“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.”
The Lord promises if we pay Him a tithing (10%), He will open the windows of heaven and give us blessings beyond our ability to receive them.
There are millions of faithful Christians who pay their tithes to the Lord and are richly blessed. Here are five stories that demonstrate the importance of paying tithing.
We should give our best to the Lord
Before modern industrialization, many paid tithing as a tenth of the crops of their field. The book, “Tongan Saints: Legacy of Faith,” recounts a Tongan bishop’s memory of his grandfather:
- “Grandpa Vanisi’s spirituality inspired an awe in me as a child. I remember following him daily to his plantation. He would always point out to me the very best of his taro, bananas, or yams and say: ‘These will be for our tithing.’ His greatest care was given to these ‘chosen’ ones. During the harvest, I was often the one assigned to take our load of tithing to the branch president. I remember sitting on the family horse. Grandfather would lift onto its back a sack of fine taro which I balanced in front of me. Then with a very serious look in his eyes, he said to me, ‘Simi, be very careful because this is our tithing.’ From my grandfather I learned early in life that you give only your best to the Lord.”
We should pay tithing even if we “can’t” afford it
Dallin H. Oaks shared a story about his mother paying tithing despite their destitution:
- “During World War II, my widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager. When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things because we didn’t have enough money, I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing. I have never forgotten her explanation: “Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t. The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children. I cannot do that without the blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing. When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.””
In the 1900 General Conference of the LDS Church, Joseph F. Smith shared a memory of his mother:
- “My mother was a widow, with a large family to provide for. One spring when we opened our potato pits she had her boys get a load of the best potatoes, and she took them to the tithing office; potatoes were scarce that season. I was a little boy at the time, and drove the team. When we drove up to the steps of the tithing office, ready to unload the potatoes, one of the clerks came out and said to my mother, ‘Widow Smith, it’s a shame that you should have to pay tithing.’ … He chided my mother for paying her tithing, called her anything but wise or prudent; and said there were others who were strong and able to work that were supported from the tithing office. My mother turned upon him and said: ‘William, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Would you deny me a blessing? If I did not pay my tithing, I should expect the Lord to withhold His blessings from me. I pay my tithing, not only because it is a law of God, but because I expect a blessing by doing it. By keeping this and other laws, I expect to prosper and to be able to provide for my family’”.
We are blessed when we pay tithing
- When Edward Stokes Rich was 12 years old he worked at night for a local newspaper to help his single mother earn money for his family. Whenever Edward received money he gave it to his mother, who’d pay tithing on it. One time his mother said, “Edward, I know that you have no overcoat, and you must walk many miles to and from work each night. With winter coming soon, it’s going to be very cold when you walk home at four or five o’clock in the morning. So I’ll give you your tithing money and you can either pay your tithing or buy an overcoat. I’ll leave the decision up to you.” Edward hurried to the Bishop’s house and paid the tithing. The next week Edward’s Aunt Mary came over and gave Edward a coat her sons had outgrown. It fit him and was better than any coat he could have bought. Since then, Edward’s decided to always pay a generous tithing.
- Robert D. Hales told a story about a family who was blessed for paying tithing: “I know of a couple who lived thousands of miles from the nearest temple. Although they earned little, they faithfully paid their tithing and saved all that they could to journey to the house of the Lord. After a year, the husband’s brother—not a member of the Church—unexpectedly came forward and offered them two airplane tickets. This temporal blessing made possible the spiritual blessings of their temple endowments and sealing. An additional spiritual blessing came later as the brother, touched by the couple’s humble faithfulness, joined the Church.”
“If you always pay an honest tithing, the Lord will bless you. It will be the best investment you will ever make.”
– Sheldon F. Child
Personal Notes: Tithing’s a wonderful opportunity to show our gratitude to the Lord. Though my father never made much money in his career, our family’s been provided for. I remember one blessing our family received from paying tithing. For about eight years my parents rented a house in New Hampshire. Eventually our landlord offered to sell us the house for the same amount at which they originally had bought it. They even counted the eight years of rent we had paid as the down payment for the house. We bought the house for about four times cheaper than its value. I believe the Lord blessed because we were paying a full tithe. To learn more reasons why Latter-day Saints (Mormons) pay tithing, visit Mormon.org.