Illustration by Taia Morley
The thought of going from England to the United States was exciting, and performing in a Church-themed musical would be fantastic! I quickly signed up for the trip, not thinking about the cost.
I started saving my money, but I knew it was going to be difficult. I was at a new job, which had been amazing for work experience but didn’t pay well, and I was really struggling for money.
One afternoon I was looking at my bills. As I calculated everything I owed, I thought back to the previous Sunday. We’d had a lesson about paying tithing and the blessings that would come. During the lesson I’d been thinking about how I hadn’t yet paid my tithing that month. I realized that if I paid my tithing, my bank account would be emptied.
I wouldn’t have time to earn enough money to go on the trip or have any spending money while there. But I knew I had to pay my tithing.
The next Sunday, I filled out the tithing slip and gave it to my bishop. I wondered what I was going to do about the money I’d need for this trip, but I told myself that if I showed my faithfulness, everything would work out for the best. I hoped that meant I could find a way to go on the trip.
Not 10 minutes after I gave my tithing envelope to the bishop, a woman in my ward came up to me and handed me another envelope. “Just something to wish you luck on your trip. Have a good time!” she said. I’d been in the ward for only six months and didn’t know her very well, but I did know that she had 10 children and led a very busy life.
When I got home, I opened the envelope to find U.S. money. I immediately called her up and told her I couldn’t accept the money she had given me. She stopped me short. “Beth, this is something I felt really prompted to do. I really want to do this and help you out with your trip. I really want you to be able to have a good time.”
I sat at the desk in my room, absolutely stunned. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. As I stared at the money, I started wondering about the currency conversion. I had paid my tithing in British pounds, and she had given me U.S. dollars. I quickly looked on the Internet to see the conversion rates. As I typed in the amount of dollars I had just been given, I stared in shock at the screen. It was the exact amount that I had paid in tithing, plus 10 pence. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
Now I was back to my starting balance. I was so grateful to the Lord. With that, I would have just enough money to go on my trip, although I wouldn’t be able to go on any outings or buy anything, including food.
The next morning, a friend of mine called me out of the blue and told me about a job. It would last for one week and the hours were terrible, but it paid really well—enough to provide money for food and other activities while on my trip.
Even though it wasn’t easy for me to give up the last of my money for tithing, I knew that the money wasn’t mine—it was the Lord’s. I know that tithing can really bless lives when it is paid faithfully, and I saw this in my own life.
Temporal and Spiritual Blessings
“Tithing is a commandment with a promise. The words of Malachi, reaffirmed by the Savior, promise those who bring their tithes into the storehouse that the Lord will open ‘the windows of heaven, and pour [them] out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it’ [Malachi 3:10; see 3 Nephi 24:10]. The promised blessings are temporal and spiritual.”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Tithing,” Ensign, May 1994, 34.
What Blessings Are Available to You?
Not all blessings that come from paying tithing will be of a temporal nature. Elder Carl B. Pratt, formerly of the Seventy, reminds us, “The Lord’s richest blessings are spiritual.” He says, “Tithing is not a matter of money, really; it is a matter of faith—faith in the Lord” (“The Lord’s Richest Blessings,” Ensign, May 2011, 102–3). Read his address at lds.org/go/83Tithing and search the scriptures to see what blessings the Lord promises those who faithfully pay their tithes and offerings.