1854 October 15 Sermon in Ephraim


1854 October 15 Sermon in Ephraim



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Evan M. Greene

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A discourse delivered by Presidt. Brigham Young before a congregation of Saints at Fort Ephraim in San Pete Co. U. T. 7 ocl. P. M.
Oct. 15, A D 1854
I have tho't I would speak on a subject as truly intricate, as any subject connected with the faith of the L. D. S.-- a subject, which is all the time studied;tho't upon, acted upon, and as little understood as any principle Brethren who have just come here from the old countries; if I tell you that the brethren who have been in the church for 15 or 20 years, are as ignorant as you, you would think it strange:but so it is: and should I tell you that those who have been in the Church from the begining do not understand this principle beter than those who have lately come into the church I should tell you the truth. I speak of the law of tithing. Should I call upon the brethren to preach the law of tithing, I could hardly find two that would understand it, or that would preach it alike; or that would agree in their teachings.
The Lord gave a Revelation, at the begining of the gathering of the saints to Jackson Co. Mo. "That all the Saints, who gathered there, should consecreat "by a deed and covenant, that could not be broken all their properties or that which they had unto the Lord;" and the properties of the Church should be given into the hands of the Bishop of the whole Church (Bishop Edward Partridge) and then should receive what was necessary for themselves, and families, and the residue to be kept to administer to the necessities of the poor to take care of the families of those elders who were out preaching, and to build temples. Each one who had consecrated enough to cover his necessity: he who had not consecrated, or that had nothing to consecrate could receive nothing.
This was the lst law given to the Saints: it was not lived up too; and I expect it will be the last law that will be lived up too, till the Savior comes:-2ndly The Lord gave a revelation requiring the whole church to give in all their surplus property for the purchaseing of lands, building public houses and other public works. Think you there was much surplus property to be obtained, "I tell you nay". No surplus property could be obtained but such as was worthless. for instance a balky horse that had but one eye, was ring boned, spavened, hip shot, stifled, and had a sore back; he was surplus, and the Lord might have him. also a cow, that three of her tits were frozen off, and the fourth one, the wolves had gnawed, and she would kick a chew of tobacco out of you mouth if you went to milk her, or at least would knock the tin out of the sisters hand, she was surplus property; but every thing that could be used, or turned to purchase lands for themselves, their sons they had, or that were in prospect for forty years to come, was not to be turned out as surplus. You may ask how I know I answer because I have the right to know as I was one of the committee appointed to receive the surplus property And rdly the Lord gave a revelation to be a standing law unto Israel, "Forever" it is the law of tithing that Israel had anciently, and it is the law [by] which Israel will ever be governed in this respect. Now what is Israel, you may not go to your Dictionaries, I will tell you what is the Lords definition, "it is a dutiful Son." The Law given in that Revelation is this. "When a person comes into the Church, one tenth of all that he or she possesses belongs to the 'storehouse' of the Lord as tithing; and yearly there after one tenth of their increase belongs in the store house as tithing"
But how has it been; how have the Elders taught the law of tithing, an Elder goes out into the world, he preaches the first principles of the Gospel a man believes, he is Baptised, he heard some things about the law of tithing; he comes to the Elder, and says how is it, I hear so and so about having to give up our property &c. The good Elder replies Oh, never mind, gather to Zion and you will find all things right. They come to the gathering point of the saints, the Elder introduces the good brother, but steps aside and whispers in your ear, "I want you should be a little careful with bro A. touch him lightly, he is good brother, he partly believes the law of tithing, he has some idea of the principle and I think he will pay some. his property is worth about so much. I will tell you what the Lord requires. When a man or woman comes into this church They owe to the tithing office one tenth of what property they possess, or money they have; (and the Elder who fails to teach and explain this with the
other principles of faith and practice of the the church to those he baptises before their confirmation comes short of performing his duty as an Apostle and Elder;) and the person who fails to pay into the store house of the Lord the tenth of what they possess when they come into the church comes short of fulfilling the law of the Lord and of keeping his covenant and when a person embraces the gospel having a quantity of property by him and he fails to pay his tithing, and his property is rung away from him all but the am't due for tithing he ought to pay that if it takes his last shirt from his back:-- No one that has come into this church has paid their tithing I have not paid my tithing and I am paying in all the time. It is the poor, who had nothing, that have paid their tithing, if any have done it: It is the poor that have preached the gospel, the poor have gathered the people togather, the poor have built the Houses of the Lord, and the poor have done the great work of the last days so far as it has been done and they have paid their tithing if any have done it:--
This law is now renewed, and I will tell you what it is: I will take for example the man who comes into the church having $10,000. he pays into the tithing office $1000,: this will leave him $9000. to begin business, he goes to work to improve these nine talents, he buyes cows oxen lands &c, he gets for instance 30 cows, at a common average luck he will raise 20 calves, of which when fit for market 2 belongs to the tithing office, so with all kinds of stock, the tenth of all kinds of increase from every kind of stock belongs to the tithing, each year, the tenth of the calves from the old stock of cows each year, the tenth of the increase of those calves when they come to bring calves and so on. another item is also bro't up, his sow has ten pigs he pays in the one, he raises grain and pays in the tenth of his grain and then feeds the hogs and makes the pork, he has paid the tenth of the pigs and the tenth of the grain, and now to pay the tenth of the pork say you will be to pay tithing twice on the same article, I will show how that is. His nine pigs were worth $3 a piece making 27 dollars. his ninety bushels of corn was worth $2. per bushel $180. making together $207 his nine hogs will make 2000 lbs pork which is worth $500,-- then subtract the $207 from the $500, will $207 from the $500, will leave $283 worth of pork to pay tithing on. so with regard to the increase of sheep and all kindsof fowles. he may eat up his calves, lambs, and chickens, &c but if he does not pay his tithing it is a debt that will stand against them to all eternity. and if the people do not pay their tithing, if they are not burned themselves I shall miss my guess if they do not find their garments scorched So also with potatoes, onions and all kinds of garden vegitables if tithing is not paid it will stand a debt against them, and cannot be wiped out until it is paid. There was a certain brother in our city who had used of his early potatoes and had saved some rows, so also with his onions, and was digging them, and measuring and making his calculations so as to pay his tithing, his bishop came a long and him what he was doing, the brother told him what he was doing. the Bishop replyed I would not be so particular it is not worth a while to be so very particular in those small matters I have told this story in the bishop's meetings several times and have hoped that some one would have asked me who it was as I knew his name and wanted to tell it. I do not know more than six Bishops who are fit for their business.
When a man sows grain and raises a crop he takes out the amount of seed he sowed and then pays the tenth of the balance. or if he hires his lahor done, the ploughing seeding watering, and harvesting, and threshing the amount paid out for labor he will also take out of his crop and then pay tithing on the balance. so with a mans stock what he pays out for labor in taking care of his stock, the tenth of the wages paid out if he so arranges with his hands that they pay it: but the man, if he is riding about passing away his time in pleasure, or at his ease owes his tenth day in labor or the amount thereof to be paid to the tithing office, or if he is a mechanic, merchant or common trader the tenth of what he makes by his occupation belongs to, and should be Paid into the tithing office, so also the tenth day of all his teams.
I have told you the law of tithing as it is: and I want it to sink deep into your ears and into your hearts-- and write it down if you can remember it and call it a Revelation, and publish it to all,
May the Lord bless you all in the name of Jesus Amen
E. M Greene clerk
I want the Bishops to prepare and send to me a full account of all the tithing due or paid in on this principle so that I may know what to look to you for and the man who refuses or neglects to pay his tithing I want this bishop to see to it and reign him up deal with him and if he does not repent cut him of from the church; not that I waut your property I have no need of it:-- I can tell you what is my income from my property aside from my Salary, it is $75000, 00. now I can live without any of your help, neither does the Lord need your means but it is a principle established by the Gods which is to be followed out, and the Lord will gather unto him those only who make their covenants with him by sacrifice. and as he requires of me so I require of you, and the bishop who does not act up to his calling in this principle at the conference next spring we will turn them out.