God’s purpose in giving us commandments is to bless us. He wants to give us eternal life, the greatest of all His gifts (see D&C 14:7). To receive the gift of living with Him forever in families in the celestial kingdom, we must be able to live the laws of that kingdom (see D&C 88:22).
He has given us commandments in this life to help us develop that capacity. The law of tithing is one of those preparatory commandments. The law is that we give to the Lord one-tenth of all our income. It is simple enough that even a child can understand it. I have seen children hand a bishop a tithing envelope that contains one-tenth of the coins they earned.
One of the blessings that comes from paying a full tithing is developing faith to live an even higher law. To live in the celestial kingdom, we must live the law of consecration. There we must be able to feel that all we are and all we have belong to God.
There are at least three ways that paying a full tithe in this life prepares us to feel what we need to feel to receive the gift of eternal life.
First, when we pay our tithes to the Church, our Heavenly Father pours out blessings upon us. Anyone who has consistently paid a full tithe knows that is true. The blessings are sometimes spiritual and sometimes temporal. They are given in the Lord’s time and according to what He knows is best for us.
As those blessings come, our faith is increased that God is the source of everything that is good in our lives. It becomes easier to see that consecration simply recognizes the truth that all of God’s creations are His. It makes us feel gratitude that He asks only 10 percent of what He has already given us. So we are better prepared to live the law of consecration when it will be asked of us.
Second, all of us who have paid a consistent full tithe feel greater confidence in asking God for what we and our families need. He has promised blessings even greater than we can receive when we have been faithful to our covenant to pay our tithes (see Malachi 3:10). So one of the great blessings of tithing is confidence in what the future holds. Whatever our circumstances may be, things will work out for the best. As we keep our promises, He will keep His. A feeling of peace is one of the great blessings of paying a full tithe. Those who have kept the commandment of tithing can testify that the blessing of peace is real and precious.
Third, those who pay tithing feel an increase in their love of God and of all God’s children. That increase of love comes from understanding how the Father uses the tithes we offer to bless people in this world and for eternity.
Through His authorized servants, He expends the tithes with great care. The tithe payer helps the Lord build temples, where families can be sealed forever. The tithe payer helps Him send the gospel to people everywhere. The tithe payer helps Him relieve hunger and suffering in His own way through His servants. Any of those servants can tell you how love increased because tithing was used to bless people. And so can the faithful tithe payer.
Tithing settlement is months in the future. I pray that you and your family will begin now to plan and prepare to qualify for the blessings that God pours out on all those who can declare to Him that they are full-tithe payers.