“Tithing First,” New Era, Jan. 2011, 34–35
My parents have always taught me how truly important paying tithing is and the blessings that come from doing so. I knew it was what I should do, but every time I got money, it seemed so much easier to just keep it all, spend it all, and not pay my tithing. As I got older, I became better at paying tithing but would occasionally forget to pay it here and there. I honestly couldn’t see how it could be such a blessing!
This last year, I was earning money just about every week doing odd jobs, and since I didn’t have a full-time job, it really was a blessing to have money when I needed things. When I was paid, though, it was always in checks or larger bills. I’d say to myself, “Oh, I’ll pay my tithing later when I get some smaller bills.” But as time kept ticking away, I fell into a bad routine. Once I got smaller bills, I’d decide that I needed a drink or something out of a vending machine at school, and I’d spend the smaller bills. Every time I’d get paid, the same thing happened, and I wouldn’t pay my tithing. I would just spend it.
Then my best friend left on his mission, and I started sending him different things. But for a month, I didn’t have any babysitting jobs, cleaning jobs, or anything. One day I went to go get money to send a package to him, but there was no money to be found in my wallet. I was so confused! Where had all my money gone? I thought about all those times I bought drinks, treats, even clothes, and all those things started to add up in my head. I put sending the package on hold.
The next day, I did end up babysitting for one of my neighbors and decided that I would pay my tithing right then and there because I knew I was very behind. I paid it all, the full amount. The next day I went to church, gave that little envelope with my tithing in it to a member of the bishopric, and had this really warm feeling inside. I wasn’t sure why; I had even less money than I had before.
That night I had three people call me to help them that week, whether it was cleaning, babysitting, or little jobs like that. I agreed to them all, and by the end of the week, I had more money than I’d hoped for. I sent the package and still had money to spare.
I realized something that week. Just paying the 10 percent that our Father in Heaven has asked for opened up a door for me to receive blessings. Since then, I’m in the habit of paying my tithing as soon as I get home and putting it in an envelope. As the week goes by, I add to it so that by the time Sunday comes, I count it, pay my tithing, and it’s no longer in my hands.
I can’t even begin to explain the wonderful feeling of knowing you’ve paid a full tithe. I will never go without paying my tithing again now that I know and have gained a true testimony of how important it is to pay not just part of it, but all of it.