When Hinakuia’s husband, ‘Anau, discovered she had started paying tithing, he was upset. “I did not make a lot of money as a schoolteacher,” ‘Anau explained. Although ‘Anau had been baptized when he was young, he very quickly became less active and had never felt a desire to return. Those feelings didn’t change when he married Hinakuia, another Latter-day Saint. Hinakuia, wanting to be obedient to the Lord’s commandments, tried to convince ‘Anau that they should pay tithing. She invited their home teachers over to teach the principle, but ‘Anau remained unconvinced. “We argued about it for several years,” he said.
Confident that the Lord would bless them, Hinakuia decided to challenge ‘Anau to join her in paying tithing, just to see what would come of it. “It was a tough decision for me,” ‘Anau recalled. “But I wanted us to find peace, so I said OK.” Once they started the experiment, it was apparent that they had very little money left over after paying tithing and bills. “But then,” said ‘Anau, “we received blessings.” Some of those blessings were monetary. At times, they received unexpected help from family living abroad, and later ‘Anau was able to secure a teaching position at Liahona High School. “From the moment I accepted that principle, the Lord has blessed my family,” said ‘Anau.
These blessings have extended far beyond finances: the Halas felt a change of direction in their life in general. ‘Anau returned to church, home life became happier, and the confidence garnered from keeping the law of tithing gave them the courage to add to their family through adoption. In 2005 they were sealed as a family in the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Temple.