“Not Room Enough to Receive It,” Ensign, Dec. 2003, 47
Each year we have the opportunity to attend tithing settlement and privately review with our bishop or branch president our payment of tithing. At this time we can begin again with a resolve to pay an honest tithe.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,” commanded the Lord, “… and prove me now herewith, … 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” (Mal. 3:10). What spiritual and temporal blessings come pouring into our lives through heavenly windows thrown wide open when we pay tithing? Church members from around the world share their testimonies and experiences.
Almost four years ago, I went to live with my father, a faithful member of the Church for 20 years. I had not been attending church at all and knew little about the gospel.
Gradually I began going to church. Then one Sunday at stake conference, I heard Elder Adelson de Paula Parrella, an Area Authority Seventy, give a talk about tithing. Although I didn’t understand much about this law, Elder Parrella spoke with such confidence, faith, and spirit that I decided to pay tithing from that day forward.
When I began to pay tithing and offerings, something marvelous began to happen in my life. The Spirit began to fill my heart, and like the prodigal son, I was guided to return to the true gospel path. The Lord even blessed me so greatly that I was able to serve as a missionary in the Brazil Fortaleza Mission.
I know that when we are faithful in paying our tithing and a generous fast offering, the Lord can bless us temporally and spiritually.
Rafael Barcellos Machado, Parque Pinheiro Ward, Santa Maria Brazil Stake
Two months after I was baptized, I told the sister missionaries that I had not yet paid any tithing. I was out of work and didn’t have enough money to last the month. The sisters read the Lord’s promise to open the windows of heaven, and I felt the Holy Ghost testify to me, “Trust in the Lord.”
I felt so happy the next day when I paid tithing on the small amount I had. During the next week, I found a job. I am so happy to know that if we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, He will do miracles for us.
Ivanka Ivanova, Sofia Tsentralen Branch, Sofia Bulgaria District
As the only Church member in my family, I had to overcome many obstacles to serve a full-time mission. One of these was financial, and I spent countless hours looking for jobs so I could earn enough money for my mission. Finally I found a job watching over someone’s home. Although I made only a small amount, I managed to pay tithing. Then I found another job teaching English to three children. It more than doubled my salary, and I could keep both jobs. What a blessing! After working for some months—always paying my tithing—I finally received my call to serve in the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission.
Sometimes I think of the Lord as a master and myself as one of His servants. If I am a lazy servant who does nothing but sleep, eat, and entertain myself, will He be able to reward me? No. But if I labor diligently, will our Master withhold His blessings from me? No. He will reward me more than I deserve. And if we are obedient to the law of tithing, how generous will our blessings be then? He has said that there will not be enough room to receive them (see Mal. 3:10; 3 Ne. 24:10). This is the Lord’s wonderful promise to all who pay tithing.
Eng Bun Huoch, Ta Khmau Branch, Phnom Penh Cambodia South District
When I joined the Church in Taiwan as a teenager, paying tithing was not difficult because I had little income. After I graduated and began working, it became a little harder. There were always so many things to buy and so little money to buy them with. But each year at tithing settlement, I could honestly tell the branch president that I had paid a full tithe.
Then last year my mother had to be admitted to the hospital intensive care unit. I was sorely worried about my mother and also about how we would pay for her care. The following Sunday I remembered I hadn’t yet paid my tithing that month. Thinking I would need all my money to pay the hospital, I decided to put off paying my tithing until the next week. As Sunday approached once again, a small voice reminded me that the Lord has promised to open the windows of heaven when we pay tithing. “Now is the time to give my faith a test,” I thought.
I withdrew some money from the bank and placed it in a tithing envelope. I felt a little hesitant, but summoning my courage, I gave the envelope to my branch president. Although I felt reluctant to let go of the envelope, I decided to leave the matter in God’s hands.
Just a week later, I received a telephone call informing me that our insurance company would soon be sending a check. “For how much?” I asked. The amount was many times more than the tithing I had paid. I know that when we are faithful, God will never forsake us.
Lu Chia, BYU Chinese Ward, Brigham Young University Sixth Stake
When I was baptized in 2001, I began paying tithing every month. Then just eight months later, my husband passed away. I became a widow with two small children at home and one son on a mission. Although my financial problems were serious, I never stopped paying tithing. I have been blessed with more and more work, which has enabled me to earn more money. But even more important, because I pay my tithing I always feel at peace with the Lord.
Today my small house seems big and comfortable. I feel calm with my two little children. I will never stop paying tithing because I know the Lord has blessed me not only with physical and spiritual health but also with wisdom and peace.
Josefa Margarida dos Santos Fontes, Rio Grande da Serra Ward, Ribeirão Pires Brazil Stake
After my wife, Jean, and I were baptized on 27 October 1957, we did not start paying tithing right away as we should have. I thought we had too many debts and too little money. I should have known that we could not afford not to pay it.
When a year passed, we were expecting our third child. We had just purchased a new house and also had several more debts. About this time, my wife said, “We need to pay our tithing.” I did not know how we could because we had no money left after our expenses, but I said, “We will do it.” And we did.
We had already moved into our new house, but the loan had not yet closed because the street and the driveway were not finished. It soon began to rain and rain and rain some more. As a result, the work on the street and driveway was delayed. The loan did not close, so we had no house payments.
By the time the work was finally completed, the mortgage company had lost the loan papers and seemed in no hurry to find them. When the papers were finally found, we had lived in our house for six or seven months without making a single payment. We were able to get ahead on some of our other payments during this time.
Things have not always been financially easy for us, but we have never stopped paying our tithing. We call this experience a blessing from heaven.
Henry Hardnock, Midland Second Ward, Odessa Texas Stake
When I was 20 years old and investigating the Church in Ulan-Ude, Russia, my brother and I sang in a music competition. I prayed that our music would touch the judges’ hearts. My prayer was answered when two of the judges were touched in such a way that they cried during our performance. And I was thrilled when we won second place and received a cash prize.
After my brother and I had divided the prize money, I remembered what I had learned about tithing—that the Lord’s 10 percent should be paid to the branch president. My family was having financial problems, and they argued that I shouldn’t pay 10 percent to God.
But one of the branch members showed me how to put my money in a tithing envelope. And I felt happy when I gave my first tithing to the branch president, believing that Heavenly Father would not let my family die for lack of money to buy food.
That evening, a friend of my mother’s came to our home. She wanted to help us and gave us more money than I had paid. That experience helped me very much. I was baptized six weeks later and am now serving a full-time mission.
I know that our happiness and well-being are influenced by how honest we are in paying our tithing. And my family now has the same opinion too!
Sister Marita Ivanova, Russia Samara Mission
Once when our children were young, I decided to test the Lord’s promise by paying our tithe, even though I didn’t know where we would get money to buy food. I didn’t mention our plight to anyone.
To my surprise, my parents soon came to visit, bringing with them enough meat, potatoes, and bread to last us a very long time. But this wasn’t all. Our oldest daughter had a work-study assignment at school. Her assigned workplace was a sandwich shop, and at the end of the week, she received permission to bring home sandwiches for the whole family!
“Now we just lack some fruit,” I thought to myself. And that afternoon, returning from biking, I saw a lady putting apples into a bag. “Would you like to have these?” she asked. Surprised, I said that I would like them very much indeed.
Just then our neighbor’s young son came by. When he saw the delicious apples, he asked, “Could I have just one?” I held the bag out to him, and he chose one. Thanking me, he hurried away, his eyes shining with happiness.
I thought afterward that the Lord must have wanted to test me too. When He had given so much to me and mine, would I also share with others? I did—and have tried to do so ever since.
Jytte Christiansen, Fredericia Ward, Aarhus Denmark Stake
After graduating from high school, I got a good job as a secretary at the university and was able to help Papa support the family. He had been the only one in the family working, and it had been hard for him to support four of us in school. We had sometimes gone without necessities.
Then when I was 18, my father died unexpectedly. My mother could not work because she was ill, and as the oldest I would have to support the family.
One day when I was upset because I hadn’t made enough money to cover all our expenses, I remembered the promise in Malachi. I prayed to Heavenly Father, reminding Him that I was paying a full tithe, even when I lacked money for food. Later that day the bishop came to visit, bringing food and help. Never in all the time I was supporting my family did the Lord fail me.
When my brother became old enough to serve a mission, he wanted to stay home and work to help pay for household expenses. But we felt he should go, so he quit his job and left for a mission. The following month, my salary was raised. The whole time he was on his mission, my family never lacked for anything. I received a scholarship and was able to study to become a commercial engineer. During this time our shoes lasted longer, our clothes didn’t wear out as quickly, and we didn’t get sick as often.
After supporting my family for six years, I married a wonderful man in the Guayaquil Ecuador Temple. Our goal was always to pay tithing, and we always did. Every month we took our tithing out first. We didn’t have everything, but we didn’t suffer either.
Two years after we married, my husband died in a traffic accident. Now once again I support my own family. But I have a good job, and I know that if I continue to live the law of tithing, my young son and I will have what we need. With all my heart I know that the Lord will never forsake me and that He will continue to pour out blessings—not only temporal but also spiritual.
Karina Vanegas Barcia, Monay Branch, Cuenca Ecuador Stake