I have been attending a non-denominational church with my wife and I am amazed at the depth and quality of teaching they do there. They explain and teach with such clarity. Each sermon or lesson is firmly rooted in multiple scriptures which are often explained using the original Hebrew or Greek text to help ensure that the correct connotation of key words are understood. Listening and taking in this information has been amazing. Here is where I am going with this. In the LDS church, every Sunday is like “open mic” night, where amateur speakers are given 5-20 minutes to teach. Some take this very seriously and spend a good amount of time preparing but a large percentage of those asked to speak probably spend only a few hours on their talk at best. The problem with this is that there is no real depth and quality of teaching which leads to members who are not fed spiritually. There also is no quality control so the person selected that Sunday could slip in many opinions or bad interpretations of scripture and doctrine. I think this is part of the reason it is practically impossible to pin down Mormon doctrine. 100+ years of “un-official” teaching will do that. If you look back on the past 5-10 years of General Conference where the prophet and apostles speak, you will see the same basic teachings time and time again. No depth, no substance, just the same lifeless words taught just 6 months before. Why is that? Should the “true church” be able to give their members more? I certainly think so and I would expect them to.
The other thing is part of the temple endowment ceremony (before 1990 when it was removed). I think I have talked about this before but it applies here so I will just mention it again. In the endowment, Satan paid a “sectarian minister” to lead away those looking for God by using false teachings and doctrine. Why put that image and idea into every stalwart LDS member who went to the temple? What was the purpose of that? (You can read the actuall transcript by going to my "temple" section and reading about the changes made over the years.)
With those things in mind, let’s take a look at the following verses from the Bible paying special attention to verse 4.
2 Cronicles 31:2-12
2 Hezekiah assigned the priests and Levites to divisions—each of them according to their duties as priests or Levites—to offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, [a] to minister, to give thanks and to sing praises at the gates of the LORD's dwelling. 3 The king contributed from his own possessions for the morning and evening burnt offerings and for the burnt offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moons and appointed feasts as written in the Law of the LORD.
4 He ordered the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion due the priests and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the LORD.
5 As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. 6 The men of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the LORD their God, and they piled them in heaps. 7 They began doing this in the third month and finished in the seventh month. 8 When Hezekiah and his officials came and saw the heaps, they praised the LORD and blessed his people Israel.
9 Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the heaps; 10 and Azariah the chief priest, from the family of Zadok, answered, "Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the LORD, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the LORD has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over."
11 Hezekiah gave orders to prepare storerooms in the temple of the LORD, and this was done. 12 Then they faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts.
So, those who lived in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas brought their tithes, which included many different things to the priests and Levites so they could divide it amongst themselves so they could devote themselves to the Law of the LORD.
I find this interesting because they were told to take the tithes given by the people and use it so that they would not have to worry about those basic needs and be able to devote the greater majority of their time studying, teaching and administering the Law of the Lord. This is exactly what churches with paid clergy do with the tithes and offerings they bring in and the amount of preparation and care given to those they pastor can be easily seen.
Why then do Mormons not do the same thing? Interestingly enough, they used to.
71 And the elders or high priests who are appointed to assist the bishop as counselors in all things, are to have their families asupported out of the property which is bconsecrated 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.
I have not been able to find when and why this changed but it appears that for many years the LDS church did the same thing that they later taught was an abomination in their temple. I will keep looking to see if I can find anything authoritative on why this change happened and post it if I find it.
I don’t think that this is a huge issue personally except for the fact that the members of the LDS church are not getting fed in the way they could or should be and that is a shame. I merely bring it up as another example of where the LDS church strays from the Bible and short changes its faithful tithe payers in the process. Those who have grown up LDS unfortunately have no idea what kind of understanding and knowledge they are missing.