I first learned the value of tithing when I was still in Primary. Our Primary teacher shared a story of this young boy in our ward who obediently paid his tithing each Sunday. This young boy was probably 9 or 10 years old. He was putting 25-50 cents in the tithing envelope when one member noticed him and asked, “You aren’t working yet, right? Why are you paying your tithes?” He replied, “My parents couldn’t give their tithes for now because we have financial problems. So, I am giving 10% of my allowance”.
When I heard this short story, I was amazed by this young boy’s obedience in following God’s commandments. He might not have understood the reason why he was doing it, but he showed such strong faith to separate 10% of his allowance to pay his tithes each week. Hence, I decided to pay my tithing as well. When I was 10 years old, in 5th grade, I started to take out 10% of my allowance, and I continued to pay my tithing through high school and college. By so doing, I have witnessed miracles in my life that have yielded a strong testimony of the law of tithing. I have learned these three important lessons that helped me to grow spiritually:
- “The Lord does not need your tithing, as far as He is concerned, but you need it for your growth, spiritually and temporally, that the windows of heaven may be opened and the Spirit of the living God given to you.” (Heber J. Grant)
When I was in college, I overheard a conversation of my schoolmates talking about Mormons that are compelled to give 10% of their income. A woman said, “My dad refused to join the Mormon Church because they are making money from the members, getting 10% of their income.” They didn’t understand the whole concept of tithing. They just thought that the members were being taken advantage of. If we think about it, Heavenly Father essentially has everything. He doesn’t need our money. He made this commandment for us to learn to control our temporal desires and wants. He wants us to regularly do it for us to grow spiritually. For over 13 years of paying my tithing, I have learned that money is not the only thing we need in this life to be happy. Paying tithing is such a big trial when we face financial difficulties; but when we overcome it successfully, we surely get the reward. We experience increased faith and trust in God’s plan.
- “Tithing develops and tests our faith. By sacrificing to the Lord what we may think we need or want for ourselves, we learn to rely on Him. Our faith in Him makes it possible to keep temple covenants and receive eternal temple blessings.”(Robert D. Hales)
Now that I’m working as a nurse and a temple worker, I sometimes face situations where I have to choose between these two obligations. I decided to serve in the temple every Tuesday while I am waiting to go on my mission in October. When my manager offered me more work, I refused because it would have been impossible for me to serve in the temple. I have chosen days to work where I can still go to the temple even though it means I have fewer working days available. From the moment I started to serve in the temple, I have been tested again and again if I am willing to sacrifice one day each week to go there. I really need the money to serve my mission, but because of my faith in the Lord, He made it possible for me to still go to the temple. I have relied on His plan for me and I know I can still fulfill all my roles that I have. Through regularly paying my tithing, I have learned to trust in the Lord when things are uncertain. I have received so many blessings from regularly going to the temple. I have gained an understanding of the covenants and promised blessings that one can receive through going to the House of the Lord. I am being sanctified and reminded of who I really am. In a nut shell, paying tithing is a preparation for us to receive more blessings.
- “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. “ (Malachi 3:10)
Are there actually blessings that come from paying our tithes? I have a testimony that God’s promises are real. When I face trials in my life, whether it be financially or emotionally, I sometimes question if His promises are real. I have said to myself, “I’m paying my tithing, why am I not getting more money? Why am I experiencing this?” But then I learned to trust and have faith in God’s commandments; I have known for myself that the blessings of tithing are real. Heavenly Father always keeps His promises. We just have to wait sometimes and we must be cognizant of the little blessings that we experience each day.
Whether our offerings are small or large, I have a strong testimony that tithing is meant for us; to help us to be what Heavenly Father wants us to be. The law of tithing is a commandment given to us to fulfill with all our hearts. I am thankful for this young boy’s example to me because through that simple act, he inspired me to be obedient to the law of tithing. If this young boy can do it, why can’t we all do it? Age doesn’t matter. Amount doesn’t matter. What truly matters is that we are giving it wholeheartedly. Pay your tithes and the Lord will give you more than you can ever imagine.
This article was written by Leonore Belmonte.