This is a continuation of a series of posts that I started a few years ago. Of course, it could easily fit within the series very recent posts on the same subject of the law of consecration, including Hugh Nibley quotes from Approaching Zion, “Are we required to live the law of consecration, now?“, and Mormon Channel Episodes On The Law Of Consecration And The United Order.
In this post we will examine this question – “What is tithing?”
This seems to be a pretty basic question, with a Primary answer. We all know what tithing is, right? I mean, even the etymology of the word tithe itself, coming from the Old English teoþa or even earlier to the Hebrew tithes in Malachi 3:8 (ma`aser or מַעֲשֵׂר, or an even earlier root `asar or עֶשֶׂר meaning “ten”), means a “tenth” part. What could be more simple? This seems to be a commandment that we could easily say we keep or do not keep. We either give a tenth part of our income annually, or we don’t. Is there any more to it?
The truth of the matter is that everything we think we know about tithing is most likely wrong. This could come as a shock to some, but when you get right down to what tithing is, as revealed by the Lord through the prophet Joseph Smith in this dispensation, it is not what we commonly think it is. Personally, I think this is unfortunate, because we do not know what the Lord revealed and commanded, and if we are thus ignorant, how do we expect to be able to follow His word? What does the Lord say? What do our scriptures teach? [Read more…]