- as we live the law of tithing, we often receive significant but subtle blessings that are not always what we expect and easily can be overlooked.
Lesson Number 1—Significant but Subtle Blessings
- Often as we teach and testify about the law of tithing, we emphasize the immediate, dramatic, and readily recognizable temporal blessings that we receive. And surely such blessings do occur. Yet some of the diverse blessings we obtain as we are obedient to this commandment are significant but subtle. Such blessings can be discerned only if we are both spiritually attentive and observant.
- The imagery of the “windows” of heaven used by Malachi is most instructive. Windows allow natural light to enter into a building. In like manner, spiritual illumination and perspective are poured out through the windows of heaven and into our lives as we honor the law of tithing.
Sometimes the blessings are not financial. Sometimes they are the ability to accept and change our circumstances on our own.
- The blessing that comes to us through heavenly windows may be greater capacity to act and change our own circumstances rather than expecting our circumstances to be changed by someone or something else.
The second story he tells is about being called as an apostle and participating in the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes. He talks of the sacredness that the tithing funds are viewed as by the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presiding Bishopric.
Lesson Number 2—the Simplicity of the Lord’s Way
Elder Bednar speaks of what the tithing funds are used for.
- These sacred funds are used in a rapidly growing church to spiritually bless individuals and families by constructing and maintaining temples and houses of worship, supporting missionary work, translating and publishing scriptures, fostering family history research, funding schools and religious education, and accomplishing many other Church purposes as directed by the Lord’s ordained servants.
Just as we do in our personal budgets, the church teaches us to live within our means and put a little away for unanticipated future expenses. The church follows this same basic plan.
- In the financial operations of the Church, two basic and fixed principles are observed. First, the Church lives within its means and does not spend more than it receives. Second, a portion of the annual income is set aside as a reserve for contingencies and unanticipated needs.
An Invitation and a Testimony
- The honest payment of tithing is much more than a duty; it is an important step in the process of personal sanctification. To those of you who pay your tithing, I commend you.
- To those of you who presently are not obeying the law of tithing, I invite you to consider your ways and repent. I testify that by your obedience to this law of the Lord, the windows of heaven will be opened to you. Please do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.
I love that Elder Bednar gave us some insight into the workings of the church in the background. It brings me comfort that the leaders of the church recognize the sacredness of the tithing funds and that the principles that they teach us in our personal lives are ones that they live by with the funds of the church. I was particularly touched by the idea that the stories we hear about dramatic changes in peoples lives can happen but that most of the time, it is a quiet change within ourselves that the Lord is blessing us with. I know that big changes can happen, but the law of tithing for me has always been about the way it changes my view of what is important and necessary in my life.