The tithe-payer establishes communion with the Lord. This is the happiest reward. Obedience to the law of tithing, as to any other law, brings a deep, inward joy, a satisfaction and understanding that can be won in no other way. Man becomes in a real sense a partner, albeit a humble one, with the Lord in the tremendous, eternal program laid out for human salvation. The principles of truth become clearer of comprehension; the living of them easier of accomplishment. A new nearness is established between man and his Maker. Prayer becomes easier. Doubt retreats; faith advances; certainty and courage buoy up the soul. The spiritual sense is sharpened; the eternal voice is heard more clearly. Man becomes more like his Father in Heaven.
I used to think that faith…was sort of like a building block, and you put all these blocks together, and you build a house, sort of like the little pig built that the wolf could not blow down. And now I get older and I feel that faith is a matter of surrender. It’s a matter of just giving up, and leaving that house and just walking out and experiencing the cold and the rain and doubt and confusion and trying to keep up your hope and some sense of gratitude. If you just keep up hope and gratitude, maybe that’s…all you need.
I dropped by his office, and the secretary mentioned that Brother Smith was at the Seasider, a mini-caf� on campus. I found him, and, as we talked, Brother Smith proceeded to tell me how I knew the Church was true and that it was time for me to join the Church. I looked at him amazed, and I wondered what he had been drinking.
He continued and said, “From what I’m about to tell you, either one of two things will happen. You will join the Church right away or it will take you awhile.” He quoted a scripture in Ether that states:
And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. [Ether 12:6]
I thought, “What does this scripture have to do with me?”
Brother Smith explained that he believed I was waiting for some type of miracle or vision to take place before I would join the Church. He said, “You need to act upon what you already know to be true before you will receive a greater witness. ‘Wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial [or exercise] of your faith.’”
Brother Smith was right. I thought, “Why can’t I receive a vision like the Prophet Joseph Smith?” I wanted a greater witness. Well, it took me awhile to join the Church.
I returned to the other side of the island and started to hang out with my friends. Toward the end of the summer I began to feel somewhat empty, confused, and uncertain. I was missing school and the wonderful feelings I had felt at BYU–Hawaii.
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