In a rare move into politics, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement to help leaders in Washington, DC, to resolve the dispute over raising the United States government’s debt ceiling.
Brothers and sisters and fellow citizens,
At this time of crisis and peril in our nation’s history, we call on leaders of both parties, President Obama, and Congressional leaders to return to the safety and security of faith in God to preserve the financial solvency of the United States of America.
Over the more than two hundred years of our history, we have seen parties wrangling and feuding over spending priorities, taxes, and budget deficits. Throughout these debates, we have forgotten the promises of a benevolent God, who will see us through hard times, if only we will have faith. Has he not promised:
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
Only when we remember to give back what is rightfully God’s will we find that the windows of heaven, even the avenues of prosperity, will be opened unto us.
In a spirit of humility and faith, we call upon leaders of the United States to remember God’s covenant and provide, immediately, ten percent of the government’s gross revenue to Bishop Robert Gardner of the Washington DC Fifth Ward. Federal records indicate that the total revenue for the US government is equal to $2.174 trillion dollars for 2011, thus Bishop Gardner will be expecting a check in the amount of $217.4 billion.
We solemnly promise that, when the tithing has been received, God will pour out His blessings on the United States, just as He sent rain to the drought-stricken Saints of St. George, Utah, over 100 years ago.
President Heber J. Grant taught us a timeless principle:
“I want to say to you, if you will be honest with the Lord, paying your tithing and keeping His commandments, He will not only bless you with the light and inspiration of His Holy Spirit, but you will be blessed in dollars and cents; you will be enabled to pay your debts, and the Lord will pour out temporal blessings upon you in great abundance.”
More recently, Elder Sheldon F. Child of the Seventy taught, “If you always pay an honest tithing, the Lord will bless you. It will be the best investment you will ever make.”
But our national commitment to God should not end with the law of tithing. As President Thomas S. Monson has taught:
“There is another aspect of sound financial management, and it concerns our budgeting and offering to the Lord a fast offering to bless those in need. We must cheerfully and gratefully apply this principle if we want to perfect ourselves.
“I remember as a young bishop getting a call from the hospital late one night to inform me that a widow in my ward had died. I went to the hospital, then obtained the key to her apartment. A note had been left that this was to be the procedure I was to follow. As I entered her humble basement apartment, I turned on the light and went to the little table that was in the small living room. There on the table were two small bottles with a note beneath them. The bottles were filled with coins. This sweet little widow, Kathleen McKee, with no relatives surviving her, had written this note. “Bishop, here is my fast offering. I have been just with the Lord.” I think we simply need ask one another, have we been just with the Lord? Remember the principle of the true fast. Is it not to deal our bread to the hungry, to bring to our own house the poor who are outcast, to clothe the naked, to hide not ourself from our own flesh? An honest fast offering, a generous fast offering, will certainly be an indication to our Heavenly Father that we know and abide this particular law.”
Surely our nation is in need, and we encourage our government to cheerfully and gratefully give a generous fast offering. Once again, Bishop Gardner will be happy to take receipt of this free-will offering.
God’s promises are certain. At this time of financial need, the best investment the US government can make is to invest in faith through tithing. We promise a great increase of blessings, both spiritual and financial, if our nation begins again to honor its commitments to God.
The First Presidency
P.S. Donation slips are available outside Bishop Gardner’s office. Make sure you remember to bring a pen.