By Elder Benjamin Sinjoux
I remember that in my childhood, my grandparents were a living example of being honest with the Lord. Their first worry was to set aside their tithes after they sold flower leis for the day. I do not recall the amount of their earnings but, what really counts is that they gave to the Lord the one tenth He had commanded. All faithful members follow the sacred invitation of the Lord, when He said to the Nephites,“Bring ye all the tithes in 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.”1
President Heber G. Grant said:” I appeal to the Latter-day Saints to be honest with the Lord and I promise them that peace, prosperity and financial success will attend those who are honest with our Heavenly Father… When we set our hearts upon the things of this world and fail to be strictly honest with the Lord, we do not grow in the light and power and strength of the gospel as we otherwise would do.” 2
My wife and I made the decision forty years ago, at the beginning of our marriage, we would obey the law of tithing, no matter how hard the circumstances of life would be. We promised we would always pay an honest full tithe. The Lord has been so generous to us. He has indeed opened the windows of Heaven and poured out countless blessings to us. The Lord is not looking at the amount of our tithes but surely, He wants to see if we will be faithful unto Him. Paying an honest full tithe is a major constant test of our life.
The Lord reaffirmed to the prophet Joseph Smith on July 8th, 1838 in Doctrine and Covenants 119,
“And after that, those who have thus been tithed, shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.”3
“And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, and verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you.”4
What a magnificent promise from our Lord Jesus Christ. I testify of its divinity.
Another major test of life is the way we take care of those who are needy of food and the necessities of life. The law of the fast and donating generously for the poor and the needy, is the Lord’s way to provide for them. I am reminded of when the Saviour felt compassion for those who followed Him for days to listen to His teachings, going without food all day. He multiplied fish and bread to feed them until full, to express His love and compassion for them. 5
Our Saviour Jesus Christ has commanded us to go to the house of prayer on the Lord’s day, and to fast and pray that we may “fully keep ourselves unspotted from the world”.
He further said, “And on this day thou shall do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.” 6
“Verily I say that in as much as ye do this, the fullness of the earth is yours…” 7
The prophet Joseph F. Smith declared: “… the leading and principal object of the institution of the fast among the Latter-day Saints was that the poor might be provided with food and other necessities. It is, therefore, incumbent upon every Latter-day Saint to give to his bishop, on fast day, the food that he or his family would consume for the day, that it may be given to the poor for their benefit and blessing; or, in lieu of the food, that its equivalent amount, or, if the person be wealthy liberal donation, in money be so reserved and dedicated to the poor.”
This is the second and greatest commandment, to love our neighbour as ourselves.
I testify that paying an honest full tithe and a generous fast offering will draw the blessings of Heaven upon us and our loved ones, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ amen.
- 3 Nephi 24:10,
- Conference Report, Oct. 1929 pp.4-5
- Doctrine and Covenants 119: 4
- Doctrine and Covenants 119: 6
- Matthew 15: 32 – 39
- Doctrine and Covenants 59: 13
- Doctrine and Covenants 59: 16