My Tithing Tire


My husband and I were struggling financially due to a recent career change. He had joined the United States Army to further his education and had taken a huge pay cut to do so. We were barely making ends meet and were deeply in debt. We had cut up our credit cards to avoid more debt, had used up all our savings, and were living on our year’s supply of food.

I have always had a testimony of the gospel, but I was literally living on faith. After an incredibly difficult month I was daunted by our pile of bills and knew we just weren’t going to make it. For the first time in my adult life I was tempted not to pay tithing. I thought, “I need the money more than the Lord does. The amount I’m going to pay won’t even pay the electric bill for the stake center, but it would make a huge difference to me.”

After selfishly considering the many places the money could go, I had a scripture come to mind: “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings” (Mal. 3:8). I knew I had to pay tithing. Somehow things would work out. I wrote the tithing check, placed a stamp on the envelope, and put it in the mail.

The next morning I had to run a few errands. I walked to my car and to my utter despair realized one of the tires was almost completely flat. Frustrated, I drove to a nearby repair shop.

A flat would cost a few dollars to repair. I sat in the waiting room and prayed that Heavenly Father would watch over us. A few minutes later the attendant called me to the cash register. He told me the tire had a nail in it, but the nail was positioned in such a way that the tire could not be repaired. It would have to be replaced, costing even more than I had mentally prepared myself for. I said, “I want to see it.” The attendant patiently showed me the nail and explained why it would be impossible to repair the tire. With tears in my eyes I asked him to please replace my tire with the cheapest one possible.

I went back to the waiting room and pleaded silently with Heavenly Father for help. We could not afford a new tire, but we had to have the car.

A few minutes later the attendant called me to the register again. He explained that my tires had locking lug nuts and without the key the tire would not come off. I told him I didn’t have the key. He apologized and explained that their shop did not have the proper tools to remove my tire. He recommended another shop. He then put air in my tire free of charge and sent me on my way.

I climbed back into the car and broke down in tears. Why was this happening? We had done everything right. We paid our tithing; we had a year’s supply; we were trying to get out of debt; we were going to church every week. Why would the Lord allow this to happen?

I drove to the other shop and quickly explained my situation to the attendant. We picked the cheapest tire, and I proceeded to the waiting room. After what seemed like forever my name was called. I walked slowly to the register, dreading what I was about to hear.

“We have run your tire through the water about five times,” the attendant told me. “Three of us have searched for the nail. There is nothing. You still have a lot of wear left on your tires. There is absolutely no reason to replace any of them.” I stared blankly at the attendant. I had seen the nail with my own eyes. I knew it had been there. I thanked him, and he sent me on my way, again free of charge.

We have since been transferred to a new duty station and have driven about 8,000 miles (13,000 km) on that tire. I know the Lord blesses us and there is safety in obedience.

Sarah Westbrook is a member of El Paso First Ward, El Paso Texas Mount Franklin Stake.