“Prompted to Pay Tithing,” Ensign, August 2017
After being laid off from a management position in a large, nonprofit organization, I moved temporarily into a family member’s home in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA. I immediately began looking for work and applying to graduate programs in the area. I picked up a couple of jobs in graphic design and grant writing that provided the funds necessary for me to sublet an apartment for two months. I didn’t have much of a plan after those two months, but after several sincere prayers, I felt the Spirit confirm to me that the Bay Area was where the Lord wanted me to be.
A couple of weeks before I needed to move out and make my final rent payment, I was still unemployed and nearly broke. I had applied to a graduate program in Berkeley, but my acceptance status remained unknown, and even though I had identified a suitable living space to rent, I did not have the deposit and rent money to secure the room. My financial situation felt at odds with the prompting I had received to remain in the area. I felt helpless.
One Saturday evening, while reassessing my finances and seeking the will and support of the Lord, I had a clear and unmistakable impression that I needed to pay my tithing. I had previously paid my tithing in a passive and, at times, even rounded-down way in the past, but the Holy Ghost spoke unmistakably to my heart that I needed to take my already-scarce funds and pay a full and honest tithe. I also realized that the approaching Sabbath day would be fast Sunday, which further increased what I would return to the Lord. With tears in my eyes and exercising every ounce of faith I could muster, I counted out exactly 10 percent of my meager funds and included an additional 10 dollars as a fast offering.
That Sunday I met with my bishop. I told him of the situation I was in, gave him my tithing and fast offering, and then asked him for a priesthood blessing. In the blessing, he promised me that I would receive the miracle I needed in the coming days. I felt the Spirit of the Lord confirm to me that this was true. I realized that there had never been a time in my life when I was required to place so much faith in the temporal assistance of the Lord. I left the bishop’s office and went about the rest of my Sabbath day filled with a feeling of peace and assurance.
The following day, I woke up, read my scriptures, and said my morning prayer. Later that afternoon I received a call from a temporary employment agency that I had applied to weeks before but had heard nothing from. The agency representative told me that he had a clerk position available immediately and that it would probably last a week or so. I calculated what I could expect to receive from this position—I would still be a few hundred dollars short of what I needed to remain in the Bay Area, but I took the job and moved forward with faith.
I also had some sound equipment for sale. I felt inspired to drop the asking price of the equipment. The next day I received a call from someone who was interested. Upon arriving and reviewing the items, the person decided to purchase not only the items listed in the ad but also several instrument cables and cords that more than tripled the amount I was expecting to get.
With this transaction and the money I received from my recent employment, I had more than enough funds to pay my outstanding bills, move into my new living quarters, and buy food for the rest of the week. The following week, I received the information that my application had been accepted to the graduate program in Berkeley. The Lord had blessed me with all that I needed in order to do what I had felt He wanted of me.
Six months after this experience, I met the amazing woman who now is my wife and eternal companion. While I was going through my own life-changing experience, the Lord was influencing and guiding my future wife to make very specific and even difficult decisions that brought her to the San Francisco YSA Ward. I felt the Lord had truly blessed me with the miracle I needed.
While I was blessed with many miracles at this time, I am confident that the greatest miracle was that I grew closer to my Father in Heaven. I saw an exponential increase of my faith in God’s love and in His awareness of me as one of His children.