Posts Tagged 'Stewardships'

The Creation

This is the fifth chapter of the Gospel Principles manual for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To view the entire lesson, go here: The Creation

God’s Plan for Us – Why did we need to come to the earth?

This question is one I have reflected on quite a bit lately. It is the purpose of our life. We came so that we can learn, grow and progress. We came so that we could become like our Father in Heaven. We came so that we could gain a body and experiences we could not have in the immortal state of heaven. We came so that we could have salvation and exaltation in eternity. God said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)” To read more of my thoughts on this, go here: What is the Purpose of Our Lives?.

Why do you think we shouted for joy when we learned of the plan of salvation?

In the scriptures we can read of when Job asked God how the earth was created. In Job 38:7 he asked, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” In the counsel in heaven, the hosts of heaven shouted for joy at the presentation of the plan of salvation. I think that we understood that we could go no further in the eternities without this amazing opportunity. I think we rejoiced in the ideas of what would come as a reward for living a good life. I think we rejoiced to know that we could prove ourselves to our Father in Heaven.

Carrying Out the Creation – What are the purposes of the Creation?

As part of the plan, the earth had to be created physically for us to inhabit. All living things on the earth had to be created as well. Jesus, under the direction of Heavenly Father, created the earth and all that grew and lived on it. In Moses 1:33 we read, “And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.” I believe also, that many souls had the opportunity to serve in the creation, under the direction of the Savior. This earth was created in most simple terms, for the use of man.

However, there is so much more to the purpose of the creation than purely giving us a place to live in our mortal bodies. An even greater purpose of the creation, is to give us knowledge and wisdom. That may seem an odd thing to say, but I believe it is true. Everything we ever do, in our entire existence, has to do with creating. Understanding the creation of the earth and all things on it, helps us to learn of our own potential. In Doctrine and Covenants 132:20 we read of our potential, “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” We are working towards being able to create our own worlds, as gods in heaven. As we learn of the creation, we learn that order, work and rest are eternal principles that must be applied in all areas of our lives. When we take the time to learn about the creation, we learn to see the eternal value of all things. We can be more grateful and love with a greater love.

The earth was created to teach us how to properly take care of our own. In Doctrine and Covenants 104:13 we read, “For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.” This is part of what we will be judged on when we return to Him someday. The creation teaches us the responsibility and divine traits of caring and nurturing that we need to strive towards.

The creation teaches us that the principle of delegation is also an eternal principle. God delegated to His Son, and the creation was the result. We can see that as parents we need to allow our own children the opportunity to create so that they can reach their own potential. We learn that allowing others to help us, gives everyone the opportunity to grow. These are just a few of the reasons that the earth was created.

God’s Creations Show His Love – How do God’s creations show that He loves us?

God’s creations are for man. In Doctrine and Covenants 59:20 we read, “And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.” We learn in the scriptures that mankind has been given dominion over all of God’s other creations on earth. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)” In a way, God has given all his creations to us as gifts. They are all for our good, and ultimately for our joy. In 2 Nephi 2:25 we read, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” Even those things that are annoyances to us now, are for our learning and growth, which will lead to an even greater joy in heaven.

What are some things you appreciate about God’s creations?

One of the things that I appreciate most about God’s creations is beauty. Ecclesiastes 3:11 reads, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time . . .”. There is so much beauty in the way things have been made, as well as in the appearance of those things. I think that the way the human body works, with so many little parts working perfectly with other parts, is a beauty that cannot be duplicated by man. I think that the world in its different seasons, has beauties that are magnificent and inspiring. I saw a huge rainbow over my home this weekend and it was beautiful and amazing to see. I also appreciate the individuality of everything, even when things seem similar. The individuality makes me feel a personal love from God that is touching. I appreciate how things have been created to have relationships with others. The trees having need for us to live, and our need for the trees, is one relationship that amazes me often. The way the water cycle works to replenish the earth is incredible. There are purposes to things that we don’t even recognize yet, I am sure of it.

I am so grateful for the creations of my Father in Heaven. I am honored to be among such beautiful things each and every day. I hope that as I grow, I can become a better creator, and that someday I will be worthy of creating worlds as well.

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D&C Section 104 (Part 2)

This section is a continuation of the previous post (D&C Section 104 Part 1).

So far in this section, we have learned that the United Order, as part of a covenant with God, would bring destruction to those who did not follow it. We have been reminded that all the Earth is God’s and He allows us the privilege of using it for His good. The Lord will take care of the faithful, in this life and in the eternities. The stewardships of Kirtland were assigned, so that these things of God, would be used to further the work of the Lord.

47 And now, a commandment I give unto you concerning Zion, that you shall no longer be bound as a united order to your brethren of Zion, only on this wise—
48 After you are organized, you shall be called the United Order of the Stake of Zion, the City of Kirtland. And your brethren, after they are organized, shall be called the United Order of the City of Zion.
49 And they shall be organized in their own names, and in their own name; and they shall do their business in their own name, and in their own names;
50 And you shall do your business in your own name, and in your own names.
51 And this I have commanded to be done for your salvation, and also for their salvation, in consequence of their being driven out and that which is to come.
52 The covenants being broken through transgression, by covetousness and feigned words—
53 Therefore, you are dissolved as a united order with your brethren, that you are not bound only up to this hour unto them, only on this wise, as I said, by loan as shall be agreed by this order in council, as your circumstances will admit and the voice of the council direct.

The Lord separated the combined united order, into the order in the Kirtland stake, and the order in Zion. Ideally, all of the saints should have been able to work together in one United Order, but God knows what is best at any particular time. The circumstances that the saints found themselves in, due to sin and transgression, caused that a combined order would not work for their good any longer. The Lord knew that at this point, all would benefit from a more local system for the welfare of the saints. Today, our wards, branches and stakes are in charge of our local welfare programs and I think that it is a true blessing for all the saints.

54 And again, a commandment I give unto you concerning your stewardship which I have appointed unto you.
55 Behold, all these properties are mine, or else your faith is vain, and ye are found hypocrites, and the covenants which ye have made unto me are broken;
56 And if the properties are mine, then ye are stewards; otherwise ye are no stewards.
57 But, verily I say unto you, I have appointed unto you to be stewards over mine house, even stewards indeed.
58 And for this purpose I have commanded you to organize yourselves, even to print my words, the fulness of my scriptures, the revelations which I have given unto you, and which I shall, hereafter, from time to time give unto you—
59 For the purpose of building up my church and kingdom on the earth, and to prepare my people for the time when I shall dwell with them, which is nigh at hand.
60 And ye shall prepare for yourselves a place for a treasury, and consecrate it unto my name.
61 And ye shall appoint one among you to keep the treasury, and he shall be ordained unto this blessing.
62 And there shall be a seal upon the treasury, and all the sacred things shall be delivered into the treasury; and no man among you shall call it his own, or any part of it, for it shall belong to you all with one accord.
63 And I give it unto you from this very hour; and now see to it, that ye go to and make use of the stewardship which I have appointed unto you, exclusive of the sacred things, for the purpose of printing these sacred things as I have said.
64 And the avails of the sacred things shall be had in the treasury, and a seal shall be upon it; and it shall not be used or taken out of the treasury by any one, neither shall the seal be loosed which shall be placed upon it, only by the voice of the order, or by commandment.
65 And thus shall ye preserve the avails of the sacred things in the treasury, for sacred and holy purposes.
66 And this shall be called the sacred treasury of the Lord; and a seal shall be kept upon it that it may be holy and consecrated unto the Lord.

We are reminded again that all that we have is stewardships from the Lord. We are blessed with so many things in this life, and we should be using them to bless others and to help the work of the Lord. Otherwise, the Lord can remove them from us, so that someone else can use them for good. The Lord then established a sacred treasury so that the scriptures could be printed for all the saints and for all the world. The reason that is given for the printing of the scriptures is for “building up [of His] church and kingdom on the earth, and to prepare [His] people for the time when [He] shall dwell with them”. We are these people and the scriptures are truly for our benefit and preparation. Even these sections in the Doctrine and Covenants are for our preparation for the second coming.

67 And again, there shall be another treasury prepared, and a treasurer appointed to keep the treasury, and a seal shall be placed upon it;
68 And all moneys that you receive in your stewardships, by improving upon the properties which I have appointed unto you, in houses, or in lands, or in cattle, or in all things save it be the holy and sacred writings, which I have reserved unto myself for holy and sacred purposes, shall be cast into the treasury as fast as you receive moneys, by hundreds, or by fifties, or by twenties, or by tens, or by fives.
69 Or in other words, if any man among you obtain five dollars let him cast them into the treasury; or if he obtain ten, or twenty, or fifty, or an hundred, let him do likewise;
70 And let not any among you say that it is his own; for it shall not be called his, nor any part of it.
71 And there shall not any part of it be used, or taken out of the treasury, only by the voice and common consent of the order.
72 And this shall be the voice and common consent of the order—that any man among you say to the treasurer: I have need of this to help me in my stewardship—
73 If it be five dollars, or if it be ten dollars, or twenty, or fifty, or a hundred, the treasurer shall give unto him the sum which he requires to help him in his stewardship—
74 Until he be found a transgressor, and it is manifest before the council of the order plainly that he is an unfaithful and an unwise steward.
75 But so long as he is in full fellowship, and is faithful and wise in his stewardship, this shall be his token unto the treasurer that the treasurer shall not withhold.
76 But in case of transgression, the treasurer shall be subject unto the council and voice of the order.
77 And in case the treasurer is found an unfaithful and an unwise steward, he shall be subject to the council and voice of the order, and shall be removed out of his place, and another shall be appointed in his stead.

Another treasury was to be established for all of the monies that the saints in Kirtland made from the stewardships they have been given by the Lord. All the money was to be put in and then amounts would be given according to the needs of the faithful saints to use for their stewardships. All this was to be done by common consent, meaning that everyone would consent to the purposes for the money of the united order.

78 And again, verily I say unto you, concerning your debts—behold it is my will that you shall pay all your debts.
79 And it is my will that you shall humble yourselves before me, and obtain this blessing by your diligence and humility and the prayer of faith.
80 And inasmuch as you are diligent and humble, and exercise the prayer of faith, behold, I will soften the hearts of those to whom you are in debt, until I shall send means unto you for your deliverance.
81 Therefore write speedily to New York and write according to that which shall be dictated by my Spirit; and I will soften the hearts of those to whom you are in debt, that it shall be taken away out of their minds to bring affliction upon you.
82 And inasmuch as ye are humble and faithful and call upon my name, behold, I will give you the victory.
83 I give unto you a promise, that you shall be delivered this once out of your bondage.
84 Inasmuch as you obtain a chance to loan money by hundreds, or thousands, even until you shall loan enough to deliver yourself from bondage, it is your privilege.
85 And pledge the properties which I have put into your hands, this once, by giving your names by common consent or otherwise, as it shall seem good unto you.
86 I give unto you this privilege, this once; and behold, if you proceed to do the things which I have laid before you, according to my commandments, all these things are mine, and ye are my stewards, and the master will not suffer his house to be broken up. Even so. Amen.

The Lord has often counseled the saints not to be in debt. The modern prophets have warned us time and time again of the things that can happen if we allow ourselves to get into debt. Debt is a way that we give up the gift of agency that God has given us. When we are free from debt, we are free from the bond that holds us financially. In these verses the Lord promised to help the faithful and humble, so that they would be able to get out of debt. I believe that we can apply these same promises today. If we are humble and listen to the counsel of the prophets, we will be blessed to get out of debt and stay free from it in most circumstances. There are times when we cannot avoid some debt. In those times, we need to be wise in how we spend the money we have, so that we can become debt free as quickly as possible in our circumstances. Humility is a necessary step for these blessings to come. We must learn to rely on the Lord. We cannot do all things in this life without the blessings and support of the Lord. When we turn to Him, we allow Him the opportunity to help us and to bless us.

I know that when we learn to follow the commandments and guidance that is found all of the scriptures (the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price), we can be blessed greatly in our lives. I know from experience the feelings of bondage that come from debt. I also know the amazing feelings of freedom and happiness that come from being out of debt. I know that the Lord knows what is best for us. I believe that if I remember to have gratitude for what I have been given and to use my talents, time and energy to do things that the Lord would have me do, I will find happiness, safety and security in this life. I am grateful for the welfare system of the church and all the blessings that it brings to my life.

D&C Section 104 (Part 1)

The united order was revealed by God prior to this revelation, and put into place among the saints. It provided a way for the saints to help those in need and required a faithful sacrifice from the saints, with the promise of greater blessings from the Lord in return. This revelation was received regarding the order in Kirtland, early in 1834. There were many saints who were in need of help at that time, and the order in Kirtland was being dissolved.

1 Verily I say unto you, my friends, I give unto you counsel, and a commandment, concerning all the properties which belong to the order which I commanded to be organized and established, to be a united order, and an everlasting order for the benefit of my church, and for the salvation of men until I come—
2 With promise immutable and unchangeable, that inasmuch as those whom I commanded were faithful they should be blessed with a multiplicity of blessings;
3 But inasmuch as they were not faithful they were nigh unto cursing.
4 Therefore, inasmuch as some of my servants have not kept the commandment, but have broken the covenant through covetousness, and with feigned words, I have cursed them with a very sore and grievous curse.
5 For I, the Lord, have decreed in my heart, that inasmuch as any man belonging to the order shall be found a transgressor, or, in other words, shall break the covenant with which ye are bound, he shall be cursed in his life, and shall be trodden down by whom I will;
6 For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in these things—
7 And all this that the innocent among you may not be condemned with the unjust; and that the guilty among you may not escape; because I, the Lord, have promised unto you a crown of glory at my right hand.
8 Therefore, inasmuch as you are found transgressors, you cannot escape my wrath in your lives.
9 Inasmuch as ye are cut off for transgression, ye cannot escape the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption.
10 And I now give unto you power from this very hour, that if any man among you, of the order, is found a transgressor and repenteth not of the evil, that ye shall deliver him over unto the buffetings of Satan; and he shall not have power to bring evil upon you.

Sinning against the covenants we make with God, is one of the worst things that we can do in this life. Many of the saints made covenants that all that they could part with, would be given to the store house so that everyone would be taken care of in times of need. However, the Lord knew that many had not kept this covenant and they were cursed for this sin against God. Those of us who have made sacred covenants with God, need to remember these covenants at all times. We must do our part and if we do, we will also be protected from the evil ways of Satan.

11 It is wisdom in me; therefore, a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall organize yourselves and appoint every man his stewardship;
12 That every man may give an account unto me of the stewardship which is appointed unto him.
13 For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.
14 I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.
15 And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.
16 But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.

Everything on and in the Earth, belongs to the Lord, who created all things. The Lord does not need us to provide for His people. He can do all things without us, but He gives us the opportunity to learn and grow. He promises us eternal inheritances, if we will serve Him in this life. If we choose not to do our part, the Lord will still keep his promises to the faithful. It may not be in the way that we have expect, but the Lord will always provide for those who are faithful to Him.

17 For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.
18 Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

Verse 17 is an idea that is attacked every day now. There are many who would say that the earth does not have enough to give for all of us that are living. This scripture tells us that the earth has more than enough for all of us, if we handle it properly. The problem comes when those who have more than enough, keep it for themselves and do not share what they have with others. They do not understand that these things are not theres to keep, but they are God’s and we must share them as we can.

The commandments and covenants we make our laws of the gospel. Just as with laws of the land, there will be negative consequences if we do not keep and obey them. When the gospel laws are broken, the consequences are eternal. It is our duty, as faithful followers of the Savior, to care for the poor and needy. Today, we do this mainly through generous fast offerings.

19 And now, verily I say unto you, concerning the properties of the order—
20 Let my servant Sidney Rigdon have appointed unto him the place where he now resides, and the lot of the tannery for his stewardship, for his support while he is laboring in my vineyard, even as I will, when I shall command him.
21 And let all things be done according to the counsel of the order, and united consent or voice of the order, which dwell in the land of Kirtland.
22 And this stewardship and blessing, I, the Lord, confer upon my servant Sidney Rigdon for a blessing upon him, and his seed after him;
23 And I will multiply blessings upon him, inasmuch as he will be humble before me.
24 And again, let my servant Martin Harris have appointed unto him, for his stewardship, the lot of land which my servant John Johnson obtained in exchange for his former inheritance, for him and his seed after him;
25 And inasmuch as he is faithful, I will multiply blessings upon him and his seed after him.
26 And let my servant Martin Harris devote his moneys for the proclaiming of my words, according as my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., shall direct.
27 And again, let my servant Frederick G. Williams have the place upon which he now dwells.
28 And let my servant Oliver Cowdery have the lot which is set off joining the house, which is to be for the printing office, which is lot number one, and also the lot upon which his father resides.
29 And let my servants Frederick G. Williams and Oliver Cowdery have the printing office and all things that pertain unto it.
30 And this shall be their stewardship which shall be appointed unto them.
31 And inasmuch as they are faithful, behold I will bless, and multiply blessings upon them.
32 And this is the beginning of the stewardship which I have appointed them, for them and their seed after them.
33 And, inasmuch as they are faithful, I will multiply blessings upon them and their seed after them, even a multiplicity of blessings.
34 And again, let my servant John Johnson have the house in which he lives, and the inheritance, all save the ground which has been reserved for the building of my houses, which pertains to that inheritance, and those lots which have been named for my servant Oliver Cowdery.
35 And inasmuch as he is faithful, I will multiply blessings upon him.
36 And it is my will that he should sell the lots that are laid off for the building up of the city of my saints, inasmuch as it shall be made known to him by the voice of the Spirit, and according to the counsel of the order, and by the voice of the order.
37 And this is the beginning of the stewardship which I have appointed unto him, for a blessing unto him and his seed after him.
38 And inasmuch as he is faithful, I will multiply a multiplicity of blessings upon him.
39 And again, let my servant Newel K. Whitney have appointed unto him the houses and lot where he now resides, and the lot and building on which the mercantile establishment stands, and also the lot which is on the corner south of the mercantile establishment, and also the lot on which the ashery is situated.
40 And all this I have appointed unto my servant Newel K. Whitney for his stewardship, for a blessing upon him and his seed after him, for the benefit of the mercantile establishment of my order which I have established for my stake in the land of Kirtland.
41 Yea, verily, this is the stewardship which I have appointed unto my servant N. K. Whitney, even this whole mercantile establishment, him and his agent, and his seed after him.
42 And inasmuch as he is faithful in keeping my commandments, which I have given unto him, I will multiply blessings upon him and his seed after him, even a multiplicity of blessings.
43 And again, let my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., have appointed unto him the lot which is laid off for the building of my house, which is forty rods long and twelve wide, and also the inheritance upon which his father now resides;
44 And this is the beginning of the stewardship which I have appointed unto him, for a blessing upon him, and upon his father.
45 For behold, I have reserved an inheritance for his father, for his support; therefore he shall be reckoned in the house of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun.
46 And I will multiply blessings upon the house of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., inasmuch as he is faithful, even a multiplicity of blessings.

At this time, the Lord reassigned all the property (stewardships) of the order, according to the faithfulness of the saints. Each of these men, were known personally by the Lord. He knew where they would serve best, so they were each given stewardships over what they could handle. With these stewardships, these men could faithfully build up the stake of Zion in Kirtland, and those who were in need would have been taken care of so that all could serve the Lord together.

This section will be continued.

D&C Section 72

Historical Background

Several elders in the early church were interested to know what the will of the Lord was for them. They were talking and being taught, when the prophet, Joseph Smith, received this revelation regarding Newel K. Whitney. Immediately after receiving the first part of this section (verses 1-8), they ordained him and then the rest of the revelation was received.

Elders Must Account for Their Stewardships

“HEARKEN, and listen to the voice of the Lord, O ye who have assembled yourselves together, who are the high priests of my church, to whom the kingdom and power have been given (v. 1). For verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient in me for a bishop to be appointed unto you, or of you, unto the church in this part of the Lord’s vineyard (v. 2). And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity (v. 3). . . . Verily I say unto you, the elders of the church in this part of my vineyard shall render an account of their stewardship unto the bishop, who shall be appointed of me in this part of my vineyard (v. 5).”

The Lord had already revealed that other Bishops would be called in specific areas of the church. Here in Kirtland, Ohio, it had come time for a Bishop to be called as a steward for the saints of Ohio. We learn here, that it is an eternal principle that the elders report on their stewardships and that all of the reporting be given to the bishop. This eternal principle continues today as part of how the organization of the church works. The bishops receive reports on how others are doing in their callings and stewardships. Because of this, the bishop can then turn around and help the individual members of his ward in both their temporal and spiritual needs.

“He Who Is Faithful and Wise in Time”

“For he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father (v. 4).”

The account of stewardship that is given to the bishop, will no doubt be part of the evidence at our final judgment. The stewardships that we have in the church, give us the opportunity to serve and bring others closer to God. This verse promises us that those who are faithful and use their time wisely, or in other words, magnify the callings that we have been given, will earn the reward of great blessings in the eternities.

“These things shall be had on record, to be handed over unto the bishop in Zion (v. 6). And the duty of the bishop shall be made known by the commandments which have been given, and the voice of the conference (v. 7).” All of the reports regarding the stewardships in the individual wards, are meant to be given to the presiding bishopric, who at that time was Edward Partridge.

“And now, verily I say unto you, my servant Newel K. Whitney is the man who shall be appointed and ordained unto this power. This is the will of the Lord your God, your Redeemer. Even so. Amen (v. 8 ).” Newel K. Whitney was given the calling of Bishop over the Ohio saints.

Responsibilities of a Bishop Assigned by Revelation

“The word of the Lord, in addition to the law which has been given, making known the duty of the bishop who has been ordained unto the church in this part of the vineyard, which is verily this (v. 9)—To keep the Lord’s storehouse; to receive the funds of the church in this part of the vineyard (v. 10); To take an account of the elders as before has been commanded; and to administer to their wants, who shall pay for that which they receive, inasmuch as they have wherewith to pay (v. 11); That this also may be consecrated to the good of the church, to the poor and needy (v. 12).” Part of the calling of the bishop, is to gather the tithes and offerings of the saints. He is also to use these things to help the saints with the wants and needs, or to oversee the welfare program for his ward.

What Was the Relationship between Bishop Newel K. Whitney in Kirtland and Bishop Edward Partridge in Zion?

“And he who hath not wherewith to pay, an account shall be taken and handed over to the bishop of Zion, who shall pay the debt out of that which the Lord shall put into his hands (v. 13).” Bishop Partridge was the first bishop and was called to be over the entire church. This calling is what we now call the presiding bishop. Bishop Whitney was called to be over the saints in the Ohio (Kirtland) area, and was under the direction of the presiding bishop in the organization of the church.

What Was the Value of Certificates for Members Moving from One Area to Another?

“And the labors of the faithful who labor in spiritual things, in administering the gospel and the things of the kingdom unto the church, and unto the world, shall answer the debt unto the bishop in Zion (v. 14); Thus it cometh out of the church, for according to the law every man that cometh up to Zion must lay all things before the bishop in Zion (v. 15). And now, verily I say unto you, that as every elder in this part of the vineyard must give an account of his stewardship unto the bishop in this part of the vineyard (v. 16)—A certificate from the judge or bishop in this part of the vineyard, unto the bishop in Zion, rendereth every man acceptable, and answereth all things, for an inheritance, and to be received as a wise steward and as a faithful laborer (v. 17); Otherwise he shall not be accepted of the bishop of Zion (v. 18 ).”

As part of the law of consecration, which was done at the time of these early saints, each person had a certificate which they took with them wherever they moved. These certificates would tell their standing in the church and whether or not they were worthy to receive the blessings of Zion.

“A few words in addition to the laws of the kingdom, respecting the members of the church—they that are appointed by the Holy Spirit to go up unto Zion, and they who are privileged to go up unto Zion (v. 24)—Let them carry up unto the bishop a certificate from three elders of the church, or a certificate from the bishop (v. 25); Otherwise he who shall go up unto the land of Zion shall not be accounted as a wise steward. This is also an ensample. Amen (v. 26).”

I am not sure how this carried over outside of the law of consecration, but I know that our contributions and information on certain things such as the ordinations for men, are part of our church records and these are passed on to whichever stake, branch, or ward that we are in. There are temple recommends now, which we carry to show our worthiness to receive the blessings of the temple. I know that these things are important for the Lord’s church to be organized properly. I know that this revelation was from the Lord and that it is in his wisdom that bishops are called to be stewards to all the saints all over the world. I am grateful for my own bishop and I know that he loves and cares for my welfare both physically and spiritually.

D&C Section 70

Historical Background

This revelation was regarding those that had called to assist with the work of publishing and distribuiting the Book of Commandments, which later became the Doctrine and Covenants. It was revelation given to the church, through the prophet, Joseph Smith.

“What Does It Mean to Be a Steward?

“BEHOLD, and hearken, O ye inhabitants of Zion, and all ye people of my church who are afar off, and hear the word of the Lord which I give unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and also unto my servant Martin Harris, and also unto my servant Oliver Cowdery, and also unto my servant John Whitmer, and also unto my servant Sidney Rigdon, and also unto my servant William W. Phelps, by the way of commandment unto them (v. 1). For I give unto them a commandment; wherefore hearken and hear, for thus saith the Lord unto them (v. 2)—I, the Lord, have appointed them, and ordained them to be stewards over the revelations and commandments which I have given unto them, and which I shall hereafter give unto them (v. 3); And an account of this stewardship will I require of them in the day of judgment (v. 4).”

To be a steward is to be responsible for the decisions regarding something, or one who is delegated to manage something for the owner. The Book of Commandments was the Lord’s and anyone given a calling to assist with the work regarding it, was a steward for the Lord. They would be accountable to the Lord for all their decisions regarding this book.

Stewardships Involve Both Spiritual and Temporal Needs

“Wherefore, I have appointed unto them, and this is their business in the church of God, to manage them and the concerns thereof, yea, the benefits thereof (v. 5). Wherefore, a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not give these things unto the church, neither unto the world (v. 6); Nevertheless, inasmuch as they receive more than is needful for their necessities and their wants, it shall be given into my storehouse (v. 7);”. Their callings were going to provide for them both spiritually and physically, through the consecrations of the members, because they would be employed with this calling.

What Was the Surplus That Was to Go to the Lord’s Storehouse?

“And the benefits shall be consecrated unto the inhabitants of Zion, and unto their generations, inasmuch as they become heirs according to the laws of the kingdom (v. 8 ). Behold, this is what the Lord requires of every man in his stewardship, even as I, the Lord, have appointed or shall hereafter appoint unto any man (v. 9).” Printing the Book of Commandments would bring in revenue, which would pay those who had been called, and then the remainder, or the surplus, would go to the church storehouse for the benefit of the rest of the members of the church. The surplus would only go to those who would righteously follow the commandments and needed help from the church to have the things that they needed.

Temporal Equality

“And behold, none are exempt from this law who belong to the church of the living God (v. 10); Yea, neither the bishop, neither the agent who keepeth the Lord’s storehouse, neither he who is appointed in a stewardship over temporal things (v. 11). 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 (v. 12); Yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the manifestations of the Spirit (v. 13). 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 (v. 14).”

The Lord’s idea of Temporal Equality is not the same as our idea. The equality that was part of the Law of Consecration, was that all the worthy members would receive an amount according to their needs, so that all the members would equally have what they needed.

“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 (v. 15); 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 (v. 16). For they have been faithful over many things, and have done well inasmuch as they have not sinned (v. 17). Behold, I, the Lord, am merciful and will bless them, and they shall enter into the joy of these things. Even so. Amen (v. 18 ).” The Lord gives the faithful commandments, so that He can bless them. He wants us to have joy and to feel of His blessings. When we are given commandments, we are given more opportunities to earn the blessings. When we are faithful we are given more and greater commandments for more and greater blessings.

I am so grateful to recognize the Lord’s hand in my own life, through the blessings that I receive. These blessings help me to remember that I am a daughter of God and that I am loved greatly.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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