2 And he shall bring it [the “meat offering”] to Aaron's sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD:Joseph Smith
3 And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire. (Old Testament | Leviticus 2:2-3)
3 And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.
4 The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.
5 For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever. (Old Testament | Deuteronomy 18:3-5; for extended text see 2)
11 And this is thine; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee [Aaron] , and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it.
12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.
13 And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the LORD, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it.
14 Every thing devoted in Israel shall be thine. (Old Testament | Numbers 18:11-14; for extended text see 3)
28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD's heave offering to Aaron the priest.
29 Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.
30 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.
31 And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation. (Old Testament | Numbers 18:28-31)
27 And again Alma commanded that the people of the church should impart of their substance, every one according to that which he had; if he have more abundantly he should impart more abundantly; and of him that had but little, but little should be required; and to him that had not should be given.
28 And thus they should impart of their substance of their own free will and good desires towards God, and to those priests that stood in need, yea, and to every needy, naked soul.
29 And this he said unto them, having been commanded of God; and they did walk uprightly before God, imparting to one another both temporally and spiritually according to their needs and their wants. (Book of Mormon | Mosiah 18:27-29)
71 And the elders or high priests who are appointed to assist the bishop as counselors in all things, are to have their families supported out of the property which is consecrated to the bishop, for the good of the poor, and for other purposes, as before mentioned;
72 Or they are to receive a just remuneration for all their services, either a stewardship or otherwise, as may be thought best or decided by the counselors and bishop.
73 And the bishop, also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all his services in the church. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 42:71-73)
12 And if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith.
13 And again, I say unto you, that if ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, provide for him food and raiment, and whatsoever thing he needeth to accomplish the work wherewith I have commanded him;
14 And if ye do it not he shall remain unto them that have received him, that I may reserve unto myself a pure people before me. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 43:12-14)
13 And again, let the bishop appoint a storehouse unto this church; and let all things both in money and in meat, which are more than is needful for the wants of this people, be kept in the hands of the bishop.
14 And let him also reserve unto himself for his own wants, and for the wants of his family, as he shall be employed in doing this business. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 51:13-14)
12 He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things;
13 Yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the manifestations of the Spirit.
14 Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.
15 Now, this commandment I give unto my servants for their benefit while they remain, for a manifestation of my blessings upon their heads, and for a reward of their diligence and for their security;
16 For food and for raiment; for an inheritance; for houses and for lands, in whatsoever circumstances I, the Lord, shall place them, and whithersoever I, the Lord, shall send them. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 70:12-16)
19 And now, verily I say unto you, let every elder who shall give an account unto the bishop of the church in this part of the vineyard be recommended by the church or churches, in which he labors, that he may render himself and his accounts approved in all things.
20 And again, let my servants who are appointed as stewards over the literary concerns of my church have claim for assistance upon the bishop or bishops in all things— (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 72:19-20)
23 And again, thus saith the Lord unto you, O ye elders of my church, who have given your names that you might know his will concerning you—
24 Behold, I say unto you, that it is the duty of the church to assist in supporting the families of those, and also to support the families of those who are called and must needs be sent unto the world to proclaim the gospel unto the world.
25 Wherefore, I, the Lord, give unto you this commandment, that ye obtain places for your families, inasmuch as your brethren are willing to open their hearts.
26 And let all such as can obtain places for their families, and support of the church for them, not fail to go into the world, whether to the east or to the west, or to the north, or to the south. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 75:23-26)
The Seventy are not to attend the conferences of the Twelve unless they are called upon or requested to by the Twelve. The twelve and the Seventy have particularly to depend upon their Ministry for their support and that of their families, and they have a right by virtue of their offices to call upon the Church to assist them. (http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/minutes-and-discourse-2-may-1835-a/2#full-transcript: [TPJS: Section 2, p.75)In light of that and particularly this:
It is a very prevalent opinion that the [Old Testament] sacrifices which were offered were entirely consumed. This was not the case if you read Leviticus 2:2-3, you will observe that the priests took a part as a memorial and offered it up before the Lord, while the remainder was kept for the maintenance of the priests— (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, Deseret Book Company, Section 2, p. 75)
Thus we find that there has been frauds and secret abominations and evil works of darkness going on leading the minds of the weak and unwary into confusion and distraction, and palming it all the time upon the presidency while mean time the presidency were ignorant as well as innocent of these things, which were practicing in the church in their name and were attending to their own family concerns, weighed down with sorrow, in debt, in poverty, in hunger assaying to be fed yet finding themselves receiving deeds of charity but inadequate to their subsistence, and because they received those deeds they were envied and hated by those who professed to be their friends. (http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/letter-to-the-church-in-caldwell-county-missouri-16-december-1838/5#full-transcript; [TPJS, Section 3, p. 128].
He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things;do we need to rethink our practice and beliefs? Out of the tithes and offerings given to God by a grateful and obedient people, did God not re-gift a portion to His ministers for their “support and just remuneration” with the caution that they were to be equal in temporal things? Does the Doctrine and Covenants tithing section 1194 not designate that one of the tithing purposes is for “my holy priesthood”? So with all the above statements, should we be amenable to a “just remuneration” that honors “equal in temporal things”5 for all God's servants, not just those in high leadership? Are we more committed to capital projects and investment strategies than human needs in the way we designate tithing donations? Is God's statement “worthy of his hire” based on a gift / re-gift economy concept without the taint of measured entitlement as happened in the Parable of the Laborers?6
(Doctrine and Covenants 70:12, bold emphasis added)
Did the High Council's eventual rejection (under pressure from the saints) of Joseph and Sidney's appeal for support in 1838 bring consequences upon the fledgling church? Was the failure of the early saints to obey Doctrine and Covenants | Section 43:12-14 (quoted above; given in February 1831) a turning point? Why did Joseph and Sidney even have to appeal for support in 1838 when the directives for support had been given years previous? Did Joseph and Sidney ask too much? Was their request a test for the saints? (Alas, many questions, and no sure answers.)
Perhaps one of the great challenges in a gift / re-gift economy is for God's servants (laborers in His vineyard) to freely give of their time, talents, and energies without any notion of calculated entitlement or fairness test concerning a re-gift? Is that a prime feature of a Zion society — the ability (the attitude) to give and to receive without a calculator in mind or hand?
But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish. (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 26:31)So, how do we break the Babylonian fixation on gain found amongst so many preachers and teachers, ancient and modern?
... and [they] preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain ... (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 26:20)How do we avoid this pitfall? Could the answer be in moving to a gift / re-gift attitude and economy?
He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion. (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 26:29)
* Old Testament | Jeremiah 22:13 ~ Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;
New Testament | Luke 10:7 ~ And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 31:5 ~ Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 84:79, 89-90 ~ Behold, I send you out to prove the world, and the laborer is worthy of his hire. ... Whoso receiveth you receiveth me; and the same will feed you, and clothe you, and give you money. And he who feeds you, or clothes you, or gives you money, shall in nowise lose his reward.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 106:1–3 ~ IT is my will that my servant Warren A. Cowdery ... should preach my everlasting gospel, and lift up his voice and warn the people, not only in his own place, but in the adjoining counties; And devote his whole time to this high and holy calling, which I now give unto him, seeking diligently the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, and all things necessary shall be added thereunto; for the laborer is worthy of his hire.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 124:121 ~ And again, verily I say unto you, let the quorum of the Nauvoo House have a just recompense of wages for all their labors which they do in building the Nauvoo House; and let their wages be as shall be agreed among themselves, as pertaining to the price thereof.
1. Book of Mormon | Alma 30:31-35 ~ And [Korihor] did rise up in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people. Now Alma said unto him: Thou knowest that we do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people; for behold I have labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with mine own hands for my support, notwithstanding my many travels round about the land to declare the word of God unto my people. And notwithstanding the many labors which I have performed in the church, I have never received so much as even one senine for my labor; neither has any of my brethren, save it were in the judgment–seat; and then we have received only according to law for our time. And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren? Then why sayest thou that we preach unto this people to get gain, when thou, of thyself, knowest that we receive no gain?
2. Old Testament | Deuteronomy 18:1-8 ~ THE priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance. Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them. ¶ And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw. The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him. For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever. ¶ And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the LORD shall choose; Then he shall minister in the name of the LORD his God, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before the LORD. They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony.
3. Old Testament | Numbers 18:8-20 ~ And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever. This shall be thine of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every oblation of theirs, every meat offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render unto me, shall be most holy for thee and for thy sons. In the most holy place shalt thou eat it; every male shall eat it: it shall be holy unto thee. And this is thine; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee, and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it. All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee. And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the LORD, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it. Every thing devoted in Israel shall be thine. Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem. And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savour unto the LORD. And the flesh of them shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are thine. All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee. ¶ And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
4. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 119:1-7 ~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, 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. And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one–tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord. 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. 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. And this shall be an ensample unto all the stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen.
5. (such as with a universal stipend without respect of persons?)
6. Note re Parable of the Laborers in New Testament | Matthew 20:1-16: Will not all laborers in God's vineyard, whether they serve their whole life or just days or hours after their conversion, receive of God's mercy and grace, if they endure to the end?
Illustration source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vraagteken.svg