“Should I pay tithing on money my parents give me?” New Era, Dec. 1975, 15
Answer/Bishop Victor L. Brown
Because of the many questions about tithing that are received by the General Authorities of the Church, the First Presidency addressed a letter to presidents of stakes and missions, bishops of wards, and presidents of branches, dated March 19, 1970. They referred these Church officers to the Doctrine and Covenants 119:3–4 [D&C 119:3–4], which reads:
“And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.
“… those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.”
After quoting this scripture the First Presidency said: “No one is justified in making any other statement than this. We feel that every member of the Church should be entitled to make his own decision as to what he thinks he owes the Lord, and to make payment accordingly.” They did, however, point out that “interest” is understood to mean “income.”
At the close of each year every member of the Church is invited to attend tithing settlement with his or her bishop, at which time the bishop should be told whether or not the member is a full tithe payer.
Young people should make it a matter of prayer and should consult with their parents if they have any question as to what they should consider income and in deciding how much tithing to pay. They may also seek counsel from their bishop.
The Lord has promised great blessings to those who pay tithes and offerings. We read in Malachi 3:8, 10 [Mal. 3:8, 10]:
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. …
“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.”
The payment of tithing is a private matter between the individual member and the Lord, with the bishop, as the Lord’s servant, receiving and accounting for the contribution.
When you have been completely honest with the Lord, a feeling of peace will enter your heart, and you will have no doubt that you are a full tithe payer.
Keep in mind the Lord’s direction to pay tithes on all your interest (or income); counsel with your parents; consider the blessings promised to those who pay their tithes and offerings, and then make your own decision.
As you strive to live this commandment and all of the other commandments of the Lord, you may expect his Spirit to be with you to strengthen and guide you in other decisions of your life.