Wednesday, October 13, 2010
You can't come, but we'd love to invite you, just kidding.
I do not hold a current TR. It's been a while. After the birth of our second child, and the medical bills that went along with that, we could no longer afford to pay tithing. It was not something we made a decision about, there just simply wasn't enough money left over to pay that money to the church any more. It was something we felt bad about, and planned to correct, but to this point we have not. So, our TRs expired. No one ever contacted us for a renewal interview, nor did we seek out an interview ourselves.
Fast forward to this past Spring. Phone rings. "Hello, Bishop, how are you? Yes, fine, thanks." The bishop is now calling me directly. This despite the fact that he wouldn't recognize me on the street, although we attend church EVERY week and have been in this ward for nearly 10 years now. Anyway, the bishop proceeds to tell me that the ward is having a temple session outing that week and wanted to call and invite us personally. I was instantly livid.
I calmly stated, "Bishop, we do not have a current TR."
His response: "Oh, yes, I see that now. We need to get you in here to find out what we can do to change that. I also see you have not been paying your tithing, is that what your concern is?"
Me: "No, I'm not concerned about anything, I just don't have a TR right now. I'll let you know when we're ready to come in and talk about it, but I don't appreciate you knowing damn well we don't have a TR, yet calling and feigning an invitation to us, even though you KNOW we wouldn't be able to attend even if we wanted to!"
Bishop: "Well, what can I do to help you resolve your concern about tithing?"
Me: "Again, I do not have a concern about it. I simply cannot afford to pay it. When I can, I'll let you know."
Bishop: "Well, Bro.ThouSayest, let me just bare my testimony to you that if you pay your tithing FIRST, you will be blessed and you will be rewarded by your Heavenly Father, who loves you."
Me: "Thanks for sharing your testimony with me. I DON'T have the faith that if I pay tithing first everything else will work out. Please do not talk to me about this again. If and when I am able to pay tithing I will let you know. Until then, please don't call to invite me to any more temple outings, it's dishonest."
Bishop: "Your Heavenly Father loves you."
Me: "Thanks, tell him hello for me."
To give him credit, I think his heart was in the right place. He is terribly socially awkward, totally unaware of how to converse like a normal person. I think he has struggled with that as a bishop and it's really forced him out of his comfort zone to have to talk to people about sensitive topics, like worthiness, etc. I think in his mind this was probably a clever way to bring up the lack of TR without ruffling too many feathers. So, I don't hold anything against him. But, still I think it was kind of a lame attempt.