Tithing 

Summary

A free-will offering of one-tenth of a person’s annual interest or income, given to the church for its use.1 The Book of Mormon and JS’s revision of the Bible explained that “even our father Abraham paid tithes of one tenth part of all he possessed.”2 Additionally, the Book of Malachi commanded the House of Israel to “bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.”3 On 11 September 1831, a revelation described the last days as “a day of Sacrifice, & a day for the tithing of my People; For he that is tithed shall not be burned.”4 In 1834, JS and Oliver Cowdery apparently had the principle of tithing in mind when they covenanted with the Lord to give one-tenth of “all that he shall give [them]” to the church.5 Although church leaders made subsequent calls for the general tithing of church members, it was not until July 1838 that a revelation formally established the practice, commanding church members to “pay one tenth of all their interest annually.”6 This revelation further explained that the tithes would be given to the bishop for temple construction and church debts.7 On the same date, another revelation instructed that the presidency of the church, the bishop, the bishop’s council, and the high council would be in charge of the disposal of tithes.8 Later in Nauvoo, tithing was defined as one-tenth of a person’s possessions at the time temple construction began and “one tenth part of all his increase from that time till the completion of the same.”9 Tithes were often paid in kind with grain, produce, livestock, donated labour, or other goods and property.10 See also “Consecration.”