Tithing and the Law of Consecration - Steven C. Harper
Steven Harper points out that one of things the Church History Department’s Revelations in Context series was designed to do was to encourage study of the history and doctrine of the LDS Church in order to move members past folk doctrines.
One of these misunderstandings that has developed over time is the relationship between the law of consecration and tithing.
The law of the Lord is given in D&C 42, and it is to love God and love one’s neighbor. All are encouraged to give of their time and temporal means to relieve the suffering of others.
It is not a law governing ownership but rather one that asks us what we are willing to do with what we have. The law is also about agency, accountability, and stewardship.
Tithing didn’t replace the law of consecration; it is simply one way in which it is practiced. The law is eternal and does not change but the way followers practice it does. In the early days of the LDS Church, any freewill offering was considered tithing. This has changed over time. How we consecrate has also changed.