Tithing. ?¢‚Ǩ?ìIt’s only 10%!?¢‚Ǩ¬ù

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In Gospel Doctrine class yesterday (I wasn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t teaching), we were discussing the concept of tithing. A common theme running through several of the comments was how since God gave us everything, we should be willing to give back 10%.

I think this completely misses the point of tithing.

According to the chapter heading of D&C 119, the law of tithing was implemented because the early saints were unable to live the law of consecration. It?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s a lesser law, but I think its purpose is similar.

Those who live the law of consecration do so with the understanding that all property is common, that all possess equally, and that all belongs to God.

Let us look at a few scriptures:

?¢‚Ǩ?ìBehold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s thy God, the earth also, with call that therein is.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù(Deut. 10:14)

?¢‚Ǩ?ìThe earth is the Lord?¢‚ǨÀús, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (Psalm 24:1)

?¢‚Ǩ?ìFor the earth is the Lord?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s, and the fulness thereof.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (1 Cor. 10:26)

?¢‚Ǩ?ìBehold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (D&C 67:2)

The law of consecration isn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t about helping us remember God gave us everything; it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s about helping us remember that everything belongs to him. It?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s about teaching us to overcome selfishness, pride, envy, and covetousness by realizing that material items are simply loaned to us to be stewards over. We certainly can?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t take houses, clothes, or cars with us when we die.

This is the same for tithing. We don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t pay tithing in order to show God gratitude for what he has given. We don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t pay tithing because 10% ?¢‚Ǩ?ìis nothing?¢‚Ǩ¬ù compared to how much the Lord gives us. We pay tithing to acknowledge that none of it belongs to us; it all belongs to the Lord.

When Malachi asked, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìwill a man rob God?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (Mal. 3:8), it wasn’t about our withholding money from God. After all, what would someone who can create a world need with money? Where we rob God is in not acknowledging his ownership of all things and taking his things as our own.

Until we can truly live the law of consceration, tithing plays the role of our token sacrifice to God. It?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s hardly sufficient, but it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ll have to do for now.

6 thoughts on “Tithing. ?¢‚Ǩ?ìIt’s only 10%!?¢‚Ǩ¬ù

  1. However, we are not living the Law of consecration. The Lord removed it because the Saints were unable to do it properly and gave us the law of Tithing instead. However, we will one day be living it.

  2. I think we sort of are living the law of consecration. We are required to be willing to give everything. Since he currently asks for 10% we give that. He asks for Fast Offerings, we give that. He asks for whatever else we choose to give, we choose and give that. He asks for us to serve in callings, we do that. He asks for us to show up for 3 hours of church, we do that.
    From what I understand of the Law of Consecration is that you need to be willing to give it all if he asks for it, and consider ourselves more like stewards. Also, it isn’t just our money but our time and talents that need to be consecrated, and we certainly do that in the church.
    My husband explains it like many of your Sunday School class does. He says God asks us for 10% of His money. I explain it more like Kim does. I think my husband gets the concept, just explains it differently.

  3. “all property is common, that all possess equally, and that all belongs to God.”

    Then maybe the church ought to begin having open accounting practices again, so that all who “possess equally” can ensure accountability at all levels.

  4. “that all possess equally”

    How does your house compare to that of an apostle?
    Inquiring minds want to know…

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