Matt with a tithing envelope, talking to Grandpa(click to view larger)

Illustrations by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki

I’m glad to see you’re paying your tithing, Matt! But why the frown?

I know I should pay it, Grandpa, and I’m going to. But I kind of wish I could keep the money too.

Let me ask you a few questions. First, what percentage of your money do you pay in tithing?

Ten percent.

And to whom do you pay your tithing?

The bishop.

I’m afraid both answers are wrong. I should know—they’re the answers I used to give. First, you’re not giving 10 percent of your money—everything we have belongs to the Lord in the first place! But money is only the tiniest part of what Heavenly Father gives us. He gives us every breath we take. He gives us the sun, the stars, and every inch of this beautiful world.

When we pay tithing, we don’t give Him a billionth part of all He gives us, because He gives us everything. And He lets us show our love by returning a teeny part of what is really His anyway.

Second, remember that even though you hand your tithing to the bishop or a counselor, you’re really giving it to the Lord. It’s a very personal gift to Heavenly Father. Do it with a prayer in your heart, and it will be a joyful experience. And please forgive a grandpa’s lecture; I just want you to learn from my mistakes.

Our mistakes, Grandpa.