An Answer to Prayer

By Artel Ricks

Print Share

    When I was a little boy, about five or six years old, I sat at the dinner table with my large family and listened as the others discussed tithing. They told me that tithing is one-tenth of all we earn and it is paid to the Lord by those who love Him.

    After dinner I got the little money I had saved and figured out what I owed the Lord. I then went to the only room in the house with a lock on the door, the bathroom, and there knelt by the bathtub. Holding the three or four coins in my upturned hand, I asked the Lord to accept them—certain that He would do so. I remember pleading with the Lord for some time, but when the money remained in my hand, no little boy could have felt more rejected. The Lord had accepted tithing from my parents and from all of my older brothers. Why not from me? As I rose from my knees I felt so unworthy that I could not tell anyone what had happened. Only the Lord knew.

    Primary day arrived a few days later. The teacher said that she felt impressed to talk about something that was not in the lesson. I sat amazed as she then taught us how to pay tithing. What I then learned was far more important than knowing how to pay tithing. The Lord had heard and answered my prayer. I learned that the Lord loved me and I was important to Him.

    So tender was the memory of that occasion that for more than thirty years I could not share it. Even today, after sixty years, it is still difficult or impossible to tell without it bringing tears to my eyes and a quiver to my voice. The pity is that that wonderful teacher never knew that through her the Lord spoke to a small boy.

    Photograph by Steve Bunderson