Saturday, August 4, 2018

No Need for Tithing

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When Thomas Grover handed over to the prophet $20,000 in collected tithing money, it was stated to him that there would be no need for tithing in the church if every member did as he had done. Who was the prophet?
a.                  Brigham Young
b.                  Lorenzo Snow
c.                   Joseph Smith
d.                  Spencer W. Kimball
Yesterday’s answer:
B   Having a family
Referring to the September 1851 “runaway” of four government territorial officers assigned to Utah Territory:   During the taut days of September following the encounter at general conference, they began to send warning letters and messengers to their contacts in the East. One of the first letters went from Brigham Young and his counselors in the First Presidency, Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, to Kane [Thomas], the Philadelphia blue-blood whose lectures and public letters to the press—and his visits with public officials and widely read pamphlet The Mormons, published the previous year—had won the Mormons great sympathy. Perhaps never before nor later in the nineteenth century was the public standing of the Saints so high as in the last months of 1850. Kane’s work helped Utah to achieve territorial status with Young as its governor. Young’s letter to Kane was partially a response to Kane’s own letters. During the summer, a handful of letters from Kane arrived in Utah. Kane had written one of them more than a year and half earlier in July 1850; an additional two, also written by Kane, were almost as ancient, written in September 1850 and February 1851. The delay of these letters could be explained only partly by the plodding U.S. mail. In addition, Kane wrote two letters to Young on April 7, 1851, asking the Mormons to cordially receive the appointed officers. The earlier letters from Kane told the Mormons of Kane’s recent public relations successes. He claimed that he “fully vindicated” the Saints’ “character.” In the February 1851 letter, Kane included a question that only Mormon insiders could have appreciated. Kane asked Mormon leaders whether the blessing he received from Church Patriarch John Smith, the brother of Joseph Sr., the first Church patriarch, still held good. Mormons believed that patriarchal blessings, given by specially ordained men, promised Church members blessings in the future if they continued in the faith. Kane had received such a blessing after a life-threatening illness during his visit to the Mormon camps near the Missouri River bottoms in 1846. Although these blessings were reserved generally for faithful members, Church leaders made an exception for Kane. Patriarch Smith sealed upon Kane “the blessings of the new and everlasting Covenant”—Abraham’s compact with God renewed for worthy men and women in the restoration of Christ’s church in modern times. John Smith had also promised God’s watchful care: “He hath given his angels charge over thee in times of danger to deliver thee out of all thy troubles and defend thee from all thy enemies, not a hair of thine head shall ever fall by the hand of an enemy, for thou are appointed to do a great work on the earth and thou shalt be blessed in all thine undertakings and thy name shall be had in honorable remembrance among the Saints of all generations. . . . No power on earth shall stay thy hand.” Smith had pronounced a flood of additional promises, too, but one of them—the promise of marriage and children—had special meaning to Kane. Because of Kane’s chronically poor health, he had, at age twenty-four almost given up hope that he would marry and have children.
Thomas L. Kane, Letter to Brigham Young, July 10, 1855, Young Papers Kane wrote this letter to Young after the birth of his first child, Harriet. Referencing the patriarchal blessing, he stated, “After my hemorrhage, after the Ague, after my resolve of celibacy; after the cholera and dysentery, after my wife’s miscarriage and pronounced peculiar state of health even,--it has come to pass; and I am the father of a daughter.”

Ronald W. Walker and Matthew J. Grow, The People Are “Hogafeed or Humbugged”: The 1851-52 National Reaction to Utah’s “Runaway” Officers, Journal of Mormon History, Fall 2014, 6-9.

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