Conference assembled, and opened as usual, when the several Bishops proceeded to administer the Sacrament.

Elder Parley P. Pratt related his experience at the commencement of the work, and the time when the Prophet Joseph Smith stood up in the midst of the congregation, and by revelation, pointed out each individual to be ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood; and also related a miraculous case of healing a woman, who was near her death.  He then delivered a discourse on the subject of tithing; said he, the principle of tithing is not peculiar to the Church of people—it is as old as the Bible.  We see it illustrated in Abram’s day, for when he held the power of the Kingdom of God, Abram paid one tenth of all he possessed.  Where is there a Latter-day Saints, who does not know and understand, that it is by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood that we receive forgiveness, and justification, and eternal life.  To fulfill the law of tithing a man should make out and lay before the Bishop a schedule of all his property, and pay him the one tenth of it; when he has tithed his principal once, he has no occasion to tithe again, but the next year he must pay the one tenth of his increase, and the tenth of his time, of his cattle, money, goods and trade; and whatever use we put it to it is still our own for the Lord does not carry it away with him to Heaven.  We have to establish the Government of God on earth, and that requires means, and a knowledge how to use it, and to have every thing written on “Holiness to the Lord.”  Let God have what is his, and everything be under the control of the Lord, and not Caesar, or the world.  If the people do not hold themselves responsible to help carry off the Kingdom of God, how do you expect we can do it ourselves.  The Twelve and the Elders are all minute men, and that is what makes us different to the rest of the world.

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oct. 7, 1849, 2-3]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, July 2006]

Return to Summaries of Discourses by Parley P. Pratt