Priests are not paid

Alma ordained priests and explained how their religion ought to be practiced. Since the covenant given in 2017 adopts the Book of Mormon as a standard for our faith, Alma’s instructions give us guidance. Here is part of what Alma said:

Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people. And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another. And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the children of God.
And he commanded them that they should observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, and also every day they should give thanks to the Lord their God. And he also commanded them that the priests whom he had ordained should labor with their own hands for their support. And there was one day in every week that was set apart that they should gather themselves together to teach the people, and to worship the Lord their God, and also as often as it was in their power to assemble themselves together. And the priests were not to depend upon the people for their support, but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God, that they might wax strong in the spirit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God.
And again Alma commanded that the people of the church should impart of their substance, everyone according to that which he had: if he have more abundantly, he should impart more abundantly; and he that had but little, but little should be required; and to him that had not should be given. And thus they should impart of their substance of their own free will and good desires towards God, to those priests that stood in need, yea, and to every needy, naked soul. And this he said unto them, having been commanded of God. And they did walk uprightly before God, imparting to one another both temporally and spiritually according to their needs and their wants. Mosiah 9: Paragraphs 9-11

The only reward for preaching is to “receive the grace of God.” The restoration has failed to reach its destiny in all the organized restoration congregations because they violate this principle. A compensated clergy cannot “wax strong in the spirit” and therefore cannot “teach with power and authority from God.”

This is because “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” LoF 6:7

True religion takes your time, resources, energy and effort. Practicing it does not reward you with compensation. Every time there one of our conferences is organized, the organizers donate the resources to rent the facility, and bring the equipment, and arrange for food, to be enjoyed by the participants. When speakers who believe in God’s work today come to participate they travel and contribute at their own expense.

Alma also reminds us there is only “one baptism” and the words for that ordinance have been provided in the Book of Mormon. We should faithfully follow that if we are honoring God’s covenant.

Alma discouraged contention, as would the Lord when He later visited the Nephites. Contention that makes people angry with one another is not just ungodly, it has been addressed in a warning from God to us: “Study to learn how to respect your brothers and sisters and to come together by precept, reason, and persuasion, rather than sharply disputing and wrongly condemning each other, causing anger. Take care how you invoke my name. Mankind has been controlled by the adversary through anger and jealousy, which has led to bloodshed and the misery of many souls. Even strong disagreements should not provoke anger, nor to invoke my name in vain as if I had part in your every dispute.” T&C 157:54

The commandment to impart of our substance to those in need does not mean an able-bodied man should neglect his duty to support his family with the expectation that others will provide the needed substance for him and his family. As Paul wrote: “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Tim. 1:13

Alma’s counsel is as useful today as it was when originally given.