Andrew Wheeler compiled the following 10 interesting points and stories about the purposes and blessings of tithing.
Purpose of Tithing
President Henry B. Eyring, of the First Presidency: “God’s purpose in giving us commandments is to bless us. He wants to give us eternal life, the greatest of all His gifts (see D&C 14:7). To receive the gift of living with Him forever in families in the celestial kingdom, we must be able to live the laws of that kingdom (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:22).
He has given us commandments in this life to help us develop that capacity. The law of tithing is one of those preparatory commandments. The law is that we give to the Lord one-tenth of all our income. It is simple enough that even a child can understand it.”
Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Pay your tithing. Unlock the windows of heaven. You will be abundantly blessed for your obedience and faithfulness to the Lord’s laws and commandments.”
The Lord has commanded us to pay tithing. In return, He promises to bless us abundantly. He said: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, 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” (Malachi 3:10).
His blessings, however, come in His own way and in His own time and can be spiritual or temporal.
What is tithing?
Tithing is the first 10 percent of all our increase.
- Proverbs 3:9: “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.”
“All thine increase.” – What does that mean? I’ll leave that up to you and the Lord to interpret. But, there’s something spiritually significant about giving God your first and best, rather than the leftovers.
- Deuteronomy 14:22: “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.”
How Is Tithing Used?
The principle of tithing—voluntarily giving one-tenth of our income to God’s work—has been taught since Old Testament times (see Genesis 14:17–21). This is how the Lord funds His Church. Today tithing funds are used for:
(1) Constructing temples, chapels, and other Church buildings;
(2) Providing operating funds for the Church;
(3) Funding the missionary program (this does not include individual missionary expenses);
(4) Preparing materials used in Church classes and organizations;
(5) Carrying out other important work, such as temple and family history work.
Kenneth Copeland, American televangelist, runs Tarrant County, Texas-based Kenneth Copeland Ministries: “Do we say: ‘Well, I tried tithing, and it didn’t work.’ But, tithing isn’t something you try, it’s something you live.”
We Tithe in Faith
- Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek.”
Kenneth Copeland: “If we’re tithing in fear, we’re not tithing in faith…And if you’re not tithing in faith, you’re not eligible to receive the benefits.”
Limiting our faith limits our blessings
Elder Robert D. Hales: “Tithing develops and tests our faith. By sacrificing to the Lord what we may think we need or want for ourselves, we learn to rely on Him. Our faith in Him makes it possible to keep temple covenants and receive eternal temple blessings.”
Pioneer Sarah Rich, wife of Charles C. Rich, wrote in her journal after leaving Nauvoo: “Many were the blessings we had received in the House of the Lord, which [have] caused joy and comfort in the midst of all our sorrows, and enabled us to have faith in God, knowing He would guide us and sustain us in the unknown journey that lay before us.”
Lourdes Soliz de Duran, Bolivia, found a place to live: “Shortly after we married, my husband and I moved to a faraway town in eastern Bolivia where we were the only members of the Church. My husband was a new convert, and we wanted to comply with all the commandments of the Lord.
Every month we would save our tithing in an envelope until we could deliver it to our bishop. My husband had a strong conviction that if we complied with this law, we would be blessed and protected.
We lived in a hot, expensive, uncomfortable hotel room while we looked for a home to rent. For many days our search proved fruitless. The only house we could find was a small, pretty one whose owner lived in another city. Many outsiders had tried to rent the home, but they could never find the owner.
One morning just as we had finished praying about our situation, a young man knocked on our door. He told us that the owner of the home had returned for a short visit. My husband rushed out to meet with her while I continued praying that we might get the house. When he returned, he reported that the lady had rented the house to us at an incredibly low price. What added to our joy was that the home was already furnished. At the time, all we had was two large boxes and a suitcase full of our things.
The law of tithing does not have to do with money but rather with faith. My husband wasn’t earning much, but as we faithfully paid our tithing, the Lord blessed us to find a good home and enabled us to provide for ourselves.”
President Henry B. Eyring said about an increase of faith: “…our faith is increased that God is the source of everything that is good in our lives. It becomes easier to see that consecration simply recognizes the truth that all of God’s creations are His. It makes us feel gratitude that He asks only 10 percent of what He has already given us. So we are better prepared to live the law of consecration when it will be asked of us.”
Tithing Brings Confidence and Peace
President Henry B. Eyring: “As we faithfully pay tithing, we will feel an increase in our love for Heavenly Father and all of His children. That love comes from an understanding of how Heavenly Father uses tithing to eternally bless all people in the world.
“All of us who have paid a consistent full tithe feel greater confidence in asking God for what we and our families need. He has promised blessings even greater than we can receive when we have been faithful to our covenant to pay our tithes (see Malachi 3:10). So one of the great blessings of tithing is confidence in what the future holds. Whatever our circumstances may be, things will work out for the best. As we keep our promises, He will keep His. A feeling of peace is one of the great blessings of paying a full tithe. Those who have kept the commandment of tithing can testify that the blessing of peace is real and precious.”
Ricardo Reyes Villalta, El Salvador, regained a testimony of tithing: “I have always trusted in the Lord and His commandments. When the economy took a turn for the worse, however, I lost my overtime hours and my salary dropped. I stopped paying tithing and told myself that the Lord would understand. Nevertheless, my debts grew and my paychecks shrank.
Seeing my struggle, several relatives told me that above all else I should pay my tithes because this would help me overcome my trials. But I always ended up paying my bills instead. I was willing to pay tithing when my financial seas were calm, but I became afraid when my financial situation was stormy.
Heading home from work one afternoon after getting paid, I thought of all my debts. I closed my eyes and prayed, ‘Father, what am I going to do?’ At that moment I opened my eyes and noticed on the ceiling of the bus a poster of Peter sinking into a stormy sea with the Savior reaching out to rescue him. At the bottom of the poster were the words ‘Unshaken Faith.’ I realized I needed to pay my tithing if I ever wanted to pay off my debts.
When I arrived home, I found a tithing envelope and put my tithing inside. As I sealed the envelope, I heard the words ‘All is well’ and felt a joy that brought peace to my soul.
I know that God will bring His blessings into my life when He deems it prudent to do so. Until then the sea may remain stormy, but the peace I feel for obedience is more than enough.”
I love how there’s not a miracle story at the end. It just says that his heart was again at peace—and for him that was enough to restrengthen his testimony.
- Tithing Blesses Families
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Tithing is a commandment with a promise. The Lord will bless, both temporally and spiritually, those who faithfully pay a full tithe. And the Lord will bless their nations as well. Paying tithing is, first of all, an act of faith.”
Elder Oaks told of a time during World War II when his widowed mother worked as a schoolteacher and earned a meager salary to support her three children. When he became aware that their family was going without some desired possessions because they didn’t have enough money, he asked his mother why she continued to pay tithing.
He has never forgotten her response: “Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t. The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children. I cannot do that without the blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing. When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that He will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.”
Sandie Graham, New York, USA, he knew I was paying tithing: “I grew up in the Church but drifted away in my teens. When I returned to the Church, my husband, Dale, supported me but was not interested in meeting with the missionaries.
After becoming active, I met with the bishop for a temple recommend interview. He asked if I was a full-tithe payer, and I was pleased to announce that I was. To my surprise the bishop asked, ‘Does your husband know that you pay tithing?’ I was shocked—why did it matter? The bishop kindly asked me to return after I had told Dale I was paying tithing.
One Sunday morning I finally got up the courage to tell my husband I was paying tithing. Dale stunned me by simply saying, ‘I know.’ This was the first of many tithing miracles.
A short time later, Dale turned the family finances over to me. When I explained that I would pay a full tithe on all our income, he approved because he saw the blessings tithing could bring.
Now our cupboards are always full, we hold family prayer every day, we have the missionaries over at least once a month, and my husband participates in family home evening. I believe that someday Dale will join the Church and that his conversion will have started with our decision to pay a full tithe together.”
Tithing Opens the Windows of Heaven
Jacqueline Kirbyson, England, Freezer full of produce: “Several years ago my husband lost his job. We struggled to pay our bills and buy food with the small pension I received, but we managed to survive.
Although supportive of my commitment to the Church, my husband was frustrated that I paid tithing when we could hardly pay our bills. I felt, however, that I should continue to obey this commandment.
Though we had little money, we did have a small garden. When spring arrived, we planted carrots, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, red peppers, and herbs, among other vegetables. Our garden flourished throughout the summer, and we had a bounteous harvest. Our plum trees almost broke from the weight of the fruit. I spent a busy summer bottling and freezing fruit and vegetables, making jam, baking pies, and sharing extra produce with neighbors.
One day as I walked through our small garden, I remembered God’s promise to open the windows of heaven and ‘pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it’ (Malachi 3:10).
Thinking of my freezer bursting with produce, I realized that Heavenly Father had truly blessed us. Our small garden provided enough to sustain us during our time of need—enough and to spare. I am so grateful that God blesses us as we obey His commandments.”
Tithing Prevents Greed
Elder Robert D. Hales: “An honest tithe teaches self-control over worldly desires. Obedience to the law of tithing cultivates a trust that through individual, diligent efforts, and with the Lord’s blessings, we will have temporal and spiritual blessings sufficient to our needs. One of the great blessings of tithing is that it helps prevent greed. It is best to start paying tithing early. . . . Decide to pay your tithing now; don’t put it off.”
Obedience Provides Protection
Blessings will come to full-tithe payers because of their consistent efforts in obedience to the commandment. Faith will be strengthened, hearts will be softened, and protection will be provided.
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Tithing will keep your name enrolled among the people of God and protect you in ‘the day of vengeance and burning’ (Doctrine and Covenants 85:3).”
President Henry B. Eyring, taught that full-tithe payers can count on the Lord’s protection: “It is that change in our hearts through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, beyond the offering of our money or goods, that makes it possible for the Lord to promise full-tithe payers protection in the last days. We can have confidence that we will qualify for that blessing of protection if we commit now to pay a full tithe and are steady in doing it.”
Protection against the Burning
President Marion G. Romney, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “The payment of tithing is also worthwhile as fire insurance. Through his prophets the Lord has told us that at the time of his second coming, there will be a great conflagration. Malachi thus refers to it in connection with his pronouncement about tithes and offerings.
‘For, behold, the day cometh,’ he said, ‘that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (Malachi 4:1–2).”
This prophecy was quoted by Jesus to the Nephites (see 3 Nephi 25:1–2) and, with slight variation, by Moroni to Joseph Smith. In September 1831, the Lord, in a revelation, made this further reference to the burning which will accompany His second coming:
“Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.
“For after today cometh the burning … for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.
“Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today (Doctrine and Covenants 64:23-25).”
- Tithing increases Love
For whom? For those we serve—in the home, at church, in our vocations, those we simply encounter, and even those in grim circumstances around the world that are dire need of the Lord’s help and may not survive without it, be it spiritually or temporally.
President Henry B. Eyring: “Those who pay tithing feel an increase in their love of God and of all God’s children. That increase of love comes from understanding how the Father uses the tithes we offer to bless people in this world and for eternity.
Through His authorized servants, He expends the tithes with great care. The tithe payer helps the Lord build temples, where families can be sealed forever. The tithe payer helps Him send the gospel to people everywhere. The tithe payer helps Him relieve hunger and suffering in His own way through His servants. Any of those servants can tell you how love increased because tithing was used to bless people. And so can the faithful tithe payer.”