Scripture Roundtable 21: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 17, “The Law of Tithing and the Law of the Fast”

(Originally published on 3 April 2013.)

This is Scripture Roundtable 21 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #17, “The Law of Tithing and the Law of the Fast,” covering scriptures in D&C 59, 119, and 120, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Panelists for this roundtable include Ben McGuire, Bryce Haymond, Daniel Peterson, and Mike Parker.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:


3 thoughts on “Scripture Roundtable 21: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 17, “The Law of Tithing and the Law of the Fast”

  1. Here’s the entire quote from Joseph F. Smith that I mentioned beginning at 36:50 in the video:

    Every man is left to be his own judge as to what he calls his tithing, and there is a great variety of opinion as to what a tithing is. A man who works for wages, and devotes his whole time to the service his employer, and he receives $1,000 or $2,000 a year for his salary, it is an matter for him to tell how much he owes for tithing. If I earned $2,000 a year, I should know that my tithing was just one-tenth of that. And I would not take out what it had cost me to feed and clothe myself and to pay all the expenses necessary to the maintenance of my family, before I reckoned with the Lord as to what belonged to Him. Two hundred dollars would be my honest tithing, would it not? That is the way I look at it. Then, if a farmer raises 2,000 bushels of wheat as the result of his year’s labor, how many bushels should he pay for tithing? Well, some people will go, straightway to dickering with the Lord. They will say they hired a man so and so, and his wages must be taken out; that they had to pay such and such expenses, and this cost and that cost; and they reckon out all their expenses, and tithe the balance. If a man earns $1,000, and it has cost him $600 to live, he pays tithing on the remaining $400. He considers that his net income, and he reckons with the Lord on that basis. Well, a great many of the Latter-day Saints reckon with God in just that way.
    Now, you are at liberty to do as you please in regard to this matter. You can choose which ever course you wish. But let me say to you that as we measure out so will it be measured back unto us again. When we go to dickering with the Lord, probably He will dicker with us: and if He undertakes to do so, we shall get the worst of it. I think we had better be honest with the Lord, and deal justly and liberally with Him; for, as it is said in the scriptures, the liberal man deviseth liberal things, and by his liberality shall he stand. My experience in my childhood was that when the widow paid one-tenth of every bushel of potatoes, of wheat, of oats of barley; when she paid the tenth chicken, or egg, the tenth calf, the tenth colt, the tenth pound of beef, or pork—when she did this she was blessed, and I know it. God opened up her way, and multiplied blessings upon her; and though a widow, driven into the wilderness with a large family, and without means to take care of them, she never had to ask for or receive help from the Church to feed and clothe her or her children. The Lord provided for her, because she put her trust in Him and she was obedient to His law. I am a witness to that. And the Lord will provide for other widows in the same way. He will provide for all His people according as they put their trust in Him and are faithful and obedient. “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” It is the heart and the willing mind that the Lord requires of His people, and not so much their substance. He does not need our obedience. But we need to be obedient; for it is through obedience that we will receive the reward.
    Joseph F. Smith, General Conference, April 1899.

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