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Thursday, April 30, 2015

LDS Church Approves Electronic Method to Submit Tithes and Other Charitable Donations/Supreme Court Hearing Arguments on Same-Sex Marriage

Two major things I want to discuss with this post. First, the Church has approved an electronic method for members in the United States to pay tithes and other offerings. Also, the United States Supreme Court is hearing arguments on same-sex marriage. Let's get down to business!

The Church has approved an electronic method for members in the United States to pay tithes and other offerings. This method has been beta tested in areas of the United States and will soon be available for all members in the US. Local leaders will be informed when it is available in their area. This is an exciting development. It means that tithing and other offerings can be paid from a bank account in addition to the old-fashioned method of cash, checks, and currency. It will cut down on the work the ward financial clerk has to do. As a former ward financial clerk myself, I can't begin to articulate what this means to me. It will eliminate the need for clerks to try and read different types of handwriting. Of course, members can still submit their offerings the old-fashioned way. But this will be a more effective method of tracking donations. And this isn't just for members. Anyone with an LDS account in the United States, member or not, can donate to any of the Church's funds. I can't predict how many not in the Church will take advantage of this, but I do hope that someday this may be a Church-wide development. More to come on this as information becomes available.

Also, the Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments on the legality of same-sex marriage and determining whether it should be an issue decided by individual states or not. Most of you know that I am in favor of traditional marriage between a man and a woman and that I believe this is the only type of marriage sanctioned by God. I believe the Bible when it says, "For this cause shall a MAN leave his father and mother and cleave unto his WIFE and they twain shall be one flesh." I would be pleased if the court decided that this issue should be left in the hands of individual states and voters to decide. A majority of Utah voted for traditional marriage  when the issue was decided here, but a federal judge took it upon himself to reverse the majority decision and make same-sex marriage legal in 30 states, whether that ruling was wanted or not. I believe that a majority of people in the United States favor traditional marriage. This belief has been solidified by the fact that the LDS Church was just ONE of several entities, religious or not, who joined together to send an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of traditional marriage. The church's position is firm and will not change, no matter what the world does or what the court decides. Utah leaders have appealed to the court of last resort to not have to recognize or perform same-sex marriages. But that appeal has failed. This issue will have nation-wide impact. Whatever the ultimate outcome is, I hope we can all be respectful in our discourse about the issue. I hope I have not offended anyone by stating my opinion. If I have, though, so be it. I don't believe I should have to keep silent on an issue important to me simply because it might offend someone. And since I am using this blog to "sound off" about important topics to me, I wanted to give my perspective on a potentially life-changing and game-changing issue. You can be sure to find the latest on this issue here.

I am grateful for these two important developments. I was anxious to share my opinion on both with this post. And now I have. I think I have "sounded off" enough for today. I will try to post on Saturday, if not before, with a general update. So much has happened since my last general update that I need to fill all of you in on. But life has caught up with me in a major way and I haven't had much time to write that update. So hopefully I will get to it then. Until I write again, all the best!