idjeeper2 wrote:In reality, I believe there is room for every viewpoint on this...
Good. Please don't think I'm wicked just because I think there could be a better way, which, to me, is something President Hinckley was at least exploring a few years ago.
I'm reminded of the story of the mother and daughter who always cut the head and tail off the fish before frying them. They never knew why it was done this way but assumed it was an essential part of frying fish. Then the mother asked the grandmother (who taught her how to cook) and she said, simply, that the frying pan she was using in the old days wasn't big enough to hold the whole fish. There was no practical reason to cut the head and tail off anymore! Please take note of johnshaw's signature on his posts.
And so we continue to hold tithing settlement in a way reminiscent of when members paid tithing in-kind with livestock although I don't think it's necessary anymore. I can't help thinking that our primary purpose, nowadays, is providing statistics for some number-crunching department at CHQ. I would love to see the members, themselves, have the chance to choose what type of tithing settlement they want. Do they want "express" where they can just hand the Bishop a note with a box checked on it or do they want the "full version" which requires a special trip to the meetinghouse? (In the past, I certainly did see notes tucked into donation envelopes saying "I'm a full-tithe payer" and then those donors didn't sign up for appointments. Does the Bishop count that as a "member" or a "Bishop" declaration on his reports, seeing as how he didn't have a face-to-face conversation with the donor?)
My point in quoting President Hinckley is that, at some point, there was momentum towards lifting the "very heavy" administrative load from priesthood leaders and I think that tithing settlement would be a great thing to consider in this light. December is already a very busy month with any number of Christmas parties for families, co-workers, civic groups, clubs and the ward, along with shopping, cleaning, meeting any number of year-end deadlines and planning vacations and doing vacations… not to mention the increased number of weddings around that time of year. So we mix tithing settlement into that (along with a lot of bad driving conditions in many areas) and, well, could there not be a better way to do this (if it's really needed anyway)?