The genesis of this false tradition, I think, lies in a partial quote from D&C 64:
"Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming."
If you heard this scripture out of context, the obvious conclusion is that tithing is fire insurance. However, anyone who believes this is ignorant of the scriptures and ought not be trusted as a teacher.
First, let's look at the verse in context:
"22 And after that day, I, the Lord, will not hold any guilty that shall go with an open heart up to the land of Zion; for I, the Lord, require the hearts of the children of men.
23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.
24 For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon." (D&C 64:22-24)
Now, some questions:
Q) Who WILL be burned at the coming of Christ?
A) "all the proud and they that do wickedly"
Q) Is it possible to pay 10% (gross or net, it doesn't matter) of your income and still be proud and/or wicked?
A) Of course.
Q) Is it possible, then, that this scripture means what many think it means?
A) No way.
Q) Will these proud and wicked be burned up as a punishment or because of some natural consequence?
A) Natural consequence.
Q) How do you prove it?
A) God (and the citizens of Enoch's city, who will be with him) lives in everlasting burnings. Any impurity in their presence is burned as a natural consequence of their purity.
Q) So is there any shortcut to not being burned, or does it actually require you to be able to endure the presence of the Lord?
A) It actually requires you to endure the presence of the Lord.
Q) How can I know if I can endure the presence of the Lord?
A) He appears to you just as soon as that happens.
Q) If that hasn't happened, is it safe to assume that I am going to be burned up should the Lord come prior to my obtaining a visit from the Lord?
Now that that's straightened out, let's pull up some more of the scriptures referring to this event to elucidate just what we are told needs to happen to protect against the burning. It's odd that those who are so happy to quote the tithing quote don't bring these up. It's easy to see why.
``1 It is the duty of the Lord’s clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history, and a general church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the bishop;
2 And also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances.
3 It is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law, which he has given, that he may tithe his people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God."
Here we can clearly see that the word tithe is not used as we use it today (1/10th of your annual increase). It is used in the way the law has been laid out in the D&C by God. To live the law of tithing, you must first consecrate everything you own to the church through the bishop. Next, you receive back what you both agree is sufficient for your needs. Then you pay 10% of your surplus each year. That is the definition of tithing in the D&C. It is the law of consecration.
However, we are not set up to live that law that way today.
5 Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields;
6 But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.
7 Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned.
Here we see that angels must gather us out in order to be protected from burning.
63 Again, verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the churches, inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation—
64 That the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled.
65 Therefore, I must gather together my people, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be;
66 While the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire.
67 Therefore, a commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall continue to gather together unto the places which I have appointed. (D&C 101:63-67)
Again, the law of physical gathering. In another place we read that anyone who has not fled Babylon will be burned.
7 But behold, verily, verily, I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you. I am in your midst and ye cannot see me;
8 But the day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day.
9 Wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy shall not overcome.
10 Verily I say unto you, ye are clean, but not all; and there is none else with whom I am well pleased;
11 For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—
12 Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned; and, behold, the enemy is combined. (D&C 38:7-12)
Here is where we stand today: There is a veil of darkness soon to be rent. Could the silence refer to the general lack of communication from heaven to man?