What amount is
a proper tithe? And where can one find binding authority
within the church to determine this?
in Mormon doctrine and policy, to declare what is a proper
tithe, can be prioritized as first: the canonized scriptures
and second: signed statements of the First Presidency.
SCRIPTURE states plainly that tithing is to be paid on any
surplus beyond a person's needs.
and Covenants 119:4 revelation from 1838 states:
that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth
of all their interest annually; and this
shall be a standing law unto them forever,
for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord." (Emphasis
Dictionary defines "INTEREST" as "any
"advantage", in pertinent part, as ""Interest;
increase; overplus". In the 1820's, the word "interest"
was synonymous with the phrase "surplus advantage".
A plain reading of the text leads to a harmony of meaning
between the word "interest" and the phrase "surplus
But what about
scriptural harmony? Can one find the scriptural meaning
of "interest" to be "surplus"?
Yes. There are
multiple scripture references that explicitly teach a proper
tithe is one-tenth of surplus.
I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who
gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed on
their surplus properties, and shall observe this
law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide
come from this verse. The phrase "this law", can
only refer to the previous usage of the word “law”
in verse 4 of the same scripture, which states "and
this shall be a standing law." And the phrase "this
law," namely "one-tenth of all their interest
annually" in verse 4, clarifies the term "surplus
properties" in verse 5.
2. Joseph Smith
Translation (JST) of the Bible:
Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all
the riches which he possessed, which God had given him
more than that which he had need."
JST Genesis 14:39. (Emphasis added.)
This church scripture
from the JST is not a mere relic of early Mormonism. The
passage can be found in the current LDS Scriptures on page
798, after the Bible Dictionary, in the section JOSEPH SMITH
TRANSLATION. Although the church avoids several of Smith's
translations in the JOSEPH SMITH TRANSLATION, the church
has included this one in its official and current book of
scripture as authoritative commentary.
between D&C 119, and JST Genesis 14:39 also resides
in the concept that "interest" (D&C 119:4)
is expounded as "surplus properties" (D&C
119:5), or in other words, "more than that which he
had need" (JST Genesis 14:39). To understand the meaning
of what is to be tithed, we are fortunate to find a simple,
elegant harmony in meaning, between a plain reading of the
text and Mormon scripture; "interest" (v. 4) means
"surplus properties" (v. 5). Mormon tithing is
defined as "one-tenth of their surplus properties annually"
(D&C 119:4,5), which means "more than that which
he had need" (JST Genesis 14:39).
What about Official Church Policy on paying tithing?
March 19, 1970, the LDS First Presidency sent a letter to
presidents of stakes and missions, bishops of wards, and
presidents of branches in answer to the question, What is
a proper tithe?
guidance in this matter, please be advised that we have
uniformly replied that the simplest statement we know
of is that statement of the Lord himself that the members
of the Church should pay one-tenth of all their interest
annually, which is understood to mean income. No
one is justified in making any other statement than this.
We feel that every member of the Church should be entitled
to make his own decision as to what he thinks
he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly."
official General Handbook of Instructions quotes from this
March 19, 1970 letter from the First Presidency as what
sets forth a definition of what is tithed. Here is a portion
of the General Handbook of Instructions from that section:
simplest statement we know of is the statement of the
Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should
pay one-tenth of all their interest annually,'
which is understood to mean income. No one is justified
in making any other statement than this." (First
Presidency letter, 19 Mar. 1970; see also D&C
General Handbook of Instructions quotes the 1970 letter
from the First Presidency, the 1970 letter remains the current
official written policy on tithing.
of the First Presidency on tithing is in complete harmony
with canonized scripture. This
is clear if one does a plain reading of the text in D&C
119:4-5. The phrase "one-tenth of all their interest
annually, which is understood to mean income", has
harmonious meaning with "one-tenth of all their surplus
properties annually, which is understood to mean surplus
about Elder Daniel L. Johnson's speech on tithing from the
October 2006 Conference?
went directly to D&C 119:4.: "So what is a tithing?
The Lord has given us His definition: "And this shall
be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after
that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth
of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing
law unto them forever.' "
He states "Please
note that the tithe is not just any freewill offering, nor
is it a 20th or some other fraction of our annual interest
That is consistent
with scripture, as he is focused on "one-tenth"
(D&C119:4) not meaning "a 20th or some other fraction
Johnson diverges from the scripture by quoting Howard W.
Hunter back from 1964:
Howard W. Hunter stated it this way:
law is simply stated as ‘one-tenth of all their
interest. ‘Interest means profit, compensation,
increase. It is the wage of one employed, the profit from
the operation of a business, the increase of one who grows
or produces, or the income to a person from any other
‘The Lord said it is a standing law ‘forever’
as it has been in the past.’ (In Conference Report,
Apr. 1964, 35).”
has significant problems. Howard W. Hunter may have "stated
it" that way, but how has Mormon scripture clearly
"state it?" Nowhere in Hunter's original words,
is there a statement regarding "interest" or more
generically, "surplus", and more specifically,
"surplus properties". Hunter's definition (“Interest
means … etc.”), is sandwiched between two portions
of Verse 4, including the quotation of “a standing
law unto them forever” (D&C 119:4) as if his definition
is the scriptural meaning.
Is Elder Hunter's
definition harmonious with Mormon scripture?
Of course not.
If Elder Hunter's
definition, from a 1964 speech, is current policy, why then
does a more authoritative source, the 1970 First Presidency
letter, state each member should "be entitled
to make his own decision as to what he thinks he
owes the Lord"? How can each member make his own decision,
if Hunter's definition takes that privilege away? Is Elder
Hunter's statement harmonious with current and official
Of course not.
Did Elder Johnson
make an unjustified statement?
paying a tithe requires faith, and if not faith, a benevolent
heart. If the Saints should pay the tithe according to the
"standing law forever" which is seen by the scriptural
and gospel harmony of the word "interest" to mean
"surplus properties", should not the Brethren
also consider having the faith to let the Saints pay their
tithes according to scripture? Will not the Lord bless both
the Saints and the Brethren for exercising faith in the
scriptural definitions of tithing?
A - D&C 119 full text
1 Verily, thus
saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to
be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion,
2 For the building of mine house, and for the laying of
the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for
the debts of the Presidency of my Church.
3 And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my
4 And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall
pay ONE-TENTH OF ALL THEIR INTEREST ANNUALLY; and this
shall be a standing LAW unto them forever, for my holy
priesthood, saith the Lord.
5 Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all
those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be TITHED
OF THEIR SURPLUS PROPERTIES, and shall observe THIS LAW,
or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you.
6 And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law,
to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of
Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be
kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily
I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you.
7 And this shall be an example unto all the stakes of
Zion. Even so. Amen.
B – Apostle Jeffrey Holland’s Speech on Tithing
In the October
2001 General Conference, Apostle Jeffrey Holland delivered
a speech on tithing.
Talmage published a brochure entitled “The Lord’s
Tenth” that speaks to the harmony of scripture s related
to tithing. Holland's lengthy quotation of Talmage, as it
appears in the November 2006 Ensign, is so riddled with
ellipses and square brackets, one wonders what Talmage actually
Check for yourself.
is not what Talmage meant, particularly regarding the amount
to be tithed. Talmage referred to surplus. Holland referred
to ten percent. Holland's quotation of Talmage could easily
cause one to misunderstand Talmage.
writing supports current official policy and the scriptures
on tithing, but does Holland’s quotation of Talmage
do the same?
Below is a full
text, alternating-paragraph quotation of both Talmage and
are highlighted with ALL CAPS, and included enumerated comments.
Talmage’s text comes from “The Lord's Tenth,
Pamphlet, 1968”, as cited by Holland.
"You have need of many things in this world-food,
clothing, and shelter for your family AND YOURSELF, the
common comforts of life, AND THE THINGS THAT SHALL BE
CONDUCIVE TO REFINEMENT, TO DEVELOPMENT, TO RIGHTEOUS
ENJOYMENT. YOU DESIRE MATERIAL POSSESSIONS TO USE FOR
THE ASSISTANCE OF OTHERS AND THEREBY GAIN GREATER BLESSINGS
FOR YOURSELF AND YOURS.
‘You have need of many things in this world—food,
clothing, and shelter for your family … , the common
comforts of life. …
leaves the individual out: "YOURSELF", and the
following needs: "THE THINGS THAT SHALL BE CONDUCIVE
TO REFINEMENT, TO DEVELOPMENT, TO RIGHTEOUS ENJOYMENT".
In harmony with the above-cited scriptures, Talmage taught
these are legitimate needs. But lest Holland give a hint
that tithing should be calculated after needs are met, he
has dropped these lines. In other words, it appears the
Church used to semi-officially (Talmage) clarify the tithing
requirement based upon a recognition that personal and other
legitimate needs were not to be tithed. Semi-officially
(Holland), no more.
NOW, you shall have the means of acquiring these things;
but remember they are mine, and I require of you the payment
of a rental upon that which I give into your hands. However,
your life will not be one of uniform increase IN SUBSTANCE
AND POSSESSIONS; YOU WILL HAVE YOUR LOSSES, AS WELL AS
YOUR GAIN; YOU WILL HAVE YOUR PERIODS OF TROUBLE AS WELL
AS YOUR TIMES OF PEACE. SOME YEARS WILL BE YEARS OF PLENTY
UNTO YOU, AND OTHERS WILL BE YEARS OF SCARCITY.
You shall have the means of acquiring these things; but
remember they are mine, and I require of you the payment
of a rental upon that which I give into your hands. However,
your life will not be one of uniform increase …
truncates the quotation probably because phrases like “years
of plenty” “years of scarcity” flesh out
the meaning of an increase, that tithing should be paid
after a calculation of "surplus properties" (D&C
AND, NOW, instead of doing as mortal landlords do-require
you to CONTRACT WITH THEM to pay in advance, whatever
your fortunes or your prospects may be-you shall pay me
NOT IN ADVANCE, BUT when you have received; and you shall
pay me in accordance with what you receive. If it so be
that in one year your income is abundant, then YOU CAN
AFFORD TO PAY ME a little more; and if it be so that the
next year is one of distress and your income is not what
it was, then YOU SHALL PAY ME LESS; AND SHOULD IT BE THAT
YOU ARE REDUCED TO THE UTMOST PENURY SO THAT YOU HAVE
NOTHING COMING IN, YOU WILL PAY ME NOTHING."
[so] instead of doing as mortal landlords do—requir[ing]
you to ... pay in advance, whatever your fortunes or …
prospects may be—you shall pay me … [only]
when you have received; and you shall pay me in accordance
with what you receive. If it so be that in one year your
income is abundant, then … [YOUR 10 PERCENT will
be a] little more; and if it be so that the next year
is one of distress and your income is not what it was,
then … [YOUR 10 PERCENT will be] less. … [WHATEVER
YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE, THE TITHE WILL BE FAIR.]’
FIRST, Holland deletes the phrase "not in advance"
since that contradicts current declarations to "pay
the Lord first" or even as Gordon B. Hinckley suggested
to pay even in the face of disaster; the story of the woman
who needed to pay her tuition, but paid tithing instead.
SECOND, Holland inserts "YOUR 10 PERCENT" where
Talmage clearly did not write “ten percent”.
Rather, Talmage's statement is in harmony with the First
Presidency letter dated March 19, 1970 which states in part,
" We feel that every member of the Church should be
entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he
owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly."
THIRD, Holland pulls the following "quotation"
out of thin air: "whatever your circumstance, the tithe
will be fair". The problem is his delivery at General
Conference made that statement appear to be quoted from
Talmage. It is not. And how can Holland’s tithe, which
is a regressive tax, be fair for a destitute individual
who is struggling to support themselves and their dependents?
FOURTH, Holland drops the phrase, "you shall pay me
nothing." The reason is this would have destroyed impetus
of the story he told of the destitute Mary Fielding Smith.
Because, to quote Talmage, she was "reduced to the
utmost penury so that [she had] nothing coming in".
An anecdote like the Mary Fielding Smith story, even delivered
by an apostle at General Conference, carries less authority
than the scriptures cited above, and also and less authority
than a signed statement of the First Presidency, as cited
Have you ever found a landlord of earth who was willing
to make that kind of a contract with you? When I consider
the liberality of it all, and the consideration that my
Lord has had for me, I feel in my heart that I could scarcely
raise my countenance to his heaven above if I tried to
defraud him out of that just rental.
“Have you ever found a landlord on earth who was
willing to make that kind of [EQUITABLE] contract with
you?” Elder Talmage asks. “When I consider
the liberality of it all,” he says, “…
I feel in my heart that I could scarcely raise my countenance
to … Heaven … if I tried to defraud [GOD]
out of that [WHICH IS RIGHTFULLY HIS].”
insertion of "EQUITABLE", "GOD", and
"WHICH IS RIGHTFULLY HIS" may inspire awe and
guilt. It also minimizes the thought that one might have
an “indifferent” or neutral landlord (See Matthew
"pay on your surplus". Holland meant "pay
ten percent across the board, regardless of your income
C – Earl Tingey’s April 2002 General Conference
from his first childhood journal, that he had earned $7.00
gross, and that he paid a $0.70 tithe.
But as a child,
Tingey owed no taxes. Although it appeared he was paying
a tithe on his gross, he was actually paying a tithe on
his net since they were the same.
But Tingey was
also paying a tithe on his excess beyond his needs. Tingey
was a legal minor according to Mormon scripture, and his
parents were obligated to meet his needs; the obligation
was to his "parents for [his] maintenance until [he
becomes] of age." (D&C 83:4).
It is remarkable
that Tingey’s $0.70 from a gross of $7.00 was a tithe
on his gross, his net, and his excess!
talk although it may be misunderstood, was also consistent
with the original meaning in JST Genesis 14:39 where Abram
paid a tithe on “that which God had given him, more
than that which he had need.”
D – Robert Hales’ October 2002 General Conference
Let us review
Hales’ pertinent statements regarding tithing. They
are listed as (1)Hales through (7)Hales:
the Old Testament, Abraham proved his faith by paying
tithes to the great high priest Melchizedek. (See Genesis
amount Abraham paid is not clear, and this statement oversimplifies
that Abraham paid tithes of his excess. See JST Genesis
14:39, as cited above.
grandson Jacob vowed to the Lord, "Of all thou shalt
give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee."
verse indicates Jacob vowed to pay a tenth. What he actually
paid is not stated. But to harmonize Jacob's statement with
D&C 119:3-5 and Joseph Smith's inspired translation
of the Bible, since it is clear Abraham paid a tenth of
his excess, Genesis 14:39 JST, if Jacob was paying what
Abraham paid, it was a tenth of his excess.
strict observance of the law of tithing not only qualifies
us to receive the higher, saving ordinances of the temple,
it allows us to receive them on behalf of our ancestors.
When asked whether members of the Church could be baptized
for the dead if they had not paid their tithing, President
John Taylor, then of the Quorum of the Twelve, answered:
"A man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be
baptized for his dead. . . . If a man has not faith enough
to attend to these little things, he has not faith enough
to save himself and his friends." (History of the
paragraph is targeted to the youth who are being taken to
the temple almost monthly nowadays.
law of consecration was then withdrawn. In its place the
Lord revealed the law of tithing for the whole Church.
(See historical introduction to D&C 119.) On July
8, 1838, He declared:
"And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of
" . . . Those who have thus been tithed shall pay
one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall
be a standing law unto them forever." (D&C 119:3-4).
passage has been dealt with, as cited above. The scriptural
meaning of "interest" is surplus properties or
surplus advantage. But take a closer look at THREE different
meanings of what is a proper tithing: First, in D&C
119:1, it was "all their surplus property . . and after
that, those who have thus been TITHED . . . ." Hence,
a proper tithe at one time was all surplus property. The
second and third proper tithes were set forth in verses
4 and 5, at paragraph 2d.
Here is more of verse 1: "Verily I say unto you, it
shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land
of Zion shall be tithed of their SURPLUS PROPERTIES . .
of their surplus properties" mean all of their surplus
properties? Just look at what Hales does with his next statement,
which cites to a reference. And then, for a surprise, read
what the reference actually says.
law of tithing prepares us to live the higher law of consecration—to
dedicate and give all our time, talents, and resources
to the work of the Lord. Until the day when we are required
to live this higher law, we are commanded to live the
law of the tithe, WHICH IS TO FREELY [endnote reference
affixed here] GIVE ONE-TENTH OF OUR INCOME ANNUALLY. (Emphasis
added. See Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern
Revelation, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 3: 120.)
are two significant problems with the statement and the
First, the 1970
letter of the First Presidency, as a newer pronouncement
from an authoritative source, supersedes a 1946 book such
as Church History and Modern Revelation.
To repeat, the
1970 First Presidency letter states:
member of the Church should be entitled to make
his own decision as to what he thinks he owes
the Lord, and to make payment accordingly.”
the book Church History and Modern Revelation, from which
Hales quotes, indeed from the same page, indicates a tithing
is a tenth of the surplus and not a tenth of gross income:
recent times the Church has not called upon the members
to give all their SURPLUS property to the Church, but
it has been the requirement according to the covenant,
that they PAY THE TENTH." (Emphases added. Joseph
Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation,
4 vols. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, 1946-1949], 3: 120.)
What could this
passage have meant? The implication is that less is required
than in previous times. Look to D&C 119:1 and 4, as
cited above, for an authoritative historical confirmation
of a previous "all their surplus", and a current
"pay the tenth". Is there any scenario where the
statement by Joseph Fielding Smith would imply to "pay
the tenth" is to pay more than all one's surplus?
It appears that
this concept was believed and practiced earlier. Here is
a statement from the Apostle Orson Hyde in 1847.
law requires one-tenth part of all a man's substance which
he possesses at the time he comes into the church (See
D&C 119:1), and one-tenth part of his annual increase
ever after(See D&C 119:4). IF IT REQUIRES ALL MAN
CAN EARN TO SUPPORT HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY, HE IS NOT
TITHED AT ALL. The celestial law does not take the mother's
and children's bread, neither ought else which they really
need for their comfort. The poor that have not of this
world's good to spare, but serve and honor God according
to the best of their abilities in every other way, shall
have a celestial crown in the Eternal Kingdom of our Father."
Millenial Star, 1847. Orson Hyde, editor)
Let us now return
to Elder Hales’ talk. Since Elder Hales’ talk
does not quote from the 1946 book Church History and Modern
Revelation, rather it only lists a citation to it at page
120, he did not make clear what he was referring to on page
120. No similar statement was found, "to freely give
one-tenth of our income annually". But this statement
it a free-will offering, and so it is, for everything
in the Gospel is by free will, but nevertheless it is
a law of God which to us is everlasting." (As cited
above. pp. 120-121).
General Conference text, his endnote reference follows the
word "freely". This is a well-placed endnote reference
regarding a "free-will offering", as cited above,
not a definition of the amount to be tithed.
who freely give a full 10 percent of their annual income
receive all of the promised blessings of tithing, whether
the amount is a widow's mite or a king's ransom.
is a difficult statement that needs parsing. This essay
and even Hales’ cited reference in the book, Church
History and Modern Revelation, make it clear a proper tithe
is scripturally defined as a tenth of surplus. A tenth of
surplus is probably always less than "a full 10 percent
of their annual income". Perhaps members who pay "a
full 10 percent of their annual income" will be blessed
as Hales indicated, but will not also members who freely
give a tenth of their surplus "receive all of the promised
blessings of tithing"? They are complying with the
letter of the law, after all.
In defense of
Hales’ statement, the question must be posed, "Why
pay ‘a full 10 percent’ of one's annual income
if that is more than what is scripturally and officially
required?" Perhaps Hales is repeating Bishop Brown's
suggestion: "Pay your tithing on the basis on which
you wish to be blessed." (April 1974 Ensign, Bishop
Victor L. Brown)
a friend of President George Albert Smith asked him what
he thought of his friend's personal plan to take what
would have been tithing and donate his tenth in charitable
donations of his own choice, President Smith's counsel
"I think you are a very generous man with someone
else's property. . . .
" . . . You have told me what you have done with
the Lord's money but you have not told me that you have
given anyone a penny of your own. He is the best partner
you have in the world. He gives you everything you have,
even the air you breathe. He has said you should take
one-tenth of what comes to you and give it to the Church
as directed by the Lord. You haven't done that; you have
taken your best partner's money, and have given it away."
(Sharing the Gospel With Others, sel. Preston Nibley (1948),
46; see also 44–47.)
is an interesting anecdote, but since it has no controlling
authority over the scripture: " . . . when you are
in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the
service of your God", Mosiah 2:17, the issue must be
considered that one is not taking the tithing money away
from God by tithing outside of church channels.
In any event, the following is attributed to Jesus of Nazareth.
Regarding a man who did good works in the name of Jesus,
but the man would not follow his apostles when commanded
to by the Apostle John. Jesus said, "Forbid him not:
for he that is not against us is for us." (Luke 9:49).
E – Sister Sidney Sperry’s October 2003 General
told a story of a man blinded in an accident and impoverished
because he could not work, who hawked his wife's engagement
ring to pay tithing. How does this story square with Mormon
scripture and official policy? Here is a quotation from
years ago John Orth worked in a foundry in Australia,
and in a terrible accident, hot molten lead splashed onto
his face and body. He was administered to, and some of
the vision was restored to his right eye, but he was completely
blind in his left. Because he couldn't see well, he lost
his job. He tried to get employment with his wife's family,
but their business failed due to the depression. He
was forced to go door-to-door seeking odd jobs and handouts
to pay for food and rent."
he did not pay any tithing and went to talk to the branch
president. The branch president understood the situation
but asked John to make it a matter of prayer and fasting
so that he could find a way to pay his tithing. John and
his wife, Alice, fasted and prayed and determined that
the only thing of value they owned was her engagement
ring—a beautiful ring bought in happier times. After
much anguish they decided to take the ring to a pawnbroker
and learned it was worth enough to pay their tithing and
some other outstanding bills."
Does one "forced
to go door-to-door seeking odd jobs and handouts" have
a surplus that should be tithed? It cannot be told from
the story details. Although the details of this man's personal
finances are not revealed, Sperry's message glossed over
the scriptural meaning of a proper tithe is paid on surplus.
And it insinuated that even the impoverished should pay.
in not in harmony with scripture or official church policy.
F – Lynn Robbins’ April 2005 General Conference
The title of
Elder Robbins’ speech as it appears in the May 2005
Ensign Magazine is: “Tithing—a
Commandment Even for the Destitute”.
those who do not sacrifice there are two extremes: one
is the rich, gluttonous man who won't and the other is
the poor, destitute man who believes he can't. But how
can you ask someone who is starving to eat less? Is there
a level of poverty so low that sacrifice should not be
expected or a family so destitute that paying tithing
should cease to be required?”
to one’s sense of shame by equating all who are unwilling
to pay tithing with Dicken’s infamous, but fictitious
character, Scrooge. Robbins next tells the extreme story
of the widow of Zarephath, and insists that the “Lord
often teaches using extreme circumstances to illustrate
But do these
examples matter if they blatantly contradict Mormon scripture
and official church policy?
No. They are
states that “[n]o bishop, no missionary should ever
hesitate or lack the faith to teach the law of tithing to
the poor. The sentiment of "They can't afford to"
needs to be replaced with "They can't afford not to.”
Maybe the principle
of tithing can be taught, but it should not contradict Mormon
uses the term “firstfruits” extensively to bolster
the notion that the destitute should pay tithing. But this
contradicts Mormon scripture and the previous teaching of
Apostle Talmage, misquoted by Apostle Holland that “you
shall pay me not in advance” (Talmage
as quoted above).
Is it corruption
when the Lord's scriptures are not followed?