When I graduated high school I applied to a local university and was very blessed to receive a full-ride academic scholarship. I saw it as a mix between a gigantic miracle and a welcome pay-back for a lot of hard work and time spent doing extra curricular activities. It made going to college easy on me and my parents. As an expression of gratitude and obedience, I committed to pay a full, 10% tithe on all of that money. Some semesters it was hard! I thought of places I could travel, things I could buy, what I could do for my family and friends with some extra change in my pocket. . .
Even in those moments of hesitation I recognized that 100% of the scholarship came from the Lord and that he asks us to give up 10% of our increase for the building up of His kingdom. I have put the Lord to the test in paying tithing and I know that He blesses us with more than He requires of us. Not only did the Lord open the door of a college education for me, but as it closed last semester I walked away debt-free, at the top of my class, and with a conviction that the Lord will always provide for those who are willing to obey His commandments.
This is an image of the tithing slip we use in the LDS Church. There are several funds to which we can donate, but only Tithing and Fast Offerings are commandments. We use an envelope to give our tithing instead of passing around a donation plate or basket. The tithes are recorded by the financial clerk and a member of the bishopric of each congregation and then deposited in the church’s account. Tithing money is used in the building and maintenance of chapels, temples, and other church assets and in missionary work. At the end of each year, individual tithe payers are given a receipt that shows the total amount of their donations to help in filing taxes.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as an organization, understands that tithing is the Lord’s money. Every year at General Conference, the Church Auditing Department makes a statement regarding the use of the money. For me, knowing that there is no misuse of funds, no skimming off the top, gives me confidence that this really is the Church of Jesus Christ and not a Church of men hoping to get rich off their congregation.
Although it may sound difficult or even impossible to live the law of tithing, the Lord promises that he will “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). Such abundant blessings are well worth the sacrifice. Take some time right now to consider God’s hand in your life and this Sunday offer him a tithe.