Tithes and Offerings
“Chapter 32: Tithes and Offerings,” Gospel Principles, 207
Our Heavenly Father knows all of the things we need. He has given us this commandment and promise: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
We have been given commandments to help us prepare in every way to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. He has given us a way to thank him for our blessings. Willingly paying tithes and offerings is one way we thank him. As we pay these offerings, we show the Savior that we love him and will obey his counsel: “And verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people” (D&C 64:23).
Obeying the Law of Tithing
In modern times the Prophet Joseph Smith prayed, “O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties of thy people for a tithing” (D&C 119, section introduction). The Lord answered: “This shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever” (D&C 119:3–4).
A tithe is one-tenth of our increase. This means that we give one-tenth of all we earn before we pay for our own needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. If our increase is in the form of flocks, herds, or crops rather than money, we give one-tenth of those things (see Leviticus 27:30–32).
When we pay tithing we show our faithfulness to the Lord. We also teach our children the value of this law. They will want to follow our example and pay tithing on any money they earn.
We Should Give Willingly
It is important to give willingly. “When one pays his tithing without enjoyment he is robbed of a part of the blessing. He must learn to give cheerfully, willingly and joyfully, and his gift will be blessed” (Stephen L. Richards, The Law of Tithing [pamphlet, 1983], p. 8).
The Apostle Paul taught that how we give is as important as what we give. He said, “Let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
• Read 2 Corinthians 9:6–7. What does it mean to give grudgingly?
• Discuss the importance of our attitude in giving.
Tithing and Other Offerings
As members of the Church, we give tithing and other offerings to the Lord in money, goods, and time.
Tithing is used by the Church for many purposes. Some of these are to—
1. Build, maintain, and operate temples, meetinghouses, and other buildings.
2. Provide operating funds for stakes, wards, and other units of the Church. (These units use the funds to carry out the ecclesiastical programs of the Church, which include teaching the gospel and recreation and social activities.)
3. Help the missionary program.
4. Educate young people in Church schools, seminaries, and institutes.
5. Print and distribute lesson materials.
6. Help in family history and temple work.
Fast Offerings. Church members fast each month by going without food and drink for two consecutive meals. They contribute at least the amount of money they would have spent for the meals. They may give as generously as they are able. This offering is called the fast offering. Bishops use these fast offerings to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical care for the needy.
As part of the fast, members attend a meeting called the fast and testimony meeting, where they share with each other their testimonies of Christ and his gospel.
Missionary Funds. Members contribute missionary funds to the Church to help spread the gospel around the world. These funds are used to support missions and missionaries in almost every country.
Service. Members also offer their time, skills, and goods to help others. This service allows the Church to help needy members and nonmembers around the world at community, national, and international levels, especially when disasters occur.
We Are Blessed When We Give Tithes and Offerings
The Lord promises to bless us as we faithfully pay our tithes and offerings. He said, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith … 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” (Malachi 3:10).
Latter-day revelation tells of another blessing for those who tithe: “Verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming” (D&C 64:23).
The blessings we have been promised are both material and spiritual. If we give willingly, Heavenly Father will provide our daily needs for food, clothes, and shelter. He will also help us grow “in a knowledge of God, in a testimony, in the power to live the gospel and to inspire our families to do the same” (Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, p. 58).
Those who pay their tithes and offerings are greatly blessed. They have a good feeling that they are helping to build the kingdom of God on earth.
• D&C 119:1–4 (the law of tithing)
• 3 Nephi 24:8–10 (will a man rob God?)