Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

Why should I pay tithing on the money I’m earning now since I’m planning on using my earnings to pay for my mission? Won’t all that money go for the same purpose anyway?

New Era

  • The Lord has promised marvelous blessings for those who pay tithing.

  • Paying tithing will prepare you to make further sacrifices in the mission field.

  • Remember you’re not just paying tithing to the Church, you’re giving it to the Lord.

  • Everything you have comes from God. He only requires a small percentage in return.

  • The faith it takes to pay tithing will help your personal development as well as help build the kingdom.

It is true that your tithing money and the money you use to pay for your mission is all used for the same purpose, to build the kingdom of God. But the reason we pay tithing isn’t just to provide the Church with money. Paying tithing teaches sacrifice and obedience. Obeying this law will help with your personal development as well as helping build Christ’s Church on the earth.

“It is not so much a matter of money as it is a matter of faith,” President Gordon B. Hinckley said. “I have yet to find a faithful tithe payer who cannot testify that in a very literal and wonderful way the windows of heaven have been opened and blessings have been poured out upon him or her” (Ensign, December 1989, 4). It takes faith to save money for a mission. And it takes faith to pay tithing.

President Hinckley said, “Whether it be going into the mission field, living the Word of Wisdom, paying one’s tithing, it is all the same. It is the faith within us that is evidenced in all we do” (Ensign, May 2001, 68).

As you pay your tithing you will learn more about the blessings and challenges that come from sacrificing a part of your income. This lesson in sacrifice is great preparation for the mission field, where you will be required to make many sacrifices to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

One of the principles you will be teaching as a missionary is the law of tithing. If you learn to live this law and gain a testimony of it, you will be prepared to testify of the value of paying tithing. And forming a habit of paying an honest tithe now will make it easier in the future.

Remember that everything you have comes from God. He only requires you return 10 percent to Him. He has promised that if you pay your tithing, He will “open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Mal. 3:10). In the end, we are the ones who receive blessings for sacrificing a small percent of our income.

“How grateful I am for the law of tithing,” President Hinckley said. “It is the Lord’s law of finance. It is set forth in a few words in the 119th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. It comes of His wisdom. To every man and woman, to every boy and girl, to every child in this Church who pays an honest tithing, be it large or small, I express gratitude for the faith that is in your hearts. I remind you, and those who do not pay tithing but who should, that the Lord has promised marvelous blessings (see Mal. 3:10–12). He has also promised that ‘he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming’ (D&C 64:23)” (Ensign, November 2001, 74).

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“With all my heart, I plead with the Latter-day Saints to live honestly with the Lord in the payment of tithes and offerings. I plead with youth to establish this habit while you are still young and to resolve to continue with it all the days of your lives” (Ensign, December 1989, 4). —President Gordon B. Hinckley

Readers

I had the same question about six months before my mission, but I went ahead and paid it anyway. The following week my boss decided I needed a raise. I found out that through obedience come the blessings. Elder Adam Buchanan, 20 England London South Mission

Tithing teaches sacrifice, obedience, and faith. These are among the most needed traits to be a successful missionary. James Washburn, 16 Westminster, California

Tithing is a commandment, and saving for a mission is a sacrifice. We should learn to obey the commandments while we also make sacrifices. Even though paying our tithing and saving for a mission at the same time seems hard, I know the Lord will bless us. Elder Owusu Sarpong, 24 Nigeria Lagos Mission

It’s great that you’re saving money for a mission, and you will be blessed for doing so. If you pay tithing on the money you earn, it may take longer to save, but the Lord promises to pour out His blessings on us when we keep His commandments. Esther Young, 14 Sparks, Nevada

We should always pay our tithing happily and willingly. God gave us the blessing of a job to earn money; we should at least give Him 10 percent back. Lorraine Payne, 13 Deming, New Mexico

Remember that when you are paying tithing, you aren’t just giving money to the Church, you’re giving it to the Lord. Also, know that when you pay tithing you will be blessed. Sid Pendle, 13 Jacobstown, New Jersey

I believe the reason we are asked to pay tithing is not just to help the Church financially, but also to help us to become more humble. We need to follow the counsel of our Heavenly Father even when we could use that money for something good. Whitney White, 13 Fielding, Utah

You should pay your tithing because the Lord has asked you to. You will earn more blessings if you do as the Lord asks. Remember, tithing is a commandment of faith. We pay our tithing because we have faith in the Lord’s promises. Stephanie Wood, 12 Draper, Utah

Our Father in Heaven has given us everything. He only asks us to return 10 percent. How can we complain? We should be willing to give anything and everything to our Father because He gave us all we have. Sarah Schrubb, 14 Rapid City, South Dakota

[photo] Photography by Kelly Larsen