Tools for the Journey
- An deeper understanding of tithing
This week’s ponderize scripture is Malachi 3:10;
“Bring all your tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”
I am going to write about ‘offerings’ tomorrow, but for today i would like to speak about Tithing.
What is tithing? Why we are asked to tithing? What The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, does with the tithing that is paid? Who is responsible for looking after the tithes in the Lord’s church? Why?
What is tithing?
“And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed.” (Alma 13:15)
Even in ancient Biblical times, Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth or 10% of all he possessed. Today, in the Lord’s church this remains the same.
“And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.
And after that, those who have this been tithes shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my Holy priesthood, saith the Lord.” (Doctrine and Covenants 119:3-4)
Simply put, the Lord law on tithing is that we pay 10% of our income. Although, we can pay this annually, members of the church, myself included, usually pay tithing as we are paid; weekly, monthly, etc. Now, the Lord does not need, nor does he want our money, so why are we asked to pay it? It comes down to an act on our part of obedience. However, when we keep any law of God, God cannot withhold the blessing that accompanies that law, this is the same with tithing. Tithing is paid in the local area via the Bishopric or it can be paid direct.
(much of this post comes from the following – )
David A Bednar’s talk ‘The Windows of Heaven’ given at General conference, October 2013 gives insight into tithing. He begins by writing ‘I want to describe two important lessons and the law of tithing…
Lesson 1 – Significant but subtle blessings.
Lesson 2 – The importance of tithing in the growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in all the world.”
“Often as we teach and testify about the law of tithing, we emphasize the immediate, dramatic and readily recognizable temporal blessings that we receiver. And surely these blessings occur. Yet some of the diverse blessings we obtain as we are obedient to this commandment are significant but subtle.”
One such blessing came to me. Over the last few years i have had to deal with a debt support agency, life threw something at me and could not avoid it nor the resulting cascade affect it had on my life, yet while dealing with this agency, i brought about a subtle change. When, you are on a limited income and are in debt, the one thing the company wants is as much money out of you as possible and 10% in tithing was not something they were happy about me paying. After several conversations concerning the reason why i needed to pay tithing, the answer came to me as if a light-bulb had been switched on and in the middle of yet another telephone conversation if heard myself say; ‘paying tithing is a requirement of my religion, it keeps me in good standing in the church…’ At the other end of the phone there was a pause, then the person asked me to repeat what i had said, which i did and then they replied, ‘that changes things…’ From that time to this, at least for that one organisation when someone else says they need to pay tithing there will be less discussion and more acceptance – a subtle and unexpected blessing.
Lesson 2 – The Simplicity of the Lord’s Way
How are tithes disbursed?
Those in the Church who are responsible for tithes are “The Council on the Disposition of the Tithes was established by revelation and consists of the First Presidency (of the church), the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle and the Presiding Bishopric” (Doctrine & Covenants 120)
What is it used for?
Under the Lord’s guidance, “These sacred funds are used in a rapidly growing church to spiritually bless individuals and families by constructing and maintaining temples and houses of worship, supporting missionary work, translating and publishing scriptures, fostering family history research, funding schools and religious education and accomplishing many other purposes as directed by the Lord’s ordained servants.”
“In the financial operations of the church, two basic and fixed principles are observed. First, the church lives within its means and does not spend more than it receives. Second, a portion of the annual income is set aside as a reserve contingencies and unanticipated needs. For decades the Church has taught its membership the principle of setting aside additional food, fuel and money to take care of emergencies that might arise.” (more about this point another day.)
What is important in David Bednar’s words is that, what the Church expects of its members, it also does itself.
“The honest payment of tithes is much more than duty; it is an important step in the process of personal sanctification…I testify that by your obedience to this law of the Lord, the windows of heaven will be opened to you…I bear witness that such blessings are often significant but subtle.” (David A Bednar)
If you do not attend a church that provides a means by which you can pay a 10% tithe, you may want to set up a 10% payment to a charity of your choice. However, this would not be a tithe, but would be an offering and offerings are acceptable unto God. (more about offerings tomorrow).
To Do List
- Make a covenant with God to pay a full 10% tithe.
- Watch or listen to David A Bednar’s talk – ‘The Windows of Heaven’
- Teach your children about tithing; Work=earned income & earned income=10% tithe.
- Read about the ‘Widows mite’ Mark 12: 41-44 or watch it here – mite share it with your family.
Note: all quotes are from David A Bednar’s talk.