Family Resources

“Tithing,” Family Home Evening Resource Book (1997), 227

“Tithing,” Family Home Evening Resource Book, 227


No person knows the principle of tithing until he pays tithing.
—President Harold B. Lee


The Lord has asked that we pay tithes and offerings; by doing so, we show our love for him and help to build his kingdom.


Lesson 1: Why Pay a Full Tithing?

On separate pieces of paper, make a copy of the following for each member of your family:

Alma 13:15

Genesis 28:20–22

2 Chronicles 31:5

Nehemiah 13:12



People of Judah


Have the members of your family look up the scriptures and match each scripture with the person or persons to whom it pertains. Then ask each one to write on his paper the one thing all of these people had in common. (Each paid tithing.)

Read Leviticus 27:30, 34. Explain that the law of tithing has always been part of the gospel. To help your family understand that it is a commandment for us as well as it was for God’s people anciently, read Doctrine and Covenants 119:4.

Discuss how paying our tithing is one way we can acknowledge what our Heavenly Father has given us and show our love and appreciation to him.

On a chalkboard or large piece of paper, have family members make a list of possible reasons for paying tithing. Highlight those that demonstrate our love and appreciation for our Heavenly Father.

Discuss the following attitudes and decide on the right solution:

  1. A man once said, “I pay tithing on all my salary after deductions, since I don’t get the money that is taken for taxes.” Is he correct? (Tithing is one-tenth of all our interest or increase, before anything else is taken out. See D&C 119:4.)

  2. Another person made this statement: “I don’t know why I should pay tithing. The Church is rich enough, anyway.” (The Church does need everyone’s tithing to build buildings and operate its many programs. But even if it did not need our money, tithing is still a commandment and will bring us many blessings. See Malachi 3:10.)

Help your family members realize that paying a full tithing can be a blessing in their lives. Encourage them to make a commitment to always obey this commandment.

Lesson 2: Spiritual Blessings of Paying Tithing

Read and discuss Doctrine and Covenants 29:34–35.

  • In what way is tithing a spiritual commandment? Why did Heavenly Father give us this commandment?

Discuss the following:

“I think it is not well known in the Church that payment of tithing has very little to do with money. Tithing has to do with faith.” (A. Theodore Tuttle, in Conference Report, Apr. 1970, p. 86; or Improvement Era, June 1970, p. 80.)

  • What does Elder Tuttle mean when he says that tithing has “very little to do with money?”

Read the following experience of a sixteen-year-old girl:

“‘My dad and mother are good people, and I love them very much. We have family prayer but not very often any more because Mom and Dad are always fighting about money. We have lots of bills to pay each month, and my dad is working two jobs to make more money. I am wondering if it is all right for me, since I have a job at a drive-in, to give my money to my mother and skip tithing for a while?’” (John H. Vandenberg, in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, p. 66; or Improvement Era, Dec. 1966, p. 1123.)

Discuss the following questions:

  • What counsel would you give to this sixteen-year-old girl? (Pay your tithing first, and you will be blessed in helping your family.)

  • What suggestions would you give to this family? (Realize the spiritual blessings that come with paying tithing, and trust the Lord to help you better manage the 90 percent that is left.)

  • Should they begin paying tithing now, or wait until they get caught up financially? (Begin right now.)

Ask family members to list the potential blessings this family could enjoy by paying their tithing first.

Relate the story of the widow’s mite found in Mark 12:41–44.

  • Do you think the poor widow was blessed? In what ways?

Bear your testimony of the blessings which come from paying a full tithing.

Lesson 3: Budgeting for Tithing and Offerings

Help family members understand that we pay our tithing first by conducting the following experiment: Give each member of the family ten small pieces of fruit. Ask one family member to give back one piece and keep the rest. Ask another to eat nine pieces and then give back the only one left. Discuss the results of the experiment.

  • Which was the easier way to give? How does this apply to paying tithing?

Read and discuss the following statements:

“Wise family budgeting begins with obeying the law of tithing, for the payment of tithing puts the mind at ease and alert to cope with other essentials of family financial matters” (John H. Vandenberg, in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, p. 69; or Improvement Era, Dec. 1966, p. 1124).

“We can’t make the family budget stretch far enough on our own, so we had better form a partnership with the Lord by giving ten percent to him” (Robert L. Simpson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1966, p. 53; or Improvement Era, June 1966, p. 518).

The following game can stimulate discussion on the law of tithing.

Have one of the children leave the room and remain out of hearing range until called. Have the rest of the family make paper signs as follows:

Tithes and offerings

Rent or house payment


Service station


Car payment

Members of the family or empty chairs can represent these various businesses or expenditures. Prepare play money totaling $550 and give it to the child when he returns to the room.

Give him a list of monthly payments to be made, as follows:

Rent or house payment, $300

Groceries, $60

Service station, $40

Insurance, $30

Car payment, $76

Tithes and offerings (Tithing, $55; Fast offering, $7; Budget, $10)

Tell him to pay his bills as fast as he can. Observe what happens, and discuss the situation. There is not enough money to pay all of the bills and still pay a full tithing. What should he do?

Point out that you pay tithing first, and then you pay a portion of what you owe on each other bill. Talk about which areas you might be able to cut expenses in so that you can live within your budget. Paying the Lord first ensures his help and blessings in being able to budget the rest of your money successfully.



Malachi 3:10–12 (Blessings from paying tithes and offerings.)

Mark 12:33 (Loving God is most important.)

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 (Paying tithing cheerfully.)

Hebrews 7:1–2 (Abraham paid tithes.)

Doctrine and Covenants 64:23–24 (He who is tithed will not be burned.)

Doctrine and Covenants 97:10–12 (House of the Lord to be built by tithing.)

Doctrine and Covenants 119:3–6 (Law of tithing as we know it was given.)

See also “Tithing” in the Topical Guide.


“I Want to Give the Lord My Tenth,” Children’s Songbook, p. 150.


Gospel Principles, “Tithes and Offerings,” chapter 32.

“Windows of Heaven,” on the videocassette Moments from Church History (53145) or on Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Video Presentations (53912).