“The payment of tithing is a test of priorities…” Elder Oaks
D&C 95 June, 1833 1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love…, ye must needs be chastened and stand rebuked before my face; 3 For ye have sinned against me a very grievous sin, in that ye have not considered the great commandment in all things, that I have given unto you concerning the building of mine house; 4 For the preparation wherewith I design to prepare mine apostles to prune my vineyard for the last time, that I may bring to pass my strange act, that I may pour out my Spirit upon all flesh— 8 Yea, verily I say unto you, I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high; Isaiah 28:21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim… that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. “strange” = foreigner As in: “Estranged”
Fredrick G. Williams We went upon our knees, called on the Lord, and the Building appeared within viewing distance: I being the first to discover it. Then all of us viewed it together. After we had taken a good look at the exterior, the building seemed to come right over us, and the Makeup of this Hall seemed to coincide with what I there saw to a minutia."
Eliza R. Snow At that time... the Saints were few in number, and most of them very poor; and, had it not been for the assurance that God had spoken… an attempt towards building that Temple, under the then existing circumstances, would have been, by all concerned, pronounced preposterous."
Brigham Young The Saints were “too few in numbers, too weak in faith, and too poor in purse, to attempt such a mighty enterprise. But by means of all these stimulants, a mere handful of men, living on air, and a little hominy and milk… the great Prophet Joseph, in the stone quarry, quarrying rock with his own hands; and the few then in the Church, following his example of obedience and diligence wherever most needed; with laborers on the walls, holding the sword in one hand to protect themselves from the mob, while they placed the stone and moved the trowel with the other."
Milton Backman Although members in Kirtland possessed little money, they contributed what they could for the building of the temple. One evening while Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were contemplating their financial problems, Joseph prophesied that "in a short time the Lord would arrange His providences in a merciful manner" and send them assistance so that they might be delivered from debt. The two leaders covenanted that if the Lord would prosper them in their business and help them pay their debts, they would give one tenth of their increase to the poor of the Church (HC 2:175)
Later, in Far West D&C 119 1 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, 2 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. 3 And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. 4 And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest [increase] annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord. 5 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. 6 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.