“Tithing: A Key to Peace in a Troubled World,” Ensign, Dec. 2011, 62–64
In a world where many people place great value on wealth, willingly giving a tenth of your income may seem strange. Many may even argue that no one can afford such a sacrifice. But obedience to the Lord’s commandments always brings blessings. As Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Those who place their faith in the Lord’s promises say, ‘I can’t afford not to pay tithing.’”1
Even in financially difficult situations, the Lord’s promises remain unchanged. When Church members faithfully pay their tithing, He will “open … the windows of heaven, and pour … out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). Below, five Church members tell about blessings they received after paying their tithing and other offerings, even when times were hard.
Samara Anderson of Western Australia says she sees blessings consistently as she and her family faithfully pay their tithing.
“We are considered a low-income family, but only in the eyes of the world,” Samara says. “Yet somehow, we are always able to pay the bills. There are food specials when we have run out of groceries, and petrol [gasoline] prices always seem to be lowest when we need to fill our car.”
Samara compares these blessings to the miracles recorded in the scriptures.
“Miracles do exist, just like Daniel being saved in the lions’ den or Moses parting the Red Sea. I have seen them in my own life,” Samara says. “The Red Sea did not open up for me, but the housing market did. I did not survive the lions like Daniel; instead, I survive bills and rates [taxes]. I know that my Heavenly Father watches for all my needs, great or small, and this love from God is the greatest blessing of all.”
Shawn McCausland of Florida, USA, joined the Church in 1992 and married shortly thereafter. He and his wife made tithing a priority and saw the blessings. But paying tithing became more challenging when Shawn lost his job.
“My wife and I did odd jobs as I searched for new employment, but each month as we drew up our budget, we could not see how we would make it,” Shawn says. “At times it was tempting to use our tithing for bills or groceries, but we trusted in the Lord and submitted the tithing to our bishop instead. And each month the Lord provided for us in ways we had not foreseen, whether through an allotment from the bishops’ storehouse, a timely gift from a relative, or an unexpected refund.”
Shawn eventually secured a new job and could again support his growing family. After receiving so many blessings, the McCauslands determined to continue to pay their tithing, increase their fast offering, and seek to be wise stewards of their resources. With their finances again stable, the McCauslands continue to remember the help the Lord gave them in trying times.
The Hopkins family from Texas, USA, learned that blessings from tithing can come as both direct and indirect answers to prayers. The Hopkinses needed expensive medical treatments to have children, and they learned that paying tithing brings blessings that can last forever.
“The cost of the medication was well outside our means,” Trish Hopkins says. “We fasted, prayed, and continued to pay a full tithe. That money could have gone toward the medications, but we knew we would be blessed for paying our tithing.
“When the time came to purchase the medications, the Lord made good on His promise of blessings. Though we couldn’t explain it, we found we had more money in our bank account than we had thought. We were truly blessed by paying our tithing.”
The medications worked, and today the Hopkinses are raising their two children in the gospel. Their desire to have children was realized years ago as they faithfully paid their tithing, but the Hopkinses have continued to see the Lord’s hand in their lives.
“Over the years, the blessings have come, whether in the form of money for food storage, heating oil during a blizzard, or air conditioning during a heat wave. The Lord has kept His promise, and we have kept our part by paying a tenth of our income,” Trish says.
Although some blessings do come suddenly, others come quietly. Dan and Rachel Harrison of New Zealand found themselves without a major source of income when the university student who was boarding with their family decided to leave unexpectedly. They worried about how this might affect them, but their expenses somehow never became unbearable.
“Without the money for board, we knew that we could not afford to pay the rent even though we were living in the cheapest house we could find,” Rachel says. “But we budgeted our money, avoided debt, and always paid a full tithe. To this day, I have not figured out where the extra money came from every week.”
The Harrisons’ blessings continued to come just as they were needed—even when those needs became urgent. Dan’s student allowance was scheduled to stop just as a new semester began, and the Harrisons worried they wouldn’t be able to afford necessities.
“At the same time it ran out, he was awarded a scholarship that provided for our rent and food with some left over,” Rachel says. “The Lord’s ways are mysterious, and as we use our finances wisely, I know our needs will be met.”
Claude and Laura Mikulecky of Texas, USA, didn’t think they could afford to pay tithing. When the Mikuleckys were transferred to Hawaii for Claude’s job, they suddenly faced a higher cost of living without additional income. “We knew we needed financial help,” Laura says. “We also knew the Lord’s admonitions and promises.”
They had an important decision to make. Although they understood that tithing would bring blessings, they couldn’t imagine how they would have enough money to get by.
“The Lord helped us with our indecision by giving us a nudge in the right direction,” Laura says.
She says that Heavenly Father blessed them as they met with unexpected trials. In the next few months the Mikuleckys faced medical emergencies, car accidents, plumbing problems, surgery, appliance failure, and a burglary (which resulted not only in financial loss but also in the loss of important family history documents). Laura found a job working as a doctor’s secretary, but still each trial brought with it emotional stress and additional financial burdens. So she and Claude made the effort to faithfully pay their tithing.
When they did so, the blessings became obvious. Claude’s surgery was completely paid for by insurance and Laura’s employee discount. Their son David was born. The book of remembrance that was lost in the burglary was returned in good condition. And when the family’s time in Hawaii ended, their home sold at a good price in one day.
“Sometimes the Lord tests us, but He always keeps His promises,” Laura says. “We learned that if we keep the law, the reward is sure.”
The windows of heaven are open today, just as they have always been. And through obedience to the law of tithing, there “shall not be room enough to receive” all the blessings that will come—sometimes in ways we don’t expect (see Malachi 3:10).