On your daughter’s goal sheet where it says “become friends with Nephi and Abinadi”-how do you define “friends” and how did you come up with this idea?

This goal chart is from last year (I still need to post this year’s goals), but I do love that “become friends” goal.

It’s one I had on MY summer goals growing up and it was my Dad’s idea.  

He explained that when you make a “friend” you find out all you can about them.  You seek to understand them.  So that’s what I did with chosen people in the scriptures each summer.  Now I have all kinds of “friends” in the scriptures 🙂  But really, I love this idea because it not only teaches conscientious scripture reading, but maybe it helps them be more conscientious about asking questions and finding out about the friends they hang out with day-to-day.


Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.  Whatever it does, I love the idea.

I am looking for suggestions on dealing with monetary gifts? Say a child gets $100 for a birthday gift….what is the best way to process that throughout the family bank? 

Oh I love this question.  When kids get cash we just remind them about 10-20-70 and they do it all by themselves.  Ha!  Actually, Max and Elle do, but the other kids still need training help.  Our money system (back HERE) takes continual effort from parents but it’s oh so worth it.

(more about that “family bank” back HERE)

We get their check registers out of the bank when they have a deposit and have them write in the “spending” column how much money they got.  Then they figure out how much to subtract for savings (20%), and move that over to the “savings” column.  

(Grace is my secretary this summer…maybe some people will actually get returned emails! 🙂

The savings stays in the bank, they just keep track of it in the register.  And we give them 10% interest on it every quarter, which they are starting to learn can actually be a pretty big benefit when they have a little money in there.

Then they subtract out their tithing (10%) and move it into their “Tithing” envelope to bring to church next time we remember to take it.  

I adore this system.  Have I ever mentioned that?  It does NOT always run smoothly, so please don’t think that if you start a similar system and it doesn’t run like clockwork you are a failure.  There are sometimes a couple months when we don’t take out the family bank.  It is sometimes difficult to stay on track.  But it has been established.  And that’s the biggest feat in my mind.  When Claire needs money out of the bank she knows to subtract it from her check register.  When they earn money they know they are saving and giving part of it.  It’s just a given.  And if kids can learn that early, think how much better their lives will be in the future.

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  1. Hi KMS. There are very few "rules" or guidelines as to how we Mormons tithe. Just a vague "10% of our increase". What that means to every person varies widely. I am a CPA in Utah – let me tell you it varies WIDELY. So the answer is, some people tithe on gifts, some don't, most people tithe on their gross income before taxes, some pay net of taxes. I think there are few rules and guidelines because we are a worldwide religion and a stringent definition of increase would be so difficult to define across the world. For example, what about a villager in the Phillippines who primarily receives their increase in traded goods, or a Norwegian who pays an 80% tax rate on their gross income? Ultimately the decision on how, and what to tithe on is completely personal. It is just between us and God, the way it should be. Personally, I love to err on the generous side with a God who is so generous to me.

  2. Joneke – Phew if they don't have to pay that much in tax – some do though. Just an example to illustrate a point that it is difficult to codify "increase"

  3. Certainly a person can also tithe above and beyond the 10%. My church, not LDS, they encourage but seldom get 10%. Our giving percentages on average are awful. But they also define giving to God beyond their weekly/monthly envelopes. They want half and encourage the other half to go to a worthy cause either promoted by them or away from them entirely.

  4. I don't understand taxes etc but one thing I do understand is tithing.

    I've been LDS nearly 37 years (the only one in my family) & I have a very strong testimony of tithing. I know that I have been truly blessed by paying it.

    I've heard lots of stories where people didn't have much money & still payed their tithing & real miracles happened because of it.

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