Saturday, August 27, 2011
GCBC - Tithing
I am part of a very inclusive GeneralConference Book Club (GCBC) that meets online weekly to discuss a General Conference talk from the most recent Conference. Come along and join us! We would love it!
This week we were to study Elder Carl B. Pratt's talk from April Conference. Let me share what I learned.1) I have never, ever heard anyone share disappointment when they have chosen to obey the Law of Tithing. Whenever I have been in a lesson or discussion when tithing has been the subject, story after miracle story is told of how faith in paying 10% opened the windows of heaven. And it is within those stories of faith and miracles that families share their experiences and ultimately strengthening their testimonies of paying a full and honest tithe.
2) Elder Pratt testifies, "Paying tithing is NOT a matter of money, really; it is a matter of faith." In Preach My Gospel, it states, in part, about the Christlike attribute of obedience, "Obedience is the first law of heaven. It is an act of faith." When I put these two statements together, my heart is able to understand that paying tithing is another way for me to show the Lord my obedience a.k.a. my desire to live with Him again.
3) I would never want to be accused of being a robber. A robber is a thief, a liar, and a cheat. Would I want the Savior to judge me as a robber? He will if I do not keep the Law of Tithing. And thanks to Jacob, we all know where liars go!!
4) AMAZING things happen when I am being taught "under the influence of the Spirit." This time it occurred while I listened to Elder Pratt's talk. As I felt of his deep testimony of tithing, these words resonated within me and the Spirit began to teach: "[God] fulfills His promises, and if we faithfully pay our tithing, we will not lack for the necessities of life, but He does not promise us wealth. Money and bank accounts are not His richest blessings." It was in that moment that the Spirit began to expound the many different blessings - spiritual blessings, mostly - I have received because of my faithful payment of tithes and offerings. Really? All those gifts have come because of paying tithing? Honestly, I would have never drawn that connection! But today while listening, the Spirit drew those lines for me!
5) Finally, I cannot end this post without sharing a personal story that I have told and retold my the children whenever we have opportunity to speak about the Law of Tithing.
It was a several months or so after my husband and I were married and, being the poor, newly-married couple that we were, we faced one of our first financial decisions. We could either pay our tithing and fast offerings OR go buy groceries. We chose to pay our tithes and offerings and figured we could eat the unlabeled cans from the wedding shower until the next pay day. The very next day, a Monday, a gentleman came into my work and handed me an envelope. He apologized that he had not been able to attend our wedding reception months earlier. He wished me well and left the office. I opened the envelope. Tucked neatly inside was a gift card to a GROCERY STORE for the exact. same. amount. we had paid in tithing. From that moment on, my husband and I have never doubted the Lord's ability to keep His promise if we obey His commands. I can humbly and gratefully say, tithing is one and only area in which we are perfect.