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JON - I pay 100 percent in tithing and 4 percent to fast offerings. We have a son, his wife, his two children who are in need. He lost his job. while he is using all his resources to life this past year, he is out of money to pay bills and food and house. Is'nt it proper for the family to meet and pay fast offerings to help him out of debt. His Bishop says to seek help from family first, then come to the ward. We are willing but I just wonder what the Lord meant when he said if there is any poor among you offer all services you can even money. Is this OK?
JOEL - Wow! I don't know anyone who can afford to pay 100% tithing :-)
The kind of situation you describe is something you have to work out between you and God, and perhaps with advice from your Bishop.
The fast offerings distribution is under the direction of the Bishop and he has to help all members of the ward with that money; not just one member.
One could make the argument that if you need to cut back on your Fast Offerings to your ward to help your son, you are preventing him from having to use fast offering money in whatever ward he is in, so it's like you are still paying fast offerings. Also if you have to choose helping your son over your ward fast offerings, fast offerings need not always be in the form of money.
King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon listed a few other ways to help:
“And now, … for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.” (Mosiah 4:26.)
President Marion G. Romney said:
"As I understand it, “the law of [the] gospel” by which we may today determine the portion of our “abundance” which we should impart “unto the poor and the needy” requires us to, first, pay an honest tithing; second, donate liberally to the fast offering funds; and third, make welfare contributions in labor and money." (Ensign 1973)
We all have talents and other resources which we can use to help those in need besides donating money.
Like I said though, exactly what you do is between you and the Lord.
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