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world against any such devastating conflict as would be entailed by the outbreak of war among great nations with the frightfully efficient enginery of destruction developed by present-day science. There was neither ambiguity nor reservation in the academic pronouncement that the human race, in its course of evolutionary progression, had happily risen above the barbarous incentive to wholesale murder and ruthless destruction such as characterized the less cultured epochs of history.
Certain optimistic protagonists averred that if, contrary to their demonstrated facts and figures, great nations should plunge recklessly into war, the struggle would of necessity be brief, for the total wealth of the world was insufficient to maintain for more than a few weeks at most the waging of war with modern equipment.
Yet in spite of all prognostications, as though derisively flouting the wisdom of the wise, August 1, 1914, was so deeply crimsoned that the weathering of ages future will not dull the stain. That day and all the days since have witnessed the fulfilment of the prediction relating to the last dispensation, the time in which we live, as voiced by Isaiah:
"Behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." (Isa. 29:14.)
Verily the accumulated wisdom of men has failed us in the time of need, has failed to forecast and fails to expound the dread happenings of these eventful times. Where is the master mind that can interpret the problems of contemporary history, with factors innumerable, with relations so intricate and differentials so varied that the calculus of time is inadequate to solve?
Human reasoning unillumined by Divine revelation offers but dark and insecure refuge from the turmoil of current events. Whither then shall we look for guidance? Or, must we abandon ourselves to the despairing conclusion that to the storm-lashed ocean of the ominous present there is no haven of hope, and to our buffeted bark no anchor of comforting assurance?
To him who listens in faith there rises even above the roar of strife, the voice of prophecy citing earlier prediction of events now materializing in rapid sequence, and telling of the eventual triumph of righteousness and the vindication of man's right to liberty and happiness.
The great world conflict was predicted by both ancient and modern prophets. Joseph Smith, speaking the word of God, told of the imminent outpouring of war upon all nations, wisdom of the world's wise men to the contrary notwithstanding. And in these utterances the modern prophet spake in harmony with the predictions of earlier seers, as did he also of the promises made concerning America, which is described as a land choice above all others. Read these words of assurance given through an ancient Jaredite: "Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it, shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written." (Book of Mormon, Ether 2:12.)
Furthermore, hearken unto the following with reference to this same choice land, spoken unto the ancient inhabitants of this continent through Jacob the Nephite: "But behold, this land, saith God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles,
and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles. And I will fortify this land against all other nations." (2 Nephi 10:10-12.)
We hold that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are inspired documents, veritable scriptures of the nation, framed by men under Divine direction, men specifically empowered and raised up for this high mission; and that these charters of liberty constitute a pattern after which the governments of the nations shall be shaped. Thus shall be fulfilled, in part at least, the prophecy of the ancient revelator, that out of this land, which in solemn truth is the land of Zion, shall go forth the law of the Lord unto the world at large. In the majesty of her high destiny our Nation has taken a stand as the champion of freedom and human rights. Her enduring greatness is conditioned only by the righteousness of her people, who, if they will but serve the God of the land-the God of Heaven and earth-shall never be subject to alien domination.
It is not written in the book of destiny that America shall bow the knee to autocracy; but, to the glorious contrary, it is inscribed on the scroll of the Divine purpose, that this, the land of Zion, shall be the haven of refuge to the oppressed: "And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand. And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy." (Doctrine & Covenants 45: 70-71.)
The Lord's Revenue System
AYMENT of tithes was required under the Law of Moses. Indeed, the early prominence given to this requirement has led to the incorrect assumption that tithepaying had its beginning in an Israelitish statute. Tithing is older than Israel. Abraham paid a tenth part of his gains to Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and priest of the Most High God (Gen. 14:20 and Heb. 7:1-8); and Jacob made a covenant to devote to the Lord's service a tenth of all that would come into his hands. (Gen. 28:22.)
Following the development of the children of Israel into a theocratic nation, the practise of paying tithes in kind became one of the features by which they, the worshipers of Jehovah, were distinguished from all other peoples. The requirement was explicit and its application general, to rich and poor alike. Thus we read: "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord. . . . And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord." (Lev. 27:30, 32.)
As long as the people faithfully complied with the law of the tithe they prospered; and when they failed the land was no longer sanctified to their good. Hezekiah (2 Chron. 31: 5-10) and Nehemiah (Neh. 13:10-13) reproved the people for their negligence in the matter and awakened them to the jeopardy that threatened; and, later, Malachi voiced the word of Jehovah in stern rebuke, forceful admonition, and
encouraging promise, relative to the payment of the Lord's tenth:
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, said 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." (Mal. 3:8-10.)
At the time of our Lord's personal ministry the law had been supplemented by innumerable rules, comprising unauthorized exactions often based upon mere trivialities. Christ approved the tithe but made plain the fact that other duties were none the less imperative. See Matt. 23:23.
During recent years great interest has been manifest in the matter of the tithe, among theologians, ministers and intelligent laymen; and the reestablishment of tithe-paying as a religious duty has been strongly advocated. It is important to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has observed this requirement from the early days of its history-not because it was operative in ancient Israel, nor because it was law and custom among the Jews in the days of Christ, but because it has been authoritatively established through modern revelation in the Church. In 1838 the Lord systematized the practise upon which the people had voluntarily entered, and defined the tithe as a tenth of one's individual possessions: "And this," said He, "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; and this shall be a standing law unto them for ever, for my Holy Priesthood, saith the Lord." (Doctrine & Covenants 119: