Lesson 14: The Law of Consecration

I’ll bet you’ve never heard the story of Adam’s fall told as if Adam were a hired gardener fired as the result of a financial crash, forced to make his way forward through an economic depression. Read on . . .

1943: Advanced Senior Sunday School Lessons

Lesson 47: Past and Present

Tithing Not Enough for Support

In the previous lesson we discussed briefly the problem of tithing. We said nothing at all about the meaning of tithing. It is not necessary. The word is of Anglo-Saxon origin and means one-tenth. It cannot be construed to mean something else any more than baptism can be construed to mean sprinkling.

If every member of the Church paid a full and complete tithing, other forms of Church contribution might not be necessary, but they do not. Many who still claim membership and seem to expect all the blessings and advantages equal with the full tithepayer, pay little or nothing at all. Tithing of the Church, then, cannot meet all its requirements. Other forms are called for.

The Saints are asked to fast one day in each month, and to pay to the Church a sum equal to the value of the food that would have been eaten for two meals. This Fast Offering fund goes to the support of the poor and the needy in the community. “More than 184,000 church members made contributions of this sort during 1938.” No doubt there will be more during 1942.

Each ward is expected to take care of its own running expenses – heat, light, janitorial service, and the like. This is called ward maintenance and is distributed to ward members. Each auxiliary organization collects small amounts for its own support.

Even with revenue from these sources, in times of emergency and economic depression, the amount collected is not nearly sufficient to meet all our needs. “During the depression which followed the crash of 1929 – thousands of people were thrown out of employment. Government relief was drawn upon heavily. More than 40,000 Saints were accepting whole or partial support form Federal relief agencies.

“The Church faced the situation courageously and announced that it would make every effort to take care of its people; to provide employment for them and to furnish them the things needed for subsistence.” This war is a big undertaking and responsibility for the church. Tithing, fast offerings, and other existing sources of income were insufficient. From this condition of emergency has developed our present Church Welfare Program which will be mentioned again later.

How Past Depressions Were Met

Famines and economic depressions have occurred from time to time since the beginning of history. The half of them, perhaps, have never been written. In the Scriptures are mentioned two or three events, but most of the details are lacking.

While in Eden, Adam had all things necessary for his physical comfort, but it was all provided by someone else. God planted the garden; it was ready-made. All Adam had to do was to look after the garden and at whatever he wanted. He had nor ent to pay – no clothing or food bills to meet – everything was furnished free. Such a condition is unfavorable to spiritual, physical, or moral growth.

Finally, the crash came. Adam lost his position as caretaker of God’s garden. He was driven out and the gates were closed. But he and his wife Eve courageously faced the emergency problems. How we would like to know the details of how they did it! Our imaginations must fill these in. We know only the results. They succeeded. They learned to build houses, make clothing, till the soil and domesticate animals. So the depression, the emergency, proved a blessing because they met the problems and worked them out themselves. There was no dole system or Federal relief agencies to fall back on for support.

Everything worthwhile has come into the world to fill a definite need – not by chance, but through effort and struggle. The city of Enoch is always referred to as the ideal city. It had a perfect form of government – people in it lived the perfect life. There were no poor – no rich, every one shared alike. There were no idlers – no gangsters – no sinners. God Himself dwelt among them, and before the wicked were swept away by the flood, the Lord took the city to Himself – it was actually taken from the earth. Its people seem to have lived the Kingdom of God on earth as it is lived in heaven. We are looking forward to the time when this perfect city will return, and its perfect order, “The Order of Enoch,” be established as the rule upon the whole earth. It will come, for God, through His prophets, has told us so.

Again we have few details of how they accomplished such great things. They must have faced depression and other conditions which demanded perfect organization. They had the gospel as we have it, and it functioned in their daily lives. Perhaps an emergency arose similar to our own, for they lived in a world when people were growing more and more wicked and were, a little later, destroyed b the flood. Who knows but that our own welfare program may train and develop us to the point where we too may live as Enoch’s people lived. That time is coming, and this may be the beginning.

One of the most interesting experiences recorded in the bible is of the manner in which Joseph solved the problems of an economic depression. He was a young man, but he had had some experience in managing affairs of others. He evidently had been overseer of his father’s flocks and herds. As a slave he had full direction of all his master’s goods. As a prisoner, he was the keeper thereof. Pharaoh made no mistake in appointing Joseph to be manager and director of all his economic affairs throughout the entire kingdom. “Whatever was done, Joseph was the doer of it.”

The people were warned and forewarned seven years in advance. During these seven years there was plenty. There was no lack of employment. It was the most prosperous time in the history of Egypt. People were told to save, lay up in store, and be prepared for the dearth that was sure to follow. Joseph set the example by building government storehouses and storing up for future emergency all the surplus of what the people produced. He paid them for it out of the government treasury. And then came the crash.

Perhaps a few had been wise and prepared for the famine, but in a short time most of the people were without food. There was no employment, for crops failed because of drouth. They were utterly helpless. The government had plenty, but the people had nothing. They faced a terrible famine– it was to last for years – seven years in fact.

When the people applied for government relief, Pharaoh replied, “Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.” “Give us bread,” they cried unto Joseph. But he did not give it to them – he sold it to them. When their money was gone, he took their cattle in exchange for food. When there were no more cattle, he bought their land and gave them more food. Finally, all the land belonged to Pharaoh, and the people sold themselves for food. There was no dole under Joseph’s administration. People paid for what they got. Joseph seems like a hard-hearted, cold-blooded tyrant. He had bought the people and all they had.

Now the sympathetic, far-seeing Joseph comes to the front. He removed people into central locations where they could be organized and cared for. He must have assigned to them definite stewardships, giving each man what ground he could till with seed to plant, and no doubt tools and animals to cultivate it. He must have advanced supplies to start their work, but they did not get something for nothing – they paid for all they got.

For all these favors to them, he charged only one-fifth of what they produced for rent to Pharaoh. The people were appreciative and exclaimed to Joseph, “thou hast saved our lives – let us find grace in the sight of our lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.” (Genesis 41:32-57, 47:13-26)

Joseph solved the depression problems. He saved both the lives and the self-respect of the people of Egypt. No one went hungry, but no one got something for nothing. At the last he established a kind of cooperative system wherein each man became steward or owner of land under the government and retained all he produced for his family except a reasonable rental which went to the king, no doubt for government upkeep.

King Solomon had a similar experience. The last years of King David, his father, had been years of war from within and without. Financially, the kingdom must have been bankrupt. Solomon was a master organizer. He put the people to work. He built the temple, his royal palace, storehouses and good roads, in all parts of the land. He opened up and developed new mines. He built up a navy which sailed to foreign lands. He developed agriculture and domestic animals. During his life there were few material contentions; people were too busy for them. His economic system worked, but when he forgot the Lord, married many strange women, and introduced idolatry, his kingdom and people suffered and later were divided.

Now we pass over hundreds of years to the time just following the death of Christ. The church was growing rapidly. Peter and the other apostles had much to do to direct the work of the ministry. They adopted the co-operative system of living, no doubt patterned after the plan of Enoch’s city. We have few details of what they did, but the venture finally failed. All members seem to have put all their worldly goods into a common fund. This was again distributed as needs of the people required. Perhaps there was little land or other permanent property involved. No mention is made of producing employment as in cases of Adam, Joseph, and Solomon. Without this provision, any co-operative system of living is doomed to failure. “The idler must not eat the bread of the laborer.”

the same plan of co-operation was tried among the Nephites. We do not know how they went about it, or how long it lasted. Like the experiment in Palestine, it finally came to an end. No doubt the cause in both cases was selfishness and lack of proper organization.

In the early days of our own church the plan was tried again. But the people were newly converted to the gospel, they had no background of experience. The true Order of Enoch required the giving up of all individual and personal wealth. It required the complete elimination of selfishness. In truth, it required all men to live the two great commandments set forth by Jesus:

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Mark 12:30-31)

After the coming of the Saints to the West, the United Order was attempted in various places. The community at Orderville, Utah, is a good example. The plan was good, but it too was abandoned. Selfishness was the basic cause of all these failures. We have not yet learned to love God with all our heart, and our neighbors as ourselves. [See Stephen Harper’s article – linked at the end of this post – before teaching about a so-called “lesser law” of tithing.]

Because we cannot lie the higher law of God, as they did in the City of Enoch, we have been given the lesser law of tithing where we are expected to give one-tenth of our income instead of all of it. Most of us are not living the lesser law – we just cannot pay, even one-tenth. How, then, shall we ever live the perfect life when we are so selfish? some time it will be done; perhaps in the days of you who are now young.

Helps to Study

1. Why is tithing not enough to meet all requirements of the Church?
2. What are fast offerings and what are they used for?
3. What were Adam’s temporal conditions in the garden?
4. Compare his conditions in the garden and out of the garden. Which were better? Why?
5. What is the “Order of Enoch”?
6. In Joseph’s plan, mention the special features.
7. Why was it better to have them buy food than to give it to them?
8. Compare this plan with the plan of the government. How did the government provide employment for the people?
9. What is the church’s attitude about providing for the needy?

1943: Advanced Senior Sunday School Lessons

Lesson 47: My Brother’s Keeper

The Return to Zion

“There is one thing I have thought much of lately,” said George. “We learned in the Church History class that Jackson Co., Missouri, was dedicated in 1831 to be the Center Stake of Zion, and the Prophet Joseph Smith, at the same time dedicated a temple site at Independence, Missouri, and said that the temple would be built in this generation. I know the Saints were driven out and could not build it then. When will it be built, and who will go back and do it?”

“I know one who will go,” Leola said. “My father’s patriarchal blessing says that he will return with the Saints and help build that temple. I know of others too who have that same promise. It can’t be very long either, for some of these folks are getting along in years.”

None of us knows who nor when, George and Leola. No doubt it will depend upon our people. It looks reasonable that people who do not pay tithing and keep all the commandments would not go to do that work. Who is building the temple in Idaho Falls? the actual construction is being done by a few master mechanics, but all who pay tithing and other contributions in the Church are paying for it, helping to build it. It is quite possible that is the way the temple in Jackson County, Missouri, will be built.

If that happens to be the way the temple is built, then you and I an Leola’s father, and all whose blessings say they will help, will do so in proportion to our contributions and gifts. We don’t have to live in Jackson County to help build the temple. Not all of the Saints will ever return to Missouri; as to who will live there when the temple is built, we do not now know.

Present Problems

We have learned that the church has been organized to bring salvation to the world through the principles and ordinances of the gospel. But it must be clear to us also that for the Church to accomplish all the projects required, it must have funds to do it. There are temples and churches to build, new wards, stakes, and missions to be organized. The gospel must be carried to all the world and the work more firmly and thoroughly established here in Zion. All this will require many, many workers and more and more funds.

At the present time there are other and important problems and responsibilities facing the church. We have learned from experience during the past few years how famines and depressions can strike with little warning and no preparation. We are hardly out of the last one and no one knows what is ahead of us.

True religion, as we have seen, includes care of both spirit and body. It is temporal as well as spiritual. The whole plan of Zion is based upon spiritual and temporal laws. The spiritual and the temporal cannot be separated. They are two phases of the same thing – “Pure religion and undefiled.” “To God, all things are spiritual.” One cannot love the Lord and at the same time withhold help from a suffering neighbor. We are in very deed, “Our brother’s keeper.”

We are now (1942) in the midst of a terrible world war, and the end is not in sight. Think of the millions of dead human beings that litter the battlefields of the world at this very moment. When the end does come, and people fully realize their condition, countless numbers will turn to the Lord for comfort and support. Many will flee to Zion from the East, West, North, and south as the scriptures declare.

“In the last days,” says Isaiah, “many shall say, come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths, for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem,” (Isaiah 2;2)

What shall we do with these people when they come? how shall we feed, clothe, and house them? Already we are having difficulty. Because of defense projects some of our communities have doubled in population in the recent past. Most of them have inadequate housing facilities, and the distribution of food is sometimes a problem.

Right now employment is abundant, and wages high. But the war will end, defense projects will close down, and tens of thousands of people must readjust to other ways of living; thousands of them are members of our Church. Everything points to the definite need of our Church Welfare Program.

Like Joseph in Egypt, our present leaders have, through inspiration and revelation, given us this far-reaching plan of temporal salvation.

Years of Plenty

How strikingly alike our time is to the time in which Joseph lived. There were years of plenty in which Joseph warned the people to lay up in store all their surplus in preparation for times of want in the future. Few individuals indeed heeded the warning. They ate, drank, and made merry until dire want struck them utterly unprepared. In the meantime Joseph had put over his Welfare Program and was ready against the evil day. Yes, he kept the people from starving, but they paid for their keep. He was prepared to give employment to all – they supported themselves.

What of us? We too have been warned and forewarned as long as the oldest of us can remember. From the pulpits all over our land the church leaders are advising and begging us to waste nothing, but preserve, save, and lay up in store supplies of every kind preparatory for any emergency that may overtake us.

We are truly in the midst of the years of plenty. In spite of famine, war, and distress in foreign lands, we are lacking nothing. Money flows freely, and food and clothing are abundant. How many will be prepared for the crash when it comes?

Church Welfare Program

Thank the Lord for leaders like Joseph, who visualize the future and are vigorously preparing for it. They too are building storehouses throughout the land and filling them with surplus and unused products. This plan, like Joseph’s, is not to be a dole system. It does not encourage or foster idleness. “The idler shall not eat the bread of the laborer,” is its slogan. This plan, too, stresses work and employment. The basic principle of this welfare plan is expressed in the following words of President Brigham Young:

“My experience has taught me, … that it is never any benefit to give out and out to man or woman, money, food, clothing, or anything else, if they are able-bodied and can work and earn what they need, when there is anything on earth for them to do. … To pursue a contrary course would ruin any community in the world and make them idlers.”

“It is a plan to help people to help themselves, (just as was Joseph’s plan) to develop a system in which the dole is abolished, the cure of idleness is avoided, and by which independence and self-respect are once more established among the people.”

Elder J.R. Worthlin said, “some of us are inclined to believe that the Church Welfare Program is of a temporary nature, but I do not hesitate in declaring that the future will hold a greater use of it than there has been in the past. … The federal government is turning the problem of relief back to states, counties, communities, and churches. … Where preparation is being made to met this problem, there will be but little difficulty. But where no preparation has been made, suffering, difficulties, and bloodshed are not remote possibilities.”

We have already shown that welfare plans and projects are not of modern origin. They are as old as the world. God made the world; He prepared the soil, seed, and water, but arranged for us to do the work and pay for our keep. It is definitely our problem, too. If we don’t plant, cultivate, and irrigate, we get no crop.

The welfare organization is perfect and simple in its operation. There are the general church directors and officers, regional, stake, and ward divisions with efficient directors at the head of each. It is a permanent organization of the church and will accomplish more and more as the people know more about it.

“There are great storehouses located in various parts of the Church where products and commodities are assembled and distributed. Through these centers the necessities of the needy are cared for, and the surplus is sent to a central storehouse in Salt lake city to be exchanged for other products and commodities which may be needed. The general storehouse receives its supplies through projects of various priesthood quorums, wards, auxiliaries, or from private contributions. In the storehouse, produce is canned or dried, new clothes are made, and old ones remodeled and repaired. The storehouse center is itself a mammoth project where the needy work. Produce is received, and distributed, and exchange of surplus made.”

The Welfare Plan is a great example in practical religion – of the possibilities of faith and works combined. Religion, the gospel, does not stop with prayers and sermons. It sees to the physical, spiritual, intellectual and moral phases of human development alike. It is an expression, not alone in words, but also in deeds, that we love our neighbor as ourselves. Elder John A. Widtsoe wrote:

“If God has loved us so, we ought to love one another. … If we love one another, God keeps in union with us and love for him attains perfection in our hearts. … This is the commandment we get from them, that whosoever loves God must love his brother also. …

“Again, to support and assist in the Welfare Plan brings to mind a statement of the Lord Jesus Christ:

“For when I was hungry, ye gave me food, and when I was thirsty you gave me drink. When I was a stranger, you invited me into your homes, when I had no clothes, you gave me clothes, when I was sick you looked after me, and when I was in prison, you came to see me.”

Yet Future

Now what of the future? “We believe. … That Zion will be built upon this (the American) continent, that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.” the Order of Enoch will be in operation, and the Kingdom of God will be on earth as it is in heaven. In the meantime we are living the principle of tithing which is a schoolmaster to teach us how to live the higher law. The Church Welfare Program is a stepping-stone to this more perfect organization of the future.

“In this confident expectation we indulge no vague dreams of communism, … giving the idler an excuse for hoping to live at the expense of the thrifty; but in the assurance that every man will be 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 one can best serve with the pen, others with the plow; there will be engineers and mechanics, artisans, and artists, farmers and scholars, teachers and authors – each laboring so far as practicable in a sphere of his own choice but each required to work. … Equal rights are to be insured, for the Lord hath spoken:

“‘And you are to be equal, … 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. … thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.’” (“Vitality of Mormonism,” Talmage, chapter 57)

Young people of Zion, you have much to look forward to. Yours, indeed, is a glorious future. Keep faith with God and his authorities on the earth, and you will be happy to the end.

Helps to Study

1. Why is the Church concerned with physical and temporal conditions of its members?
2. Why are we now living in a time similar to the seven years of plenty in the days of Joseph in Egypt?
3. What is the purpose of the Church Welfare Program?
4. What did President Brigham Young say about giving?
5. What are the divisions of the Welfare Program?
6. How are funds and produce supplied to the storehouse centers?

1949: Church History and Modern Revelation
A Course of Study for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums, by Joseph Fielding Smith

Lesson 88: The United Order – Care of the Poor


D. & C. Sec. 104.


1. The Problem of the Redemption of Zion Note 1.

a. Manifestations of the mob spirit.
b. Whipping of Ira J. Willis.
c. The case of “Dr.” Philastus Hurlburt.
d. Obtaining funds for Zion.
e. If Zion is not redeemed the whole Church to suffer.

2. Commandments Concerning Properties of the United Order. Note 2.

a. The United Order.
b. Covenants broken.
c. Judgment on transgressors.
d. The Lord will not be mocked.
e. Appointment of stewardships.
f. The Purpose of the Lord to provide for saints.

3. The Earth Is Full and Enough to Spare. Note 3.

a. Men agents unto themselves.
b. Every man to impart his portion.
c. Properties apportioned in stewardships.
d. Blessings to follow faithfulness.

4. The United Order of the Stake of Zion of Kirtland. Note 4.

a. Separation of the United Order in Kirtland from that in Missouri.
b. Business to be done in names of stewards in the order.
c. All properties belong to the Lord.
d. Revelations and history to be printed.
e. A treasury and treasurer to be provided for sacred things.
f. A seal upon the treasury.
g. A second treasury and treasurer to be provided for moneys and property.
h. All things to be by common consent.
i. Transgressors to be removed.
j. Church debts to be paid.
k. Humility, faithfulness and prayer required to bring victory.


1. The mob spirit in Missouri at the beginning of the year 1834, continued to be most bitter and murderous towards members of the Church, and had reached out and had entered the hearts of many in and around Kirtland. March 31, 1834, a young man, Ira J. Willis returned from Clay to Jackson County, looking for a stray cow. He was captured by a gang of mobbers and severely beaten by their leader, Moses Wilson. In Kirtland and the surrounding country the hatred had been stirred up largely by the notorious “Dr.” Philastus Hurlburt. [Note: JFSjr apparently does not realize that “Doctor” is the man’s given name, not a feigned medical title.–AEP] He had threatened the life of the Prophet and had circulated many falsehoods. The Prophet prayed that his evil actions might be brought to an end. Hurlburt was taken before the court April 9, 1834, and placed under bonds to keep the peace (See D.H.C. 2:49.). This had a retarding influence on his actions.

The Church being in dire distress financially, brethren had been sent out to see if they could not collect funds for its relief, both in Kirtland and for Zion. A strong appeal to Orson Hyde was issued April 7, 1834. (See D.H.C. 2:48.) In the minutes of a conference held at Norton, Medina County, Ohio, the deliverance of Zion was earnestly discussed. The Prophet Joseph Smith who was present said in the course of his remarks that “if Zion is not delivered, the time is near when all of this Church, wherever they may be found, will be persecuted and destroyed in like manner;” that is in the manner in which the saints in Jackson County were destroyed. Destruction in this sense means to be persecuted, mobbed and scattered, their property being lost to them.

2. On the 10th of April, a council of the United Order was held. It was there agreed that the Order, as it was then organized, be dissolved, and each member have his stewardship set off to him. Previously to this time, the United Order of Zion and of Kirtland stood as one unit. On April 23, 1834, the Prophet received an important revelation concerning the “order of the Church for the benefit of the poor.” (D. & C. 104.) The Lord calls attention to the fact that this was an order by counsel and commandment, concerning properties which belong to the order which he had commanded to be organized and established to be an united order, and an everlasting order for the benefit of the church and the salvation of men until he should come. He had made the promise which was immutable, that inasmuch as those whom he had commanded were faithful, they should be blessed with a multiplicity of blessings. If they were not faithful, they would bring down upon their heads a cursing. Inasmuch as some who had entered into this covenant had not kept it, but had been covetous he had cursed them “with a very sore and grievous curse. For I, the Lord, have decreed in my heart, that inasmuch as any man belonging to the order shall be found a transgressor, or, in other words, break the covenant with which ye are bound, he shall be cursed in his life, and shall be trodden down by whom I will; for I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in these things.” (vs. 4-6.) All of this would come to pass that the innocent, those who were faithful, may not be condemned with the unjust, and that the guilty among them may not escape. A crown of glory was promised for all those who were true to their covenants on the right hand of the Lord. The transgressors were not to escape the wrath of the Lord during their lives, and they would be turned over to the buffeting of Satan until the day of redemption should come.

Who could be more unworthy before the Lord than a covenant breaker? It matters not whether it is a covenant of consecration, a covenant made in the waters of baptism, of ordination to the Priesthood, a covenant of marriage in the House of the Lord, or whatever it may be, that person who violates the covenant is worthy of the Lord’s extreme contempt. We are all assured that our eternal Father will never violate a covenant and when his children receive his covenants and remain true in them to the end. The promises will be fulfilled. If these solemn pledges are broken then the covenant breaker is worthy of receiving the punishment of “a very sore and grievous curse.”

“Who am I that made man, saith the Lord, that will hold him guiltless that obeys not my commandments? …

“I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.

“Then they say in their hearts: this is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.” (D. & C. Sec. 58:30-33.)

Yet we find in the Church today after all these years, and the severe experiences of the past which brought so much pain and sorrow upon our people, that we still have a great many who have made the most solemn covenants in sacred places, and then have deliberately violated them. These will also receive the wrath of an offended Father, and there awaits them the reward of the transgressor – “a very sore and grievous curse.” All such will have to be removed form the Father’s kingdom before the law of consecration can be established.

3. While the Lord, according to this covenant and law, gave to each man his stewardship, and every man was to give an account of his stewardship, yet they should remember that the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof. He has said: “I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens and built the earth, my very handiwork, and all things therein are mine; and it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.” (vs. 14-15.)

It is the failing of many men, who, apparently, are willing to receive the covenants of the Lord, to want to modify them to suit their own fancy. We find this class in the Church today; they were in it in 1834, and they will be in it until the great day of cleansing comes. The Lord expects of his children implicit obedience and complete acceptance of his laws. We have no right or power to alter them. It is the proclivity of man from the beginning to want to change the laws of the Lord and substitute his own. For this reason we have man-made governments on the earth today and a condition of turmoil and strife which has continued from the beginning. Never can there be perfect peace and happiness until man upon the earth is willing to accept counsel and become obedient to divine law. This, today, he is not willing to do. The Lord impressed upon the Church in 1834, that this great law and covenant of consecration, or United Order, “must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.” (v. 16) In speaking of the exaltation of the poor, the Lord did not intend to convey, as some may think, that he was to take from the rich and make them poor, but that through this divine law there would come an equality and in humility all would be made rich in the abundance that would be gathered into the storehouse of the Lord, and every man should be provided with an abundance.

“For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves. (v. 17.) The abundance of the earth is so plentiful, through the mercies of the Father, that all could have “enough and to spare” if the commandments of the Lord were strictly kept. In another revelation the Lord said: “Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this (i.e. keep the commandments), the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth; yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards; yea all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; yea for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.” Then the Lord adds: “And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.” (D. & C. Sec. 59:16-20.)

Thus we learn that the Lord has created all these things for the use of man to be used in judgment, in equality according to the needs of each. Greediness cannot be the case with all who enter into the covenant of consecration when it is established.

Then, in the revelation (D. & C. Sec. 104:20-42) the Lord assigns stewardships to many of the brethren. He commanded that there should be a separation of the United Order in Zion from the Order in Kirtland. Each was to act henceforth independently of the other. Distance was too great between these places for unity of purpose in all things. Each order was to be organized in the names of the brethren residing in each place, and to do business in their own names. This separation and dissolving of the former order came about also because of transgression and covetousness on the part of some. They were to understand that all the properties were the Lord’s, otherwise their faith was vain, and therefore they were stewards before the Lord. All of this was to be done for the purpose of building up the Church and Kingdom of God on the earth, and to prepare the people for the time when the Lord should come to dwell upon the earth. (v. 59.)

They were to prepare a treasury and a treasurer for the sacred things of the church. One who was wise was to be appointed to this labor. Then again they were to have another treasury and treasurer to keep the moneys and properties of the Church. These men so appointed were to be trustworthy and fitted for their callings. A seal was to be placed upon each treasury. In the first all the sacred documents, writings and all sacred things that should be preserved, should have a seal, which was to be placed upon them. In the second treasury should be placed the funds, received from the people, which funds were to be used for holy and sacred purposes. (vs. 60-69.)

All these things were to be done by common consent. There were to be no dictators in the management of the Lord’s business. No part of the funds or property could be taken out of the treasury without the voice of the order. If any man among them should declare, I have need of this to help me in my stewardship, if it be five talents, or ten talents (dollars) or whatever the amount his claim might be it was to be investigated and if found to be worthy the request would be granted. This had to be, however, by the common consent.

Transgressors among the stewards were to be removed after an investigation and the guilt was proved before the council of the order. When a man was faithful and wise in his stewardship he was to be rewarded. The Church being in debt, the Lord called upon the members to pay their debts. If they would humble themselves and be true and faithful in the discharge of their responsibilities, the Lord would send means for their deliverance. They were to write to those in New York unto whom they were in bondage and the Lord would soften their hearts so his people would not be afflicted. Humility, diligence, faithfulness in their stewardships, and unity of purpose, were necessary qualities in order to bring to pass the deliverance from their bondage. They were privileged also to pledge the properties int heir hands which belonged to the Church “this once” and to lend moneys that might come into their hands to help them out of their bondage, but it was to be for this one time only. The Lord adds: “I give unto you this privilege, this once; and behold if you proceed to do the things which I have laid before you, according to my commandments, all these things are mine, and ye are my stewards, and the master will not suffer his house to be broken up. Even so. Amen.”

1949: Doctrine and Covenants Studies, by Bryant S. Hinckley

Chapter 16: THE FINANCIAL LAW OF THE CHURCH (Section 42)

There is no other chapter in the history of this Church that carries with it more convincing proof of the Church’s divinity than its attitude toward the poor and the provisions which it has made for caring for them. “And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support. … and inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me …” (D & C 42:30, 31.) This introduces the great doctrine of consecration and stewardship. Quoting from Joseph Fielding Smith (CHMR, Vol. I, p. 169), “this revelation, the law of consecration, is stated definitely as a law on which the new Jerusalem is to be built. This law is given for the benefit of the poor, for the building up of Zion and for the work of the ministry. Members of the Church should consecrate their properties and then be appointed stewards in the service of the Lord. … Through this Celestial law of consecration, the Saints are to become the covenant people of the Lord. We cannot enter into the fulness of the covenant pertaining to Zion until we have reached the point where we can live such a divine law.”

The law of consecration was the introduction to the financial law of the Church. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. made this deduction, “Five great principles are laid down for the Saints touching the church finances: (1) Worldly riches are not to be sought for. (2) Every man should esteem his brother as himself. (3) The church should care for the temporal needs of those whom the Lord called into church service. (4) The worldly goods of the members beyond the family necessities should be made available for the Lord’s work. (5) The church should see that its poor are cared for. These principles have remained basic to the whole Church financial program. All commandments are directed toward the implementing of these purposes and principles.” (Page 6, Church Welfare Plan.)


Brigham H. Roberts, referring to this law, said: “It was this law which doubtless led many to suppose that the Latter-day Saints sought to establish a community of foods … But community of goods is not involved in the principles of consecration and stewardship. … The principle underlying this doctrine of the Church is recognition of the Lord as Creator, Proprietor and Owner of the earth and the fulness thereof, and man as but a steward in his possessions. The earth is the Lord’s by proprietary right. His because he created it, and sustains it from age to age by His power, and makes it fruitful by his bounty. By the act of consecration, according to the above law, and as afterwards developed, a man visibly and actually recognized God as proprietor of the earth; and by receiving back from such consecration a stewardship from God’s visible agency, the Church, he acknowledged himself but a steward over that which he possesses, but he is accountable to God only for his management of that stewardship. If from that management there arose beyond what was needful for his personal use and that of his family, that surplus could again be consecrated to the Lord’s storehouse to be used to the granting of other stewardships or developing enterprises involving community interests. In other words, the surplus product of the community’s industry was to be made available for community interests.” (CHC, Vol. I, p. 246.)

The law of consecration prescribes that one transfers and conveys to the bishop, or one properly designated for that purpose “with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken” (D & C 42:30, 58:35, 36) of all his property, which would amount to a fee simple title as to real estate and an equally complete transfer by means appropriate to the subject matter in case of personal property, “All made sure according to the laws of the land.” (D & C 51:6.) the law of consecration involves a complete divestiture of the title to all of one’s possessions.

What one thus consecrates, he cannot get back, even if he left the Church or withdrew from the order. Referring to this, A.E. Bowen says: A Test of Faith: A test of the depth of conviction and the sincerity of profession comes when we stand at the threshold with our worldly possessions in hand to decide whether we shall barter their good solid substance for intangible promises of reward postponed for its realization to a more or less indefinite future.”


The law prescribes that the bishop or other authorized person who receives the consecration shall forthwith convey to the donor “as much as is sufficient for himself and family.” (D & C 42:32.) Each according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and his needs inasmuch as his wants are just. That which is conveyed to the donor is called his stewardship and was invested in the recipient by legal title as complete and secure as the title by which the consecration was vested in the bishop. There is nothing in the revelation to indicate that he might not alienate it. Certainly if he left the church and withdrew from the order, he kept it. This stewardship is a highly important law. “Its demands if complied with leave no place for greed or covetousness. It operates as a cleanser to purge out envy and selfishness, so important a renovator of character, regenerator it is, that the Lord has said, ‘And who so is found a faithful, a just and a wise steward shall enter into the joy of his Lord, and shall inherit eternal life.’ (D & C 51:19.) Certainly an inspiring promise holding out high prize, eternal life – the greatest gift of God to man.

“The steward is to handle the stewardship as his own property, but is constantly admonished to be faithful, wise and just. While the property is legally his, he is impressed with the sacred obligation, as the steward to account for his stewardship. That part of the consecration which is not turned back to the donor together with all surpluses are turned in. The surplus from stewardships was called a residue and was to be used for the relief of the poor and for other purposes.” (Church Welfare Plan, p. 8.)

This consecration and stewardship has in it the solution of the most vexing problems that confront society. It comprehends the possibility that every man will do the work that appeals to him most, the work through which he can make the best contribution to society.

Looking to the Care of the Poor

The Church later instituted two measures which show the wisdom and inspiration of its leadership. In March, 1842, the Relief Society was organized with one of its major objectives being to look after and care for the poor. This great organization has a record of service in this respect that stands without a parallel.

The system of fast offering for many years in operation in the Church has as its objective the supplying of the needs of the poor. This marvelous plan, if fully lived up to by the members of the Church, would supply all the necessities of the poor. At the same time it would not impoverish those supplying the funds and it would build up and enrich their faith.

The law of consecration and stewardship is not in full operation in the Church today, but the body of the Church has met every demand made upon it in the true spirit of this great law. This is shown in the present welfare plan of the Church.

The Saints were not prepared to live the higher law, the law of consecration, and the Lord gave to them the law of tithing, which is to be treated in a subsequent lesson.

Following the depression beginning in 1929, when many people were out of employment and suffering for want of necessary food, clothing and shelter, the Church inaugurated what has developed into the present welfare program. The plan brought relief to the poor and unemployed and called forth the praise and commendation of all fair minded people who investigated it. Members of the church are familiar with its organization and operation.

It is based upon the principle of helping people to help themselves and is described as a system in which the curse of idleness is avoided, the evil of the dole abolished, and by which independence and self respect are maintained. It is effected through co-operation and the application of the Christian principle, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Under this plan all people in need who are employable and unemployable are provided for. Where people are able to make some contribution for what they receive they are encouraged to do so. Where they are not able to do so, they are cared for. The gratuitous service in these co-operative projects has produced surprising results, both in material products and in the development of a spirit of fraternity and fellowship among all members of the Church.

As a result of this program, those in need have been cared for, many have been restored to independence and a large contribution has been sent to distressed people in foreign countries. Also the entire church has been built up and rejuvenated in spirit.

1957: Gospel Doctrine Sunday School Lessons: Living the Gospel, by Gerrit DeJong, Jr.

Lesson 39: Latter-day Saint Economics

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psalms 24:1.)

Is money the root of all evil? No! It is the love of money that leads to evil. By “love of money” we mean putting economic welfare above spiritual welfare. The New Testament is replete with warning form the Savior and His disciples against the love of money in this sense. The Doctrine and Covenants gives us the word of the Lord to the same effect. We are told that we cannot serve two masters, that we cannot serve God and mammon.

From these warnings a common erroneous notion has grown up that the man who wants to perfect himself spiritually must of necessity neglect economic reality. From even a casual study of what Jesus and his immediate followers said about economic matters, however, it becomes clear that that was not the meaning intended. In fact, the obligation of our giving attention to economic affairs is well established in the saying of Paul: “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (I Timothy 5:8.)

From the Vitality of Mormonism by James E. Talmage we take this paragraph: “We 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?” (Chapter 57.)

We know that we were not placed on this earth merely to acquire the material gains by which worldly success is usually measured. For they are of fleeting worth only and perishable. Spiritual goods on the other hand, can, and do, affect favorably our growth, development, and progress not only now and here, but throughout the eternities.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21.)

This quotation, often made, does not mean that Latter-day Saints should not work for their share of wealth and possessions. But it does mean that we should not consider material worth the end and goal of our mortal existence.

Unless we develop our economic resources so that they can meet more than our immediate minimum expenses, we shall not even be in a position to make any contributions to those who have less of this world’s goods than we have. In other words, it is imperative that we work out a certain economic stability if we are to do our full duty as a Christian.

We must remember that we do not live two separate and independent lives, one dedicated to economic well-being, and the other to spiritual welfare. These two phases of our existence are mutually dependent. It is no sin to be well off. But if the desire to gain riches becomes so strong that it interferes with our loyalty to God and His cause, we are no longer faithful. Nor is it sin to be poor. But poverty is no guarantee that we shall always live close to God. Being poor has many times led persons to become bitter and envious, and finally to violate God’s will toward His children and to drift from paths of rectitude. In all our gaining, our love of God and His work must remain uppermost in our hearts. Neither wealth nor the lack of it should be allowed to divert our allegiance from our Maker.

We have learned from previous discussions that we shall not actually love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, unless we also love our neighbor, show charity for the poor, and keep as much as we can from having to rely on charity from individuals or institutions.

Think of your brethren like unto yourselves and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.

But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good – to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted. (Jacob 2:17-19.)

All our economic endeavors must be completely compatible with our devotion to the will of God. Money is never so precious as to be worth risking the loss of our soul, or to forget the love we have for our neighbor to cheat him, or to offend our Father in Heaven. Our honest efforts to make a good living must not only supplement our spiritual activities, but must become the most efficient supporters of our attempt to live completely in harmony with the instructions of the Lord.

Harvie Branscomb dealt with this subject in his The Teachings of Jesus. “Jesus laid down the fundamental proposition that there must be no rival in the heart of the individual to the rule of God. He saw clearly how the love of money tended to become the dominant desire of life. Men get in the race, and the competition for wealth makes the pursuit the more keen. The power which it brings makes it desirable even apart from the pleasant things it will purchase. Thus possessions begin to loom larger in the thought than obedience to the will of God. Men think in mercenary terms, crave material ends, admire those who succeed in laying up riches. Thus, even unconsciously, the things of God come to take second place. Mammon, which is only the Aramaic word of riches, comes to be the object of worship.” (Chapter XIV, pages 217-8.)

Wealth, when properly used, gives us the opportunity to bless our neighbor, to help the poor, to care for the sick, to promote education, and so used, will bring joy and peace to our souls.”Earthly riches are only little things in comparison with the great principles of eternal lives and exaltation in the Kingdom of God; these are the riches of eternity.” (President John Taylor.)


The injunction for man to be industrious was given as early as the departure of Adam from the Garden. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. … Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the ground. …” (Genesis 3:19, 23.) And in these latter days the Lord said: “Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.” (Doc. and Cov. 42:42.) “Let every man be diligent in all things. And the idler shall not have place in the church, except he repe4nt and mend his ways.” (Doc. and Cov. 75:29.)

In the General Conference of the Church held in April, 1938, President David O. McKay spoke on this topic as follows: “I believe in individualism as opposed to paternalism. In saying this I recognize the fact that a man’s duties to himself and to his fellow men are indissolubly connected. Jesus taught that if a man is true to his own highest interests he cannot fail to discharge his obligations to his neighbors. Conversely, he taught that if a man is faithful to the interests of his fellow men, he cannot be faithless to his own. And as a man thinks, so he acts.

“Within my experience there has never been a time when the doctrine of individual initiative and individual effort should be more generally taught and more earnestly put into effect than at the present day.

“Too many men are claiming that the world owes them a living and are sitting effortlessly by, expecting the world to throw its luxuries into their passive laps. Too late they will learn that the earth rewards richly only the strenuous strugglers. Emerson quotes someone as saying that ‘the world is in a state of bankruptcy; that the world owes the world more than the world can pay, and ought to go into chancery and be sold.’ Such reputed insolvency involves all the population, and he who does not get out and rustle for himself is a contributor to the alleged bankruptcy.” (Conference Report, April 1938, page 18.)

If we seek the Kingdom of God first, that is, with all possible diligence, all the blessings the earth can provide will be man’s, for the Lord has said it:

Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;

Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;

Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. (Doc. and Cov. 59:16-20.)

Many money-minded persons honestly question the fact that the best way to promote material welfare is to seek the Kingdom of God first. The church has consistently taught this, however, since its establishment. Members of the Church who testify that their favorable economic status is the result of increased spirituality, are legion. In the Book of Mormon we have recorded the case of Alma who gave up his political position convinced that he would first have to bring about an increase in the righteousness of his people if they were to profit from social reform.

Keeping out of debt

The church has consistently advised that its members keep out of debt. This is not to be interpreted that business men should not make economically sound use of credit, but rather that in our personal finances we should not overreach. Again, thousands of members of the Church feel that the experiences of their lives prove this kind of advice to be beneficial both economically and spiritually.


In the Pearl of Great Price we read that Enoch and his people covenanted to obey the celestial law, or the law of consecration; i.e., they were willing to give all they possessed, even their lives, to the kingdom of God. Consequently they became so righteous that they “walked with God,” and “he dwelt in the midst of Zion.” (Moses 7:69.)

In the early days of the church this same law was given to the Saints. They were commanded to practice the “United Order.” But the Saints failed to keep this commandment, for they were not strong enough spiritually. Hence the Lord said of this everlasting order:

And let those commandments which I have given concerning Zion and her law be executed and fulfilled, after her redemption. (Doc. and Cov. 105:34. compare Doc. and Cov. 82:20.)

When the Saints showed that they were not yet capable of living the law of consecration, the Lord gave to them a schoolmaster, as He did ancient Israel, to teach them and to bring them gradually to a fulness of the gospel of Christ. This schoolmaster is the law of tithing. But when in economic matters the law of tithing was substituted for part of the law of consecration, it did not abrogate the latter. The law of consecration, which is, that we shall love Him above all else and be willing to lay down our lives or forsake all that we have or hold dear for His sake, if it should be required, has never been set aside. That law is just as binding upon members of the Church today as it was when first uttered by Christ. He has, however, released us for the time being from consecrating all of our possessions to the church, as we should have to do under the “United Order.” In his Vitality of Mormonism, James E. Talmage said: “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.” (Chapter 57.)

Every Latter-day Saint should understand that, if he is eventually to inherit the celestial kingdom, he will need to be able to live the celestial law, which includes the law of consecration. The best way for all of us to prepare ourselves int his matter, is to pay our tithing faithfully in the meantime. Only in doing that can we ever become worthy to receive all that the Father has in store for those who faithfully serve Him.

President Joseph F. Smith said this concerning the principle of tithing: “One of the best ways that I know of to pay my obligations to my brother, my neighbor, or business associate is for me first to pay my obligations to the Lord. I can pay more of my debts to my neighbors, … after I have met my honest obligations with the Lord, than I can by neglecting the latter; and you can do the same. If you desire to prosper, and to be free men and women and a free people, first meet your just obligations to God.” (Gospel Doctrine, pages 325-6.)

President David O. McKay said of this law: “to members of the Church of Jesus Christ, therefore, tithing is as much a law of God as is baptism. No one is compelled to obey the one any more than the other; and no one receives the blessing of either without obedience thereto. They who reject the law of tithing put themselves in the same class as the ‘Pharisees and lawyers’ who in the days of John the Baptist, ‘rejected the counsel of God against themselves.’ to those who accept the system of tithing as a law of God, nothing more need be said to convince them of the virtue of paying one-tenth of their annual interest, for if sincere, they certainly acquiesce in what is God’s will; but even to those who do not so regard it, tithing makes most worthy appeal.”

Concerning the blessings brought upon the Church through the law of tithing, William E. Berrett contributes the following in his Teachings of the Doctrines and Covenants: “The observance of the principle of tithing has brought a multitude of blessings upon the church and its membership. Contrary to the view of some so-called economists, the paying of tithing does not impoverish a people. Rather, it blesses them with the real riches of civilization. Nothing is lost when tithing is paid. God does not take His portion of our income away from the earth. It is His to use, and He returns all of it to his children. It is returned in the form of beautiful chapels, temples, tabernacles, and other cents of culture and worship. It is returned in the development among the members of ability to sing, to dance, to give public expression in speech, to perform on the stage. It is returned in opportunities for leadership. It is returned in missionary enterprise which carries the gospel to relatives and friends. It is returned in schools for the education of our youth.

“The poor man puts in his mite and shares in return in the fruits of the larger contribution of his more prosperous neighbor. Tithing brings the same blessings to all members, whether they be rich or poor until all become equal in opportunity to grow and develop.

“The payment of tithing brings to the member a feeling of ‘belonging.’ It develops in him an interest in the whole church, its buildings and program. He becomes a full shareholder in a joint enterprise. Further, it develops genuine brotherhood, a relationship wherein members are not beholden one to the other but all are beholden to the Lord.” (Page 119.)

Fast offerings

The primary purpose of fasting as a religious rite has always been to induce humility before the Creator. Feeling the pangs of hunger helps us to recognize vividly our dependence upon the Lord and His kindness to us. Almost inevitably this feeling also leads us to consider our neighbors, especially those who are less favored with this world’s goods than we are.

In addition to the spiritual benefits derived from fasting, physical benefits also seem to result from short fasts.

“But associated with this practice in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the giving of a fast offering, the underlying purpose and far-reaching benefits of which make the monthly observance of fast day one of the most significant features of this Latter-day work. There are in it, besides the benefits mentioned above, (1) all the spiritual uplift that comes from a Christlike desire to serve one’s fellow man, and (2) an economic means, which, when carried out by a perfect and active organization, will supply the needs of every worthy poor person within the confines of the organized branches of the church.

“The regularly constituted fast consists of abstinence from food once each month, from the evening meal of Saturday to the evening meal on the following Sunday; that is, it means missing two meals on the first Sunday of each month. The value of those two meals given as a voluntary donation for the relief of those who are hungry or otherwise in distress constitutes the fast offering. Think what the sincere observance of this rule would mean spiritually if every man, woman, and child were to observe the fast and contribute the resultant offering, with the sincere desire of blessing the less fortunate brother or sister or sorrowing child! The great Tolstoy, sensing the need of this bond of sympathetic brotherhood in Christ, once wrote that he had no right to eat his crust of bread if his brother had none. Can you not see associated with this simple act the divine principle of service as expressed in the master’s words: ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me’? (Matthew 25:40.)” (President David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, page 210.)

President David O. McKay succinctly stated the actual costs of paying fast offerings honestly.

“If we contribute to the bishop the value of two meals once a month, we are certainly no poorer financially than we would be if we had consumed those meals as we regularly do. There cannot be any loss to our own family in a financial way, and we have given at least a mite towards alleviation of hunger, perhaps distress, in some home that is less fortunate, less blessed than we. There is no loss to us financially, no man is poorer, no man is deprived of one blessing, no child is deprived of anything that he would have had if he refrained from giving that small contribution. Financially then, nobody who gives it is any the poorer.” (Gospel Ideals, page 211.)

The Church Welfare Plan

Because of its peculiarly important position in Latter-day Saint economic thinking, the Church Welfare Plan will be fully discussed in the following chapter.



Finally, Steven C. Harper’s “All Things Are the Lord’s”: The Law of Consecration in the Doctrine and Covenants is one of the best articles on this topic I have read recently.

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