To encourage each child to pay an honest tithe and other offerings.
Prayerfully study Mark 12:41–44, 3 Nephi 24:10, and Doctrine and Covenants 119:4. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)
Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.
A Bible or a New Testament for each child.
Ten coins (or draw ten circles on the chalkboard to represent coins).
Paper and pencils for each child.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Using imitation money (you can make your own), have the children pretend to be a family and make a budget for the amount of money you give them. Have them budget for food, rent, utilities, clothing, and recreation. Then tell them to add tithing and other offerings to their budget by placing them first on the list. Explain to the children that we should always pay our tithing first because that is the Lord’s tenth.
Go around the room and ask each child to name a specific way his or her tithing money is used. Give suggestions from the following list if necessary:
Building meetinghouses, temples, seminaries and institutes of religion, mission training centers, and family history centers.
Paying for ward and stake activities and teaching manuals and supplies.
Paying for meetinghouse maintenance and utilities.
Paying travel expenses and supplies for missionaries.
Paying travel and other expenses for General Authorities.
Providing computers for use in temple and family history work.
Helping publish Church magazines.
Paying for Church satellite broadcasts.
Paying for translation and publication of the scriptures.
Give the children each a piece of paper and a pencil and have them walk to a window or other place where they can look outside. Ask them to quietly write down as many things as they can see in a few minutes. After the children return to their seats, ask them to name the things they saw. Explain that Heavenly Father has given us everything we have, and paying tithing and offerings is one way we can show our love and gratitude to him.
Tell the following story by President Ezra Taft Benson, and discuss the faith that is needed to pay tithing and the blessings that come from being obedient to the law:
“On one occasion when I was a teenager, I overheard Father and Mother talking about their finances in preparation for tithing settlement the following day. Father [owed] twenty-five dollars at the bank, which was due during the week. In figuring their tithing, he owed twenty-five dollars more. He also had a hay derrick [something used to lift hay onto a haystack] which he had built. He … was trying to sell it, but had met with no success.
“What were they to do—[pay] the bank, pay their tithing later, or pay their tithing and hope that they could [pay the bank] in just a few days? After discussing the matter, and I am sure praying together before they retired, Father decided next day to go to tithing settlement and pay the twenty-five dollars, which would make him a full-tithe payer. As he rode home by horseback, one of his neighbors stopped him and said, ‘George, I understand you have a derrick for sale. How much are you asking for it?’
“Father said, ‘Twenty-five dollars.’ The neighbor said, ‘I haven’t seen it, but knowing the way you build, I am sure it is worth twenty-five dollars. Just a minute and I will go in the house and make out a check for it. I need it.’ This is a lesson I have not forgotten” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 471–72).
Tell the following story:
“When I was 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 that it is paid to the Lord by those who love him.
“After dinner I got out the small amount of money I had saved and figured what I owed the Lord as tithing. 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 hands, I asked the Lord to accept them—certain that he would do so. I pleaded with the Lord for some time, but the money remained in my hands. No little boy could have felt more rejected than I did. 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.
“A few days later at Primary the teacher said 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. But what I learned was far more important than how to pay tithing. I learned that the Lord had heard and answered my prayer, that he loved me, and that I was important to him” (Ariel Ricks, “Coins for the Lord,” Ensign, Dec. 1990, p. 47).
Sing or read the words to “Because I Have Been Given Much” (Hymns, no. 219).
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.