Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Boy Is a Socialist (Making His Dad "Kinda" Proud on Fathers Day)

Another moment in church when you want to slap your forehead hard but hold as still as possible hoping not to be noticed. The funny part is that I know of at least two other Democrats in the room who were looking at me trying to make me crack.

We were in with the Priests Quorum because some guy from the Stake called me to ask if our Teachers Quorum could go in with the Priests at the beginning of our class time so he could take a picture. He thought there might not be enough Priests so the idea was to boost up the numbers with a few Teachers as extras. I'm not sure if this was for Stake purposes or Church Headquarters on North Temple because we have a lot of guys in our Stake who work for Church Magazines and Public Affairs, etc. Our Varsity Scouts were even videoed a couple of years ago by a mission buddy who is on the Young Mens General Board, but so far, we haven't made it into any Church productions on-line or elsewhere, at least that I have seen.

So, it was a combined Aaronic Priesthood this morning and a good lesson from the Priests Advisor on Tithing. The Bishop came in as the Quorum President and there were several other Young Men advisors there, almost as many as the eight or so actual young men. I had two of my own boys there, one a Priest and the other a Teacher. Then the Advisor teaching asked a question, "What is the Law of Consecration?" and directed it at my Priest boy who haltingly responded, "Well, it's kinda like socialism." That's when the forehead-slap and smile crack were restrained nearly to the breaking point.

Of course, one of the brethren (who shall not be identified) jumped in with, "No, there is a big difference! Socialism is when the government takes from you. The Law of Consecration is voluntary." ¡Ay, ay, ay!

My boy was actually right in a technical sense as he said it was only "kinda" like socialism (without any further chance to explain). And in my mind, the whole thing was somewhat redeemed later when the Advisor was talking about "blessings in gross and blessings in net" and said that in paying 10% tithing on gross income, we didn't have to pay on our tax refund - and then onto this "doctrine" I hadn't really considered 'til now - that as "increase" is not scripturally defined, it could be interpreted to be the value on all the services we get for our taxes like police and fire protection. I was looking around the room a little more deeply and thinking about the electricity coming from federal Bureau of Reclamation dams (or public land coal or natural gas), or the government standards for construction including the very fibers in the carpet to ensure the chemicals weren't going to poison us.

Anyway, I'll just keep paying my tithing as I move closer to the Law of Consecration.

And maybe someday I'll tell the story of my older, "pacifist" son and the rather literal fisticuffs in another priesthood lesson.


  1. I was just figuring my tithing this morning, and I remembered this post. Then the thought crossed my mind, Should I pay tithing on my share of the deficit as well? After all, that is an increase in government services, even if no one has paid for it yet.

  2. Russel - I think that's between you and the Lord. Maybe your bishop.


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