Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

to look after those who are in need in the Church. Our brethren will not have to join these secret associations that are formed in the world, for the purpose of leaving a few thousand dollars to their widows when they die. If we will pay our tithes and our offerings we will lay up for ourselves treasure in the storehouse of God, by which our widows and our children will be cared for after we are dead, and far better than they will be by these associations that offer premiums on death. I mention this simply incidentally. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is good enough for me and my family, and I have no time or means to associate myself with organizations that are not of this Church and which have simply for their object the laying up of something for my wife to have after I am dead. I cannot afford to do it, for this reason; the Lord has seen fit to give me from day to day just sufficient for my needs, and if I were to join these associations for the purpose of looking after the future of my family, I would be compelled to neglect paying my tithing, and present duties, because I would not have means enough to pay my tithing and my dues for these associations. We have known members of the Church, who when they were asked why they did not pay their tithing, confessed that they were associated with organizations of one kind and another, wherein they were compelled to pay weekly or monthly certain sums of money; they had been associated with these institutions for a number of years and had put quite a lot of money in them, and now if they did not continue to pay their dues they would lose all they had put in, then in case of death their families would lose the premium. From this you can see they are in bondage to these secret organizations, and if they want to pay tithing they cannot do it. Well, if they do not they will be among those whose names will not be found recorded in the book of the Law of the Lord and who will not have inheritance in the Zion of God. Furthermore, we have called some of these men to go on missions, but they could not go to preach the Gospel to the nations

of the earth, why? Because they belonged to certain secret associations, and they were compelled to be at work all the time in order to pay their dues, or they would lose what they had put in them.

I want to say to the Later-day Saints that Zion and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are good enough for me and my family. I do not want any of these associations for the purpose of laying up money. If there were any other object in them by which I might be able to do good in the world, that might be an inducement. But I cannot afford to join any association simply for the purpose of laying up money to be received when I am dead. I am willing to trust my people in the hands of the Lord, just as I have been in the hands of the Lord from the beginning.

Now I will read a little from the Book of Mormon in regard to the law of tithThe ing as it existed in ancient days. Prophet Alma, in his 13th chapter, commencing at the 14th verse says:

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

I desire now to read a few words in relation to the duty which devolves

"2. Nevertheless there are thos among you who have sinned exceeding

upon the men who have been speaking ly; yea, even all of you have sinned, bu

during this conference. I will read a
portion of the 41st Section of the Doc-
trine and Covenants:

verily I say unto you, beware fron
henceforth, and refrain from sin, les
sore judgments fall upon your heads;

"3. For unto whom much is giver much is required; and he who sing against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.

"4. Ye call upon my name for reve. lations, and I give them unto you; and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings, which I give unto you, ye become transgressors, and justice and judgment are the penalty which is affixed unto my law;

"Hearken and hear, oh ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest blessings, ye that hear me; and ye that hear me not will I curse, that have professed by name, with the heaviest of all cursings.

"2. Hearken, O ye Elders of my Church whom I have called; behold I

"5. Therefore, what I say unto one

give unto you a commandment, that ye I say unto all, watch, for the adversary

shall assemble yourselves together to
agree upon my word,

spreadeth his dominions and darkness
reigneth;

"3. And by the prayer of your faith ye shall receive my law, that ye may know how to govern my Church, and have all things right before me.

"4. And I will be your ruler when I come; and behold, I come quickly, and ye shall see that my law is kept."

The Lord here especially demands of the men who stand at the head of this Church and who are responsible for the guidance and direction of the people of God that they shall see to it that the law of God is kept. It is our duty to do this. We are not talking to you about paying your tithing because it is a pleasure to do so, or because we desire to harp upon that principle; but we are doing it because the necessities of the people are such that it becomes obligatory upon the leaders of the Church to say something upon this principle, that not only the people may do their duty in regard to this law, but that there may be something in the storehouse of the Lord with which to meet the necessities of the people; for the necessities of the Church are the necessities of the people. The members of the Church constitute the Church, and therefore whatever obligation the Church is under, it rests upon each individual member of the Church proportionate to his means. The Lord requires of us that we shall see that His law is kept among the people. This is one of the principle reasons why we are talking to you as we are. In Section 82 of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord speaking to the Church says:

"Verily, verily I say unto you my servants, that inasmuch as ye have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.

"6. And the anger of the Lord kindleth against the inhabitants of the earth; and none doeth good, for all have gone out of the way.

"7. And now, verily I say unto you, I the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.

"8. And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a new commandment, that you may understand my will concerning you,

"9. Or in other words I will give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation.

"10. I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."

Now, Brother Lyman has been talking to you about the remission of sins. When we commit sin, it is necessary that we repent of it and make restitution as far as lies in our power. When we cannot make restitution for the wrong we have done then we must apply for the grace and mercy of God to cleanse us from that iniquity.

Men cannot forgive their own sins; they cannot cleanse themselves from the consequences of their sins. Men can stop sinning and can do right in the future, and so far their acts are acceptable before the Lord and worthy of consideration. But who shall repair the wrongs they have done to themselves and to others, which it seems impossible for them to repair themselves? By the atonement of Jesus Christ, the sins of the repentant shall be washed away, though they be crimson they shall be made white as wool. This is the promise given to you through the President of the Church today. We who have not

paid our tithing in the past, and are
therefore under obligations to the Lord,
which we are not in a position at
to discharge, he
present
has said
to us the Lord requires that no longer
at our hands, but will forgive us for the
past if we will observe this law honestly
in the future. That is generous and
kind, and I feel grateful for it.

I will read row a few verses from Section 85 of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, commencing at the 9th verse:

"And all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance, shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth.

"These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, He will also fulfill.

"And they who are of the High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off from the Church; as well as the lesser Priesthood, or the members, in that day, shall not find an inheritance among the Saints of the Most High;

"Therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the priests, as will be found recorded in the second chapter and sixty-first and second verses of Ezra."

I am going to turn now to Ezra and see what is said there. We read:

Lord in His mercy withdrew from the Latter-day Saints the law of consecration, because the people were not prepared to live it, and as long as it was in force and they kept it not they were under condemnation. The law of tithing was given in its place.

Some people may not care very much whether their names are recorded or not, but this comes from ignorance of the consequences. If their names are not recorded they will not only be cut off from the assistance which they would be entitled to from the Church if they needed it, but they will be cut off from the ordinances of the house of God; they will be cut asunder from their dead and from their fathers who have been faithful, or from those who shall be shall come after them who faithful, and they will be appointed their portion with the unbelievers, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. It means that you will be cut and off from your fathers mothers, from your husbands, your wives, your children, and that you shall have no portion or lot or inheritance in the kingdom of God, both in time and in eternity. It has a very serious and far therefore It is the reaching effect. more obligatory upon me and upon my fellow-servants in the Church of God to make these matters known to the people, that our skirts may be free from you I need not read to their blood. from Malachi, but I will read something from Amos, who is called one of the sayslesser Prophets. The Prophet and he says it ironically:

"61. And the children of the Priests; the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after

their name;

62. These sought their register among those that were reckoned by found, genealogy, but they were not therefore were they, as polluted put from the Priesthood.

"4. Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgressions; and every morning, bring your sacrifices unto and your tithes after three years. "5. And offer a sacrifice of thanks

"63. And the Tirshatha said them, that they should not eat of the

most holy things, till there stood up a giving with leaven, and proclaim and

Priest with Urim and Thummim."

for this publish the free offerings; liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord God.

"6. And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places; yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

"7. And also I have withholden the yet rain from you, when there were and I three months to the harvest; caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city; one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.

"8. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they

are

This is the position the people will be in when they come to claim an inheritance in Zion, if their names not found recorded in the book of the law of God. And I want to tell you that this refers directly to the law of tithing. In the first place it referred to the law of consecration, but that law, as has been explained, was not properly kept, and inasmuch as people are under greater condemnation when they keep not the laws that are given them, the

were not satisfied; yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

"9. I have smitten you with blasting and mildew; when your gardens and your vineyards, and your fig trees, and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them; yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

10. I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt; your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils; yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

"11. I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning; yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

"12. Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel; and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

"13. For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, the Lord, the God of Hosts, is His name.

"14. Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.

"15. The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise; she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up."

These were the consequences of disobedience on the part of ancient Israel, the same power reigns today that reigned then.

I have referred you to some of the chastisements and promises of punishments upon those who will not hearken unto the Lord nor obey His law. The Latter-day Saints are in the midst of these mountains for the express purpose of serving Almighty God. We have not come here to serve ourselves nor to serve the world. We are here because we have believed in the Gospel that has been restored in the latter day through the Prophet Joseph Smith. We are here because we believe that God Almighty has organized His Church and has restored the fullness of the Gospel and Holy Priesthood. We are here because we have received the testimony of the Spirit of God that the course which we have pursued in this regard is right and acceptable in the sight of the Lord. We are here because we have come in obedience to the command of the Almighty.

Now let me show to you how the Lord poured out blessings upon His people anciently when they obeyed the law of tithing. I will read from the 31st chapter of II Chronicles, commencing at the 5th verse:

"5. And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the first fruits of corn, wine and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly."

This is in accordance with the law of tithing that was given to the children through Moses, as you may read in the 27th chapter of Leviticus:

"And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithes of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the Lord their God, and laid them by heaps.

"In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month.

"And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and His people Israel.

"Then Hezekiah questioned with the Priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.

"And Azariah the chief Priest, of the house of Zadok, answered him and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty; for the Lord has blessed His people; and that which is left is this great store."

In connection with this passage of scripture I would remind you of the promise made through the Prophet Malachi to the children of Israel:

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

"And I will rebuke the devotee for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts."

I know that the Lord will do this to those who fear Him and work righteousness before Him.

I refer you now to the 28th chapter of Deut., and also to the 26th chapter of Leviticus. They run almost parallel. I will read from the 28th chapter of Deut:

[blocks in formation]

God hasten the day when this people shall be in a position to lend and not be under the necessity of borrowing at all, and I believe the only remedy that is necessary to bring about this result is for the people to observe the law of tithing. If the people of God would pay their tithing honestly we would have abundance with which to build Temples and to maintain the work of the Lord in the Temples; we would have abundance to take care of the widows and orphans and the poor in our midst. We would not have to ask you to donate this little thing and that little thing for the benefit of the poor

but we would have enough to meet all of these necessities in my opinion. But as long as some people are disobedient and neglectful in observing this law, those who are willing will of necessity be called upon from time to time to show their further liberality in maintaining the poor. I want to say for the benefit of our friends who may be present that the Latter-day Saints do not ask their non-Mormon neighbors to feed their poor. We do it ourselves and we feed hundreds that are not of us besides. However, those who do not pay their tithing are not entitled to the help that they would be if they paid their tithing. When one comes to a Bishop and asks for assistance because of his or her straightened circumstances, the first thing the Bishop should do is to inquire if he or she is a tithe payer. He should know whether the name is on the book of the law of the Lord, and if not on the book, if he or she has been derelict and negligent in relation to this principle of tithing, he or she has no claim upon the Bishop, neither have their children, and if under those circumstances the Bishop assists him, it will simply be out of pure charity and not because such have any claim upon the Church. That is why the widow who receives assistance from the Church should pay her tithing, so that her name may be on the records of the Church. It is not a law that is εpFlicable to one and not to another. If the rich may not receive blessings because their names are not on the record, then neither shall the poor receive blessings in the house of God if their names are not recordel. So long as a poor person receives his or her support through the tithings of the people, they should be willing to observe the law themselves in order that they inay be entitled to what they receive. They should show by their observance of the law that they are law-keepers and not law-breakers. Our children, as soon as they become old enough to earn means, should be taught to pay their tithing, that their names may be written in the book of the law of the Lord, so that if perchance their fathers die and they are left orphans, their names, as weil as the names of their parents, will be found upon the record and they will

« AnteriorContinua »