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3-4.) The manner in which the tithes of the people are to be paid and the channels through which the contributions are to be distributed and used in the work of the Church are specifically set forth.
As of old, so in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints today, tithing is the divinely established revenue system by which the pecuniary needs of the ecclesiastical community are provided for. And as of old so today, tithepaying must be a voluntary free-will sacrifice, not to be exacted by secular power nor enforced by infliction of fines or other material penalties. The obligation is selfassumed; nevertheless it is one to be observed with full purpose of heart by the earner who claims standing in the Church and who professes to abide by the revealed word given for the spiritual development of its members.
It is essential that men learn to give. Without provision for this training the curriculum in the school of mortality would be seriously defective. Human wisdom has failed to devise a more equitable scheme of individual contribution for community needs than the simple plan of the tithe. Every one is invited to give in amount proportioned to his income, and to so give regularly and systematically. The spirit of giving makes the tithe holy; and it is by means thus sanctified that the material activities of the Church are carried on. Blessings, specific and choice, are promised the honest tithe-payer; and these blessings are placed within the reach of all. In the Lord's work the widow's penny is as acceptable as the gold-piece of the millionaire.
Tithing is the rental we are asked to pay on the property committed to our keeping and use. We are but temporary holders, lessees of property the ultimate title of which is vested in Him who created all that is.
The Latter-day Saints believe that the tithing system
has been divinely appointed for their observance; and they esteem themselves blessed in thus being permitted to have part in the furtherance of God's purposes. Under this system the people have prospered severally and as an organized body. It is the simple and effective revenue law of the Church; and its operation has been a success from the time of its establishment. Amongst us it obviates the necessity of taking up collections in religious assemblies, and makes possible the promulgation of the Church's message through the printed and spoken word, the building and maintenance of Temples for the benefit of both living and dead, to an extent that would be otherwise unattainable.
No Longer Mine and Thine, But the Lord's and Ours
E live in a material world, and certain material possessions are essential to life, to say nothing of convenience and comfort. Man must have food, clothing, and shelter; and he should have the means of intellectual enjoyment, wholesome recreation, and the desirable comforts of life. All these things are comprised in what we call wealth, and under present social conditions are represented by the one word money. Is it not true that money or its equivalent—the essential things that money can buy— must be counted among the necessities of life?
By misquotation we hear it said that money is the root of all evil; but the Scriptures say not so. The inspired declaration reads: "For the love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Tim. 6:10.) As soon as one sets his heart on money he
becomes unbalanced in mind and spirit; his vision and perspective are disturbed.
In view of the prevailing conditions of social unrest, of protest against existing systems whereby the distribution of wealth is becoming more and more disproportionate, the consequent dissatisfaction with governments, and the halfsmothered fires of anarchy discernible in almost every nation, we find comfort in the God-given promise of a better plan—a plan that provides without force or violence to establish a rational equality, to take the weapons of despositsm from the oppressor, to banish poverty, and to give to every man the opportunity to live, labor, and rejoice in the field or sphere to which he is adapted. From the tyranny of misused wealth, as from every other form of oppression, the truth will make men free. To deserve real freedom, and to enjoy the blessings thereof to the full, mankind must subdue selfishness, which is the potent enemy of godliness.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been put under training in the practise of altruistic living, in liberality, and in the overcoming of selfishness, by the Lord's requirement of the tithe and other free-will offerings and efforts. We regard the tithe system, however, as but a step in the course of advancement toward the consecration of all our possessions, time, talents and ability, to the service of God.
Within a few months after the organization of the Church the voice of the Lord was heard in the matter, foreshadowing a development yet future, in preparation for which the tithing system was established. The day is coming when none amongst us shall speak of mine and thine, but all we have shall be accounted ours and the Lord's.
In this confident expectation we indulge no vague dreams
of communism, fostering individual irresponsibility, and giving the idler an excuse for hoping to live at the expense of the thrifty; but in the assurance that every man shall be a steward of the property entrusted to his care, with the certainty of being required to give a full account of his stewardship. The varied and graded vocations will still exist; there will be laborers whose qualifications are for physical toil, managers who have proved their ability to lead and direct, some who can best serve with the pen, others with the plow; there will be engineers and mechanics, artizans and artists, farmers and scholars, teachers and authors—each laboring so far as practicable in the sphere of his choice but each required to work, and to work where and how he can be of the greatest service. Equal rights are to be insured, for thus the Lord hath spoken:
"And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just." (Doctrine and Covenants 82:17.)
Only the idler would suffer under such an order of things as is here outlined, and against him the edict of the Almighty has gone forth. We read in the revelations of the Church: "Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer." (42:42.)
In the early part of the apostolic ministry, the unity and devotion of the Church was such that the members established a system of community ownership; (Acts 2:4446; 4:32-37; 6:1-4) and during the brief period of its operation the people prospered temporally and spiritually. More than thirty centuries earlier the people of Enoch had rejoiced in a similar condition of oneness, and their
righteousness was such that "The Lord came and dwelt with His people. . . . And the Lord called His people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (Pearl of Great Price, p. 38.)
The people of whom the Book of Mormon bears record also attained a blessed state of equality and with corresponding results. The Twelve Disciples, whom Christ had specially commissioned, ministered with such effectiveness that the people "had all things common among them, every man dealing justly one with another." (3 Nephi 26:19.) Further, "Therefore they were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift." (4 Nephi 1:3.) Of them the prophet wrote: "Surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God." (Verse 16.)
The United Order will be a success when it is established by Divine direction. The tithing system has failed whenever meddled with by the secular power. Common ownership can never be enforced by the law of the land. It must be a religious observance, of voluntary acceptance devoid of compulsion or restraint; and as such, the world shall yet see this, the Lord's plan, in successful operation.
Sanctity of the Body
NOW ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that man the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the