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I recently read a biography of Martin Luther by D’Aubigne entitled “The Life and Times of Martin Luther.” It is a good read for anyone interested in the Reformation. It certainly was a different time where one could find themselves at odds with the church hierarchy and be rewarded with not just excommunication, but death.

Of all the issues that Luther recounted in his 95 theses, the practice of indulgences elicited the most venom. Indulgences were long a practice of the Holy Roman Church where the time in purgatory could be reduced, either for one’s self or a relative. This was accomplished by purchasing a defined reduction in the time spent; paying for one’s sins prior to the entry into heaven and backed by the office of the Pope. The story is told of the wife of a shoemaker who purchased such a letter for a gold florin and died shortly later. When the shoemaker was accused of contempt of his religion for not causing a mass to be held for his wife, he answered by producing the indulgence letter stipulating that his wife, upon her death, immediately enter heaven. Hence no mass was needed. It seems that the sale of any product was enhanced by a jingle reminding the prospective buyer of its value. Such was the case with indulgences with this little ditty: 

“ As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, The soul from Purgatory springs.” (page 100, Here I Stand by Roland H. Bainton)

 During this time, the Holy Roman Church was working to rebuild the Church of Saint Peter. The original structure was built during the time of Constantine and had been condemned. Pope Leo, eager to continue the construction begun by his predecessor, pressed the use of indulgences to a greater level. The monies collected through the sale went to fund one of the greatest construction projects of that era. 

In these enlightened times, it is easy to look back and make light of the logic of that time. The basic idea being that we could gain protection in the afterlife by putting money toward a letter which frees us from ‘purgatory.’ The money, in turn is used to support church building projects. Today, we seem to consider tithing in the same light. How many lessons have been given where tithing is characterized as ‘fire insurance?’  Certainly there is support for this idea from D&C 64:23, “…for he that is tithed shall not be burned at this coming.” This term was also used by the proponents of indulgences to induce fear into the potential buyer.   The payment of tithes was used by President Hinckley as a marker of the condition of the church. Can the success of the church of Christ truly be measured by the money flowing into its coffers and the vast building projects that are completed? It seems to me that these are easily characterized as the works of men, not the works of God.  There is, however, a more disturbing aspect to the focus of tithing in the today’s LDS church and culture. Tithing was formally defined in Section 119 which was an answer to a prayer by Joseph Smith where he sought to understand what the appropriate tithe should be. In the commentary of Section 119 we read: 

The Lord had previously given to the Church the law of consecration and stewardship of property, which members (chiefly the leading elders) entered into by a covenant that was to be everlasting.  Because of failure on the part of many to abide by this covenant, the Lord withdrew it for a time, and gave instead the law of tithing to the whole Church.” 

So, the law of tithing was instituted within the Church as a temporary substitute for the higher law of consecration which the members failed to observe. Perhaps, one way to view this situation is to present the law of consecration as the celestial law being supplanted by the terrestrial law of tithing. As we read above from Section 119, it was because the members of the church failed to live the higher law. Should we be satisfied that we are measured by this ‘inferior’ metric? Should we not be pleading with the Lord to make us worthy of the return of the law of consecration rather than using tithing as a marker of how well the Church is doing?

As we read in the New Testament, Acts 2:44:

“And all that believed were together, and had all things common”

This circumstance was also found in the church after the Nephites were visited by Christ as we read in Fourth Nephi 1:3:

And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.”

These two societies demonstrated aspects of the law of consecration, having all things in common. Are we, in our material world, setting our sights on the wrong goal? Has tithing become the end rather than a temporary way station as we move toward the higher law?

What think ye?

22 Responses to “Tithing as Fire Insurance. What would Martin Luther think?”

  • “Today, we seem to consider tithing in the same light. How many lessons have been given where tithing is characterized as ‘fire insurance?’ ”

    I think there are some differences in our church teachings. For instance, we do not believe that paying money can absolve us or the dead of sin. Personally, I used to wonder just what about paying tithing would prevent a person from being burned at the Lord’s coming and I give it as my opinion that it is linked in some way to the scripture in Malachi that the proud and them that do wickedly would be as stubble. So somehow a soul that is willing to pay tithing is demonstrating humility and righteousness. The more extravagant and materialistic our world, the higher the likelihood that tithes may be foregone. Where our treasure is, there our hearts will be too, so paying tithing indicates our hearts are with God and the church.

    Just my take on it.

  • Michaela,
    I do agree there are some differences. Tithing represents a sacrifice but pales in comparison, in my opinion, to the law of consecration. Using tithing as a measure of our righteousness is suitable if one considers the terrestrial kingdom as the goal. The higher law, the law of consecration, should be the target. Do we get a ‘pass’ on this if we pay our tithing? Only the Lord can say for sure. I would be more comfortable is we, at least, were striving for a return of this higher law.

  • NEPT:

    Spek,

    I agree that the payment of tithes has undergone an unfortunate devolution. Moreover, not only has the spirit of the law been lost but its letter has become convoluted to the point it no longer resembles what we find in the scriptures, namely, D&C 119. While I agree that the Lord gave a “lesser law” in response to JS and OC prayer–this is evident from verse 3 in which the Lord states that “this shall be the BEGINNING of the tithing of my people”; in other words, this was preparatory–the Lord still had consecration in mind when doling out this law. Throughout the D&C, the Lord utilizes the word tithing (and alternative forms of the word) when describing the law of consecration (this is even briefly explained in the section heading of 119). To me, the tithe defined in this section is still meant to equalize the saints, or to come close to having all in common; such is certainly not the case today.

    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 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.

    Is it just me, or do we “observe not this law” according to its definition in section 119. Is it any wonder that we have not been given the “higher law” again? A reading of verses 5-7 suggests that we cannot be gathered to live the law of consecration since we have not been able to keep holy the statutes of this “lesser law”.

    NEPT

  • Nept,

    Good comments.

    That is an interesting perspective that you have presented. Here are my thoughts and I would be interested your take.

    When I read of the effort toward consecration in Section 42, I see the direction of helping the poor and working toward an equality in the standard of living, ‘consecrated to the poor and needy of the church.’

    When I read of the purpose of tithing in Section 119, as you quoted above, I read of building the temple, supporting the implementation of Zion and the priesthood and covering the debts of the first presidency.

    To me it seems that the tithing direction was significantly different from the purpose identified in the law of consecration. Could you help me understand how ‘tithing’ is used as a marker for consecration? I seems to me that the Lord has a different purpose for the two commandments.

    Spek

  • TruthSeekerToo:

    Spek, good point about the differences in what the monies were to be used for. It’s something I’ve struggled to understand and kinda gave up.

    We could also notice that those who are to pay tithes are those with SURPLUS property. This would eliminate the tithing of poor and needy (those with only enough or less).

    The LoC was equally just as those who were poor and needy received back ALL that they consecrated and sometimes more. They became “stewards” of all that they had.

    The LoC is easier on the poor and needy than the current way we preach LoT in the LDS Church. The LoT is easier than LoC only for those who have more than enough.

    I will also add that the Law of Consecration has never been revoked. It is still in full force and there have been several talks from GA’s about it. The only one keeping a person from consecrating is themself. The United Order is different than the Law of Consecration.

    That said, I’m not sure there is one with proper authority to receive consecrations. But nothing stops us from doing it directly with God. :)

  • TSToo,
    Robert D. Hales said in the October 2002 conference:

    “Tithing has a special purpose as a preparatory law. Early in this dispensation, the Lord commanded certain members of the Church to live the higher law of consecration—a law received by covenant. When this covenant was not kept, great tribulations came upon the Saints. The law of consecration was then withdrawn. In its place the Lord revealed the law of tithing for the whole Church.”

    Was the law withdrawn? I tend to agree with you that it is still in force but we are not required to live it. I guess the same could be said of polygamy

    I think the law of consecration would be very difficult to live. At one point in my search, I read everything I could on the implementation of the United Order in the early history of the church. Painful experiences in most cases.

    The examples in the scriptures, Acts 2 and 4th Nephi, both seem to come after the sanctification of the people had occurred. I would suggest that we will not have the resolve to live as one until we have been sanctified by the Holy Ghost as the people of King Benjamin.

  • OWIW:

    Spec & TruthSeekerToo

    Here is an interesting verse that may pertain the the topic of whether the Law of Consecration was revoked or suspended. It was given after the Jackson County Saints were forced to flee as a result of their transgressions;

    “And let those commandments which I have given concerning Zion and her law be executed and fulfilled after her redemption” D&C 105:34

    Watcher

  • NEPT:

    Spek,

    I don’t find the purposes of sections 42 and 119 very different. In fact, I think the reasons given by the Lord for the related commandments run parallel; to me, the difference is found in the scope of consecrated properties. That is, I agree with TSToo that only those with surplus were to be tithed according to 119 (I think it’s pretty clear that the Lord defines the tithe as relinquishing surplus, not one-tenth of interest; viz., I require all their surplus property….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….[A]ll those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties) This is clearly different from the requirements laid out in the “complete” law since at this point in time no inheritances were being doled out.

    I also agree that the law of consecration certainly was given in part to care for the poor and needy; that particular verbiage is ubiquitous, especially throughout 42. However, I think it’s a mistake to discount other purposes of consecrating properties and monies. I referred to the law in section 42 as “complete” because if you look closely at section 42 you will find it encompasses the partial law found in 119. To be exact, after describing a first consecration, the Lord explains what is to be done with any surplus remaining (verse 33):

    And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support [surplus] after this first consecration, which is a residue to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants.

    For what is this surplus, or residue, to be used? Let’s take a look at the subsequent verse 34:

    Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high council of the church, and the bishop and his council;

    Yes, the poor and needy. But we really start to make curious connections if we continue with verses 35-36:

    And for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and building houses of worship, and building up of the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed—
    That my covenant people may be gathered in one in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.

    [I want to interject with the suggestion to read section 97, with a particular emphasis on verses 10-12, in order to see how the Lord commands his people in Zion to construct a temple with their tithing. Take note that this command was given long before section 119 was given.]

    Now, let’s revisit verse 2 of 119 to see what purposes the Lord had in mind when revealing section 119:

    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.

    I think the similar/parallel points of each law from 42 and 119 are self-evident, suffice it to say that you can find all the purposes stated in 119 (with the exception, possibly, of the Presidency’s debts) encompassed within section 42, where consecration is revealed (see D&C 42:71 and all of section 70 for properties/monies consecrated for the priesthood and other purposes).

    To top it off, it seems that 119 was given for the express purpose of the laying of the foundation of Zion (v. 2, and see vs. 5-6) which is governed by consecration. I find it rather significant that Zion was to be a refuge against the day of burning, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    In section 85 we get instruction on how inheritances in Zion were to be distributed; but here the Lord specifically states that his law (consecration) was given to tithe his people:

    It is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law, which he has given, that he may tithe his people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God.

    But it’s the last part of that verse that really strikes me…it’s not tithing as we know it today that is to protect us from the ‘day of burning’, but rather consecration itself!–see also D&C 64:23….Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.–That sure does seem to fly in the face of conventional LDS thought.

    How will consecration save us? As previously mentioned, consecration, or a part thereof, was revealed for the building up and governance of Zion (New Jerusalem). It’s through gathering at this specific consecrated place (along with other stakes of Zion mentioned in the D&C) that we are protected from storm when the wrath of God shall be poured out without mixture.

    And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth (D&C 115:6; see also Rev 14:10 for a definition of the wrath which shall be poured out without mixture…The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:).

    Well, I think I’ve exhausted myself for tonight. I hope this doesn’t muddy the waters too much.

    NEPT

  • NEPT:

    D&C 105:34….Great find Watcher.

  • OWIW:

    NEPT

    That was a magnificent break-down/commentary on section 119. I agree that it does not represent the introduction of a lessor law.

    Most or all of the Saints gathering to Far West had already covenanted to live consecration in Jackson or Kirtland, the Lord was simply beginning the consecration process for Far West (which was also designated as a holy place for refuge and gathering) since there was an unequal distribution of property and of wealth in the new development.

    Watcher

  • NEPT,
    Sometimes my wife and I will look at a statue from two different positions. We will each assess what is trying to be said by the artist. Once in a while my wife will say, come look at it from where I am standing. I have the choice to move away from my chosen spot (my comfort zone) to look at things from a different position. Most of the time I see things a new aspect of the work and gain a deeper appreciation of the sculptor.

    In my opinion, the same is true of the doctrines of the kingdom. If we never dare to move around to gain a different perspective, we may miss an opportunity to learn. Thanks to you, NEPT, tithing will never look the same to me again.

    Back to pondering and praying…

    Spek

  • A Church’s Footprint in the Community 

    (An article about a church tithing to its community and making a “footprint” in its community.)

    http://groups.google.com/group/aardvarks-library/web/a-churchs-footprint-in-the-community?hl=en

  • While searching for information on another topic, I came across the item in the History of the Church. Here is the entry from 1834:

    “On the evening of the 29th of November, I united in prayer with Brother Oliver for the continuance of blessings. After giving thanks for the relief which the Lord had lately sent us by opening the hearts of the brethren from the east, to loan us $430; after commencing and rejoicing before the Lord on this occasion, we agreed to enter into the following covenant with the Lord, viz.:
    That if the Lord will prosper us in our business and open the way before us that we may obtain means to pay our debts; that we be not troubled nor brought into disrepute before the world, nor His people; after that, of all that He shall give unto us, we will give a tenth to be bestowed upon the poor in His Church, or as He shall command; and that we will be faithful over that which He has entrusted to our care, that we may obtain much; and that our children after us shall remember to observe this sacred and holy covenant; and that our children, and our children’s children, may know of the same, we have subscribed our names with our own hands.
    (Signed)
    Joseph Smith, Jun.
    Oliver Cowdery.

    (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts, 2:, p.175)

    Two takeaways from this item. It seems to clearly portray tithing as one tenth of what the Lord bestow upon us. It also targets these funds to be bestowed “upon the poor in His Church, or as He shall command.” This is a reflection of the earlier question of the purpose of tithing.

  • Rob:

    I don’t feel that complete consecration was ever suspended or superceeded by a Law of tithing. The Endowment proves that. As a matter of fact it is the nature of the Endowment to reveal that as long as we continue to to partake of it’s cerimony, then we have not come to understand what God is trying to reveal to us and we will always be in Half fellowship with God until we stop revealing to the World, the Fruits of Half Fellowship and come to realize that we have come into Full Fellowship with God by no longer revealing to the World about us, our own Half Hearted fellowship of hypocracy and no longer need the Endowment to bring us into the presence of Christ. To understand that every time we covenant to do things we don’t follow through on is revealing a secret about ourselves to the World that we are blind to, yet most apparrent to everyone else. This concept of reality becomes most apparent by not living the full tenants of Consecration that we covenant to every time you enter those doors and leave and only pay a portion of the total that God wants and expects. This is the condemnation that we all collectively fall under…Half Fellowship with God. So how is the cycle that we have locked ourselves into, Broken? When enough of us feel that desire to enter full fellowship with the Lord, He has to be the one to provide the way. It never was suspended…the Lords people just walked away from it and pretended it never happened and we are paying the price for that through our own ignorance and falure to understand what the Lord is attempting to teach us through the Endowment.

  • NEPT:

    Spek,

    With regards to the covenant that Joseph and Oliver made with the Lord, it’s a little conspicuous to me that the word “tithing”, or any form of the word, does not appear in Joseph’s summary of the prayer they offered.

    I agree with you that the definition of “tithing” understood and practiced today is primarily based on this occurrence; however, this is why I opined in my first comment that the “payment of tithes has undergone an unfortunate devolution.” Somehow Joseph’s prayer has morphed into a standing law for the church as a whole. In contrast, the law of the Lord to his people is succinctly defined in D&C 119:

    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.

    It seems to me that Joseph and Oliver were making a personal (familial) covenant with the Lord, promising to give back a portion of their increase only AFTER the Lord would “prosper [them] in [their] business and open the way before [them] that [they] may obtain means to pay [their] debts.” IMO, this was not, nor was meant to be, a law; rather, it was a personal covenant, similar to how the people of Ammon promised to bury their weapons of war and rebellion after the Lord had blessed them with the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. This people’s covenant certainly was not binding to all, not even to their children in that instance, but held great force in their eyes; so much force that Helaman was afraid for their salvation if they were to break the covenant even under life-threatening circumstances.

    So that my point is not obscured behind all my hot air and long-windedness, I’m not convinced that the personal prayer offered by Joseph and Oliver represents a law of God. Somehow we have justified our current definition of “tithing” by this church historical moment, and I suppose it is meant to rectify the church’s standing with the scriptures, given that THE LAW was rejected. Take it for what it’s worth.

  • Excellent Blog-fulness-These are the questions that members of the church should be asking. I have written a brief study on this subject at http://studiesonzion.com/documents/dnc/What_is_the_meaning_of_the_word_Tithe_in_the_Doctrine_and_Covenants.pdf. There are several related studies on studiesonzion.com.

    In this scripture D&C 64:23 the Lord is only referring to the Law of Consecration as practised under the United Order when the saints will be gathered as one people (D&C 29:7-8) in Jackson County and surrounding areas. It most definitely does not apply to the lesser Law of tithing as practised in the church today although it is essential to live that law as a preparation.

    In answer to your questions: Should we be satisfied that we are measured by this ‘inferior’ metric? answer NO

    Should we not be pleading with the Lord to make us worthy of the return of the law of consecration answer most definitely YES

    Are we, in our material world (Babylon), setting our sights on the wrong goal? most definitely yes Consider the present church project of a two billion city Creek shopping centre in SLC. A lot of land in Missouri could be purchased with that money. We have lost our way-considerably.

  • Spekator says: The higher law, the law of consecration, should be the target. Do we get a ‘pass’ on this if we pay our tithing? Only the Lord can say for sure. I would be more comfortable is we, at least, were striving for a return of this higher law.

    How right you are. Why do we not get any sermons in the church on this subject to prepare members for the future? Elder Christofferson spoke at General Conference in Oct 2008 “Come to Zion”. I wrote him a letter and asked him why he left out the Law of Consecration from his talk since it is essential to create Zion. You can read my letter and his reply on page 12 of http://studiesonzion.com/documents/What_is_the_full_meaning_of_the_term_Zion_in_the_Scriptures.pdf

    Extracts from his reply:

    This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of November 22 2008
    I agree with your scriptural exposition and statements regarding the law of consecration and the interim nature of current fast offerings and welfare programs. I too see the law of consecration as central to the establishment of Zion, but in this instance, I decided to limit myself to a focus on preparatory steps that, for the present, could move us closer to establishing Zion. I hope to speak on the law of consecration at some point in future when the Spirit is willing and the subject can be treated fully.”

    Lets hope he does because to speak on this subject and leave out the law of God that is essential to establish Zion is really a sin of omission. Marion G. Romney was the last GA to educate members on this subject.

  • Nept: I think your understanding on this subject is excellent especially your statement
    That sure does seem to fly in the face of conventional LDS thought.

    How will consecration save us? As previously mentioned, consecration, or a part thereof, was revealed for the building up and governance of Zion (New Jerusalem). It’s through gathering at this specific consecrated place (along with other stakes of Zion mentioned in the D&C) that we are protected from storm when the wrath of God shall be poured out without mixture.

    This statement is absolutely true. It is only through the gathering to one place living under the law of Consecration that the saints will be spared. Consider the following scripture:

    D&C 63:32-33, 36-37: “I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked , and fear shall come upon every man. And the saints also shall hardly escape….Wherefore, seeing that I, the Lord, have decreed all these things upon the face of the earth, I will that my saints should be assembled upon the land of Zion. And that every man should take righteousness in his hands and faithfulness upon his loins, and lift a warning voice unto the inhabitants of the earth; and declare both by word and by flight that desolation shall come upon the wicked.”

    see the study http://studiesonzion.com/documents/Are_Members_Prepared_for_the_Day_of_Tribulation_and_Desolation.pdf

    for further scriptures on this subject.

  • NEPT:

    Malcolm,

    I admire your boldness; I have often thought about writing GA’s about particular subjects, but haven’t followed through. I am intrigued by Elder Christofferson’s reply…answers a few questions, but brings up a few more in my opinion.

    And I appreciate your inclusion of D&C 63 into this discussion…a fantastic addition to the topic!

  • Nept

    Never write to the GA’s unless you can support fully your statements by scripture. As michael ash states in his excellent articles in the Deseret News “Challenging issues and keeping the faith: Part 12″ in which he talks about the leaders not being perfect. He states
    Mormon Times Monday, Jul. 27, 2009 http://mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/guest_blog/?id=9848

    “First it’s important to understand that there is a rough hierarchal status as to what constitutes official teachings and doctrine. At the top level of this hierarchy are the canonized scriptures. Presidents Joseph Fielding Smith and Harold B. Lee taught that the Standard Works are the measuring sticks for doctrine. If anyone advances a doctrine that contradicts scripture, it can be set aside as private opinion. They note the caveat, however, that the prophet is authorized to bring forth new doctrine or even scripture. In such cases, it will be announced as revelation, accepted by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, and sustained by the body of the church.”

    The scriptures come first. This is how Hugh Nibley was able to survive despite his criticisms of the policies of the GA’s in respect of Zion etc.

    In the separate studies on Conforming to the Doctrine and Covenants on http://studiesonzion.com/index.php?page=dnc at the end of theses studies are copies of many letters that I have sent to the Apostles on the subject of Zion, the gathering and the United Order. I have not as yet got into bother I believe because I quote the scriptures. It may come though!

  • Green Wombat:

    Someone, above, mentioned that D&C 119 + some other sections of D&C dovetailed into Malachi 3, and how that represented an allusion to “fire insurance.” I came across teh following article on tithing and think it deserves some play in LDS circles… especially how it relates to consecration, building multi-million buildings, temples and other projects which many deem acceptable because of the Council on the Disposition of Tithes (D&C 119):

    http://cnview.com/on_line_resources/truth_about_tithing.htm

    Would be likewise interested in your thoughts on it…

  • Spektator:

    GW,
    Thanks for providing the link. I was taught by reading this. While I thought I had an understanding of the Old Testament view of tithing, this gave me another perspective that I need to sift through.

    I did like that folllowing comment:
    “It is the ignorance of the people of God that causes excesses in the church, as much as false teaching. If believers would pay more attention to the Biblical truth, there would be less room for these ‘teachers’ to propagate their self-centered ‘doctrines’.”

    The same is certainly true today in the church when it comes to scripture.

    From the reading, I could suggest that the Lord has some ‘flexibility’ given a set of particular circumstances to issue commandments to address the material aspects of the kingdom. The commandment in D&C 119 was directed towards, among other items, the foundation of Zion. What happens when the Zion (a physical place) which was intended to be supported by this law no longer exists?

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