Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gospel Topic Tuesday: Tithing

Last week I missed my Gospel Topic Tuesday. I woke up early Wednesday morning and realized it was Wednesday and I had missed it. I planned on doing it that day but totally spaced it and then the week passed me by. Now here it is yet another week passed and I am late again. I had my topic picked out for last week also so it wasn't because I had nothing to write it was just because I am adjusting to my new life.

At Stake Conference one of the topics discussed was tithing. My friend Kenny was sitting next to us and commented on how it's always the same topics discussed. Now I don't disagree but the thought came to me there is a reason why. People struggle with it. If all church members faithfully paid their tithing 100% in full they would not talk to us about tithing as much.

In the Old Testament in the book of Malachi chapter 3 verses 8 - 10 it reads, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 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." We have been commanded to pay tithing which is one tenth of our income. When you step back and think about how everything is the Lord's and he is blessing our lives it really is a small thing to give one tenth of what we earn. Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi said, "The earth belongs to the Lord, and this includes our own lives. He allows us to use everything on this earth. He only asks us to return one-tenth. Tithing is a token of gratitude, obedience, and thanksgiving—a token of our willingness and dedication. Paying tithing, willingly, develops an honest and pure heart." (Will a Man Rob God?)

There is a story or an account in the New Testament found in the book of St. Mark chapter 12 verses 41-44 "And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." This story tells of a woman who is very poor and gives the last of her money which I am sure was hard. Why would she do this? I believe it's because she knew that she would be blessed and the Lord would provide a way.

Back to the scripture in Malachai it states "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." The Lord wants us to prove him. If we faithfully pay our tithing and do as we are commanded we will be blessed. I've experienced this personally in my life. I am not good with money. I never have been and may never be but it is something I am working on. When I moved out on my own I was a little apprehensive. I was making a big step and taking on a lot of responsibility with getting my own place and paying for everything. Before I had only my car insurance, gas and cell bill. Money was tight for me when I was only paying those 3 bills. I knew though that if I faithfully paid my tithing I would be able to pay my bills and manage to get by each month. And it happened. There were some months that I am not sure how things worked out but they did and I know it was a direct blessing from the Lord that my money managed to go as far as it did.

President Hinckley said, “While tithing is paid with money, more importantly it is paid with faith.” (Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts Unceasingly) It does take a great deal of faith to pay our tithing especially when money becomes tight. We have to trust in the Lord and have faith that he will do what he promises he will do. Things will work out, it might not work out the way we hope or plan but the Lord will bless our lives immensely and everything will come together.

I have a strong testimony of tithing and the importance of it. I know and have experienced the blessings that come from faithfully paying that tithing. It does not mean we won't have trials but we will be blessed and strengthened through those trials.

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