“Caroline Was Willing to Share,” Liahona, September 2021
Early Women of the Restoration
Caroline Was Willing to Share
How much money was Caroline Tippets willing to donate to help buy land in Zion?
Caroline Tippets and her family worked hard, both physically and spiritually. Caroline’s brothers worked in sawmills, helping shape the lumber that was abundant in the state of New York, USA, where they lived. Their family had joined the Church in 1832. Now one of her brothers, Alvah, led the branch of Saints in their area.
In 1834, Alvah had told them about a revelation the Lord had given to the Prophet Joseph Smith asking members to donate or loan money to help “establish Zion” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:74). Knowing that the Church needed to buy land where the Saints could gather, Caroline, age 21, agreed to give $150 in cash and $107 in property, which was more than anyone else in the branch was donating.1
Caroline, her younger brother, Joseph, and one of their cousins stopped in Kirtland, Ohio, on their way to Missouri. They met with Joseph Smith and the Kirtland high council. A cloud of debt hung over the Church at this time, and the high council asked if Caroline would be willing to loan the Church some of her money. As the meeting notes state, “It was ascertained by the council [that] Sister Caroline Tippets held $149.75 of the money. … She was accordingly called into the council and expressed a willingness to loan the same.”2
Caroline saw the loan agreement signed by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and Frederick Williams. But she probably didn’t see Joseph and Oliver kneeling in prayer the next day, giving “thanks for the relief which the Lord had lately sent.”3 Thanks to Caroline’s willingness to share her resources, the Church was able to pay off some debt and continue building the Kirtland Temple.