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BONNIE - I was talking to one of our widow sisters and she said that the Bishop had taken her temple recommend away because she was behind on tithing. I was absolutely shocked. Have you heard of members losing their recommend because of tithing?

JOEL - Chances are that you don't know all the details of the situation. All you heard was that a poor old widow lost her recommend for not paying tithing. There could have been other reasons as well that she didn't tell you about; including her attitude about the reason for not paying it. If paying her tithing brings financial hardship upon her she would be able to obtain financial help through the welfare system of the church. Situations like this are entirely dependent on the the member and Bishop. Of course one of the temple recommend questions asks if the member is a full-tithe payer; if not they don't get the recommend. So technically if she is not paying her tithing she should not keep the recommend. If I were to buy a car on credit and decide to stop making payments on that car, the dealer has the right to reposess that car. God is the source of all we have. When we make a promise to God to pay tithing to experience the blessings of the Temple, God has a right to hold us to that promise. He doesn't need the money; the member needs to show their faithfulness by how well they obey God's commandments. Other Bishops might not have handled it the same way. I am sure all she needs to do is start paying it again and she would get the recommend back. A truly worthy and faithful member would show their faith by paying their tithing and relying on God to bless them with what they need. Such a member is humble enough to be called temple worthy.

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