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.
At the conference, I called on him to speak. I did not know what it might do to him, but I thought I would take a chance. He made a fine talk. He told of his trips to the East, how he explained the gospel to the people he met, and how grateful he was for his heritage. He stated that his opportunities in the world had been magnified and multiplied because his father and mother had joined the Church in the Old World.
As we drove home, he turned to me and said: "My, this has been a wonderful conference. I have enjoyed it."
...I thought to myself, he had enjoyed it because he himself had participated. I was glad he had. Then he said: "You know I have heard many things in this conference, but there is only one thing that I do not understand the way you do."
I said: "What is it?"
"Well," he said, "it is about paying tithing." He thought I would ask him how he paid his tithing, but I did not. I thought if he wanted to tell me, he would. He said: "Would you like me to tell you how I pay my thting?"
I said, "If you want to, you may."
"Well," he said, "if I make ten thousand dollars in a year, I put a thousand dollars in the bank for tithing. I know why it's there. Then when the bishop comes and wants me to make a contribution for thye chapel or give him a check for a missionary who is going away, if I think he needs the money, I give him a check. If a family in the ward is in distress and needs coal or food or clothing or anything else, I write out a check. If I find a boy or a girl who is having difficulty getting through school in the East, I send a check. Little by little I exhaust the thousand dollars, and every dollar of it has gone where I know it has done good. Now, what do you think of it?"
"Well," I said, "do you want me to tell you what I think of it?"
He said, "Yes."
I said: "I think you are a very generous man with someeone else's property." And he nearly tipped the car over.
He said: "What do you mean?"
I said, "You have an idea that you have paid your tithing?"
"Yes," he said.
I said: "You have not paid any tithing. You have told me what you have done with the Lord's money, but you have not told me that you have given anyone a penny of your own. He is the best partner you have in the world. He gives you everything you have, even the air you breathe. He has said you should take one-tenth of what comes to you and give it to the Church as directed by the Lord. You haven't done that; you have taken your best partner's money and have given it away."
Well, I will tell you there was quiet in the car for some time. We rode to Salt Lake City and talked about other things.
About a month after that I met him on the street. He came up, put his arm in mine, and said: "Brother Smith, I am paying my tithing the same way you do." I was very happy to hear that.
« Previous 1 » Next