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.
Teaching from This Message
Sometimes the best way to teach a certain principle is to demonstrate it (see Teaching, No Greater Call , 164). Consider asking a family member to demonstrate what one-tenth represents. He or she could demonstrate it by separating one item from a group of 10 items. To conclude, consider inviting a family member to show how to fill out a tithing slip.
“Those you teach will benefit from each other’s participation” (Teaching, No Greater Call, 63). Invite family members to share what they believe President Eyring means by the statement “feel what we need to feel to receive the gift of eternal life.” Consider discussing the three ways in which paying tithing prepares us to feel what we need to feel to receive God’s blessings.
I met the missionaries when I was 17. At that time my older brother and I lived together. Our mother had passed away the year before, and life was difficult. When the missionaries taught me, I could see that this Church was the church I had always sought. But the influence of my friends prevented me from going to church on Sundays.
One time I went to a Church activity during the week. Seeing all the young people laughing and playing brought me great joy. The missionaries, with the youth, took that opportunity to teach me a gospel lesson, and I felt so good I resolved to be baptized.
But even after I joined the Church, I faced challenges. I was the only member of the Church in that part of town and lived far away from the meetinghouse. My nonmember friends no longer wanted anything to do with me. When I felt alone, I prayed and felt the love of the Lord.
Each month, I received a small allotment of money from a fund my mother left. It was difficult to sustain myself with so little money. But I determined to be obedient. I paid tithing and also had to pay for transportation to seminary and Sunday meetings. I didn’t understand how, but at the end of the month, I found that there had been enough money to do it all.
I know that I have been blessed by paying tithing. Obeying this commandment helped me gain a stronger testimony, serve a mission, and recognize blessings so I can strengthen new members who are facing challenges.
I Can Pay Tithing
Paying tithing means giving 10 percent of what we earn to the Lord. Look at these three children doing jobs. On the first blank space by each drawing, write how much you think each child might earn for the job. On the second line, write how much the tithing would be.
Illustrations by Steve Kropp
Bonus question: Which of these tithe payers would receive the most blessings? (Hint: See the last paragraph of President Eyring’s message.)