That ends this month’s Tithes and Offerings segment. The December segment will begin on Monday, November 30 and extend until Sunday, December 6. In the end, just don’t forget that “all [we] have comes from the Lord.” (For the Strength of Youth) and that as we pay our tithing and fast offerings we have been promised that God will “open … the windows of heaven, and pour … out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10)
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,… 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.” – For the Strength of Youth quoting Malachi 3:10
I, ____________________, commit to trusting the Lord and paying my tithing.
“I testify that the principle of tithing is of God, taught to us in such scriptural simplicity that we cannot doubt its divinity. May we all claim its blessings forever, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland
“Obey the law of the fast by fasting each month, if health permits.” – For the Strength of Youth
Health permitting, I, ____________________, will obey the law of the fast tomorrow.*
“A proper fast day observance includes not eating or drinking for two consecutive meals and giving a generous fast offering to help care for those in need. Fast with a purpose. Begin and end your fast with prayer, expressing gratitude and asking for help with special needs you or others may have. Fasting will strengthen your self-discipline, fortify you against temptations, and bring the Lord’s blessings into your life.” – For the Strength of Youth
*While “Fast Sunday is usually on the first Sunday of the month” (to quote For the Strength of Youth), it’s possible that it won’t be in your ward or stake, in which case commit to obeying the law of the fast whenever it is that your ward plans to.
“Your attitude is important in paying tithing. Pay it because you love the Lord and have faith in Him.” – For the Strength of Youth
I, ____________________, will strive to pay tithing because of my love and faith in Him.
“This leads to a fifth reason to pay our tithes and offerings. We should pay them as a personal expression of love to a generous and merciful Father in Heaven. Through His grace God has dealt bread to the hungry and clothing to the poor. At various times in our lives that will include all of us, either temporally or spiritually speaking. For every one of us the gospel has broken forth as the light of the morning, driving back the darkness of ignorance and sorrow, fear and despair. In nation after nation His children have called and the Lord has answered. Through the movement of His gospel across the world, God is relieving the burdens of the weary and setting free those that are oppressed. His loving goodness has made our lives, rich or poor, near or far, “like a watered garden, … [from] a spring of water … [that faileth] not.”
I express my deepest gratitude for every blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially that greatest of all gifts, the exemplary life and atoning death of God’s Only Begotten Son. I know I can never repay heaven for any of this benevolence, but there are many ways I need to try to show my thankfulness. One of those ways is in the payment of tithes and freewill offerings. I want to give something back, but I never want it to be (in King David’s words) “that which doth cost me nothing.”” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland, continued in Sunday’s post.
“Pay it willingly with a thankful heart.” For the Strength of Youth
I, ____________________, commit to paying my tithes and offerings with a thankful heart.
“Fourth, pay your tithes and offerings out of honesty and integrity because they are God’s rightful due. Surely one of the most piercing lines in all of scripture is Jehovah’s thundering inquiry, “Will a man rob God?” And we ask, “Wherein have we robbed thee?” He answers, “In tithes and offerings.”
“Paying tithing is not a token gift we are somehow charitably bestowing upon God. Paying tithing is discharging a debt. Elder James E. Talmage once described this as a contract between us and the Lord. He imagined the Lord saying: “‘You have need of many things in this world—food, clothing, and shelter for your family … , the common comforts of life. … You shall have the means of acquiring these things; but remember they are mine, and I require of you the payment of a rental upon that which I give into your hands. However, your life will not be one of uniform increase … [so] instead of doing as mortal landlords do—requir[ing] you to … pay in advance, whatever your fortunes or … prospects may be—you shall pay me … [only] when you have received; and you shall pay me in accordance with what you receive. If it so be that in one year your income is abundant, then … [your 10 percent will be a] little more; and if it be so that the next year is one of distress and your income is not what it was, then … [your 10 percent will be] less. … [Whatever your circumstance, the tithe will be fair.]’
““Have you ever found a landlord on earth who was willing to make that kind of [equitable] contract with you?” Elder Talmage asks. “When I consider the liberality of it all,” he says, “… I feel in my heart that I could scarcely raise my countenance to … Heaven … if I tried to defraud [God] out of that [which is rightfully His].”” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland, continued in tomorrow’s post.
“Pay it first, even when you think you do not have enough money to meet your other needs.” – For the Strength of Youth
I, ____________________, commit to pay my tithing first.
“Third, pay your tithing as a declaration that possession of material goods and the accumulation of worldly wealth are not the uppermost goals of your existence. As one young husband and father, living on a student budget, recently told me, “Perhaps our most pivotal moments as Latter-day Saints come when we have to swim directly against the current of the culture in which we live. Tithing provides just such a moment. Living in a world that emphasizes material acquisition and cultivates distrust for anyone or anything that has designs on our money, we shed that self-absorption to give freely, trustingly, and generously. By this act, we say—indeed—we are different, that we are God’s peculiar people. In a society that tells us money is our most important asset, we declare emphatically it is not.”
“President Spencer W. Kimball once spoke of a man who prided himself on his vast acreage and remarkable holdings—groves and vineyards, herds and fields, ponds and homes and possessions of every kind. He prided himself on these, but to the end of his life was unwilling to tithe on them or even acknowledge that they were gifts from God. President Kimball then spoke at the man’s funeral, noting that this land baron was laid to rest in an oblong piece of soil measuring “the length of a tall man, the width of a heavy one.” In answer to the age-old question, “How much did he leave?” be reassured the answer will always be, “All of it.” So we would do well to lay up treasures in heaven, where not taxes but doctrines give meaning to words like estate, inheritance, testament, and will.” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland, continued in tomorrow’s post.
“Choosing to live the law of tithing will be a great blessing throughout your life.” – For the Strength of Youth
I, ____________________, commit to choosing to live the law of tithing.
“Second, pay your tithing to rightfully claim the blessings promised those who do so. “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.” After she lost her husband in the martyrdom at Nauvoo and made her way west with five fatherless children, Mary Fielding Smith continued in her poverty to pay tithing. When someone at the tithing office inappropriately suggested one day that she should not contribute a tenth of the only potatoes she had been able to raise that year, she cried out to the man, “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. [I need a blessing.] By keeping this and other laws, I expect to… be able to provide for my family.”
I can’t list all the ways that blessings will come from obedience to this principle, but I testify many will come in spiritual ways that go well beyond economics. In my life, for example, I have seen God’s promise fulfilled that He would “rebuke the devourer for [my sake].” That blessing of protection against evil has been poured out upon me and on my loved ones beyond any capacity I have to adequately acknowledge. But I believe that divine safety has come, at least in part, because of our determination, individually and as a family, to pay tithing.” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland, continued in tomorrow’s post.
“Each year, schedule a time for tithing settlement with your bishop. This is a meeting in which you review your contributions and declare whether have paid a full tithe.” – For the Strength of Youth
When it comes time, I, ____________________, will schedule a time for tithing settlement with my bishop.
“I [will] suggest five reasons why all of us, rich or poor, longtime member or newest convert, should faithfully pay our tithes and offerings.
“First, do so for the sake of your children and grandchildren, the rising generation, who could now, if we are not careful, grow up in the Church with absolutely no understanding as to how their temples, chapels, seminaries, and socials are provided. Teach your children that many of the blessings of the Church are available to them because you and they give tithes and offerings to the Church. Teach them that those blessings could come virtually no other way.
“Then take your children to tithing settlement with you, just as President Howard W. Hunter’s grandson was taken with his father several years ago. In that experience the bishop indicated his pleasure in young Brother Hunter’s wanting to pay a full tithing. In the process of receiving the coins, he asked the lad if he thought the gospel were true. As the boy handed over his full tithing of 14 cents, this seven-year-old said he guessed the gospel was true but “it sure costs a lot of money.” Well, the buildings, programs, and materials I have mentioned do have an attached cost. That is not an unimportant lesson for our children to learn in their youth.” – “Like a Watered Garden” by Jeffrey R. Holland, continued in tomorrow’s post.
(It appears that I forgot to do these for October. Well, you can’t change the past, so I’ll just move forward without them.)
Tithing, unlike most of the other sections of For the Strength of Youth, is not something that you can work on every day. In fact, many people (including me) only pay it once a month, similar to Fast Offerings, which are also only paid once a month. Given the fact that this section is so rarely put to use, I do something different with it. Instead of having its own three week segment, it will have a one week of “Nightly” posts every month, specifically the week leading up to Fast Sunday. This way you get a monthly reminder for something that is done monthly, as opposed to a daily reminder for something that is done daily.
Like usual, I’d advise you to read the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet so that you can understand what it means to live the standard of Tithes and Offerings.
- For those who don’t have their own copy of For the Strength of Youth, you can read the section on Tithes and Offerings by clicking here.
- The daily reminders as well as new posts will be posted on the website ForTheStrengthOfAll.com if you wish to view them online instead of in your inbox.
- You will be able to find previous reminders here.
Please note that while the reminder will be the week leading up to the first Sunday of each month that does not mean that you must pay tithing on the first Sunday of each month. If you already have a system for when you pay tithing each month, feel free to stick with it, so long as you continue to pay your tithing.
That ends this month’s Tithes and Offerings segment. October’s segment will begin on Monday, September 28 and extend until Sunday, October 4. Don’t forget that “all [we] have comes from the Lord.” (For the Strength of Youth) and remember that as we pay our tithing and fast offerings we have been promised that God will “open … the windows of heaven, and pour … out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10)