We Are Heirs to the Kingdom of God
by Presiding Bishop and Aaronic High Priest W. Kevin Romer
Vol. 19, Number 2, May/Jun/Jul/Aug 2018 Issue No. 75
“Nevertheless, inasmuch as they receive more than is needful for their necessities and their wants, it shall be given into my 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. 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. And behold, none are exempt from this law who belong to the church of the living God; yea, neither the bishop, neither the agent, who keepeth the Lord's storehouse; neither he who is appointed in a stewardship over temporal things” (D&C 70:2b-3b).
We become heirs to the kingdom of God and members of the Order of Enoch when we consecrate by laying all before the bishop. As such, we enter into a covenant with God and those of the Order of Enoch to exercise our total stewardship in a way that advances the kingdom of God upon the earth in fulfillment of God’s financial plan.
God’s Financial Plan
By way of illustration, consider the use of $1,000 of income:
Income: This includes income from all sources; wages, dividends, interest, bonuses, social security, retirement account withdrawals (401(k)s, IRAs), etc.
Needs: Necessary expenses which don’t represent an increase. These are the basic expenses required to maintain one’s life (food, shelter, and clothing) and those expenses required to maintain one’s stewardship (transportation, repairs, replacements, and retirement account contributions to 401(k)s and IRAs).
Increase: Income minus needs ($1,000 - $700 = $300).
Tithing: One-tenth of our increase ($300 x 10% = $30).
Offering: Free will offering from our increase above our tithing.
Oblations: Free will offerings for the support of the poor and needy.
Just Wants: From the nine-tenths. Expenses above the basic needs of life, development of talents, savings, investments, entertainment, vacations, hobbies, etc. (A good steward should attempt to restrain just wants to less than the total of the nine-tenths.)
Surplus: The remainder of resources left over after needs, tithing, offerings, oblations, and just wants.
Consecration: Required of all those who belong to the church of the living God. All surplus properties to be put into the hands of the bishop (storehouse).
Inheritance: Capital necessary for your stewardship; derived from nine-tenths – surplus (home, business, land, tools, pension, etc.). Normally, something that is developed by the individual; but when the storehouse is fully functioning, some development assistance might be obtained from the bishop.
Stewardship: Your contribution to Zion; what you do with your time, talents, and temporalities for the benefit of your fellow man (creation of surplus).
Purpose and Use of Funds
• General church funds
• Missionary work
• General church operations, publications
• To build and maintain buildings involving general church interest
Offerings: Free will offerings to general and local church (normal and sacrificial) contributed from the nine-tenths portion of our increase.
Oblation: For the care of the poor and needy (food, shelter, emergency, transportation, clothing, utilities, etc.).
• For the building up of the storehouse
• For the laying the foundation of Zion
• The granting of inheritances
• The priesthood and the debts of the presidency
• The purchase of lands
• The development of stewardships (business, industrial, and agricultural)
• The care of those in need who belong to the Order of Enoch
• The building up of the New Jerusalem
“Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church of Zion, for the building of mine house, and for the laying 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” (D&C 106:1a-b).
The creation of increase, tithes, and surplus is an important part of our spiritual development. In our stewardship, we should work towards reducing our needs and just wants to create tithes and surplus offerings as a natural response to God’s Spirit in our lives. With those tithes and surplus offerings, we express our love for God and our fellow man.
“Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these mybrethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:41).