The Blessings Of The Law Of Tithing

    Area Leadership Message

    Elder Sabin
    Elder Gary B. Sabin Europe Area President

    Many years ago, as a stake president, President Gordon B. Hinckley interviewed a man for a temple recommend. When President Hinckley asked the man if he was paying an honest tithe, the man candidly replied that he did not because he had too many debts. President Hinckley felt impressed to tell him that he would not be able to pay off his debts until he paid tithing.

    He later told President Hinckley that in the few years that followed, no matter how hard he tried, he could not manage to reduce his debt. Finally, he and his wife concluded that they would try the promise of the Lord. The man reported, “Somehow in a way we can’t quite understand, the Lord has blessed us. We have not missed that which we have given to him, and for the first time in many years we are reducing our debt.” He and his wife were finally able to live within their means but more importantly, they were able to feel the peace from knowing they were worthily keeping their commitment to the Lord.[1]

    As a new bishop, I, too, had an experience with counselling a member concerning tithing. A recent convert approached me with a serious dilemma: he did not have enough money to pay his income taxes and his tithing. I simply asked, “Do you believe the gospel is true?” He affirmed that he did and then quickly arrived at the conclusion that his acknowledged testimony was his answer. A few weeks later he approached me again to report that his accountant had made an error in preparing his taxes by forgetting to take advantage of income averaging. His tax bill was reduced in excess of the tithing he had paid. I believe that this good brother’s faith moved heaven to prompt his accountant with this new idea, an illumination which I believe would not have happened otherwise. 

    We pay tithing with faith more than money. God is more interested in our obedience and the impact it has on our souls when we declare an honest tithe, than in the amount we pay. It shows that we trust God and His promises. We cannot be like the man who sat in front of the fire and said, “Give me heat and I will give you wood.” Moroni taught, “Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” [2]

    The gospel does not follow the logic of man. Consider: “the last shall be first and the first last,”[3] “the weak shall confound the wise,”[4] “He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it,”[5] and, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”[6] Nowhere is this spiritual irony more evident than in regard to the law of tithing because we truly have more when we give more. This is because man’s ways are not God’s ways, and God is at the helm.

    Tithing is never a burden, but rather a blessing as we are always better with the Lord as our partner versus going it alone. Tithing unlocks spiritual confidence that makes possible a host of other blessings such as spiritual sensitivity, gratitude, and charity. In summary, obedience to the law of tithing provides temporal protection and spiritual peace as our confidence before God waxes strong.[7]

    I would also add that, in my experience, paying a generous fast offering likewise results in wonderful blessings. We would be well served to be generous in our effort to help those less fortunate and the Lord will be generous with us.           

    God is anxious to help us in all aspects of our lives if we will obey His commandments, exercise faith, and trust in His promised blessings.

     


    [1] President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign May 1982 

    [2] Ether 12:6

    [3] Matthew 20:16

    [4] See Doctrine and Covenants 133:58

    [5] Matthew 10:39

    [6] Acts 20:35

    [7] See Doctrine and Covenants 121:45