idea that it’s more important to pay tithing than to put a roof over one’s children’s heads? Is the writer seriously saying that she would let her children starve on the streets, in order to continue her tithe?
I realize that this is probably hyperbole. The passage uses lots of scriptural symbolism as a writing device, perhaps figuratively; and besides, LDS welfare is quite effective, and it’s unlikely that her Bishop would actually let any of the children starve. So maybe it’s just rhetoric. But it’s still rhetoric that makes me uncomfortable
Recent court cases have put a spotlight on families who refuse medicine in favor of faith healing, sometimes with tragic results. Is it reasonable to rely on tithing or prayer to replace medicines or mortgage payments? (I’m reminded of the time when I relied on prayer instead of study to help me through a college midterm, with predictably bad results.)
At what point do we cross into the territory of misguided faith?