President Lorenzo Snow

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 253–55


Introduction

“The life of Lorenzo Snow was characterized by his spirituality, his teachings on the nature of God and man, the importance he placed on tithing, and his stress on the worldwide mission of the Church. As he said to the Quorum of the Twelve when he became President of the Church: ‘I don’t want this administration to be known as Lorenzo Snow’s administration, but as God’s, in and through Lorenzo Snow’ (quoted in Orson F. Whitney, “Lives of Our Leaders—The Apostles—Lorenzo Snow,” Juvenile Instructor, Jan. 1900, p. 3)” (My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth: Readings in Church History [1980], 67).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Note: Prayerfully study the assigned scriptures and historical readings and consider the principles under this heading before preparing your lessons.

  • Tithing blesses the entire Church as well as those who pay it (see “President Lorenzo Snow,” Student Study Guide, pp. 184–85, par. 1–3, 11; see also Malachi 3:10; D&C 64:23; 119:4).

  • Heavenly Father is the Father of our spirits. We have the potential to become like Him (see “President Lorenzo Snow,” Student Study Guide, p. 185, par. 6–10).

  • President Lorenzo Snow was a prophet of God and an eyewitness of Jesus Christ (see “President Lorenzo Snow,” Student Study Guide, p. 185, par. 12–17).

Additional Resources

  • Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 451–64.

Suggestions for Teaching

Note: Choose from the ideas under this heading, or use some of your own, as you prepare to teach the assigned scriptures and historical readings.

“President Lorenzo Snow,” Student Study Guide, pp. 184–85, par. 1–3, 11. Tithing blesses the entire Church as well as those who pay it.

(45–50 minutes)

Ask students:

  • What are some of the Church’s material needs? (Answers might include temples, chapels, and other buildings; funds and material goods to help the poor; scriptures, manuals, and other publications.)

  • Could the Lord simply give the Church the money to supply these needs?

  • Why do you think He has us pay tithing instead of supplying the needed funds Himself?

Ask students what blessings come to us from paying tithing, and read and discuss Malachi 3:10. Share the following statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a counselor in the First Presidency:

“The Lord will open the windows of heaven according to our need, and not according to our greed. If we are paying tithing to get rich, we are doing it for the wrong reason. The basic purpose for tithing is to provide the Church with the means needed to carry on His work” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1982, 60; or Ensign, May 1982, 40).

Have students study paragraphs 1–3, 11 of “President Lorenzo Snow” in the student study guide (pp. 184–85). Ask:

  • Why did many Church members stop paying tithing during this time?

  • What challenges might the Church have faced because of debt?

  • What does the fact that the Lord revealed a solution to President Snow teach you about His concern for us?

  • How do you think the increased payment of tithing has helped the Church in its mission since that time?

Share the following statement by President Brigham Young: “We do not ask anybody to pay tithing, unless they are disposed to do so; but if you pretend to pay tithing, pay it like honest men” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1941], 177).

Ask students: What do you do if you do not know how much tithing to pay? Share the following statement by the First Presidency:

“The simplest statement we know of is the statement of the Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should pay ‘one-tenth of all their interest annually,’ which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this” (First Presidency letter, Mar. 19, 1970).

Tell students that if they have other questions about tithing, they can ask their bishop.

Read the following statement by President Lorenzo Snow: “The law of tithing is one of the most important ever revealed to man” (in LeRoi C. Snow, “The Lord’s Way out of Bondage,” Improvement Era, July 1938, 442). Share your testimony of the law of tithing.

“President Lorenzo Snow,” Student Study Guide, p. 185, par. 12–17. President Lorenzo Snow was a prophet of God and an eyewitness of Jesus Christ.

(30–35 minutes)

Show students the accompanying pictures (larger versions are included in the appendix, pp. 315–16). These pictures represent:

Ask students if they can guess what these places have in common. Invite them to read the scriptures in parentheses and find what happened at each of these places.

Show students the accompanying picture (p. 316). Explain that the Savior appeared at this sacred place as well. Read paragraphs 13–17 of “President Lorenzo Snow” in the student study guide (p. 185). Ask:

  • What does it mean to you to know that all these people saw the Savior?

  • Why do you think they were privileged to see the Savior?

  • What evidence can you find in the student study guide of President Snow’s preparation for a vision like this one?

Share details of President Snow’s life (see the student study guide) and testify of his righteous example. Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:67–68; 93:1 and ask students what the Lord promises to all faithful Saints.

Explain that on January 1, 2000, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles published a declaration of their witness of Jesus Christ. Invite the class to turn to “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” in the student study guide (p. 225). (Note: The last week of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History course includes a section on “The Living Christ”; see pp. 282–83.) Have a student read paragraph 13 of “The Living Christ” aloud. Ask: Why is the testimony of today’s Apostles valuable to us? Allow the students time to read the rest of the document silently. Discuss the following questions:

  • What most impresses you about the Apostles’ testimony of Christ?

  • How might you use this testimony for guidance in your life?

  • What are some appropriate ways we could share this testimony with other people?

Consider giving students a copy of “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” (an unnumbered version is included in the appendix of this manual, p. 311). If you do, encourage them to place it where they can see and refer to it often.