About Scott Nielsen

Our resident Doctrine Wonk, and a lifetime student of the scriptures and the gospel, Scott Nielsen is an expert at interpreting and explaining Mormon church teachings. Scott was educated in Great Britain and holds a degree in Theology. Scott loves BYU football, Italian food and camping in the mountains. He lives with his wife and three children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Plain and Precious Truths – Tithing: Yes, We Must Pay to Enter Into Heaven

Plain and Precious Truths is a weekly column that explores and clarifies the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you have a topic you would like to see discussed by Plain and Precious Truths, please email editor@wallsofzion.com.

The Lord is clear: to go to the Celestial Kingdom, we must pay a full tithe.

For visitors who may not know, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ requires all men (and women, if they must work outside the home) to pay 10% of their gross income to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Tithing is a simple, beautiful and fair commandment, one far simpler and more just than the complicated, twisted tax codes of man.  And because tithing is a commandment, we cannot enter into heaven without paying.

Does this mean, as the critics accuse, that the Lord requires us to pay to get into heaven?  Yes, that is exactly what it means.

Let me explain.  In the case of tithing, yes, we are required to sacrifice our money.  But money is gained by spending time working.  Our money, then, is directly tied to our time.  It is therefore plain to see that tithing is in actuality consecrating a portion of our lives to the Lord.  Money is only the vehicle the Lord has chosen for us to consecrate that fraction of our lives.

There’s more.  When someone refuses to pay tithing, they’re guilty of far more than not paying the church.  Money is only a small part of the commandment!  Refusal to tithe is literally a refusal to dedicate yourself to God.  Is it any wonder, then, that tithing is such a vital commandment?

Tithing is even more beautiful when you consider another point.  Tithing is indeed the vehicle by which Heavenly Father requires us to consecrate a portion of our lives solely to him, but in addition to being a consecrating vehicle, money also has intrinsic value for the church.  Without question, money is required to operate God’s kingdom on earth.

Yes, money is used to build ward houses and our church has many chapels.  But remember that because of tithing, chapels make money, not cost money.  Chapels are not an expense, they’re both real estate holdings for the church as well as income generators.  Many members do not understand that tithing’s importance for church operations is not in purchasing buildings, but in actually running the church.  It’s actually terribly inaccurate to tell our children and our nonmember friends that our tithing pays for chapels.  The Mormon church has thousands of paid employees, thousands of cars, extensive travel expenses and much more.  It is these operations that we are funding.

The mind of the Lord is beautiful.  Tithing has been commanded by the Lord both as a vehicle for consecration of our lives and as a necessary tool for running his kingdom on earth.  It is Heavenly Father’s chosen people, his Mormon tithe payers, who are on the Lord’s side.  Is it any wonder that God has decided that he will be surrounded by individuals who were willing to make such a sacrifice for him? Indeed, heaven will be populated solely by tithe payers.  Please, I beg you, decide today to be among the tithe payers, both here on earth and in the Celestial Kingdom.

And when you are asked whether you are required to pay the Mormon church to get into heaven, you can proudly answer, “Of course!

A Word on Mitt Romney


I’m a moderate Mormon and I’ve avoided writing about politics this election year.  But I think it’s time I broke radio silence.  I want to talk about Mitt Romney today.

Mormons seem confused about what Brother Romney means to our faith.  Some Mormons feel that Mitt simply gives our faith the spotlight on a national stage.  Others feel that he’s just another presidential candidate, but happens to be Mormon.  These people are simply wrong.  Here is the truth:

Mitt Romney has been chosen by the Lord to lead the world in the last days.

I’m not afraid to say it, and you shouldn’t be either.  In fact, I think now is the time for all Mormons to finally put their fears aside and let their voices be heard.  It’s obvious to all of us that Mitt Romney was put here for a purpose.  We’ve known all our lives that one day a Mormon would be president of the United States.  It was inevitable.  Furthermore, Brother Romney won’t be the last Mormon to lead the world.  We know that he’s only the first in a long line of leaders set apart by the Lord to lead during the last days.

It’s plain to see that God restored his gospel on earth to prepare for the second coming of the Savior.  We know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints has the fulness of the gospel, that the church is led not just by a great man, but by a prophet just like the prophets of the Old Testament.  Of course the church started small, but being led by the hand of God, its influence has grown and now the Mormon church is ready for one of its representatives to lead the world.

Nothing about any of this is fringe.  Rather, it’s simple, plain truth.  Mormons, in this vital hour you will either stand with Heavenly Father and be counted as one of his chosen people, or you will falter.  We falter when we downplay the importance of Mitt Romney.  We falter when we don’t tell the world why we’re voting for him.  And we’re voting for him because we know that it is the destiny of the Mormon church to lead the United States, and by extension, lead the whole world.  It’s Heavenly Father’s plan.  We all know it.  We should be proud of it.

It breaks my heart when I hear fellow Mormons tell others that they’re voting for Mitt Romney not because of his faith, but for some other reason.  And to be sure, there are many, many political reasons why Brother Romney should be president.  But more than that, it is Mitt Romney’s faith that makes him great.  It is his faith that gives him such well-guided political principles.  It is because of his Mormon faith that Mitt Romney is a great man, and we are cheapening him by not being forward about why we support him.  Mitt Romney is clothed in the true gospel of Jesus Christ!

Brothers and sisters, I don’t know whether Mitt Romney will be elected president in the coming week.  I believe he will, but even if he loses, the gospel will roll forward.  Brother Romney has been chosen but it is up to us to propel him the final distance.  If Mitt wins on Tuesday, then the people of earth have decided to take the higher path now, at this very time.  If he loses, there will be another Mormon who will rise up to take his place.

But whatever the outcome, please, I beg you, do not shirk in this important time.  Do not hide from the importance of this election.  Do not try to blunt your religious convictions.  We know that the gospel is true.  We know that Mitt Romney, a Mormon, represents an important step in the progression of the Lord’s chosen people.