Father in Heaven loves you and has given you many blessings. He asks you to return to him only one-tenth of all you earn. The one-tenth you give to the Lord is called tithing. Tithing is used to build up Heavenly Father’s kingdom on the earth. It pays for building and taking care of chapels and temples, for translating and printing the Book of Mormon, and for missionary work. In countries all over the world, tithing also pays for seminary and institute of religion classes.
Father in Heaven loves all his children, and he wants you to love and help care for others of his children (see D&C 52:40; James 1:27). To help do this, he asks you to fast one day a month and give the money you would have spent on food to the Church to help people who are in need. This is called a fast offering.
When you love Father in Heaven and understand all that he has done for you, you are filled with a spirit of love and giving. You want to build up his kingdom and help the poor, the needy, and all who suffer. When you do this cheerfully, he is very pleased (see 2 Cor. 9:7) and will open the windows of heaven and pour out his blessings upon you (see Mal. 3:10).
To make an envelope for saving your tithes and offerings, mount page 5 on a sheet of heavy paper or lightweight cardboard. Cut out the envelope on the solid lines. Fold the long sides on the dotted lines and glue them together. Then fold up the bottom flap and glue it to the outside of the envelope. As soon as you can, transfer your donations to a tithing envelope and give it to a member of the bishopric or branch presidency.
Take the children on a tour of the meetinghouse and explain that meetinghouses, their furnishings, and the equipment in them are paid for by tithing funds. Show the children where tithing slips and envelopes can be found. Explain to them that they should always give their tithing envelopes to a member of the bishopric or branch presidency.
Invite the bishop or branch president to discuss with the children the principles of tithing and fast offerings and the differences between the two. Have him explain to the children what tithing settlement is and why they should attend. Read and discuss with the children Malachi 3:8–10 [Mal. 3:8–10].
Explain that years ago tithing used to be paid “in kind.” This meant that the herdsman paid in animals and the farmer paid in produce. Show how a family would have collected ten eggs, apples, or potatoes, then selected the nicest one to be taken to the bishop’s storehouse. Explain that today we generally pay with money.
Tell the children that the General Authorities often remind us how important it is to pay an honest tithing. Invite an adult member of the ward to read or tell one of the stories from the following conference addresses, showing a picture of the General Authority who gave the talk as the story is told: Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Our Priesthood Legacy,” Ensign, May 1995, 38–40; Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Tithing,” Ensign, May 1994, 33–35.
5. Play Stop the Clock and time the children to see how fast they can find the following scriptures: Alma 34:28; Psalms 41:1 [Ps. 41:1]; Alma 1:27; Proverbs 28:27 [Prov. 28:27]; Mark 10:21; D&C 44:6; D&C 42:31; D&C 52:40. Prepare a list of these scriptures for each child. Suggest that they play this game with their families during family home evening.