Dad’s Tithing Trek


Elder E. Ray Bateman

As a young boy, I looked at tithing as many young people do. I saw it as a huge sacrifice—a whole 10 percent of everything I earned. But my parents taught me to pay tithing. Even though I used to question the reason behind it, I was obedient. I always paid a full tithe.

My father especially encouraged me to pay my tithing, so one day I asked him about his testimony of this principle. “When did you really know the importance of paying your tithes?” I asked. In response to my question, my father told me a story about his parents paying their tithing.

When my father was growing up in Utah, his family was poor. His shoes were so worn out that the soles had holes in them and were barely attached to his shoes.

One day his father gave him an envelope full of money and said, “Take this to the bishop. This represents our tithing to the Lord.”

So my father started walking through the fields to the bishop’s house. It was winter, and there was snow on the ground. As my father walked, his feet were very cold. He felt the money in his hand and thought how much he could use a new pair of shoes.

But my father kept walking, and he thought to himself, “I guess this has to be a very important thing, so important that my father would take this money and give it to the bishop even when we need it so badly.”

Walking through the snow that day, my father realized the importance of tithing. He came to understand that tithing is more a matter of faith than of money.

I think that sometimes we may not completely understand the reasons behind the commandments. But even if we don’t always know why, it is important to be obedient. As I look back on my life, I can now see the blessings that came to me when I was obedient. I assure you that it can be the same in your life as you live righteously and follow the commandments.

[illustration] Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh