LDS Dreams History, Jul 1, 1837

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- Jul 1, 1837
Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, Heber C. Kimball and four others leave New York on the ship THE GARRICK bound for Liverpool to open the first mission outside of North America. During the voyage Kimball dreams "that the Prophet Joseph came to me while I was standing upon the forecastle of the ship, and said, 'Brother Heber, here is a rod (putting it into my hands) with which you are to guide the ship; while you hold this rod, you shall prosper and there shall be no obstacles thrown before you, but what you shall have power to over come, and the hand of God shall be with you;' after this I discovered every kind of obstruction would be placed before the trip to stop its progress, but the bow being sharp, the obstacles were compelled to move out one side like a bulrush, and when the she would come to a mountain, it would plow its course right through, as though it was in water. This rod which Joseph gave me was about three and a half feet in length. His appearance was just as natur
al as I ever beheld him in the flesh he blessed me and disappeared." (1)

-- Jul 12, 1837
[Wilford Woodruff] --12.--I preached in a school house in West Avon to an attentive congregation; after meeting I baptized my uncle, Ozem Woodruff, his wife and son, John, in fulfillment of a dream which I had at ten years of age. (2)

-- Sep 26, 1837
[Wilford Woodruff Journal] 26 I attend a marriage at Mr Jonathan Burgess. His daughter Martha Burgess joined in matrimony to Mr Joseph Sylvester. I preached in the School house No. 2. The spirit of God rested upon me. I spent the night at Mr John Smith's & I dreamed of Seeing the great Draggon or beast with all of his heads and horns to the number of six hundred three score and six. He was about 20 rods in length with many riding upon his back without fear or alarm. 9 miles. (3)

-- Nov 10, 1837
[Wilford Woodruff Journal] Nov 10th I took the parting hand with Mrs. Woodruff & other friends. Walked to Br Ames. From thence in company with Valentine Ames to John Kents. We crossed the thoroughfare to the South Island to Mr Isaac Crocketts. I Preached at his house. Mr Crockett in some respects is a wonderful man. <I dreamed a wonderful dream at his house.> In dreams and visions &c. Distance of the day 7 miles. (3)

-- Dec 11, 1837
[Wilford Woodruff Journal] .... The Spirit of God rested upon me.
I spent the night with Mr Corner. I conversed with him & his wife untill 3 oclock in the morning. Mrs. Corner was a wonderful Spiritual dreamer. She rehearsed many interesting dreams to me. 3 miles. (3)

1 - On This Day in Mormon History,
2 - Wilford Woodruff Dreams and Visions, Saints Without Halos, Scott Kenny (
3 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993

Mormon Timeline: Dreams

LDS Dreams History, Jan 22, 1836

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- Jan 22, 1836
[Joseph Smith Diary] 22nd Friday morning the 22nd Attended at the school room at the us[u]al hour. But inste[a]d of persuing our studies we spent the time in rehearsing to each other the glorious scenes that transpired on the preceding evening while attending to the ordinance of [the] holy anointing.
At evening we met at the same place with the Council of the 12 [Apostles] and the Presidency of the 70 who were to receive this ordinance. The High Councils of Kirtland and Zion were present also.
We called [the meeting] to order and organized. The Presidency then proceeded to consecrate the oil. We then laid our hands upon Elder Thomas B. Marsh who is the President of the 12 [Apostles] and ordained him to the authority of anointing his brethren. I then pour[eld the consecrated oil upon his head in the name of Jesus Christ and sealed such blessings upon him as the Lord put into my heart. The rest of the Presidency then laid their hands upon him and blessed him each in their turn beginning at the eldest. He [Elder Marsh] then anointed /and blessed/ his brethren from the oldest to the youngest. I also laid my hands upon them and pronounced many great and glorious [blessings] upon their heads. The heavens were opened and angels ministered unto US.
The 12 [Apostles] then proceeded to anoint and bless the Presidency of the 70 and seal upon their heads power and authority to anoint their brethren. The heavens were opened upon Elder Sylvester Smith and he leaping up exclaimed, "The Horsemen of Israel and the chariots thereof." Br[other] [Don] Carloss Smith was also annointed and blessed to preside over the High Priesthood.
President Rigdon arose to conclude the servises of the evening by invoking the benediction of heaven upon the Lord's anointed /which he did/ in an eloquent manner. The congregation shouted a loud hosannah.
The gift of toungs [tongues] fell upon us in mighty pow[e]r, angels mingled their voices with ours, while their presence was in our midst and unseasing pra[i]ses swelled our bosoms for the space of half an hour.
I then observed to the brethren that it was time to retire. We accordingly /closed/ our interview and returned home at about 2 o'clock in the morning. The spirit and visions of God attended me through the night. (1)

-- Jan 28, 1836
[Joseph Smith Diary] Thursday, /28th/ Attended school at the usual hours. In the evening met the quorems of High Priests in the west room of the upper loft of the Lord's House. In company with my Council of the Presidency concecrated and anointed cou[n]sellors of the President of the High Priesthood. Having instructed them and set the quorem in order I left them to perform the holy anointing and went to the quorem of Elders in the other end of the room. I assisted in anointing the Counsellors of the President of the Elders and gave them the instruction necessary for the occasion. [I] left the President and his council to anoint the Elders while I should go to the adjoining room and attend to organizing and instructing of the quorem of the Seventy.
I found the Twelve Apostles assembled with this quorem. I proceeded with the quorem of the Presidency to instruct them and also the seven presidents of the Seventy Elders to call upon God with uplifted hands to seal the blessings which had been promised to them by the holy anointing.
As I organized this quorem with the Presidency in this room, Pres[ident] Sylvester Smith saw a pillar of fire rest down and abide upon the heads of the quorem as we stood in the midst of the Twelve [Apostles].
When the Twelve [Apostles] and the seven [presidents] were through with their sealing prayers, I called upon Pres[ident] S[idney] Rigdon to seal them with uplifted hands. When he had done this and cried hossannah [so] that all [the] congregation should join him and shout hosannah to God and the Lamb and glory to God in the highest. It was done so and Eld[er] Roger Orton saw a flaming /mighty/ Angel riding upon a horse of fire with a flaming sword in his hand followed by five others encircle the house and protect the Saints, even the Lord's anointed from the power of Satan and a host of evil spirits which were striving to disturb the Saints.
Pres[ident] W[illia]m Smith, one of the Twelve [Apostles], saw the heavens op[e]ned and the Lord's host protecting the Lord's anointed. Pres[ident] Z[ebedee] Coltrin, one of the seven [presidents of the Seventy], saw the Saviour extended before him as upon the cross and [a] little after crowned with a glory upon his head above the brightness of the sun.
After these things were over and a glorious vision which I saw had passed, I instructed the seven presidents to proceed and anoint the Seventy. Returned to the room of the High Priests and Elders and attended to the sealing of what they had done with uplifted hands. The Lord had assisted my bro[ther] [Don] Carloss the Pres[ident] of the High Priests to go forward with the anointing of the High Priests so that he had performed it to the acceptance of the Lord, notwithstanding he was verry young and inexperienced in such duties.
I f[e]lt to praise God with a loud hossannah for His goodness to me and my father's family and to all the children of men. Praise the Lord all ye His Saints, Praise His Holy Name. After these quorems were dismissed I retired to my home filled with the spirit and my soul cried hossannah to God and the Lamb through /the/ silent watches of the night and while my eyes were closed in sleep the visions of the Lord were sweet unto me and his glory was round about me. Praise the Lord. (1)

1 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1835-36

Mormon Timeline: Dreams

LDS Dreams History, 1834: 9 December

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- 1834: 9 December
[Patriarchal Blessings] Samuel and Mary Smith. (Given by Joseph Smith, Sen.)
[From Smith, Ruby K., Mary Bailey, Salt Lake City, Deseret Book Co., 1954, pp. 41-43.]
"Samuel and Mary awaited the day when Father Smith was to give them their patriarchal blessings.
...Samuel, my son, thou art loved of the Lord; thy faithfulness and truth have come up before Him with acceptance, and thy name is recorded on high. Thou hast been faithful in all thy days, and ministered comfort to thy father's family. . . . Thou shalt see the heavens open; in visions and dreams shall thy mind be matured. ... (1)

Smith Family Blessing Meeting.
"Patriarchal Blessings pronounced by Joseph Smith, senior, a Patriarch, and President of the high priesthood in the church of the Latter Day Saints, organized on the 6th of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and thirty, upon his children, assembled at the house of his son Joseph, on the 9th day of December, 1834, at a feast prepared for that purpose.
My children, I am now old, and my head is white: I have seen many years, compared to these enjoyed by many: I am now in my sixty third year, and my frame is feeble because of the many trials and fateagues which I have endured in this life. I have not attained to the age of my fathers, neither do I now know as I shall, but I desire, and for a long time have, to bless my children before I go hence. It is a source of grief to me that I have not been more fruitful to the Lord in days which are passed than I have: I have not always set that example before my family that I ought: I have not been diligent in teaching them the commandments of the Lord, but have rather manifested a light and trifling mind: But in all this I have never denied the Lord. Notwithstanding all this my folly, which has been a cause of grief to my family, the Lord has often visited me in visions and in dreams, and has brought me, with my family, through many afflictions, and I this day thank his holy name.
... (1)

-- During February 1835
[Wilford Woodruff] I dreamed the night before, that we were required to walk in a straight, narrow path; and while following the path, it led to the door of a house, which was placed in a high wall that we could not get around. As I opened the door to go through, I saw the room was filled with large serpents. I entered, and they all coiled up to jump at me; as they made a spring to bite me, they all fell dead at my feet, turned black, swelled up, burst open, took fire, and were consumed before my eyes. (2)

-- Nov 9, 1835
[Joseph Smith Diary] While setting in my house, between the hours of ten and 11 this morning, a man came in and introduced himself to me, calling /himself/ by the name of Joshua the Jewish minister. His appearance was some thing singular, having a beard about 3 inches in length which is quite grey. Also his hair is long and considerably silvered with age. I should think he is about 50 or 55 years old, tall and strait, slender built, of thin visage, blue eyes, and fair complexion. He wears a sea green frock coat and pantaloons of the same [color], black fur hat with narrow brim, and while speaking [he] frequently shuts his eyes with a scowl on his countinance.
I made some enquiry after his name but received no definite answer. We soon commenced talking upon the subject of religion and, after I had made some remarks concerning the Bible, I commenced giving him a relation of the circumstances connected with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, as follows:
Being wrought up in my mind respecting the subject of religion and looking at the different systems taught the children of men, I knew not who was right or who was wrong. I considered it of the first importance that ! should be right in matters that involve eternal consequ[e]nces.
Being thus perplexed in mind I retired to the silent grove and bow[e]d down before the Lord, under a realising sense that he had said (if the Bible be true), "Ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be opened. Seek and you shall find." Again, "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men libarally and upbraideth not."
Information was what I most desired at this time and with a fixed determination to obtain it, I called upon the Lord for the first time in the place above stated. Or in other words, I made a fruitless attempt to p[r]ay. My toung [tongue] seemed to be swol[l]en in my mouth, so that I could not utter. I heard a noise behind me like some person walking towards me. I strove again to pray but could not. The noise of walking seemed to draw nearer. I sprung up on my feet and looked around, but saw no person or thing that was calculated to produce the noise of walking. I kneeled again. My mouth was open and my toung [tongue] liberated and I called on the Lord in mighty prayer.
A pillar of fire appeared above my head. It presently rested down upon my head /me/ and filled me with Joy unspeakable. A personage appear[eld in the midst of this pillar of flame which was spread all around and yet nothing consumed. Another personage soon appear[e]d like unto the first. He said unto me, "Thy sins are forgiven thee." He testifyed unto me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. /I saw many angels in this vision/ I was about 14 years old when I received this first communication.
When I was about 17 years old, I saw another vision of angels in the night season, after I had retired to bed. I had not been a sleep but was meditating upon my past life and experience. I was verry con[s]cious that I had not kept the commandments. I repented h[e]artily for all my sins and transgression and humbled myself before Him /whose eyes are over all things/. All at once the room was il[l]uminated above the brightness of the sun. An angel appeared before me. His hands and feet were naked, pure and white. He stood between the floors of the room, clothed with purity inexpressible. He said unto me, "I am a messenger sent from God. Be faithful and keep his commandments in all things."
He told me of a sacred record which was written on plates of gold. I saw in the vision the place where they were deposited. He said the Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham. He explained many of the prophesies to me. One I will mention which is in Malachi 4th chapt[er]: "Behold the day of the Lord cometh" &c. Also that the Urim and Thum[m]im was hid up with the record and that God would give me power to translate it with the assistance of this instrument. He then gradually vanished out of my sight, or the vision closed.
While meditating on what I had seen, the angel appeared to me again and related the same things and much more. Also the third time bearing the same tidings and departed.
During the time I was in this vision I did not realize any thing else around me except what was shown me in this communication. After the vision had all passed, I found that it was nearly daylight. The family soon arose, I got up also.
On that day while in the field at work with my Father he asked me if I was sick. I replyed I had but little strength. He told me to go to the house. I started and went part way and was finally deprived of my strength and fell, but how long I remained I do not know.
The Angel came to me again and commanded me to go and tell my Father what I had seen and heard. I did so. He wept and told me that it was a vision from God [and] to attend to it. I went and found the place where the plates were according to the direction of the Angel. Also saw them and the angel as before. The powers of darkness strove hard against me. I called upon God. The Angel told me that the reason why I could not obtain the plates at this time was because I was under transgression, but to come again in one year from that time. I did so, but did not obtain them. Also the third and the fourth year, at which time I obtained them and translated them into the English language by the gift and power of God. [I] have been preaching it ever since.
While I was relating this brief history of the establishment of the Church of Christ in these last days, Joshua seemed to be highly entertained. After I had got through, I observed that the hour of worship and time to dine had now ar[r]ived and invited him to tarry which he concented to.
After dinner the conversation was resumed and Joshua proce[e]ded to make some remarks on the prophesies as follows. He observed that he was aware that I could bear stronger meat than many others. Therefore he should open his mind the more freely.
[Joshua said,] "Daniel has told us that he is to stand in his proper lot, in the latter days according to his vision. He had a right to shut it up and also to open it again after many days, or in the latter times. Daniel's image whose head was gold and body, armes, legs, and feet was composed of the different materials described in his vision represents different governments.
"The golden head was /to represent/ Nebuchadnaz[z]er King of Babylon. The other parts, other kings and forms of government which I shall not now mention in detail, but confine my remarks more particularly to the feet of the Image. The policy of the wicked spirit is to separate what God had joined togather and unite what He has separated, which he has succe[e]ded in doing to admiration. In the present state of society, which is like unto Iron and clay, there is confusion in all things, both Political and religious. And notwithstanding all the efforts that are made to bring about a union, society remains disunited and all attempts to /unite her/ are as fruitless as to attemp[t] to unite Iron and Clay.
"The feet of the Image is the government of these United States. Other Nations and Kingdoms are looking up to her for an example of union, fre[e]dom and equal rights and therefore worship her like as Daniel saw in the vision, although they are begin[n]ing to loose confidence in her, seeing the broils and discord that distract her political and religious horizon. This Image is characteristic of all governments and institutions or most of them as they begin with a head of gold and terminate in the contemp[t]ible feet of Iron and clay making a splendid appearance at first proposing to do much more than the[y] can perform and finally end in degradation and sink in infamy. We should not only start to com[e] out of Babylon, but leav[e] it entirely lest we are overthrown in her ruins. We should keep improving and reforming. Twenty-four hours for improvement now is worth as much as a year a hundred years ago.
"The spirit of the Fathers that was cut down, or those that were under the altar, are now rising. This is the first resur[r]ection. The Elder that falls first will rise last. We should not form any opinion only for the present and leave the result of futurity with God. I have risen up out of obscurity, but was looked up to when but a youth in temporal things. It is not necessary that God should give us all things at first or in his first commission to us, but in his second. John saw the angel deliver the gospel in the last days which would not be necessary if it was already in the world. This expression would be inconsistent. The small lights that God has given is sufficient to lead us out of Babylon. When we get out we shall have the greater light."
I told Jo[s]hua that I did not understand him concerning the resur[r]ection and wish[e]d him to be more explanitory on the subject. He replied that he did not feel impressed by the spirit to unfold it further at present, but perhaps he might at some other time.
I then withdr[e]w to do some business with another gentleman that called to see me.
He [Joshua] informed my Scribe that he was born in Washington County, Town of Cambridge, New York. He says that all the railroads, canals and other improvements are performed by spirits of the resur[r]ection. The silence spoken of by John the Revelator which is to be in heaven for the space of half an hour is between 1830 and 1851, during which time the judgments of God will be poured out. After that time there will be peace.
Curiosity to see a man that was reputed to be a Jew caused many to call during the day and more particularly at evening. Suspicions were entertained that said Joshua was the noted [Robert] Mat[t]hias of New York, spoken so much of in public prints on account of the trials he underwent in that place before a court of justice for murder, manslaughter, contempt of court, whip[p]ing his Daughter, &c. For the two last crimes he was imprisoned and came out about 4 months since. After some equivocating he confessed that he was real[l]y Mat[t]hias.
After supper, I proposed that he should deliver a lecture to us. He did so sitting in his chair. He commenced by saying "God said, 'Let there be light and there was light,'" which he dwelt upon through his discource. He made some verry ex[c]el[l]ent remarks but his mind was evidently filled with darkness.
After he dismissed his meeting and the congregation disperced, he conversed freely upon the circumstances that transpired in New York. His name is Robert Mat[t]hias. He say[s] that Joshua is his priestly name. During all this time I did not contradict his sentiments wishing to draw out all that I could concerning his faith. (3)

1 - Selected LDS Patriarchal Blessings, New Mormon Studies CD ROM, Signature Book, 2009
2 - Wilford Woodruff Dreams and Visions, Saints Without Halos, Scott Kenny (
3 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1835-36

Mormon Timeline: Dreams

LDS Dreams History, Sep 5, 1829

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- Sep 5, 1829
In Rochester, N.Y. THE GEM reports: "A man by the name of Martin Harris was in this village a few days since endeavoring to make a contract for printing a large quantity of a work called the Golden Bible. He gave something like the following account of it. In the autumn of 1827, a man named Joseph Smith of Manchester, in Ontario County, said that he had been visited by the spirit of the Almighty in a dream, and informed that in a certain hill in that town was deposited a Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of divine origin. He states that after the third visit from the same spirit in a dream he proceeded to the spot, removed the earth, and there found the Bible, together with a large pair of spectacles. He had also been directed to let no mortal see them under the penalty of immediate death, which injunction he steadfastly adhered to. The treasure consisted of a number of gold plates, about eight inches long, six wide, and one-eighth of an inch thick, on which were eng
raved hieroglyphics. By placing the spectacles in a hat and looking into it, Smith interprets the characters into the English language. Harris states that he went in search of some one to interpret the hieroglyphics, but found that no one was intended to perform that all-important task but Smith himself. Smith has interpreted the whole, and it is now in press in Palmyra, Wayne County." (1)

-- May 15, 1830
[Gold Plates] Rochester (NY) Gem, 15 May 1830
Some months ago a noise was made among the credulous of the earth, respecting a wonderful production said to have been found as follows. An ignoramous near Palmyra, .... It comes out under the "testimony of three witnesses," and of "six witnesses," who say they "have seen and hefted the plates," that "they have the appearance of gold," and that divers and strange characters are "imprinted on them." The author, who has the "copy-right secured according to law," says, "that he was commanded of the Lord in a dream," to go and find, and that he went and found. ... (2)

-- During Circa 1830
[Gold Plates] Circa 1830: Fayette Lapham's interview with Joseph Smith Sr. [recorded 1870]
... About this time he became concerned
as to his future state of existence, and was baptized, becoming thus a member of the Baptist Church. Soon after joining the Church, he had a very singular dream; but he did not tell his father of his dream, until about a year afterwards. He then told his father that, in his dream, a very large and tall man appeared to him, dressed in an ancient suit of clothes, and the clothes were bloody. And the man said to him that there was a valuable treasure, buried many years since, and not far from that place; and that he had now arrived for it to be brought to light, for the benefit of the world at large; and, if he would strictly follow his directions, he would direct him to the place where it was deposited, in such a manner that he could obtain it. He then said to him, that he would have to get a certain coverlid, which he described, and an old-fashioned suit of clothes, of the same color, and a napkin to put the treasure in . . . ; and when he had obtained it, he must not lay it
until he placed it in the napkin. "And," says Smith, "in the course of a year, I succeeded in finding all the articles, as directed; and one dark night Joseph mounted his horse, and, aided by some supernatural light, he succeeded in finding the starting point and the objects in range." Following these, as far as he could with the horse without being directed to stop, he proceeded on foot, keeping the range in view, until he arrived at a large boulder, of several tons weight, when he was immediately impressed with the idea that the object of his pursuit was under that rock. Feeling around the edge, he found that the under side was flat. Being a stout man, and aided by some super-natural power, he succeeded in turning the rock upon its edge, and under it he found a square block of masonry, in the centre of which were the articles referred to by the man seen in the dream. Taking up the first article, he saw the others below; laying down the first, he endeavored to secure the ot
but, before he could get hold of them, the one he had taken up slid back to the place he had taken it from, and, to his great surprize and terror, the rock immediately fell back to its former place, nearly crushing him in its descent. His first thought was that he had not properly secured the rock when it was turned up, and accordingly he again tried to lift it, but now in vain; he next tried with the aid of levers, but still without success. While thus engaged, he felt something strike him on the breast, which was repeated the third time, always with increased force, the last such as to lay him upon his back. As he lay there, he looked up and saw the same large man that had appeared in his dream, dressed in the same clothes. He said to him that, when the treasure was deposited there, he was sworn to take charge of and protect that property, until the time should arrive for it to be exhibited to the world of mankind; and, in order to prevent his making a improper disclosure,
was murdered or slain on the spot, and the treasure had been under his charge ever since. .... (3)

1 - On This Day in Mormon History,
2 - Larry E. Morris, I Should Have an Eye Single to the Glory of God: Joseph Smith's Account of the Angel and the Plates
3 - Larry E. Morris, I Should Have an Eye Single to the Glory of God: Joseph Smith's Account of the Angel and the Plates

Mormon Timeline: Dreams

LDS Dreams History, 1828

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- During 1828
[Gold Plates] 1828: Joseph and Hiel Lewis's statement [recorded 1879]
[Joseph Smith] said that by a dream he was informed that at such a place in a certain hill, in an iron box, were some gold plates with curious engravings, which he must get and translate, and write a book; that the plates were to be kept concealed from every human being for a certain time, some two or three years; that he went to the place and dug till he came to the stone that covered the box, when he was knocked down; that he again attempted to remove the stone, and was again knocked down; this attempt was made the third time, and the third time he was knocked down. Then he exclaimed, "Why can't I get it?" or words to that effect; and then he saw a man standing over the spot, which to him appeared like a Spaniard, having a long beard coming down over his breast to about here, (Smith putting his hand to the pit of his stomach) with his (the ghost's) throat cut from ear to ear, and the blood streaming down, who told him that he could not get it alone; that another person who
m he,
Smith, would know at first sight, must come with him, and then he could get it. And when Smith saw Miss Emma Hale, he knew that she was the person, and that after they were married, she went with him to near the place, and stood with her back toward him, while he dug up the box, which he rolled up in his frock, and she helped carry it home. That in the same box with the plates were spectacles; the bows were of gold, and the eyes were stone, and by looking through these sbectacles [spectacles] all the characters on the plates were translated into English.
In all this narrative, there was not one word about "visions of God," or of angels, or heavenly revelations. All his information was by that dream, and that bleeding ghost. The heavenly visions and messages of angels, etc., contained in Mormon books, were after-thoughts, revised to order. (1)

-- During circa August 1829
[Gold Plates] Palmyra (NY) Freeman, circa August 1829 (reprinted in the Rochester [NY] Daily Advertiser and Telegraph, 31 August 1829)
The Palmyra Freeman says-The greatest piece of superstition that has ever come within our knowledge, now occupies the attention of a few individuals of this quarter. It is generally known and spoken of as the "Golden Bible." Its proselytes give the following account of it.-In the fall of 1827, a person by the name of
Joseph Smith, of Manchester, Ontario county, reported that he had been visited in a dream by the spirit of the Almighty, and informed that in a certain hill in that town, was deposited this Golden Bible, containing an ancient record of a divine nature and origin. After having been thrice thus visited, as he states, he proceeded to the spot, and after penetrating "mother earth" a short distance, the Bible was found, together with a huge pair of Spectacles! He had been directed, however, not to let any mortal being examine them, "under no less penalty" than instant death! They were therefore nicely wrapped up, and excluded from the "vulgar gaze of poor wicked mortals!" It was said that the leaves of the bible were plates of gold, about 8 inches long, 6 wide, and one eighth of an inch thick, on which were engraved characters or hyeroglyphics. By placing the spectacles in a hat, and looking into it, Smith could (he said so, at least,) interpret these characters. (2)

1 - Larry E. Morris, I Should Have an Eye Single to the Glory of God: Joseph Smith's Account of the Angel and the Plates
2 - Larry E. Morris, I Should Have an Eye Single to the Glory of God: Joseph Smith's Account of the Angel and the Plates

Mormon Timeline: Dreams

LDS Dreams History, Apr 13, 1822

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- Apr 13, 1822
The "New Hampshire Sentinel" reports local treasure digging with the comment: "The leader of the 'visionary gang,' is said to be a substantial farmer in the neighborhood, who DREAMED for three successive nights that much treasure was deposited there" (1)

-- During 1822
David W Patten: Frequent "dreams and visions" 1810 to 1822 (2)

-- During 1822-23?
[Joseph Smith] The Smiths seek the expertise of a reputed treasure seer living many miles away. Several sources identify this seer as Luman Walter. In Arrington, reprinting an 1831 article by James Gordon Bennett, Bennett describes this great seer as having "a particular felicity in finding out the spots of ground where money is hid and riches obtained. [Some anonymous member of the treasure quest party] related long stories how this person had been along shore in the east-"how he had much experience in money digging-"how he dreamt of the very spots where it could be found". He said that the Smiths worked for a time "to scrape together a little 'change' sufficient to fetch on the money dreamer." Bennett believed this distant magician was Sidney Rigdon, based on discussion with Palmyra residents who thought Rigdon was the author of the Book of Mormon. However, the story parallels a story told by Abner Cole in the Palmyra Reflector on 12 June 1830 (3)

-- 21-Sep 22, 1823
[Joseph Smith] Late at night, Smith says he had three visions, and one again in the morning, of an angel, who showed him the location of a buried golden book engraved with a history of the Indians. (3)

-- During 1827&1828
[Gold Plates] 1827&1828: John A. Clark's interviews with Martin Harris [recorded 1840]
[Martin Harris] then proceeded to remark that a GOLDEN BIBLE had recently been dug from the earth, where it had been deposited for thousands of years, and that this would be found to contain such disclosures as would settle all religious controversies and speedily bring on the glorious millennium. That this mysterious book, which no human eye of the present generation had yet seen, was in the possession of Joseph Smith, Jr., ordinarily known in the neighborhood under the more familiar designation of Jo Smith: that there had been a revelation made to him by which he had discovered this sacred deposit, and two transparent stones, through which, as a sort of spectacles, he could read the Bible, although the box or ark that contained it, had not yet been opened; and that by looking through those mysterious stones, he had transcribed from one of the leaves of this book, the characters which Harris had so carefully wrapped in the package which he was drawing from his pocket. . . .
... According to Martin Harris, it was after one of these night excursions, that Jo, while he lay upon his bed, had a remarkable dream. An angel of God seemed to approach him, clad in celestial splendour. This divine messenger assured him, that he, Joseph Smith, was chosen of the Lord to be a prophet of the Most High God, and to bring to light hidden things, that would prove of unspeakable benefit to the world. He then disclosed to him the existence of this golden Bible, and the place where it was deposited-but at the same time told him that he must follow implicitly the divine direction, or he would draw down upon him the wrath of heaven. This book, which was contained in a chest, or ark, and which consisted of metallic plates covered with characters embossed in gold, he must not presume to look into, under three years. He must first go on a journey into Pennsylvania-and there among the mountains, he would meet with a very lovely woman, belonging to a highly respectable and
family, whom he was to take for his wife. As a proof that he was sent on this mission by Jehovah, as soon as he saw this designated person, he would be smitten with her beauty, and though he was a stranger to her, and she was far above him in the walks of life, she would at once be willing to marry him and go with him to the ends of the earth. After their marriage he was to return to his former home, and remain quietly there until the birth of his first child. When this child had completed his second year, he might then proceed to the hill beneath which the mysterious chest was deposited, and draw it thence, and publish the truths it contained to the world. (4)

1 - On This Day in Mormon History,
2 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47
3 - Wikipedia, Joseph Smith Chronology,,_Jr.
4 - Larry E. Morris, I Should Have an Eye Single to the Glory of God: Joseph Smith's Account of the Angel and the Plates

Mormon Timeline: Dreams

LDS Dreams History, 1818

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- 1818
[Visions] Judgment day, pray for forgiveness in Jesus' name
6th vision of Joseph Smith Sen. ...
I thought I was walking {very fast} alone and although I was very much {I still} fatigued I went on as fast as I convenineently could
and I seemed to be on my way to meeting <and it was the day of judgement and I was going to be judged but {I thou}> when I came in sight of the meeting house I saw crowds of people coming from every direction
They are "pressing with great anxiety towards the door" of the house. Joseph decides there is time and slows his pace. But when he gets there, the door is shut. He knocks on the door and is told he has arrived too late.
I soon felt that I was perishing and began to pray but {I} my flesh continued to wither on my bones and I grew still more anxious and prayed still more fervently
and I was about to despair ... when the angel that attended {th} me asked {hi}me if I had not [le]ft some thing undone
Joseph replies that he has done everything he knew about and the guide responds, "Justice must have its demands and then mercy ..."
Suddenly Joseph remembers to ask God in the name of Jesus, and he cries out:
Oh lord I beseech thee in the name of Jesus christ to forgive my sins
He is strengthened and his flesh begins to be restored. The angel tells him he "must plead the merits of jesus for he is a [ad]vocate with the father and a mediator between God and man."
The door opens and as he enters, Joseph awakes. (1)

-- During Summer 1811
[Visions] Desolate field, broad and narrow ways, delicious white fruit, spacious building

Traveling in an open, desolate field, it occurs to Joseph that he should stop and consider what he was doing before continuing. His guide tells him this is "the desolate world; but travel on."

The road was so broad and barren that I wondered why I should travel in it; for, said I to myself, "Broad is the road, and wide is the gate that leads to death, and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way, and straight is the gate that leads to everlasting life, and few there be that go in thereat."

Soon he comes to a narrow path, which he takes. He sees a beautiful stream running from east to west as far as he could see in both directions. A rope runs along the bank as high as a man can reach.
Beyond is a pleasant valley with a beautiful tree in it. Its fruit is shaped like a chestnut bur. As he watches, the burs open, dropping dazzling white fruit. Joseph eats the fruit, which is "delicious beyond description."
Then he remembers his family and brings thema wife and seven childrento the tree. They all eat and praise God for the blessing.
We were exceedingly happy, insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed.

Then Joseph notices "a spacious building" on the opposite side of the valley, "and it appeared to reach to the very heavens." It is full of doors and windows, "filled with people, who were very finely dressed. When these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us and treated us with all manner of disrespect and contempt."
Turning from them, Joseph asks the guide what the delicious fruit means.
He told me it was the pure love of God, shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him, and keep his commandments.
He then commanded me to go and bring the rest of my children. I told him that we were all there.
"No," he replied, "look yonder, you have two more, and you must bring them also."
In the distance he sees two small children. He brings them to the tree, where they also eat the fruit.
The more we eat, the more we seemed to desire, until we even got down upon our knees, and scooped it, eating it by double handfulls.
When Joseph asks what the spacious building means, he is told:
"It is Babylon, it is Babylon, and it must fall. The people in the doors and windows are the inhabitants thereof, who scorn and despise the Saints of god, because of their humility."
I soon awoke, clapping my hands together for joy. (2)

1 - Kenny, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Joseph Smith Sr. Visions,"
2 - Kenny, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Joseph Smith Sr. Visions,"

Mormon Timeline: Dreams

LDS Dreams History, 1818 and 1819

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- During 1818 and 1819
Joseph Smith Sr.: Dream-visions 1818 and 1819 of angels, garden, closed building of salvation (1)

-- April 1811
[Visions] Barren field, magic box, beasts
Joseph Sr. retires to bed contemplating the confusion of the Christian world.
He soon fell into a sleep, and before waking had the following vision, which I shall relate in his own words, just as he told it to me the next morning:
Joseph "seemed" to be traveling through an open, barren fieldnothing but fallen trees in all directions, not even a blade of grass, and not a sound to be heard.
... no living thing was there save myself and an attendant spirit that stood at my side of this personage I enquired the meaning of what I saw and why I was traveling in this gloomy place
Joseph Sr. asks the spirit why he (Joseph) was in such a dismal place. The spirit answers that the field is the world:
inanimate & dumb as to the things pertaining to the true religion or the order of Heavenly things all is darkness
He is told to continue on until he comes upon a box on a log:
whose contents will make you wise and if you eat the same you {shall} have wisdom and understanding
I did as I was directed and presently came to box I took it up and placed it under my left arm forced up the lid and began to taste of its contents
when all maner of beasts {and} horned cattle and roaring animals rose up on every side and rushed upon me tearing the Earth tossing their horns in air belowing round {him} <me> threatning every moment to devour {me} <me>
they came so close upon me that I was forced to drop the boxand fly for my life although <it> {the possesion of} made me the happiest of anything <of which> I ever had possession I awoke trembling with terror (2)

-- Summer 1811
[Visions] Desolate field, broad and narrow ways, delicious white fruit, spacious building

Traveling in an open, desolate field, it occurs to Joseph that he should stop and consider what he was doing before continuing. His guide tells him this is "the desolate world; but travel on."

The road was so broad and barren that I wondered why I should travel in it; for, said I to myself, "Broad is the road, and wide is the gate that leads to death, and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way, and straight is the gate that leads to everlasting life, and few there be that go in thereat."

Soon he comes to a narrow path, which he takes. He sees a beautiful stream running from east to west as far as he could see in both directions. A rope runs along the bank as high as a man can reach.
Beyond is a pleasant valley with a beautiful tree in it. Its fruit is shaped like a chestnut bur. As he watches, the burs open, dropping dazzling white fruit. Joseph eats the fruit, which is "delicious beyond description."
Then he remembers his family and brings thema wife and seven childrento the tree. They all eat and praise God for the blessing.
We were exceedingly happy, insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed.

Then Joseph notices "a spacious building" on the opposite side of the valley, "and it appeared to reach to the very heavens." It is full of doors and windows, "filled with people, who were very finely dressed. When these people observed us in the low valley, under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn at us and treated us with all manner of disrespect and contempt."
Turning from them, Joseph asks the guide what the delicious fruit means.
He told me it was the pure love of God, shed abroad in the hearts of all those who love him, and keep his commandments.
He then commanded me to go and bring the rest of my children. I told him that we were all there.
"No," he replied, "look yonder, you have two more, and you must bring them also."
In the distance he sees two small children. He brings them to the tree, where they also eat the fruit.
The more we eat, the more we seemed to desire, until we even got down upon our knees, and scooped it, eating it by double handfulls.
When Joseph asks what the spacious building means, he is told:
"It is Babylon, it is Babylon, and it must fall. The people in the doors and windows are the inhabitants thereof, who scorn and despise the Saints of god, because of their humility."
I soon awoke, clapping my hands together for joy. (2)

1 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47
2 - Kenny, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Joseph Smith Sr. Visions,"

Mormon Timeline: Dreams

LDS Dreams History, May 17, 1803

LDS History Chronology: Dreams

-- May 17, 1803
[Lucy Mack Smith] Sophronia Smith is born at Tunbridge, Vermont. Jason Mack, Lucy's oldest brother, visits them between about May 1803 and May 1804. Lucy has a comforting dream that Joseph Sr. will become a believer in due time. (1)

-- During 1810
Levi W Hancock: A vivid dream of Jesus at age seven (1810) (2)

-- During 1811
Lucy Mack Smith says Joseph Smith Sr. has visions in a dream where plates would be found in a box. (3)

-- Between 1811 and 1819
Joseph Smith, Sr., has a series of seven dreams that he interprets as being from God. (4)

-- During March 1816
[Visions] Flower garden and bowing wooden images
3th vision of Joseph Smith Senior ...
[Joseph Sr.] dreamed that he was very sick and so lame he could scarcely walk.
He asks his guide, who tells him to go to a certain garden. So Joseph sets out, then asks the guide how he will recognize the garden.
the guid said walk till you come to a larger gate then open the gate and your eyes shall see behold the most beautiful folowers [sic] you ever Saw

Determined to get to the garden, Joseph Sr. sets off with a staff, limping along until, with great effort, he reaches the garden. It is filled with beautiful flowers and marble pathways. The path from the gate is lined with benches on each side. On each seat is a wooden image [the states that each figure is the size of a very large man]. As he passes by, each image rises and bows to him.
Turning to the left, he sees an image that rises to bow to him, then notices there are twelve images on the right and twelve on the left. Each rises and bows as he passes by.
He asks the guide for the meaning of all this.
he began to explain the vision when I sudenly awoke (5)

1 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, Editor, Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir, 2001, Signature Books
2 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 6, Biographical Sketches of General Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47
3 - Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology"
4 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
5 - Kenny, Scott, Saints Without Halos, "Joseph Smith Sr. Visions,"

Mormon Timeline: Dreams

LDS History -- Dreams

LDS-Church-History just completed its second topical analysis.  Actually, the first was  a general history of the church.  The second was on the history of tithing

The next topic will cover Dreams.

Dreams were an important component of early Latter Day Saint spirituality. The Book of Mormon equates dreams with visions, and many in the church attached a high level of importance to their dreams. 

Joseph Smith Sr. had a series of dreams that were very meaningful to him and Lucy Mac Smith.  Joseph Smith Jr. had dreams throughout his life starting before his prophetic role.  Some evidence that will be presented here suggests his visions of Moroni may have been through dreams.

Joseph Smith, William Clayton, John Henry Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Franklin D. Richards, Anthony W. Ivins, Rudger Clawson and Wilford Woodruff recorded dreams in their personal journals, and will be presented here.  Wilford Woodruff in particular recorded numerous dreams (over 150) many of them with recurring themes.

Additionally dreams from various apostles and prophets including Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball  George A. Smith, John Taylor, Orson Hyde, Joseph F. Smith, Daniel H. Wells, Merriner W. Merrill, and Spencer W. Kimball will be presented.

A bishop in Spanish Fork had a series of dreams resulting in what is known today as the Dream Mine.  Events surrounding the fascinating story of the Dream Mine will be included.

LDS-Church-History is available via blog, email, facebook, rss and twitter.  Check out the upper-right-hand corner for more info.

I hope you enjoy the next chapter of Dreams in the Latter Day Saint Tradition.

To read through posts on this topic, click "newer post" below.

LDS History -- end of topic

Thanks for listening in to LDS-Church-History's segment on the History of Tithing in the LDS church.

Stay tuned for a new topic (suggestions are welcome).

Summary: The History of Tithing


[Note: Click here to read the chronology on tithing]

From D. Michael Quinn, "The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power," chapter 6

Since 1831 LDS bishop Edward Partridge and his counselors had presided over all Mormons in Missouri, which had equal status with church headquarters in Ohio.7 In December 1837 they defined tithing as 2 percent of one's net worth, after deducting debts. 'Believing that voluntary tithing is better than Forced taxes,' the Missouri bishopric defined it as 'two cents on the dollar or one fiftieth of what we are worth after deducting what we owe.'8 Until 1908 Mormons were allowed to pay tithing in labor, personal property, livestock, and produce in addition to cash.9

In July 1838 Joseph Smith dictated a revelation which required a more stringent financial sacrifice from Latter-day Saints. It defined the law of tithing as a donation of all the individual's 'surplus property' at first, and then a tenth of annual income thereafter (D&C 119:1, 4). In November 1841 the Quorum of the Twelve made the first liberalization of the 1838 tithing revelation: the initial donation was reduced to only 'one-tenth of all a man [possesses, and] 1/10 of increas[e]' afterwards.10

In August 1844 the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued an epistle which required all Mormons to immediately pay 'a tenth of all their property and money . . . and then let them continue to pay in a tenth of their income from that time forth.' There was no exemption for Mormons who had already paid one-tenth of their property upon conversion.11 In January 1845 a Quorum of Twelve's epistle reemphasized 'the duty of all saints to tithe themselves one-tenth of all they possess when they enter into the new and everlasting covenant: and then one-tenth of their interest, or income, yearly afterwards.'12 However, two weeks later the Twelve voted to exempt themselves, the two general bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and the Nauvoo Temple Committee from any obligation to pay tithing. This was due to their services to the church.13

Apostle John E. Page's enforcement of the full-tithing requirement for the rank-and-file led to his disaffection from his own quorum. Exempted from tithing himself, Page felt guilty about collecting tithing from others such as one Mormon who gave $4 which was 'the tenth of all' the man and his impoverished family possessed. Upon abandoning the Quorum of the Twelve in 1846, Page complained that he 'believes that many paid tithing & in consequence of [this, were in] want of money enough to procure misc. necessaries of life.'14

Five years later Brigham Young provided a penalty for those Mormons who did not comply with the published definitions of the law of tithing. In September 1851 a special conference at Salt Lake City voted to accept excommunication as punishment for non-payment of tithing and non-observance of the Word of Wisdom's prohibition of tobacco and spirituous alcohol. Neither requirement was enforced consistently or often.15 Nevertheless, in 1854 the Deseret News printed a notice by the bishop of the Salt Lake City Nineteenth Ward that Enoch M. King was disfellowshipped 'for repeatedly refusing to conform to the rules of said Church, in the law of Tithing.' In October 1858 a bishop's meeting asked Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter: 'Are all to be cut off who do not pay their Tithing? Answer, deal according to circumstances, and the wisdom God gives.'16

On this matter Apostle Erastus Snow was more zealous than most. In 1868 he gave orders to southern Utah bishops to excommunicate everyone 'who will not keep the word of wisdom, Pay their Tithing & donate of their substance to help bring the Poor Saints from the old country.' A local Mormon estimated that enforcement of Snow's instruction 'would cause 3/4 of this community to be cut off from this church.'17

For the church as a whole, Brigham Young publicly estimated that Latter-day Saints had paid less than 10 percent of their 10 percent tithing obligations from 1847 to 1870.18 In other words, adult Mormons were contributing, on average, less than 1 percent of their net worth at conversion, less than 1 percent of their net worth upon arrival in Utah, and less than 1 percent of their annual income. However, pioneer definitions of tithing delinquency varied radically. In Cache Valley during the same period, local bishops concluded that 90 percent of people who could pay tithing were full-tithe payers. The difference in perspective was due to the fact that these Cache Valley bishops 'excused' a large portion of the population from tithing due to poverty. The church president's report made no such distinctions.19

After President Young's announcement of tithing delinquency, LDS general authorities gave sermons to remind church members that the law of tithing was 'one tenth of all we possess at the start, and then ever after one tenth . . .'20 Apostle Erastus Snow even reinvoked the 1838 revelation's original requirement to donate all surplus property at first.21 These sermons were futile efforts to reverse a nineteenth-century trend of financial non-compliance. Otherwise faithful Mormons withered before an overwhelming tithing obligation. Young told the October 1875 general conference that neither he nor anyone else 'had ever paid their tithing as it was revealed and understood by him in the Doctrine and Covenants.'22

John Taylor tried to increase church donations by liberalizing the law of tithing for the first time since 1841. On the fiftieth anniversary of the church's organization, he declared a biblical Jubilee Year in which he forgave half of the delinquent tithing and half of the debts owed to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund.23 After the Jubilee year of 1880 failed to bring in the unforgiven half of delinquent tithing, the church president offered a carrot-and-stick approach to tithing in 1881. On 8 January 1881 Taylor said he did not care whether Mormons paid the 'one-tenth of the property of the new comers' to Utah, as required by Brigham Young. However, the Presiding Bishopric's tithing clerk recorded that, on motion of the LDS president, the assembled priesthood holders voted unanimously to sustain the requirement of 'one tenth of the property on entering the Church, and one tenth of the increase afterward.'24 At this stake conference in January and again at general co
nference in April 1881, President Taylor instructed stake presidents that church members now 'must be tithe payers' in order to have recommends for temple ordinances.25

The early tithing requirements of Mormonism give added significance to the numbers of immigrants to Utah before 1881 and to the numbers of LDS converts prior to 1899. At a personal level, any Mormon who paid a full tithing by nineteenth-century definitions (like the man who gave $4 in 1845) was deserving of awe and veneration. Then in May 1899 Lorenzo Snow publicly announced a revelation which limited the law of tithing to one-tenth of annual income with no massive payment upon conversion. As an LDS church president, Snow is best known for his emphasis on observance of this new definition of tithing.26 This was the last LDS liberalization of the 1838 revelation on tithing. From then until the present, Mormons have been allowed to decide whether to pay tithing on their gross income or net income.27

Lorenzo Snow's announcement was undoubtedly the cause for a significant increase in the percentage of Mormons who paid at least some tithing (see Table). In 1890, 17.2 percent of LDS stake membership had paid some tithing, and the percentage hovered around 15 percent for seven years. In 1898 the percentage of stake members who paid some tithing was only 1 percent higher than in 1890. In 1899, the year of Lorenzo Snow's announcement, the number of tithe payers in the stakes jumped to 25.6 percent.28

In early 1900 President Snow asked the Presiding Bishop to prepare a list 'of non-tithe payers and about 10,000 names were in the record.'29 Snow told the apostles that non-payment of tithing 'was worse than the non-observance of the Word of Wisdom' prohibitions against tobacco and alcohol. The time had long since passed when general authorities were exempt from the obligation to pay tithing, and one apostle was shocked to learn that Apostle John W. Taylor's 'name is on the Non-Tithing List!'30

In April 1910 the church president announced it was necessary to comply with this greatly reduced law of tithing in order to have temple recommends.31 This 1910 announcement was a reincarnation of the poorly enforced First Presidency announcement in 1881. Since 1910 bishops and stake presidents have given greater attention to the requirement of tithing for temple recommends. Higher expectations of tithing compliance were possible because twentieth-century Mormons have had it easy regarding their tithing obligations compared with nineteenth-century Mormons.

Table 1.
LDS Stake Members Who Paid Some Tithing, 1890-1925

(per capita for total membership)
1890 17.2% 1900 27.0% 1910 21.6% 1920 21.9%
1891 15.1% 1901 28.9% 1911 21.0% 1921 20.7%
1892 15.8% 1902 28.2% 1912 20.6% 1922 28.4%
1893 14.9% 1903 28.5% 1913 21.0% 1923 27.3%
1894 15.7% 1904 27.6% 1914 20.1% 1924 25.1%
1895 15.3% 1905 26.4% 1915 20.0% 1925 25.3%
1896 15.1% 1906 26.1% 1916 20.1%
1897 15.6% 1907 26.8% 1917 21.8%
1898 18.4% 1908 26.0% 1918 21.3%
1899 25.6% 1909 25.0% 1919 22.3%

Of course the figures in this Table were significantly higher than the percentage of stake members who paid a full tithing. During the pre-Depression first quarter of the twentieth century, the highest percentage of full-tithe payers was in 1910. In that year 16.5 percent of the church's total stake membership of men, women, and children paid a full 10-percent tithing.32 However, neither of the above measures adequately assesses individual compliance by Mormons concerning their church's requirement for tithing.

The annual reports did not regularly list the number of wage-earners or consistently show the percentage of wage-earners who actually paid tithing. The 54,346 full-tithe payers in 1910 were a much higher percentage (though unquantifiable) of the wage-earners among Latter-day Saints in the stakes that year. For example, in the very next year 59.3 percent were full-tithe payers of the total wage-earners. Likewise, the highest percentage (28.9 percent) who paid any tithing in that quarter-century amounted to 74,625 tithe payers in 1901. That had to be an impressive record for the Mormon wage-earners in the stakes that year, for the lowest rate of tithe paying during that quarter-century was 20 percent of total stake population in 1915. In that latter year 73 percent of wage-earners paid at least some tithing.33 The praise of Mormon leaders for the financial devotion of LDS church members has never been exaggerated.

Tithing donations from the widow's mite to the rich man's abundance have always been the essential source of LDS church revenues. When Esquire magazine's August 1962 cover story claimed the church's revenues were $1 million a day,34 tithing revenues were actually about $100 million that year instead of $365 million.35 This 350+ percent error was due to careless research and a wild guess by Salt Lake City's non-Mormon mayor, J. Bracken Lee: 'I do know that the net income exceeds a million dollars a day.'36 With far more attention to available details, a carefully researched estimate of 1991 was probably closer to the mark in claiming that the LDS church received $4.3 billion in annual tithing revenue.37 The accuracy of this estimate is debatable, since recent tithing figures are unavailable for research.

However, annual tithing revenues for the decade prior to the Esquire estimate are helpful for estimating recent LDS church income. In 1962 tithing revenues were about $56.62 per capita for total LDS membership that year, nearly double the per capita tithing revenues of $28.65 in 1952. In real dollars (a term in economic history), the 1962 tithing equalled $253 per capita in 1990 dollars.38 Therefore, assuming similar tithing observance in 1990 (without including the observable annual growth rate), this would translate to $1.96 billion in tithing revenue during 1990. From that perspective, LDS Public Affairs in 1991 rightly dismissed the estimate of $4.3 billion of annual tithing income as 'grossly overstated.'39 However, by including the growth rate of the earlier reports by LDS headquarters, it is difficult to regard $4.3 billion as a 'grossly overstated' estimate of annual LDS revenues in the 1990s.

A nearly 100 percent growth rate in the actual dollars of per capita tithing from 1952 to 1962 cannot simply be ignored when estimating the LDS church's present income. That decade included the explosive growth of LDS conversions outside the United States and Canada. There is no reason to discount similar growth in tithing rates during the three decades since 1962. With the 1952-62 period as a basis of comparison, the church's tithing revenues for 1990 would be far in excess of the estimate of $4.3 billion. From this perspective that estimate seems conservative.

However, it is important to recognize that tithing from Mormons outside the United States has rarely ever been transferred to church headquarters in America. Except for the early years of the British Mission (established in 1837) and of the Canadian settlements of Mormons (begun in 1887), Mormon tithing funds have remained in the countries of their origin. The first reason for this is that foreign outposts of Mormonism have been financial drains on the church's general funds, which typically supplement local tithing collected outside the United States. In the nineteenth century it was more practical to use foreign tithing for the immediate needs of the missions and branches in each country where it was collected. Physical transfer of overseas funds required months of travel to and from headquarters in the United States.

The second reason for keeping tithing in the country of its origin was that the church lost money in exchange fees for every transaction involving U.S. dollars and foreign currency. The third reason is that (particularly in the twentieth century) laws of some countries either complicated or prohibited transfers of tithing to the United States. The bottom line is that the net flow of tithing funds has been from Salt Lake City to other countries where Mormons have converted and eventually built chapels and temples.

Both the definition of tithing and the extent of its payment have evolved since 1831. The LDS church could not have become the international organization it is today without the development of regular tithe paying.

6. Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley, America's Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1984), 97, 128.
7. Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, 13-14, 59-61, 70-72. Except when otherwise indicated, biographical sketches of all general authorities named in this chapter can be found either in the above book or in an appendix of the present volume.
8. Donald Q. Cannon and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., Far West Record: Minutes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-40 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983), 131; compare to Howard D. Swainston, 'Tithing,' in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1481.
9. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 134-36, 409.
10. Meeting of seven members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with English immigrant Joseph Fielding at Nauvoo, Illinois, 31 Nov. 1841, minutes, archives, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah (hereafter LDS archives); Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 18, and Swainston, 'Tithing,' in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1482, overlooked this as a liberalization of the requirement in the 1838 revelation.
11. Joseph Smith et al., History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Period I: History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and . . . Period II: From the Manuscript History of Brigham Young and Other Original Documents, ed. B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1902-32; 2d ed. rev. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978]), 7:251 (hereafter History of the Church). Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 18, 428n58, overlooked the double-jeopardy dimension of the epistle's tithing requirement.
12. History of the Church, 7:358.
13. Heber C. Kimball diary, 29 Jan. 1845, in Stanley B. Kimball, ed., On the Potter's Wheel: The Diaries of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Signature Books/Smith Research Associates, 1987), 94; Nauvoo Trustee-in-Trust Tithing and Donation Record, 220-222 (29 Jan. 1845), LDS archives. For the term general bishop and its meaning in early LDS history, see Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool and London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-86), 22: 34 (O. Pratt/1880); D. Michael Quinn, 'Evolution of the Presiding Quorums of the LDS Church,' Journal of Mormon History 1 (1974): 34; Dale Beecher, 'The Office of Bishop,' Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 15 (Winter 1982): 103; Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, 69-71.
14. John E. Page statement at meeting of Strangite high council, Voree, Wisconsin, 6 Apr. 1846, Document 6, James J. Strang Manuscripts, Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. For a history of Strang and his schismatic alternative to Brigham Young, see Roger Van Noord, King of Beaver Island: The Life and Assassination of James Jesse Strang (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988).
15. Hosea Stout diary, 9 Sept. 1851, in Juanita Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844-1861, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964), 2:403; Robert J. McCue, 'Did the Word of Wisdom Become a Commandment in 1851?' Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14 (Fall 1981): 66-77. For enforcement of the Word of Wisdom, see Lester E. Bush, Jr., 'The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,' and Thomas G. Alexander, 'The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement,' Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14 (Fall 1981): 46-65, 78-88.
16. 'Notice,' Deseret News [weekly], 26 Oct. 1854, [3]; Bishops' meeting minutes, 28 Oct. 1858, LDS archives. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 456n21, argued that excommunication for delinquent tithing was an unfulfilled threat.
17. John D. Lee diary, 25 Jan. 1868, in Robert Glass Cleland and Juanita Brooks, eds., A Mormon Chronicle: The Diaries of John D. Lee, 1848-1876, 2 vols. (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1955), 2:96.
18. Journal of Discourses, 13:279 (B. Young/1870).
19. Leonard J. Arrington, 'The Mormon Tithing House: A Frontier Business Institution,' Business History Review 28 (Mar. 1954): 29, and Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 137. Larry M. Logue, A Sermon in the Desert: Belief and Behavior in Early St. George, Utah (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988), was a demographic analysis that gave brief discussion of tithing (18, 120).
20. For example, Journal of Discourses, 15:308 (O. Hyde/1873), 15:359 (O. Pratt/1873), 16:157 (O. Pratt/1873).
21. Journal of Discourses, 19:337 (E. Snow/1878).
22. Brigham Young sermon, 8 Oct. 1875, in 'Semi-Annual Conference,' Deseret Evening News, 9 Oct. 1875, [2].
23. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 355.
24. Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1830-1972), 246 microfilm reels, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (hereafter cited as Marriott Library), 8 Jan. 1881, 5, quoted John Taylor's statement about the lump-sum tithing requirement of Utah 'new comers,' but did not mention the similar requirement for new converts; George Goddard diary, 8 Jan. 1881, LDS archives, emphasized the lump-sum tithing upon conversion, but did not mention the tithing requirement for new immigrants to Utah; Journal of Discourses, 22:5-16 (J. Taylor/1881), was the church president's sermon on 9 January 1881 as an addition to his 'remarks yesterday afternoon, in answer to certain questions which have been put to me in relation to the principle of Tithing.' This second sermon did not refer to the obligations of tithing upon baptism or emigration to Zion.
25. Journal History, 8 Jan. 1881, 5; quote from Heber J. Grant diary, 2 Apr. 1881, LDS archives; Journal of Discourses, 22:207-208 (Woodruff/1881); Swainston, 'Tithing,' in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1482. While 'diary' is the standardized term I use to identify personal documents with daily entries, Grant kept several different kinds of such records, which must be identified separately in order to locate the quotations.
26. Richard O. Cowan, The Church in the Twentieth Century (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1985), 16-17; Richard Edgley and Wilford G. Edling, 'Finances of the Church,' and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Paul Thomas Smith, 'Lorenzo Snow,' in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:508, 3:1370; E. Jay Bell, 'The Windows of Heaven Revisited: The 1899 Tithing Revelation,' Journal of Mormon History 20 (Spring 1994): 45-83.
27. Swainston, 'Tithing' in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism,4:1481.
28. Presiding Bishopric 1909 cumulative report, 58, LDS archives. Before 1894 the report did not itemize the percentage of tithepayers in the stakes. The PBO did not receive tithing from missions. I calculated those percentages by comparing itemized numbers of tithepayers from 1890 through 1893 with stake membership for those years as contained in Deseret News 1995-1996 Church Almanac (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1994), 419.
29. Journal History, 29 Mar. 1900, 2.
30. Anthon H. Lund diary, 2 May, 27 June 1901, microfilm, LDS archives, available to all researchers by stipulation of its donor.
31. William H. Smart diary, 5 Apr. 1910, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library. Smart was a stake president in Utah.
32. Presiding Bishopric Office 1909 cumulative report, 58, 1910 report, 32, 1915 cumulative report, 1916 report, 1924 cumulative report, 1925 report.
33. Presiding Bishopric Office cumulative report for 1915. The rest were 'exempt' by reason of being non-wage earning children or adults, impoverished, or full-time missionaries. By this time the PBO reports implied (but did not specifically state) that the itemized figures applied to tithepayers for the stakes only. Each report compared those numbers with the total church membership of stakes and missions. Percentages here consistently reflect the population of the church's stakes and wards, rather than its missions and branches.
34. Neil Morgan, 'Utah: How Much Money Hath the Mormon Church?: A million dollars a day . . . what with tithing, real estate and commerce,' Esquire, Aug. 1962, 86-91.
35. Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President (Salt Lake City: LDS Church Financial Department, 12 Apr. 1961) and Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President (Salt Lake City: LDS Church Financial Department, 20 Dec. 1962), copies in LDS archives.
36. Morgan, 'Utah: How Much Money Hath the Mormon Church?' 90.
37. 'Income of Mormon Church Is Put at $4.7 Billion a Year,' New York Times, 2 July 1991, A-14. The headline amount included income from sources other than tithing.
38. Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President [12 Apr. 1961]; Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President [20 Dec. 1962]; the 1990 dollar amounts were calculated according to the Consumer Price Index for December 1990, as derived from Statistical Abstract; Economic Trends: August 1991 (St. Louis: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Aug. 1991).
39. Don LeFevre's statement in 'Income of Mormon Church Is Put at $4.7 Billion a Year,' New York Times, 2 July 1991, A-14.

LDS Tithing History, October 1985.

LDS Tithing Chronology

-- During October 1985.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, second counselor in the First Presidency, warns at general conference: "We are not under obligation to spend tithing funds to provide facilities and resources to those who have demonstrated that it is their objective to attack the Church and undermine the mission." (1)

-- Nov 25, 1989
[Finances] The church announces that the expenditures of local units -- wards and stakes -- will now be paid by annual budget allowances from church tithing funds, ending the established practice of having members pay many local costs. (2)

-- Mar 30, 1990
Apostle Boyd K. Packer, speaks at a Regional Representative Seminar. In a talk titled "Let Them Govern Themselves," he reiterates the importance of the announcement on tithes and offerings and its purpose in reducing "the overregimentation of the Church. This overregimentation is a direct result of too many programmed instructions" He acknowledges that "smaller budgets and fewer activities, fewer programs . . . will leave a vacuum," he pleads with the Regional Representatives to "absolutely resist the temptation to program that vacuum. . . . Please, for this one time, honor the agency of the members, the families." He also significantly in this context, points out that "the term `free' agency is not found in the revelations. It is a moral agency" (3)

-- Jun 30, 1991
ARIZONA REPUBLIC begins three-part series on LDS church finances and claims that church receives $4.5 billion in tithing annually. LDS headquarters announces that this estimate is "grossly overstated" but does not say by how much. (3)

-- Aug 18, 2007
[Finances] Church contractors implode a 20-story office building in downtown Salt Lake City, the final step in preparations to begin construction on City Creek Center, a $1.5 billion redevelopment project. (Presiding Bishop H. David Burton has stated that no tithing funds will be used in the completion of this project.) (2)

1 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1
2 -
3 - On This Day in Mormon History,

Mormon Tithing Timeline /Chronology

LDS Tithing History, Wed Feb 3, 1960

LDS Tithing Chronology

-- Wed Feb 3, 1960
[David O. McKay] [Part of a memo by Ernest L. Wilkinson concerning a meeting held with McKay on this date]: "I referred to a letter which I had just received from the First Presidency asking me to obtain all tithing information concerning faculty members from the First Presidency. I reminded him that in April of last year he consented that I obtain this information direct from the Presiding Bishopric. I asked if there had been complaints that I had been obtaining the information from local Bishops. He told me that they had received a letter of criticism to the effect that all secretaries in my office and other places knew the amounts paid by faculty members. I assure him there was no truth of any kind to that statement, that no one had the information except me. He said he had himself assumed that fact but that he was glad to have this assurance. He suggested I take this up with the First Presidency when I met with them." (1)

-- During July 1970
[Finances] The church launches a computerized system to catalog the payment of tithing and other donations. (2)

-- Jan 09, 1982
The Church introduces a simplified tithing and donation recording system that utilizes the expanding capabilities of computers. (3)

-- Apr 2, 1982
First Presidency announces two changes to lessen financial burdens on church members. First, church headquarters henceforth pays for all costs of meetinghouse construction. This relieves local members of requirement to finance construction in addition to paying tithing. (4)

-- Sep 5, 1983
PEOPLE magazine story on Howard Hughes widow Terry Moore says that Moore wed Hughes in 1949. "Though the two were never properly divorced," reports PEOPLE, Moore subsequently remarried four times. Once was to L.A. Rams football star, Glenn Davis, "in a quiet Mormon ceremony." The magazine also reports her inheritance (10 to 20 million dollars) will be channeled into charity funds, personal gifts, a new limo, a suburban mansion, and "ten percent will go to the Mormon church to which she tithes." (4)

1 - McKay, David O., Office Journal
2 -
3 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,'
4 - On This Day in Mormon History,

Mormon Tithing Timeline /Chronology

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LDS Tithing History, 1935

LDS Tithing Chronology

-- During 1935
Lee's self-sufficiency programs were so successful that the Church allowed tithing revenues to remain within Pioneer Stake. His stake programs provided the first step in the creation of a worldwide Church welfare program. (1)

-- Apr 21, 1945
CHURCH NEWS reports that due to ward's lack of deacon-age boys, bishop has called young girls (ages 12 to 14) to do work of deacons such as collecting fast offerings. (2)

-- Sep 21, 1949
First Counselor J. Reuben Clark writes that "the General Authorities of the Church get precious little from the tithing of the Church. They are not paid as much as a first-class, stenographic secretary of some of the men who run industry." (2)

-- Sep 21, 1956
Second counselor J. Reuben Clark reluctantly agrees not to oppose First Preidency's decision to set aside two-thirds of tithing income to invest in government bonds, even though in previous months church had already lost $1 million on its investments in government securities. (2)

-- Thu Apr 16, 1959
[David O. McKay] Met by appointment Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, President of the Brigham Young University, who took up the following with me: 1. The question of whether President Wilkinson should have access to the tithing records of the faculty of the Brigham Young University. The faculty itself has already voted that compliance with Church standards is one of the criterions [sic] for promotion. This question was discussed at our meeting of the First Presidency today. (3)

1 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons
2 - On This Day in Mormon History,
3 - McKay, David O., Office Journal

Mormon Tithing Timeline /Chronology

LDS Tithing History, Apr 5, 1910

LDS Tithing Chronology

-- Apr 5, 1910
Joseph F. Smith instructs bishops and stake presidents that payment of tithing and observance of Word of Wisdom are necessary for Mormons to obtain temple recommends. (1)

-- Wednesday, Mar 22, 1911
[Apostle John Henry Smith] I went to Spanish Fork with both my wives. I bought $268.75 worth of goods and paid thirty dollars tithing. (2)

-- Jun 9, 1911
The Hotel Utah was built as a cooperative effort by the business and ecclesiastical leaders of the Salt Lake community to bring everyone together. It succeeded. Shares in the venture were sold and the hotel's prominent location on the corner of South Temple and Main Street, previously the site of the Bishop's Tithing Office and the Deseret News, was donated by the LDS Church. After two years of construction and a $2 million price tag, the Hotel opened 9 June 1911 "in a blaze of splendor" with a grand party for 500 of Utah's notables. (3)

-- Apr 6, 1915
Church releases its first detailed report to "show how the tithing of the Church for the year 1914 has been disbursed." These annual reports of expenditures continue until last public statement in Apr. 1959. (1)

-- Nov 1, 1918
Joseph F. Smith dictates "thus saith the Lord" revelation concerning disbursement of tithing funds. This revelation is not presented to meeting of First Presidency and Quorum or Twelve until Apr 8, 1943. Text available but never published or canonized. (1)

1 - On This Day in Mormon History,
2 - Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990
3 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Hotel Utah,

Mormon Tithing Timeline /Chronology

LDS Tithing History, 1907

LDS Tithing Chronology

-- During 1907
[Charles Nibley] Nibley was called to be the Presiding Bishop of the Mormon Church in 1907. He held that position for the next eighteen years. During his time the Mormon Church did away with tithing scrip, and he placed the church on a strict cash payment basis. He also was influential in getting the church to build Hotel Utah. (1)

-- Thursday, Apr 9, 1908
[Apostle John Henry Smith] Myself and Wives went to Spanish Fork to draw our yearly Dividend. It was $298.75. I paid $30.00 Tithing and withdrew $228.75 in goods and left $40.00 standing to our credit. (2)

-- During 1908
Presiding Bishop Charles W. Nibley moved the Church to an all-cash basis and no longer issued tithing scrip. (3)

-- Tuesday, Apr 20, 1909
[Apostle John Henry Smith] I was at the Office of the Presidency with a Committee of Citizens. It was decided to build a Hotel on the Tithing orifice] Corner. The land to [be] Valued at $750.00 dollars a foot 225 feet on South Temple St. (2)

-- Apr 20, 1909
[Thomas A. Clawson] "On Monday I had to refuse to issue a Temple recoment (Sic) to bro. A.J. Gray because of his name being on the non-Tithing payers list also, of his bad habit in smoking. This is my first refusal and I was very sorry to have to do it." (4)

1 - Utah History Encyclopedia: Charles Nibley,
2 - Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990
3 - Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
4 - Diary Excerpts of Thomas A. Clawson, Signature Books Library,

Mormon Tithing Timeline /Chronology

LDS Tithing History, Monday, Dec 31, 1906

LDS Tithing Chronology

-- Monday, Dec 31, 1906
[Apostle John Henry Smith] I settled the tithing of myself and wives $500.00. I have aid $500.00 to the new meeting house. (1)

-- Jan 10, 1907
President Joseph F. Smith announced that the Church was entirely free of debt, with the payment of the last two $500,000 bond issues sold by President Lorenzo Snow in December 1899 to fund the debt. The first had been paid in 1903. Retiring the debt was largely due to the renewed emphasis in the Church on tithing. (2)

-- Mar 26, 1907
In response to strong anti-LDS publicity, Church publishes ―Open Letter explaining history and major doctrines. It is unanimously sustained in the April general conference and is known as an ―Address to the World. It states the Church‘s standings on the sanctity of marriage, opposition to tyranny, tithe usage, support for the American government, and discontinued practice of plural marriage. (3)

-- Dec 7, 1907
Charles W. Nibley became presiding bishop and began implementing several financial changes, including a shift to an all-cash policy in collecting tithing. (4)

-- Tuesday, Dec 31, 1907
[Apostle John Henry Smith] I settled the tithing of the year to night. (1)

1 - Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990
2 - Church News: Historical Chronology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
3 - Sherry Baker: Mormon Media History Timeline: 1827-2007,
4 - Hemidakaota, "Church Chronology from 1800-2000,"

Mormon Tithing Timeline /Chronology

LDS Tithing History, Tuesday, Dec 27, 1904

LDS Tithing Chronology

-- Tuesday, Dec 27, 1904
[Apostle John Henry Smith] I paid $686.00 in Taxes, and $350.00 in tithing. (1)

-- December 28, 1904
[Apostle Marriner W. Merrill] Wednesday. I settled my tithing today; paid $639.42 this year. (2)

-- Wednesday Oct. 4, 1905
[Anthony W. Ivins] Conference....Pres. Smith made introductory remards. Get out of debt. Tithing increasing. Tithing books open to to all Latter- day Saints but not to the world. (3)

-- During 1905
(Frank J. Cannon) Requested by friends Ben Rich and J. Golden Kimball to formally withdraw from the Church, Cannon refused. His February, 1905, editorial charged that President Smith "violated the laws [revelations] of his predecessors," took "the bodies of the daughters of his subjects and bestowed them upon his favorites," and "impoverished his subjects by a system of elaborate exactions [tithes] in order to enrich 'the crown.'" (4)

-- April 6, 1906
[Anthony W. Ivins] Conference -- Pres. Smith - The condition of the Church financially is good. Prosperity prevails. The Presidency are united. They are united with those of the Quorum of Apostles who have attended to their duties & to a degree of the most vital importance. More tithing paid in 1905 than at any other time in the history of the church. (3)

1 - Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990
2 - Notes from the Miscellaneous Record Book, 1886-1906: Selected diary notes from the journal books of Marriner Wood Merrill
3 - Diary Excerpts of Anthony W. Ivins
4 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons

Mormon Tithing Timeline /Chronology

LDS Tithing History, Saturday, Feb 27, 1904

LDS Tithing Chronology

-- Saturday, Feb 27, 1904
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] The reports were very good and showed that the saints of the stake were taking a lively interest in the work. There are three high priests reported as non-tithe-payers, and 1 70 [Seventy] in the quorum reported by Elder [John A.] Sutton. (1)

-- Monday, Apr 4, 1904
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Salt Lake City. Clear and mild, heavy rainstorm in night. 7 p.m. General priesthood meeting in the tabernacle, Pres. Smith presiding. The speakers were Presidents Smith and Lund and Lyman, and Bishops [William B.] Preston and [Orrin P.] Miller. Much good instruction was given on the subjects of tithing, indebtedness, lesser priesthood, &c. ... Pres. Smith said he hoped to see the day when church improvements in the stakes, such as new meeting houses, school houses, and so forth, could be built by the church from the tithes of the people and that it would not be necessary to tax the saints as we do at present. That day would come, he thought, when the church is free from debtâ€"in the course of two or three years. (1)

-- Thursday, May 12, 1904
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Elder Smoot and Pres. Lyman attended the dedication of the Lake View meeting house, Utah Stake, Pres. Lyman offering the prayer. The house was fully paid for and $10 dollars in the treasury. The tithing receipts had not suffered by reason of this enterprise. (1)

-- Thursday, Jul 7, 1904
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Elder Clawson, as chairman of the auditing committee, submitted a report, showing the exact status of the church, Jan. 1, 1904. The said report comprehended the net surplus as shown by the books of the trustee-in-trust and as previously reported in detail, the tithing on hand in the stakes of Zion as shown by the books of the Presiding Bishop (and transferred to the books of the T.-in-T.) and the surplus of the Deseret News business. Upon motion of Elder Jno. H. Smith, the report was received, approved, and ordered to be placed on file. The showing made by said report was most excellent and encouraging. (1)

-- Sunday, Sep 25, 1904
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] 2 p.m. Continuation of conference, Pres. Welling presiding. Pres. Milton H. Welling was the first speaker. Topics treated. The presidency of the stake meet regularly once a week. High council united with the presidency. The auxiliary organizations all complete. Tithing this year will exceed that of last year. Elder Geo. Reynolds spoke briefly. R. Clawson. Topics treated. Spoke from the text [blank]. The saints must keep their promises and meet their obligations. (1)

1 - Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993

Mormon Tithing Timeline /Chronology

LDS Tithing History, Oct 20, 1903

LDS Tithing Chronology

-- Oct 20, 1903
Death of Green Flake, African-American slave who drove Brigham Young into the Salt Lake Valley on Jul 24, 1847. Green was owned by Mormon James M. Flake who lent him along with a wagon and two mules to the Church for the 1847 trek west. Upon the death of James M. Flake in 1850 his widow moved to California, a free state, but before leaving gave her "Negro slave Green Flake" to the Church as tithing. Green worked two years for Brigham Young and for Heber C. Kimball, and was then granted his freedom. After his wife's death he moved to Idaho. He returned to Salt Lake in 1897 to attend the 50th anniversary "jubilee" celebration of the arrival of the pioneers, where he received a certificate honoring him as a surviving member of the Brigham Young pioneer company. He is one of three slaves listed on the plaque on the Brigham Young monument in downtown Salt Lake City under the category of "Colored Servants." (1)

-- Sunday, Jan 24, 1904
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Logan, Utah. Snowing and cold. 2 p.m. Continuation of [Cache Stake] Conference, Pres. [Joseph] Morrell presiding. Pres. .... R. Clawson. Topics treated. Duties of the bishops. A bishop is an executive officer and should see that others do their duty; should foster and cultivate the talent and gifts of the gospel enjoyed by the saints. The liquidation of one half of the Church indebtedness. (2)

-- Thursday, Jan 28, 1904
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Elder Woodruff attended the Sunday School conference in Salt Lake. Elder Clawson attended the Cache Stake Conference Sunday and Monday. Large meetings. Bishops and auxiliaries reported. Pres. [Joseph] Morrell reported an increase of 11% in tithes for 1903 over 1902 or $6000. Their total tithing being $50,000. Home missionaries had done a good work in the wards. (2)

-- Thursday, 4 February 1904
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Salt Lake City. Cloudy and cool; thawing. 10 a.m. Meeting in the temple. Present: Presidents Jos. F. Smith, Jno. R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund, and Elders Francis M. Lyman, Jno. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, Matthias F. Cowley, Rudger Clawson, Hyrum M. Smith, Geo. A. Smith, the Patriarch [John Smith], and the clerk.
Elder Clawson submitted his annual report for 1903 of the financial status of the church. The showing made was most excellent and satisfactory. ... Jackson Temple offerings (2)

-- Thursday, Feb 11, 1904
[Apostle Rudger Clawson] Prest. John R. Winder attended temple fast meeting last Sunday at 10 a.m. and fast meeting in Farmers Ward at 2 p.m. Elder Geo. A. Smith reported the attendance of Prest. Lyman, Elder John H. Smith, and himself at the Jordan Stake Conference. Good spirit prevailed. Tithing report of 1903 very favorable. Two high priests were ordained during the conference. ... Elder Cowley attended the Summit Stake Conference, held at Kamas. Good conference. Talked up reservoir question. Some immorality in the stake. Tithing gradually improving. Elder Teasdale had been suffering from a bad cold and hence filled no appointment, but attended fast meeting at Nephi. (2)

1 - On This Day in Mormon History,
2 - Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993

Mormon Tithing Timeline /Chronology