We cannot travel the streets without meeting beggars half naked. This gives me feelings that I do not like.
We have to live quite short but the brethren are very kind to us. They are willing to divide with us the last they have. They are quite ignorant; many of them cannot read a word and it needs great care to teach them the gospel so that they can understand. The people here are bound down under priestcraft in a manner I never saw before. They have to pay tithes to the priests of every tenth they raise, so that they cannot lay up one cent. They are in the same situation the children of Israel were in Egypt.
They have their taskmasters over them to bind them down. It will be as great a miracle to deliver this people as it was the children of Israel.This is a story of Heber on his mission. He describes the circumstances as follows they have to "pay tithes to the priests of every tenth they raise". How much is that? Every tenth? Ten percent? Of all they raise? Isn't that Gross/Net? Isn't that what we pay today? Why did he call that being in Bondage? But were not in bondage? Because this is the law of tithing right? Or are we missing something?
(Heber C. Kimball, Preston, Lancashire, England, September 2, 1837)
Tithing was meant to help the saints have all things in common.
Read the following scriptures and stories on tithing. Notice the translations that Joseph gave us in the JST. Look how much the people of God were asked to pay.
Wherefore, 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).
And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one–tenth part of all he possessed.(Alma 13:15)
When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; (Deuteronomy 26:12).
At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: (Deuteronomy 14:28).
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. (D&C 119:4).
IN'TEREST, n. Concern; advantage [Surplus]; good; as private interest; public interest. (Webster's 1828 dictionary (http://1828.mshaffer.com/))
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,Brigham Young:
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 people.
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 ensample unto all the stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen.
(D&C 119:1 - 7)
“When the revelation which I have read was given in 1838, I was present, and recollect the feelings of the brethren. A number of revelations were given on the same day. The brethren wished me to go among the Churches, and find out what surplus property the people had, with which to forward the building of the Temple we were commencing at Far West. I accordingly went from place to place through the country. Before I started, I asked brother Joseph, “Who shall be the judge of what is surplus property?” Said he, “Let them be the judges themselves, for I care not if they do not give a single dime. So far as I am concerned, I do not want anything they have.” (JD, 2:306)Orson Hyde:
"The celestial 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." (The Millenial Star, 1847. Orson Hyde, editor)Despite the current teachings of the church.
"Bishop Orellana looked at the new convert and said, “If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing. The Lord will not abandon you.” (Sacred Transformations, December 2012, Ensign by Aaron L. West)
And countless other stores such as "if a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing. " (General Conference, 2005, Tithing for the Destitute, Lynn G. Robbins, 1st Quorum of the Seventy)
Against Orson Hydes comments. Who's wrong? They both can't be right. Orsons beliefs coincide with the JST Gen 14 and the other scriptures I have posted along with what woodruff observed. Here are a few other stories. I will quote what Lorenzo Snow said later the one known for "tithing".
"I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop" Let us consider for a moment this word 'SURPLUS.' What does it mean when applied to a man and his property? SURPLUS CANNOT MEAN THAT WHICH IS INDISPENSABLY NECESSARY FOR ANY GIVEN PURPOSE, BUT WHAT REMAINS AFTER SUPPLYING WHAT IS NEEDED FOR THAT PURPOSE. Is not the first and most necessary use of a man's property that he feed, clothe and provide a home for himself and family! . . . WAS NOT 'SURPLUS PROPERTY,' THAT WHICH WAS OVER AND ABOVE A COMFORTABLE AND NECESSARY SUBSTANCE? In the light of what had transpired and of subsequent events, what else could it mean? CAN WE TAKE ANY OTHER VIEW OF IT WHEN WE CONSIDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH IT WAS GIVEN IN FAR WEST, IN JULY, 1838? "I have been unable in studying this subject to find any other definition of the term 'SURPLUS,' as used in this revelation, than the one I have just given. I find that it was so understood and recorded by the Bishops and people in those days, AS WELL AS BY THE PROPHET JOSEPH HIMSELF, WHO WAS UNQUESTIONABLY THE ABLEST AND BEST EXPONENT OF THIS REVELATION." (Emphasis added, Franklin D. Richards, Nov. 6, 1882. JD 23:313.)John Corrill which can be read in the Joseph Smith Papers.
"If a man gives for the benefit of the Church, it is considered a voluntary offering. Yet the law requires or enjoins a consecration of the overplus, after reserving for himself and family to carry on his business." (A Brief History of the Church of Latter Day Saints, pg. 45)Notice what Lorenzo Snow said here.
“I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child who has means shall pay one tenth of their income as a tithing.”(BOAP, Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, October 1899, p.29)Who has MEANS! Not pay even if you don't have means. That was the law. But through correlation and other means we have changed it to be more about money than the poor.
Here is what it says in the Teachings of the president of Lorenzo Snow manual. The reference cited is "18. In Conference Report, Oct. 1899, 28."
I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child … shall pay one-tenth of their income as a tithing.18The part that states "who has means" has been left out. We "grind the faces of the poor". There is no revelation saying to remove or change the manner of tithing. The scriptures inform us that increase, is advantage or surplus (overplus) over that which ye have need of (according to the definition in Josephs day). As Orson Hyde said, "the celestial law does not take the mother's and children's bread, neither ought else which they really need for their comfort." It includes comfort. As that is one of the defintions of poor "again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day" (Mosiah 4:24). Joseph saw fit to put it that way in the JST Gen 14:29 "more than that which he had need".
Conveniently the church left out the phrase, "who has means ". And now the law is no longer "who has means" but pay even if you are left destitute.
Tithing is for the poor
The tithes are supposed to go to the Lords Storehouse. Tithing is meant for the poor. (Deut 14:28-29, D&C 83:5-6) The Store house is for the Poor. Even though some was allowed to be used for building the temple too.
1 VERILY, thus saith the Lord, in addition to the laws of the church concerning women and children, those who belong to the church, who have lost their husbands or fathers:Church No longer uses it for the poor.
2 Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken; and if they are not found transgressors they shall have fellowship in the church.
3 And if they are not faithful they shall not have fellowship in the church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land.
4 All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age.
5 And after that, they have claim upon the church, or in other words upon the Lord's storehouse, if their parents have not wherewith to give them inheritances.
6 And the storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church; and widows and orphans shall be provided for, as also the poor. Amen.
(D&C 83:1 - 6)
The contributions we should make to charities come from our own funds, not from the tithes we are commanded to pay to the storehouse of the Lord. The Lord has directed by revelation that the expenditure of his tithes will be directed by his servants, the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presiding Bishopric (see D&C 120). Those funds are spent to build and maintain temples and houses of worship, to conduct our worldwide missionary work, to translate and publish scriptures, to provide resources to redeem the dead, to fund religious education, and to support other Church purposes selected by the designated servants of the Lord. (Elder Oaks, General Conference, 1994, Tithing)Other scriptures
28 ¶ At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
29 And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest. (Deuteronomy 14:28 - 29)
24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
25 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.
27 And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress.
28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD's heave offering to Aaron the priest.
29 Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.
30 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.
31 And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.
32 And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.
(Numbers 18:24 - 32)
18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.(Jacob 2:18 - 19)
26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—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.
27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.(Mosiah 4:26 - 27)
11 And it came to pass in the commencement of the ninth year, Alma saw the wickedness of the church, and he saw also that the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people.
12 Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.
13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ's sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;
14 Looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death. (Alma 4:11 - 14)