“I was kind of surprised,” said Kaitlynn Parkins, a BYU student who recently got engaged to Coldyn Lober. Sister Parkins explained that “the woman at the temple asked if we would like to make a temple offering, but I had never heard of that.” After it was explained to her, Parkins said that “she’d have to check with her parents about that.”
At present, it seems that only the more historic or photogenic temples are making the request. Workers at the Salt Lake temple, for example, recommend an offering “between $70 and $90.” One recently engaged couple was told to “take ten percent of what you are spending on the wedding, and offer that back to the temple, to show God how much the temple means to you.”
While reports have come in that the Salt Lake, Logan, San Diego, Washington DC, and Provo City temples may require the few by year’s end, other temples do not anticipate such a fee requirement. As one church insider told the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer, “I’d say that any temple that would fit into the baptistery of the Jordan River temple, you know, like your Raleigh North Carolina or Columbia South Carolina temple, will not even mention the possible donation.”
There are also reports that couples with higher long-range earning potential may be pressed to offer more. A second church insider mentioned lists of BYU Business and Finance majors who, if they request temple sealings, “would be encourage to offer back to God what their God-given gifts will help them earn in the long-run.” In contrast, Humanities, Anthropology/Folklore, Early Childhood Education, and Social Work majors are quietly being told that not only does the Lord not request any more “widow’s mites” from them, but that the day may soon come when they will be permitted to pay tithing at 6 or even 5.5%.