When my husband and I were converts of just four or five months, we received a visit from our home teacher, Russ Jost. He was all enthused about a new class called “Project Temple” and described it to us, quickly capturing our interest. However, we hesitated to commit ourselves to another night away from home each week.
Our home teacher told us not to worry about any preparations. We just had to be ready to leave by 7:15 p.m. each Tuesday until the course was completed.
Brother Jost kept his word and went the extra mile. Each week he would arrive with a babysitter and take us to our meeting. It was fun, and he always made sure that we understood what was being presented at the classes. We always went home happy. One day he asked me to sing a duet with him as the opening song at the next meeting. I can’t sing, but he came over to our house several times to help me learn the song. He taught me each note, telling me when to go up or down, and I still couldn’t sing! At the meeting I sang so low it sounded more like a solo by Russ Jost.
But the Lord’s work was being performed because the song we learned (and my whole family knew it by heart before it was over) was “We Give Thee But Thine Own.” Tithing seemed to be the only principle of “Project Temple” that would keep us from receiving our recommends. The song helped us understand the reasons for tithing, but Bob and I were still sure that we couldn’t afford it.
The conversation always came back to tithing, until Bob desperately showed Brother Jost how our contract payments and fixed living expenses exceeded our income. We definitely could not pay tithing no matter how much we wanted to go to the temple!
At this point Brother Jost bore his testimony, witnessing to us that if we would pay our tithing the Lord would bless us. He testified to the blessings of obeying the law, then promised us that if we would exercise faith and obey the law, we would be able to sustain ourselves financially.
He reminded us of the great blessing of being married for eternity and of having faith in our Heavenly Father. Then he left us with a prayer that we would be able to pay our tithing.
Well, he had traveled the extra mile so many times and his faith was so strong that we felt strength in his testimony and decided to try it.
My husband engineered a plan to begin by paying $2.10 (we surely wouldn’t miss that much) and the next week $4.20, then $8.40, until we were paying a full tithe.
We did receive our recommends and were sealed in the Mesa Temple. We had truly been converted to tithing and had a stronger testimony than ever of the gospel—all thanks to our home teacher, Brother Jost, who went the extra mile time and time again until we were strong enough to stand on our own feet.