Imatges de pàgina
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instructions tithing. Let me say that in some cases that were given. Notwithstanding this, no reasons were given at all, which inI desire to say that if the Latter-day dicated to me that the Bishops of those Saints shall make as much advance. wards failed to see those who were ment in the year 1900 as they have done derelict in their duty, failed to talk with in the year 1899, it will be a bright and them and get their reason for not payglorious day for Zion. I believe that ing tithing, which shows a great negGod is well pleased with the efforts lect. In some cases the reason given that have been made and with the was, carelessness; in others, indifferfaithful among His people. There is ence; in others, a lack of faith. A very one reflection I had concerning the large number come under these heads. book of which I have spoken, and that One High Priest was not converted to is, it simply gives the names of non- the principle. I say one; there was tithe-payers in the Church. It does quite a number of High Priests against not give the names of those who have whose names the reason given was that paid only fifteen per cent of what they they were not converted to the prinshould pay, or twenty per cent, or fifty ciple. In other words, they did not beper cent, or seventy-five per cent. There lieve the revelation of God, and yet they are doubtless many of the people who were High Priests in the Church. The only paid a partial tithing,

reason given in the case of one Elder Bishop Preston says, “a little ten per was that he hadn't thought enough cent," which he informs us is no ten about it to see the necessity of it. Is per cent at all. Ten per cent is ten it not rather remarkable that we can per cent, and a tithing is ten per cent, find an Elder in this Church who has neither more nor less. When it is below not thought enough about the law of that, the view has been held that it is God to see the necessity of obeying it? simply an offering to the Lord. How- I wonder if he thought enough about ever these partial payments have been the principle of baptism to be baptized, accepted and recorded among the names or about the principle of laying on of of those who have paid tithing; for hands to have the hands of the Priestevery man and woman in this Church hood laid upon him for the reception of shall have due credit for what they the Holy Ghost? We learned from do.

President Cannon last night that the I had the permission of the President law of tithing is just as essential and as of the Church to look through that saving a principle as the principle of book, and I want to give you a very baptism or the laying on of hands. In brief summary of what I found there another case an Elder, a member of one as to why many people in this Church of the Stake boards of the Y. M. M. I. failed to pay their tithing last year. A., had never paid tithing, so I preThere are some people who will say: sume that he had never been converted, "Of course there were those among us In the case of several High Priests and who did not pay tithing last year;- a number of Seventies, the reason given some young men doubtless who have was that though they were abundantly just come into their majority, or who able to observe this law, they were not have perhaps for the first time earned willing. In the case of a number of a little means and are not acquainted Seventies,

the

reason given with this great law of tithing." In that they did

believe answer to that I want to say that it in paying tithing I

presume is a mistake. There may have been that would probably be the case with all some such, but there were many High who wilfully neglected their duty. In Priests, Seventies, and Elders, as well the case of a High Priest, the reason as members of the Lesser Priesthood, given was that his wife paid a good who failed to observe the law in tithing, but he did nothing. There may 1899. That is the most astonishing be a chance for that brother; his wife thing connected with it. And may be able to bring him into the what is still more curious is some of kingdom. We hope so at least. Here, the reasons that are given why these brethren and sisters, is a very remarkbearers of the Priesthood did not pay able explanation that was offered in

was

not

were

the case of a Teacher in this Church. to bring them into a condition where It does not say whether he was an they will keep the commandments of active Teacher, or an ordained Teacher. God. Now, in conclusion I want to bear The explanation is that he did not be- testimony to the record that has been lieve in tithing or in a God. The great made by one ward in Salt Lake Citywonder is that he is in the Church at and perhaps the same may be said of all. In the case of an Elder, it was ex- others, for aught I know; but this ward plained that he could not be persuaded has come to my attention through the to do anything in a Church capacity. Bishop. There were only four nonThis is not to be wondered at, for a tithepayers in that ward, and the ward man who fails to pay his tithing will paid to this Church something like ten lose the spirit of the work, and if he thousand dollars in tithing. I tell you persists in that direction, he will apos- I was gratified, and I said to that Bishtatize and leave the Church, as sure as op, The reason to me is very apparent; God lives. In the case of an Elder, the you are interested in this matter of reason was given that he could not tithing, you are acquainted with your afford to pay tithing. Notwithstanding people. You know every tithe-payer in one-tenth of his earnings belonged to your ward, and you know every nonthe Lord, he could not afford to pay to tithepayer, or you could not tell me that the Lord that which belonged to him, so there were only four, and you are lookhe appropriated it and made use of it ing after them. The trouble, as shown in other directions. In the case of a by this great report, is that the Bishops Seventy, it was said that he argued and the authorities have been someagainst the principle, and yet he is a what derelict in their duty. In many Seventy in the Church ! In the case of

cases the Bishop could not tell you how another, he had no faith in the Gospel! many non-tithepayers there were in his Here is a very strange explanation ward, let alone not being able to tell given in the case of a Seventy: It

you who they

and why they states that he does not like the Bishop, failed in this duty. Now, brethren and consequently he ignores the law of God.

sisters, if there are in this vast congre. I suppose that because he does not like gation of Israel, or in any of the Stakes, the Bishop, he won't be saved. Of one people whose names appear on the Elder it was said that he was full of

record that President Snow exhibited to good intentions for the future. Of course

us, I say it is to your interest to see we have no means of knowing whether

to it that your names are taken from these good intentions may be relied it, and that they appear, instead, in the upon for the future, but we do know book of the law of God, in order that, that these good intentions did not lead in due time, you may receive your eterhim to pay his tithing in the year 1899. nal inheritance in the kingdom of God: Here is an explanation, which will be

which is my prayer in the name of the last I shall give: The Bishop, in re- Jesus. Amen. ferring to twelve non-tithe payers, says, “We think some of these would have PRESIDENT JOSEPH F. SMITH. paid tithing, had they been aroused im

Importance of the law of tithing-A source of res. mediately before the settlement of enue and a Means of distinguishing the faithful tithing." Well, confession is good for

from the unfaithful-Nope should be denied

the privilege of obeying this law. the soul, and that Bishop confesses that he failed entirely in his duty in not

My beloved brethren and sisters, I visiting these twelve non-tithe payers

sincerely desire the presence and inand arousing them to their duty. Of fluence of the good Spirit during the course, the great responsibility rests

few moments that I shall stand before first upon the non-tithe payer, but after you, that I may be guided in my rethat there is a responsibility resting marks in wisdom, and that what may upon the Bishop and upon the president be said may be profitable. of the Stake. They should be familiar The subject that has been spoken of with the people in their Stake and in this morning is one of vital importance the ward who fail to pay tithing, and for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latthey should labor with them and try ter-day Saints, not only to the body

of the Church, but to each individual and gave the law of tithing, in order member; for the law of tithing is a test that there might be means in the storeby which the people as individuals shall house of the Lord for the carrying out be proven. Any man who fails to ob- of the purposes He had in view'; for serve this principle shall be known as the gathering of the

poor, for the a man who is indifferent to the wel- spreading of the Gospel to the nations fare of Zion, who neglects his duty as of the earth, for the maintenance of a member of the Church, and who does those who were required to give their nothing toward the accomplishment of constant attention, day in and day out, the temporal advancement of the king- to the work of the Lord, and for whom dom of God. He contributes nothing, it was necessary to make some proeither, towards the building of temples

vision. Without this law these things or maintaining them; he does nothing could not be done, neither could Temtowards spreading the Gospel to the na

ples be built and maintained, nor the tions of the earth, and he neglects to do

poor fed and clothed. Therefore the that which would entitle him to re

law of tithing is necessary for the ceive the blessings and ordinances of Church, so much so that the Lord has the Gospel. Every member of the

laid great stress upon it, as will be seen Church ought to possess that loyalty in these words: of feeling toward the cause that he

And I say unto you, if my people would feel himself wronged if he were

observe not this law, to keep it holy, denied the privilege of contributing to

and by this law sanctify the land of

unto me, the sustenance of the Church of Christ Zion

that my statutes and in the earth. The law of tithing is the judgments may be kept thereon, that it law of revenue for the Church. There may be most holy, behold, verily I say is no organization in the world having

unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion

unto you; for its object the benefit of mankind, the building up of industries, or the

"And this shall be an ensample unto protection of the rights of the people, all the Stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen.” but what must provide means with

By this principle the loyalty of the which to carry out these purposes,

people of this Church shall be put to When the Lord restored the Gospel the test. By this principle it shall be the spirit of gathering came with it. known who is for the kingdom of God The Lord commanded the people to

and

who is against it. By this gather together, and that they should principle

it shall

whose not only be organized

hearts are set on doing the will of God Church, but that they should be and keeping His commandments, thereorganized under the laws of the land, so

by sanctifying the land of Zion unto that they might not be helpless and de- God, and who are opposed to this prinpendent and without influence or power;

ciple and have cut themselves off from but that by means of united effort and

the blessings of Zion. There is a great faith they should become a power for deal of importance connected with this the accomplishment of righteousness in principle, for by it it shall be known the earth (D. & C. Sec. 44; 4-5). In whether we are faithful or unfaithful. order that there might be means with In this respect it is as essential as faith which to accomplish every temporal in God,as repentance of sin, as baptism good for the people, the Lord instituted for the remission of sin, or as the laythis law of tithing in the place of the ing on of hands for the gift of the Holy greater and more perfect law of Zion. Ghost. For if a man keep all the law The Lord revealed to his people in the save in one point, and he offend in that, incipiency of His work a law which was he is a transgressor of the law, and he more perfect than the law of tithing. is not entitled to the fullness of the It comprehended larger things, greater blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. power and a more speedy accomplish- But when a man keeps all the law that ment of the purposes of the Lord. But is revealed, according to his strength, the people were unprepared to live by his substance and his ability, though it, and the Lord, out of mercy to the what he does may be little, it is just people, suspended the more perfect law, as acceptable in the sight of God

be

seen

as

a

though he were able to do a thousand ileges and blessings of the house of times more.

God. While this matter of non-tithe-payers I recollect most vividly a circumwas being talked over, I heard of a stance that occurred in the days of Bishop who refused to receive tithing my childhood. My mother was a wifrom a person because that person was dow, with a large family to provide for. poor. I wondered what Bishop it was. One spring when we opened our potaWhat Bishop is there in the Church

to pits she had her boys get a load of who would deny a woman, even though the best potatoes, and she took them she was fed and clothed out of the to the tithing office; potatoes were tithings of the people, the privilege of scarce that season. I was a little boy having her name recorded in the books?

at the time, and drove the team. When I will read a few words out of the same

we drove up to the steps of the tithing revelation that Brother Clawson has office, ready to unload the potatoes, one read to us this morning:

of the clerks came out and said to my

mother, "Widow Smith, it's a shame "It is contrary to the will and com

that you should have to pay tithing." mandment of God, that those who re

He said a number of other things that ceive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeably to this law, which He I remember well, but they are not nec. has given, that He may tithe His peo

essary for me to repeat here. The first ple, to prepare them against the day of

two letters of the name of that tithing vengeance and burning, should have

clerk was William Thompson, and he their names enrolled with the people of God;

chided my mother for paying her tith"Neither is their genealogy to be kept, ing, called her anything but wise or or to be had where it may be found on

prudent; and said there were any of the records or history of the

others who were Church;

strong and to be

able found,

work "Their names shall not

that were

supported

from neither the names of the fathers, nor

the tithing office. My mother the names of the children written in the

turned upon him and said: "William, book of the law of God, saith the Lord of

you ought to be ashamed of yourself. hosts."

Would you deny me a blessing? If I Will you then deny the widow, be. did not pay my tithing, I should expect cause she has only a mite to bestow? the Lord to withhold His blessings from Because the tenth which she proposes me. I pay my tithing, not only beto give in obedience to the command- cause it is a law of God, but because I ment of God is but a penny, are you expect a blessing by doing it. By keep. going to deprive her of the privilege of ing this and other laws, I expect to having her name enrolled on the book prosper and to be able to provide for of the law of the Lord, and of having my family." Though she was a widow, her genealogy acknowledged and re. you may turn to the records of the corded in the archives of the Church? Church from the beginning unto the And because her name is not found day of her death, and you will find there, are you going to deny her the that she never received a farthing from privileges of the House of God and of the Church to help her support herself the ordinances of the Gospel? I think and her family; but she paid in thouit is time the Bishops understood this sands of dollars in wheat, potatoes, principle. The Bishop should encour- corn, vegetables, meat, etc. The tithes age every man, woman and child that of her sheep and cattle, the tenth pound earns and receives in return for his of her butter, her tenth chicken, the labor, to honor the Lord and to prove tenth of her eggs, the tenth pig, the his obedience to the law of God by tenth calf, the tenth colt--a tenth of giving the one-tenth of that which he everything she raised was paid. Here or she receives, as the Lord requires, sits my brother, who can bear testiso that they may have their names en- mony to the truth of what I say, as can rolled on the book of the law of the others who knew her. She prospered Lord, that their genealogies may be because she obeyed the laws of God. had in the archives of the Church, and She had abundance to sustain her ihit they may be entitled to the priv- family. We never lacked so much as to

some

many others did; for while we found the privilege of being numbered with nettle greens most acceptable when we those who have the interests of Zion at first came to the valley; and while we heart and who desire to contribute their enjoyed thistle roots, segoes and all that proportion to the upbuilding of Zion kind of thing, we were no worse off and for the maintenance of the work of than thousands of others, and not so

the Lord in the earth. It is a blessing bad off as many, for we were never that I enjoy, and I do not propose that without corn-meal and milk or butter, anybody shall deprive me of that pleasto my knowledge. Then that widow ure. had her name recorded in the book of This is the way I feel in relation to the law of the Lord. That widow was

the principle of tithing. We must proentitled to the privileges of the house of

vide revenue for the Church of Jesus God. No ordinance of the Gospel could Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the be denied her, for she was obedient to proper way to do it is by giving to the the laws of God, and she would not fail Lord the one-tenth that he asks of us. in her duty when though discouraged Those who will do this, will receive the from observing a commandment of God

reward that he has promised. There by one who was in an official position.

is a promise of blessing attached This may be said

be
per-

to the observance of this law (Mal. 3: sonal. By

it
may be

10—13.) If you will sanctify the land considered egotistical. But I do not

of Zion unto the Lord through the speak of it in this light. When William observance of this law, it shall be a Thompson told my mother that she

land of Zion unto you. The Lord will ought not to pay tithing, I thought he

bless the land and make it fruitful was one of the finest fellows in the unto you, as He did the land of the world. I believed every word he said.

children of Israel. In ancient times I had to work and dig and toil myself.

the Lord blessed the earth for those I had to help plow the ground, plant the

who observed the law of tithing (2 potatoes, hoe the potatoes, dig the pota- Chron. 31: 5). This law was given to toes, and all that sort of thing, and the children of Israel, and when they then to load up a big wagon-box full of obeyed it they were prospered and the very best we had, leaving out the

had abundance; when they disobeyed poor ones, and bringing the load to the it, they were afflicted with drough, with tithing office, I thought in my childish mildew, with rust, with the devouring way that it looked a little hard, es- insect, and they were impoverished and pecially when I saw certain of my play destroyed because they did not obmates and early associates of childhood, serve the law. Now, it makes no difplaying around, riding horses and hav- ference what happened to the ancients, ing good times, and who scarcely ever or what the results may be to me. did a lick of work in their lives, and yet Though the Lord should try me by were being fed from the public crib. withholding His blessing from me and Where are those boys today? Are they making me to drink to the very dregs known in the Church? Are they prom- the bitter cup of poverty, that should inent among the people of God? Are make no difference to me. The point is, they or were they ever valiant in the what is the law of God? And if I know testimony of Jesus Christ? Have they that law, it is my duty to obey it, a clear testimony of the truth in their though suffer death in consequence. hearts? Are they diligent members of Many a man has gone to the stake in the Church? No, and never have been obedience, as he believed, to the comas a rule and most of them are dead mandments of God, Not one of the or vanished out of sight. Well, after I ancient disciples who were chosen of got a few years of experience, I was Jesus Christ, escaped martyrdom, exconverted, I found that my mother was cept Judas and John Judas betrayed right and that William Thompson was the Lord, and then sacrificed his own wrong. He denied the faith, aposta- life; and John received the promise tized, left the country and led away as of the Lord that he should live until he many of his family as would go with came again to the earth. All the othhim. I do not want you to deny me ers were put to death some crucified

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