My father and mother believed firmly in the principle of work, and they saw to it that their six boys had plenty to do.
Although I was the youngest in our family, I had my share of jobs around the house and yard. To make sure I wouldn’t run out of work and to help me develop a sense of responsibility, Father had some chicken coops and runs built in our back yard. He filled these with a flock of about fifty chickens, and my responsibility was to feed and water the chickens, keep the coops clean, and gather eggs.
In the summer I gathered lawn clippings and put them to dry on the roof of the chicken coop. When they were dry, I put them in bags. Then in the winter I emptied these clippings into pans, poured hot water over them, and fed them to the chickens.
By giving the chickens such good care, we had more than enough eggs to supply the needs of our family. Father told me I could have the extra eggs to sell and could use the money for my own needs.
I found the neighbors were glad to have good fresh eggs, and I soon established an egg route with regular customers. These customers became my good friends. This was the beginning of many happy associations that have lasted for years.
Although I was only a young boy when I started in the egg business, I felt pretty grown up having my own money to spend. I also earned some extra money by doing errands and odd jobs for people in the neighborhood, and Father paid me for helping on the ranch in the summer. So I began to save what seemed to me to be a lot of money.
My parents had taught me about tithing. They told me that tithing is giving to the Lord one penny out of every dime I earn, or one dime out of every dollar. They also taught me that tithing is a commandment of our Father in heaven, and paying tithing is a good way for us to show our love for Him and our appreciation for all the blessings He gives us.
At the end of the year I took my tithing in a big envelope filled with nickels, dimes, and small bills to the bishop for tithing settlement. I still have the tithing receipt (it was then called a Bishop’s Store House receipt) that was given to me when I was eight years old. It was for $7.50 and was dated December 31, 1908.
I am grateful that I had a father and mother who taught me as a young boy the joy of work and the importance of paying tithing. I am sure that many of the blessings I have enjoyed throughout my life have come to me because I have been obedient to the law of tithing.