Tithing is a principle that I follow as a Latter-day Saint. We give 10% of what we earn to the Lord. I’ve had people tell me that what I do is crazy; why would I give up that much of my money and why does it even matter? I’ve even asked myself that a few times. Why does the Lord need my money? He doesn’t, but that’s not the point of paying tithing. Tithing is there to show the Lord that we are willing to give up something we value a lot, especially when we have to struggle a little bit by giving it up. By giving something we value most, money in our case, we are showing the Lord that we love Him more than we love our worldly possessions.
There is a sort of parable about a mother cat. A hunter in the woods saw some boys throwing little kittens into the river. When he asked them why they were doing this, they said they had to because they couldn’t afford to keep all of the kittens. The man asked them if he could buy the cats from the boys, and they agreed. The mother cat followed the man because he now had her kittens. The man took care of the kittens. To show her appreciation, the mother cat brought a big, dead mouse to the man. The man accepted the mouse, knowing that the mouse meant so much to the cat.
When we are willing to put the Lord in our lives, above all worldly things, we are truly blessed. Recently, I struggled with paying my tithing. I had set aside the money to do so, I just never gave it to my Bishop. In my mind I kept justifying that I didn’t have to do it, that it wasn’t a big deal, and that since I didn’t get the money from work I could keep it. I wasn’t seeing the principle of tithing. I was just trying to find a way to keep the money so I could spend it for myself. Then we had a lesson on tithing in my Book of Mormon class, and I heard the parable of the cat. I realized the meaning of tithing and that no matter what, I needed to show the Lord that I love Him enough to put Him first in my life. Since then, I’ve been blessed with knowing that I am following the commandments of the Lord. I also found out that I received a scholarship, something I desperately needed to make my goal to go on a mission more attainable.
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings” (3 Nephi 24:8).
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my 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” (3 Nephi 24:10).
All that we give the Lord, He gives back to us and more. We have to show Him that we are willing to make Him the number one priority in our lives and that we will follow His will more than our own.