Podcast #7 Discusses parts of the history of the Church that are seldom discussed in Priesthood Meeting or Gospel Doctrine Class.

In the latest edition of the podcast we discuss the first half of Joseph Smiths’ ministry and some significant historical landmarks that are critical in understanding the true history of the restoration.

http://ironrodpodcast.com/podcast/iron-rod-007-a-brief-history-of-the-church-part-1/

 

 

8 Responses to Podcast #7 Discusses parts of the history of the Church that are seldom discussed in Priesthood Meeting or Gospel Doctrine Class.

  1. Pete says:

    Much truth in the last podcast. Thanks! Isn’t tithing in 1838 (DC 119) a replacement law or placeholder for failed consecration? No doubt surplus is required, in fact all is required, to consecrate. How can we retain 90% of our future annual interest/surplus and claim we are consecrating? See DC 70:7 and DC 104:68-70 as examples. It sounds like when we consecrate, at any moment we have a surplus of any quantity, we immediately give it to the storehouse. Nothing is held back, and we don’t wait for an annual accounting. I am eager to hear your feedback. Thanks again!

    • ” Isn’t tithing in 1838 (DC 119) a replacement law or placeholder for failed consecration?”

      I don’t think so.

      I realize that is what the church often teaches, but the very passage, as pointed out, refutes that interpretation.

      Section 119 is rather cryptic.

      First off it is a response to the following petition:

      “O Lord show unto thy servants how much thou requires of the properties of thy people for a tithing (consecration)”

      Nothing is being said about a replacement or placeholder law being implemented.

      The revelation answers the question being given.

      It begins by explaining how one initiates consecration by putting all surplus property into the hands of the Bishop.

      Then, after entering into consecration by offering up all surplus property to the Bishop, it becomes a standing law for each steward to offering up 10% of their “interest” annually.

      It has long been debated what is meant by the word “interest”.

      One definition given in the 1828 Websters is “Any surplus advantage.” which would be consistent with your belief that a surplus of any quantity is to be given without being held back.

      It is curious that the revelation is given AFTER the Lord tells the saints that they have broken the covenant and must wait for a little season before they can live the law.

      That oddity is probably what has led some people to the assumption that an interim lessor law was being given, but in fact, no interim law was being given. Simply a concise and very accurate description of how the Lord will conduct the law of consecration when everyone gathers to the land of Zion.

      Realizing that there is an apparent discrepancy since the saints were no longer allowed to practice consecration, we need to pay super close attention to every word of the revelation for context.

      I would suggest to you that the Lord is speaking about how the saints will begin consecration AGAIN when the little season ends and the third watch begins.

      Verse 3 “this shall be the beginning of the consecration] of my people. (future fulfillment)

      Notice that since the attempt had failed, the Lord is now informing the saints how the law will be implemented AT A FUTURE TIME.

      Again in verse 5 we have descriptives speaking about a future implementation of the law: “it shall come to pass that all those that gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus”

      Clearly this a speaking of a future event and EVERYONE will need to begin by consecrating all surplus all over again because their last attempt failed.

  2. A supporting historical incidence that supports the above interpretation is that when the Saints got kicked out of Far West (where the revelation was given” and went to Nauvoo, a group of saints approached Joseph smith and said they were ready to consecrate.

    He told them it was not the proper time to consecrate and told them to hold off and he would be responsible before the Lord for the saints in Nauvoo not attempting to consecrate at that time.

    I believe this demonstrates that Joseph knew that the “little season” of chastisement and learning had not been completed and therefore the saints were not allowed to consecrate again yet.

    With that in mind, it does not make sense that the God was telling them to consecrate back in Far West. Section 119 is futuristic and somewhat cryptic.

    The same can be said for Section 115 which is not naming the church “the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints” at the time the revelation was being given.

    Rather, the revelation is futuristic, telling what the scattered saints will be called at a future time in the 3rd watch.

    This can be proven by the keyword descriptives taken from Isaiah 60

    “arise and shine forth that thy light may be a standard for the nations..”

  3. Pete says:

    Thanks for both replies. You have forced me to study and learn more! ;-> How Christian of you! We agree in some points, but of course the goal is to agree with God. My primary argument is that consecration is not implemented in the way that you are suggesting. Maybe I can be more understanding, and persuasive:

    0. My understanding is that you claim consecration == DC 119 tithing with the 10% donation of future surpluses, meaning that we give to God 110% of our excess, so that we actually lack enough to supply our needs and wants. Please correct as needed.

    1.I agree that the Lord has taken consecration away for a season, similar to having taken away the fullness of the priesthood, as you have explained. We also agree on 1828 Webster usage and definitions.

    2. I think the entry from the History of the Church dated July 8, 1838 has been misquoted in your post. Firstly, Joseph asked for the revelation in the singular; it should read “servant” without the final “s”. (This, along with another error, is probably inconsequential, though the LDS section heading makes the same error.) Secondly, the word “consecration” does not appear in Joseph’s petition. This DOES seem to be of import, as it appears that you assume the conclusion, then read it into the premises.

    3. True, nothing speaks of a replacement for consecration, but we seem to agree with the research you have made, reinforced in your post above, that the saints had lost the fullness by July 1838, including failure to live consecration. So if we agree that it is not being practiced, and even that we must wait for it to be practiced at some time in the future, it seems apparent that Joseph is asking what the Lord temporarily requires instead of consecration. Could Joseph have been feeling the emptiness of losing consecration, and pleading for at least something to show his devotion? Unsure, but he asked for a tithing (generic meaning, as in an offering of some kind) to be implemented at present, not in the future. He could not have been referring to consecration, for that law had been abundantly revealed. I doubt the Prophet would have tempted his God with the lost 116 pages incident to dissuade him. Could it have been a purely personal plea?

    4. DC 119:3 never uses the word “consecration,” but always uses “tithing.” The saints did not leave the area of Zion (Independence, Far West, etc.) until after this revelation (end of Mormon War ~November ish?), so the command could very well have applied, though briefly, to those still coming into the land, especially verses 1-4. Even in a state of probation or scolding, the Lord gives commandments, and this might be one of them. The Lord commanded the Nauvoo House and Temple be built, another chance for us to repent. Maybe this was similar? Mormons are still trying to live it, though completely miss the central “surplus” theme.

    5. I don’t think you addressed DC 70:7 and DC 104:68-70. In these, the Lord is unmistakably referring to consecration, and the implementation is very different from DC 119, supporting that the later revelation is something different. First, everything is given to the bishop, then needs and wants are returned by him; this is effectively giving a surplus determined by the bishop instead of by those giving. Secondly, 100% of all future surplus is given so that we retain only with our wants and needs, not keeping 90% of our surplus. Thirdly, we donate to the storehouse as soon as we have excess, and not annually.

    6. It’s curious that DC 119 seems to equate “tithing” with “surplus.” Only verse 4 refers to paying an interest of 10% interest, and then clearly distinguishes that part of the law from the tithing/surplus part. DC 119:5-7 only refers to the tithing/surplus part, which is essentially what the giving part of consecration is (see #5 above). Maybe verses 5-7 are referring only to the law that is giving surplus, and that it will be a part of future consecration? Understanding verse 4 could get complicated with parsing semicolons and antecedents. Holy writ is not always presented in syntactically exact ways, as we know. But try reading verses 4-7 in the following manner and the results agree more clearly ponder on the results: the special “tithing” in this section without 10% interest == surplus ~~ consecration. (The symbols ~~ here mean “closely approximates.”)

    7. Bonus observation: How do we interpret the perpetual nature of DC 119:4 in light of Exodus 31:15-16 regarding seventh day observance?

    Your patient attitude and sincere study allow for discussions like these! My respectful thanks.

    • “0. My understanding is that you claim consecration == DC 119 tithing with the 10% donation of future surpluses, meaning that we give to God 110% of our excess, so that we actually lack enough to supply our needs and wants. Please correct as needed.”

      No

      that is not what I am saying.

      Here is a very crude simplified example.

      In the third watch when the elect gather to the land of Zion, each high priest will give all surplus property to the Bishop.

      Lets say the fellow has five large properties and each one is large enough to sustain himself and his family.

      That would mean that his surplus property is four properties.

      He would give four of the five properties to the Bishop who in turn would give them out to others who are consecrating but don’t have sufficient lands in which to provide for himself and his family.

      That constitutes the initial act of consecration. (Presumably the same pattern would take place with other assets such as money, animals and food, etc.)

      Ok, one year later, that high priest will look at his total increase (Gross) from his labors on his land (stewardship).

      Lets say he grossed $100,000 dollars worth additional assets ( cattle, crops, etc.) from his labor on his farm property.

      Let’s say that it took $80,000 of that gross to take care of the needs of his family and to purchase seed and tools and other necessary items for his farming venture.

      That leaves a net increase of $20,000 after expenses that he did not use. That would represent his “interest”.

      10% of the $20,000 = $2,000. That is what the law requires him to pay into the Bishops’ storehouse to be used for widows, orphans, those with physical limitations and for getting new able bodied but poor High Priests started with their own consecrated farms, and anything the Lord requires it to be used for.

      Obviously a person is not limited to giving the ten percent. If they feel inspired to give more I am sure it will be graciously accepted by the Bishop.

      Or if the Bishop Storehouse is struggling to be able to function with he inventory it has, an inspired Bishop could ask individuals or the group for additional offerings.

      However this is highly unlikely since the Lords math is perfect and therefore the storehouse would probably be overflowing from the inspired equation the Lord has commanded.

      The thing you need to remember is that none of the consecrated land owners actually own their own land. They are STEWARDS. Hence everything they own belongs to the Lord. They are simply there to take care of their families and to increase their talents each year with their portion of the interest income from their labors.

      “2. I think the entry from the History of the Church dated July 8, 1838 has been misquoted in your post. Firstly, Joseph asked for the revelation in the singular; it should read “servant” without the final “s”. (This, along with another error, is probably inconsequential, though the LDS section heading makes the same error.) Secondly, the word “consecration” does not appear in Joseph’s petition. This DOES seem to be of import, as it appears that you assume the conclusion, then read it into the premises.”

      I have ready pointed out that section 119 clearly defines what “tithing” means in scripture. It does not mean what you have been taught. “tithing” in scripture does NOT necessarily mean 10%. In modern revelation It literally means to consecrate ALL surplus property followed by paying 10% annually of all increase.

      Period.

      There is no other say the term tithing is used in modern revelation contrary to what you have been taught.

      I realize you don’t accept that, but you cannot disregard the true meaning of scriptural terms just because they do not conform to the false doctrines you have been taught.

      When Malachi speaks of bringing the tithes into the storehouse, he is using the term the exact same way that section 119 uses it. He is referring to those that have been properly consecrated initially and then pay their annual amount as previously explained.

      Also the following passage given on September 11, 1831 BEFORE consecration was implemented, uses it the same way.

      Doctrine and Covenants 64:23-24
      23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.

      That passage is referring to the full law of consecration. It is not saying that everyone faithful in paying their ten percent of some interim placeholder law without having fully entered into consecration will not be burned at his coming.

      It is saying that everyone who has faithfully been fully consecrated according to the law of God will not be burned at his coming.

      Hence, the words tithe and consecrate are being used synonymously in modern revelation

      I suspect that anytime the ancient scriptures use the term tithe to mean 10% with regard to a bishops storehouse similar to what is being spoken of in the D&C, it is understood that they had already fully consummated the initial delivering over of ALL their surplus property and now were living the annual aspect of the law. That would apply to Abrahams offering to Melchizedek

      “..it seems apparent that Joseph is asking what the Lord temporarily requires instead of consecration.”

      Regardless of what Joseph Smith might have been feeling or asking, the Lord did not implement a lesser law.

      If he had, it would have been substantiated clearly in the mouth of two or three people (scriptures) in stead of one scripture that does not say what you want it to say.

      “4. DC 119:3 never uses the word “consecration,” but always uses “tithing.” The saints did not leave the area of Zion (Independence, Far West, etc.) until after this revelation (end of Mormon War ~November ish?), so the command could very well have applied, though briefly, to those still coming into the land, especially verses 1-4. “

      I disagree

      We have already established the fact that the Lord had told the saints they had broken the covenant and could not practice the law for a little season by June of 1834 and then he pronounced the church leaders and members to be under condemnation by 1834.

      “5. I don’t think you addressed DC 70:7 and DC 104:68-70. In these, the Lord is unmistakably referring to consecration, and the implementation is very different from DC 119, supporting that the later revelation is something different. ”

      No Section 70:7 is NOT referring to consecration.

      Please don’t interpret single passages of scripture without reading the entire section for context. Section 70:7 is not referring to how the church is to live consecration. It is specifically referring to how the six people who had been given stewardship over the scriptures were to handle the funds that the venture took in.

      In fact, the law of consecration and laws pertaining to it were not even in effect when the revelation was given.

      It appears as if the primary commandment to create the “firm” that would implement the law and explanation on how to live it was given March 1 1832 in Section 78. The actual beginning of the firm took place in April of 1832 (Section 82) .

      This original attempt which included the united participating of some of the saints both in Kirtland and Zion was disbanded two years later in 1834 (Section 104) because of transgression.

      The primary explanation on how to live Zion is not given in Section 104 either, rather, it represents an explanation on how to divide up the properties as a result o the failure that had taken place.

      I am unaware of any of the sections in the D&C that speak of how consecration is to be orchestrated that are not congruent with the simple explanation given in Section 119.

      I think you are pretty set in how you want to interpret things from a logical point of view based on how you have been taught.

      I would encourage you to forget everything you have ever learned and go strictly by what the scriptures are saying.

      This has been fun discussion but I think we can agree to disagree with each other.

      • Pete says:

        Watcher, I think we are typing past each other. I AGREE with you about the definition of tithing, i.e. surplus plus 10% increase, contrary to “traditional” Mormon teaching. I understand that ancient tithing was not necessarily a strict 10%.

        Can we not be brothers in this?

        The disconnect is in the definition of consecration. You think the terms equal, by a logical study of scripture. I consider them to be separate though related, by a similar pursuit. It seems to me that scripture shows consecration to be a full devotion of all surplus. How can we sacrifice all things and retain 90% of our surplus, with one being above another in temporal things? How can we all be “equal” in that?

        Perhaps I am mistaken – you obviously think me so.

        You accuse me of relying on Mormon teachings instead of the scripture, when I am attempting the exact opposite. I fear your frustration leads to anger. I am not an enemy, even if you disagree with me. I do not wish there to be contention between us. I will refrain from engaging with you further. I wish you success in truth.

      • Not angry at all, just providing clarification of how I understand it.

        Of course we are brothers.

        We are on a learning curve and hopefully we are all changing our views from time to time as we gain greater understanding.

        We are all going to have some surprises when we see things as they really are.

        It will be nice when there is a unity of the faith.

        You asked the following question

        “How can we sacrifice all things and retain 90% of our surplus, with one being above another in temporal things? How can we all be “equal” in that?”

        Remember that everything belongs to God. Nobody really owns anything, we are simply stewards over the Lords property.

        If someone is a better steward than someone else, it does not make them unequal because everything belongs to God.

  4. D&C 85 also discusses the link between tithing and consecration:

    3 It is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by CONSECRATION, agreeable to his law, which he has given, that he may TITHE his people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God.

    Everyone is to receive their stewardship, or inheritance, by consecration according to the law already given, which law of consecration has been given so that he may tithe his people. You can’t pay tithing without consecration. The law of consecration was given so that God could tithe his people. This was given in November 1832, when the church was living the law of consecration.

    This is consistent with D&C 119 given in 1838 when the church was not living the law of consecration. Combined with 119:5 stating that “it shall come to pass that all those gathered unto the land of Zion shall be tithed” this isn’t the introduction of a lesser law, but a promise of a future time when the law will be in force again.

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