Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Blessings of Paying a Full Tithe


Several weeks ago, a dear  Relief Society sister in my ward, Sister Jones, taught a powerful lesson on paying a full tithe, even when one is destitute. Her lesson was on Elder Bednar's great talk last October in General Conference. Windows of Heaven

   Sister Jones related her own personal experiences on how her husband got let go of his job a year ago when his company decided to downsize it's employees. She remembered that she had a valid teaching certificate, which she had recieved previous to her marriage, but as they decided to have a child right off, she never got to use it. Sister Jones decided to bring up the subject of her working for awhile while her husband searched for a job that would provide for the family. They came together in mighty prayer and fasting to the Lord and asked what they should do. They even met with my husband, the Bishop of the ward, to get some divine council.

  Now, Sister Jones thought she could help nurture and teach little children as a school teacher. She told Brother Jones that she felt that she could help the children under her direction to become good people. Her husband was hesitant and stated, "The bretheren have said your role is to nuture in the home, my role is to provide and preside. The spirit tells me that you working at this time of need would be contrary to His will." They continued their prayers.

One day, she turned on BYUTV and heard Elder Bednar's and Elder Christofferson's General Conference talks. Elder Christofferson's remarks were entitled The Moral Force of Women. In the talk, she heard these inspired statements:

"A woman’s moral influence is nowhere more powerfully felt or more beneficially employed than in the home. There is no better setting for rearing the rising generation than the traditional family, where a father and a mother work in harmony to provide for, teach, and nurture their children. Where this ideal does not exist, people strive to duplicate its benefits as best they can in their particular circumstances."

"A pernicious philosophy that undermines women’s moral influence is the devaluation of marriage and of motherhood and homemaking as a career. Some view homemaking with outright contempt, arguing it demeans women and that the relentless demands of raising children are a form of exploitation. They ridicule what they call “the mommy track” as a career. This is not fair or right. We do not diminish the value of what women or men achieve in any worthy endeavor or career—we all benefit from those achievements—but we still recognize there is not a higher good than motherhood and fatherhood in marriage. There is no superior career, and no amount of money, authority, or public acclaim can exceed the ultimate rewards of family. Whatever else a woman may accomplish, her moral influence is no more optimally employed than here."

Tears decended her cheeks as she read these quotes. She knew that her moral authority was better served at home, not in a Elementary School. No amount of money that she could make would be better than staying home. She knew her prayers were answered, and that if they were full tithe payers, all would be well for them and the Lord would provide. She and her husband cancelled all of the "extra" things that they had, keeping things to the bare minimum. The sold their extra car. His severence package and his unemployment check were just enough to pay the morgage and utilities, but not enough for tithing AND food.  Full of faith, she wrote the tithing check, knowing the Lord would provide. She was able to get assistance from the bishop and food stamps for their need to eat. This was a great blessing.

Her faith was not in vain. Her husband was able to search for a job longer and harder than the normal person searching for a job.  They had to discontinue the wifi service in their home, so he went to the library and used their computer the whole 3 hour limit searching daily. This time spent, that the Lord provided them, gave him the opportunity to search obscure websites for job leads that the normal eye just wouldn't find. He was blessed with this stamina because they paid a full tithe. Brother Jones looked as the family's  financial records and was astounded at what he saw. Because they quit their cell phones services, wifi, newspaper, cable, extra car and used public transportation as much as they could, the Lord miraculously blessed  them be able to pay for the essential bills. Sister Johnson was astounded when she found that there was $2 extra for that month. She didn't know how that could have happened with out the blessing of tithing. There were no extra bills that they would normally have to pay for, like their children getting sick!

She closed with these words, and bore a powerful testimony if tithing and said the windows of heaven could open up for us, too if we but keep this optional commandment.

"The honest payment of tithing is much more than a duty; it is an important step in the process of personal sanctification. To those of you who pay your tithing, I commend you.

To those of you who presently are not obeying the law of tithing, I invite you to consider your ways and repent. I testify that by your obedience to this law of the Lord, the windows of heaven will be opened to you. Please do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.

I testify spiritual and temporal blessings come into our lives as we live the law of tithing. I bear witness that such blessings often are significant but subtle. I also declare that the simplicity of the Lord’s way that is so evident in the temporal affairs of His Church provides patterns that can guide us as individuals and as families. I pray each of us may learn and benefit from these important lessons, in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."

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