What is tithing?
The Bible indicates that God’s people followed the law of tithing anciently; through modern prophets, God restored this law once again to bless His children. To fulfill this commandment, Church members give one-tenth of their income to the Lord through His Church. These funds are used to build up the Church and further the work of the Lord throughout the world.
One of the blessings of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the privilege of paying tithing. This privilege is a double blessing. By paying tithing, Church members show their gratitude to God for their blessings and their resolve to trust in the Lord rather than in material things. They also help further the work of the Lord in the earth, blessing others of God’s children with the opportunity to learn of Him and grow in the gospel.
Tithing has been known since Old Testament times. For example, it is recorded in Genesis 14:17-20 that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek.
Through the prophet Malachi, the Lord declared:
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
Church members give their tithing donations to local leaders. These local leaders transmit tithing funds directly to the headquarters of the Church, where a council determines specific ways to use the sacred funds. This council is comprised of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric. Acting according to revelation, they make decisions as they are directed by the Lord. (See D&C 120:1.)
Tithing funds are always used for the Lord’s purposes—to build and maintain temples and meetinghouses, to sustain missionary work, to educate Church members, and to carry on the work of the Lord throughout the world.
As with members of many other faiths, Latter-day Saints believe that the payment of tithing shows gratitude to God and brings both spiritual and temporal blessings.