“It Shall Be Disposed of by a Council”

If you want to increase the probability of making wise decisions, form a council.

  • When Ammon and his fellow missionaries saw that their converts were being slaughtered by their enemies, he convened a council with government leaders to determine how to deal with the crisis. (See Alma 24:5.)
  • When the Nephite army faced precarious circumstances, Captain Moroni and other military leaders held a council of war to determine the best course of action. (See Alma 52:19.) Moroni had previously issued an order which had proved to be impossible. Now, with the combined wisdom of his fellow leaders, he was able to craft a better plan.
  • When one of Alma’s sons was struggling to make good decisions, Alma advised him to counsel with his older brothers, “for behold, thou art in thy youth, and ye stand in need to be nourished by your brothers. And give heed to their counsel” (Alma 39:10).

After clarifying the law of tithing in 1838, the Lord instructed church leaders to form a new council for the purpose of managing donated funds:

It shall be disposed of by a council, composed of the First Presidency of my Church, and of the bishop and his council, and by my high council; and by mine own voice unto them, saith the Lord.

Doctrine and Covenants 120:1

This new council, which is today called “the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes,” is actually a combination of three councils: the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric. (See “Church Auditing Department Report, 2020,” General Conference, April 2021.) When eighteen people work together to ensure that church funds are allocated appropriately, and when they all seek to understand and follow the voice of the Lord, the probability of unwise decisions is greatly reduced.

Today, I will be grateful for the governance processes by which tithed funds are managed and utilized. I will strive to follow the example of church leaders and counsel with other people as I make important decisions.

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