I believed the prophet Malachi when he said that the Lord pours out blessings to those who pay tithing (see Mal. 3:10). I had no problem believing that. But when it came to actually paying tithing, I had trouble.
On payday I would set aside money for tithing. However, payday often came in the middle of the week, and when I needed money later on I would “borrow” back money from my tithing. I told myself I would replace the money and give my tithing to the bishop on Sunday, but usually I was unable to return the money. So I would plan to pay the tithing I owed from my next paycheck. I tried to do this, but then very little would be left of my paycheck! Things went on like this for the first year I earned my own income.
Then one day I had a realization. A sales representative came to our house. He explained that I could pay for an appliance on an installment plan—receiving the item now and paying for it later. As he spoke, a question entered my mind: “Does the Lord give blessings on an installment plan?”
The next day in my institute class, the very first verse of scripture we discussed answered my question: “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10).
Every commandment brings blessings—and always in full. But we must keep the commandment, not just plan to keep it. That night I prayed for forgiveness for paying my tithes in such a lazy manner.
Now that I am paying my tithing faithfully, I have found that I am happier living on 90 percent of my income with the Lord’s blessings than I ever was living on 100 percent of my income without them.
Jennifer M. Severino is a member of the Bacolod First Ward, Bacolod Philippines Stake.