VICKY - If a Mormon doesnt pay tithes because they get state welfare, can they still go to the temple? I have a friend who gets state welfare and I was curious about this because she was told from the state she has to use it for the children she has, and it could be taken from her if she uses it for any other reason.

JOEL - Tithing is paid on that which we earn while employed. Someone who is unemployed and receives no wages does not have any tithing to pay. But they are still considered a full tithe payer, because if they did have an income they would have paid tithing on it. Therefore they would qualify for a temple recommend. Money received through any type of welfare program would not qualify for tithing.

According to the Church Handbook:
"All Church members who have income should pay tithing, with the following exceptions:
1. Members who are entirely dependent on Church welfare assistance.
2. Full-time missionaries."

Actually, an active member of the church should first seek out help from their family and the Church welfare system before going to the state for welfare. In most cases an active member's needs can be completely supported by the Church Welfare system. Everyone's circumstances are different however. This is something that would need to be discussed between the member and their Bishop.

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