Recently Elder Bednar spoke to the National press Club in Washington DC. For $25 reporters could sign up and attend. His prepared remarks were rather unremarkable, a General Conference address for non-Mormons. In the Q&A, which I’m sure he was prepared for [1], he said the following when asked about poor people paying tithing given the wealth of the church:

The Church doesn’t need their money, but those people need the blessing that come from following God’s Commandments.

National Press Club live feed, 51:22

I know I’ve heard Bishops and Stake Presidents say this, heck, I even said it myself as a Bishop, but have any of you ever heard a Prophet, Seer and Revelator say that in a public forum? I don’t ever remember any of the Q15 ever saying “don’t need their money” and I welcome a reference from one of you readers to when they have said this in the past.

In 1907 President Joseph F. Smith said the following while talking about the need to pay tithing

Furthermore, I want to say to you, we may not be able to reach it right away, but we expect to see the day when we will not have to ask you for one dollar of donation for any purpose, except that which you volunteer to give of your own accord, because we will have tithes sufficient in the storehouse of the Lord to pay everything that is needful for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I want to live to see that day, if the Lord will spare my life. It does not make any difference, though, so far as that is concerned, whether I live or not. That is the true policy, the true purpose of the Lord in the management of the affairs of His Church.

April 5th 1907 Conference address, Pres Joseph F. Smith (page 7)

Could this be the reason that the “don’t need money” has never been said before? Has Elder Bednar revealed to the Church and the world the fulfillment of that prophecy? Have we reached the day when we “have tithes sufficient in the storehouse of the Lord to pay everything that is needful for the advancement of the kingdom of God.”?

One could argue that Pres Smith was not giving a prophecy, but just an opinion, a desire, or expectation. But when a Prophet “expects” something in the future, isn’t that the very definition of a prophet for that thing to come true? We have lots of examples of a Prophet speaking about something they want, and he does not preface it with “Thus sayeth the Lord.” Lets look at past examples. A prophet says “just one earring for women”, does not say it is revelation or a commandment, and everybody jumps in line. The prophet says to stop using the name Mormon, and it is thus. The prophet says to get vaccinated, and the church does it!

Of course we could squabble on what the word sufficient means. Is $100 million sufficient? Is $100 billion sufficient? One trillion? If I could go back in time to 1907, and after General Conference go find Pres Smith (which was easy to do in those days) and ask him if $3.4 billion ($100 billion today adjusted for inflation) was sufficient, what do you think his answer would be? I think he would laugh at me for being crazy at the very though the church having that kind of money. After I assured him I was not crazy (my white shirt and tie non withstanding), he then tells me that not only would the church never have to ask for any money ever again, but that they could do so much good with that money!

It seems that the church has done what governments have been doing for years. Announce a temporary tax, then hope the people forget about it, and keep collecting it. The federal gasoline excise tax was suppose to be temporary.

So what do you think? Is President Smith’s proclamation about not needing tithing not binding? Has something changed? Has the Church just gotten used to the income and does not want to give it up? Do the Q15 truly believe that the blessings outweigh fulling Pres Smith expectation?

[1] for $100 billion, the church better have the best PR firm in the world.