Tithing First
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“Tithing First,” New Era, Jan. 2011, 34–35

Tithing First

Tithing never seemed like a big deal to me until I had an experience that testified to me how important paying your tithing really is.

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.

Illustration by Taia Morley