"And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." (Moses 7:18)
Because of the ignorance of God’s economic laws provided to Moses many have postulated and developed man made, experimental efforts for achieving Zion through socialism, communism, fascism, capitalism, united order, and united disorder. I have seen people literally liquidate all their assets and give everything they have blindly away to corrupt leaders who then claim the property as their own and “redistribute” the wealth usually starting with their own families. They make threatening pronouncements that the tithing belongs to the priesthood and that the people have no voice in the management of funds, distribution of funds, or even the literal burning of the funds. Translation—“SIT YOUR BUTT DOWN IN THE PEW, SHUT UP, AND GIVE US YOUR MONEY!”
Modern Gadianton Robbers have infiltrated the church. The truth is the laws regarding tithing have been altered by mega-corporations called “churches” who twist the scripture under the guise of their “authority” to strip the people of any surplus. Their followers are left to scrape by from day to day or from paycheck to paycheck, while they themselves live lavish lifestyles, sit on corporate boards, and ensure their families have first claim on the first fruits of the people. They position themselves using inside information and corporate positions to consume every last penny. They manipulate the people using parables such as “The Widow’s Mite” to emotionally guilt the people into giving everything they can just like this poor widow. (The Widow being forced to give was an indictment by the Savior against the leaders of his day as it was not required for Widows to tithe under God’s law.) And if the guilt trip doesn’t work they evoke the Fear Factor of Fire Insurance as a way to scare the people that if they don’t pay their tithing their roasts will be toast at the Lord’s Second Coming. (Read in context however the robbing of the tithes in Malachi 3 is actually done by the priestly leaders of the day in not bringing the tithes into the storehouse and using the tithes for business investments God had not appointed—thereby robbing not only God but the whole nation).
These words of the prophet Mormon should ring loud and clear as we look at our current situation:
“O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled. Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you.
Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted. O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?
Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?
Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?
Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.” (Mormon 8: 33-41)
We are at a crucial juncture in history. We are being given an opportunity to participate in bringing again Zion, but to do so means we must set aside the brainwashing of our modern churches and embrace God’s scriptural laws for tithing and financial prosperity. Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel perhaps we should consider that God has already given us an economic system in the Scriptures. Consider for a moment that Moses who was the author of the phrase “and there was no poor among them” also made a similar statement in the Torah and gave the directions for an economic system so that there would be no poor among them: (Deuteronomy 15)
But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today (Deuteronomy 15:4-5)
Moses then proceeds to layout several laws regarding tithes and financial laws given by God designed to prosper his people whether in freedom or Bondage. When these laws were given they were given to the individuals and families in Israel. THERE WAS NO HOLY 501C-3 CORPORATION SET UP BY GOD!
ZION LAWS FOR A ZION PEOPLE
We have been erroneously taught that tithing is a lesser principle to Consecration but if studied carefully this another lie in a series of lies. Zion is a literal place with a literal economy. Besides the mystical fairy tales of trees producing at will and sheep growing a celestial Armani suit, production and trade do occur in and go forth from Zion. It is a complete and holistic Economic System established by God to bless his people and create a condition of, “no poor among them.”
So let’s get down to practicalities! How does it work? How do I do this in my family!
THE TITHE – God’s Law for Creating Surplus and Taking Care of the Poor
Great! Now he is going to tell me to tithe 10% of my income and God will magically bless me with money from on high to help me scrape by while by bills continue to mount! ACTUALLY NO!
GOD HAS GIVEN NO LAW THAT REQUIRES 10% OF YOUR GROSS ANNUAL INCOME!
There is no law in scripture where God demand 10% of your gross income. You will not find it. It is difficult with limited space to go into all the details but In Ancient Israel the Law of the First tithe was 10% of your profitability or remaining assets after all expenses have been accounted for. In other words, if a man makes a gross salary of $50,000 a year and it takes him $40,000 a year to provide for his family then his interest, surplus, or profitability would be $10,000 for the year. While physical money may have been scarce in ancient days, the concept also applied to products and services. The first tithe would then be 10% of the $10,000 interest income or $1,000 that would be paid to the Levites and the community storehouse for the taking care of the poor, needy, widows, orphans, etc.
This same principle of the First Tithe was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith in D&C 119:
“Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion, For the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church. And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.
Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you. And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you. And this shall be an ensample unto all the stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen.”
So let’s examine this in our circumstances today using a practical application. Let’s take the same man who makes a gross salary of $50,0000 a year and take out the $40,000 a year for expenses it takes him to take care of his FAMILY INC. This would leave the same $10,000 in surplus or interest income. His monthly surplus/interest income is approximately $833. The first month he would donate his entire $833 of surplus or interest income into the community storehouse.
Assuming that he continues to generate the same $833 in interest income every month he would then be tithed 10% of his interest income to the community storehouse or $83.30 every month (this could also be calculated on a yearly basis as well). This would leave the family $750 a month to keep in their own family storehouse/treasury to take care of emergencies, give freewill offerings, expand their businesses, etc.
So let’s see what would happen to this family in one year as well as what would happen with the community:
Family Inc. generates $750 a month surplus for their storehouse. In one year, they would amass a family surplus for their family storehouse/treasury in the amount of $9,000. As Zion’s Economy works on a 7 year cycle the family would have accumulated $63,000 in their private family storehouse. Not bad considering most people are left with almost nothing under the church’s Babylonian flat tax tithe system.
Now let’s take a look at the community. In Ancient Israel a community starts out with 10 families working together to form their community. So for practicality sake let’s take 10 families and assume that each family only generates $500 a month in surplus income.
In the first month the community storehouse would obtain all the surplus funds of all 10 families (10 x $500) or $5,000.00. In addition each family would then tithe 10% of their monthly surplus into the community storehouse ($50 x 10 (families) x 11 (remaining months) or $5,500. Over a 7 year cycle the community treasury would collect $38,500 in surplus income along with the $5000 donated up front for a grand total of $43,500.
The power in this system allows for people to not only take care of their family expenses but provides them the ability to grow their businesses and trades while avoiding debt. The power of the purse stays dispersed among the families who generate the incomes while at the same time the community treasury would grow as well. This also does not take into account fast offerings and other freewill offerings for the poor and needy, temples, etc.
Instead of creating a mega-church with a ruling elite, the God empowers his people as a whole with a system designed to increase their wealth exponentially. Imagine the prosperity and growth potential for a community for 25 or 50 families. Instead of being the slave as a debtor who has to go begging the mega church for a pittance of assistance under unimaginable scrutiny, the people take the responsibility to be wise stewards through implementing God’s established laws. Many people marvel at the wealth and economy of many Jewish communities. What they do not realize is that this wealth comes by obedience to these very laws God gave to Israel. These laws were designed to prosper and preserve God’s people whether in freedom or bondage.
Perhaps it is time to take another look at God’s economic system instead of being ruled by an elite caste of priests who feed themselves upon the flock.
The true principle of the tithe is just the beginning of God's economic system, but it is the first step. Future articles will explore other and even more powerful principles of prosperity and financial management given and designed by God to liberate his people from bondage and servitude.