“The Windows of Heaven,” For the Strength of Youth, Dec. 2022.
When my parents converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my father had no stable income. Back then, as today, there was much poverty in the Philippines. Work was hard to find.
So he prayed and told God that he had a testimony of the law of tithing but needed to find employment so he could live it. He promised Heavenly Father that he would pay an honest tithe all his life.
Well, my father did get a job. He found work as a cleaner in the local Coca-Cola manufacturing plant. As he began to pay tithing, his life began to change.
We used to have to walk to church since we did not have enough money to pay for public transportation. That began to change. My dad worked hard in his humble job and began to slowly rise through the ranks, ultimately becoming a sales manager. We could afford transportation in addition to food. One true miracle is that all six of my parents’ children were able to go and finish college.
Regarding that particular miracle, even my father’s coworkers seemed surprised. “How can you send all your children to college?” they would ask. “You make the same amount of money as we do. It doesn’t make sense!”
My father would always smile and say, “I have been blessed because of living the gospel. I have been blessed because I pay tithing.”
The Old Testament prophet Malachi taught, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse … and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, 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” (Malachi 3:10).
I have witnessed how my family and I have been blessed temporally and spiritually by living this commandment. I have had several encounters in my life where I was protected from physical or spiritual dangers. I believe the Lord protected me because I was faithful in paying my tithes.
In the Philippines, I saw poverty everywhere. I counseled with many Church members about the importance of paying tithes and offerings, even when it was not easy.
I recall one man who had just joined the Church. I was his stake president at the time. “President, how can I pay tithing?” he asked. “My income is already not sufficient to buy enough food.”
This good brother was a motorized tricycle driver. He worked hard for everything he earned. “It takes faith,” I answered him. “But I promise you that as you live the law of tithing, the Lord will bless you.”
He did so. Several months later, I met up with this brother again. He told me that the Lord had indeed blessed him with all he needed.
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) once visited the Philippines and was troubled by the poverty he found there. “I believe with all my heart,” President Hinckley said, “that if they will accept the gospel and live it, pay their tithes and offerings, even though those be meager, the Lord will keep His ancient promise in their behalf, and they will have rice in their bowls and clothing on their backs and shelter over their heads.”1
I have seen that promise fulfilled.
I want to share a thought on offerings. Some youth may not realize the incredible good that comes from fast offerings, humanitarian offerings, and other donations. But I witnessed the impact of those donations firsthand in the Philippines.
I’ve seen families saved from starvation because of fast offerings. In addition, much good is done through humanitarian and other offerings. Donating the cost of one meal to humanitarian aid, for example, might feed a family in another part of the world for a day or more.
As you live the law of tithes and offerings, I testify with Malachi that the Lord will open the windows of heaven and “pour you out a blessing.”
It just takes faith in Jesus Christ.