“Sharing Time: Tithes and Offerings,” Friend, Nov. 1996, 12
Father in Heaven loves you and has given you many blessings. He asks you to return to Him one tenth of all you earn. The one tenth you give to the Lord is called tithing. Tithing is used to build up Heavenly Father’s kingdom on the earth. It pays for building and taking care of chapels and temples, for translating and printing the Book of Mormon, and for missionary work. In countries all over the world, tithing also pays for Seminary and Institute of Religion classes.
Father in Heaven loves all His children, and He wants you to love and help care for one another. (See D&C 52:40; James 1:27.) To help do this, He asks you to fast one day a month and give the money you would have spent on food to the Church to help people who are in need. This is called a fast offering.
Father in Heaven has provided another way for you to help people all over the earth who are suffering from floods, wars, famine, earthquakes, and other disasters. You can do this by giving money to Church Humanitarian Services.
When you love Father in Heaven and understand all that He has done for you, you are filled with a spirit of love and giving. You want to build up His kingdom and help the poor, the needy, and all who suffer. When you do this cheerfully, He is very pleased (see 2 Cor. 9:7) and will open the windows of heaven and pour out His blessings upon you (see Mal. 3:10).
Instructions: With the help of an adult, if necessary, fill out the sample donation form. Keep it where you can refer to it when you pay your tithes and offerings. Always turn in your donations to a member of the bishopric or branch presidency.
1 Carefully print your name as indicated.
2 Write the date here.
3 Fill in your address.
4 Fill in the name of your ward or branch.
5 The amount you are paying in tithing is written here.
6 If you are helping the needy members of the Church, write the amount here.
7 If you are helping those who suffer from floods, earthquakes, etc., write the word Humanitarian here.
8 Write the amount of money you want to go to Humanitarian Services here.
9 Add all the amounts together for a total.
Remember: Always give your donation envelope to a member of your bishopric or branch presidency.
1. Take the children on a tour of the meetinghouse and explain that meetinghouses, their furnishings, and the equipment in them are paid for by tithing funds. Visit the library, kitchen, cultural hall, chapel, etc. Mention to the children that tithing funds are for building and taking care of temples as well as meetinghouses, for missionary work, for translating and publishing the scriptures, for religious education, for the work of redeeming the dead, and for many other purposes decided upon by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. (See Dallin H. Oaks, “Tithing,” Ensign, May 1994, pp. 33–35.) Show the children where tithing slips and envelopes can be found. Explain to them that they should always give their tithing envelopes to a member of the bishopric or branch presidency. Prepare the following note for each child to take home and discuss with his or her family: Tithing is “the Lord’s plan for financing the work of His kingdom” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 53).
2. Invite the bishop or branch president to tell about the principles of tithing and fast offerings, and the differences between the two. Have him explain what tithing settlement is and why they should attend. Read and discuss Malachi 3:8–10. Sing “I’m Glad to Pay a Tithing” (Children’s Songbook, p. 150).
3. Explain that years ago, tithing used to be paid “in kind.” This meant that the herdsman paid in animals, the farmer paid in produce, etc. Show how a family would have collected ten eggs, apples, or potatoes, then chosen the nicest one to be taken to the bishop’s storehouse. Explain that today we pay with money.* Show the older children how moving the decimal sign in a dollar figure one position to the left shows how much tithing should be paid. For the younger children, prepare a worksheet where ten pennies have been drawn. Have the children color all the pennies, then draw a square around one to show what a tithe would be. Give each older child a piece of blank paper on which to draw and color ten pennies, then draw a square around one to show what the tithing would be. Suggest that the children take their papers home and put them where they can be seen.
4. Tell the children that the General Authorities often remind us of how important it is to pay an honest tithing. Invite an adult to read or tell one of the stories from the following conference addresses, and show a picture of that General Authority: Elder Jeffrey Holland, “Our Priesthood Legacy,” Ensign, May 1995, pp. 38–40; Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Tithing,” Ensign, May 1994, pp. 33–35.
5. Help each child make a tithing box. You may want to use the design in the Friend, Nov. 1993, p. 33. As the children are working on their boxes, help them memorize the short poem that appears on the same page. Give each child a copy of the poem to share at home.
6. Teach the children that the Lord has commanded His people to care for one another. Explain that one of the ways we do this is by giving a fast offering. Explain that it does not matter how old they are or how much money they have; they are helping the poor and the needy when they make a fast offering. Every penny helps someone. Give the following coded message to each child. Suggest that the children share this activity with their families.
“1-13-4 18-8-5-22 4-9-4 9-12-15-1-16-18 14-6 18-8-5-9-16 17-19-2-17-18-1-13-3-5, 5-20-5-16-22 12-1-13 1-3-3-14-16-4-9-13-7 18-14 18-8-1-18 21-8-9-3-8 8-5 8-1-4, 18-14 18-8-5 15-14-14-16, 1-13-4 18-8-5 13-5-5-4-22, 1-13-4 18-8-5 17-9-3-10, 1-13-4 18-8-5 1-6-6-11-9-3-18-5-4 (1-11-12-1 A:B–G).”
7. Play Stop the Clock with the children by using a stopwatch to see how fast they can find the following scriptures: Alma 34:28, Ps. 41:1, Alma 1:27, Prov. 28:27, Mark 10:21, D&C 44:6, D&C 42:31, D&C 52:40. Prepare a list of these scriptures for each child. Suggest that they play this game with their family during family home evening.
8. For additional stories on the topics of tithing and offerings, see “Joby’s Sacrifice,” Friend, Sep. 1993, pp. 2–4; “Only a Few Pesos,” Friend, Mar. 1993, pp. 43–45.