The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ tells of a man named Lehi who took his family and left Jerusalem in 600 B.C. on a journey that eventually ended on the American continents. The family divided into two groups - the Nephites and Lamanites - and their history ends about 420 A.D. Part of their history contains a visit by the resurrected Jesus Christ, a visit that took place six to eight months after His resurrection.
The Savior was with the Nephites for three days and then visited frequently thereafter. On one occasion He asked to see the Nephite records. After reviewing the records, He commanded that other information should be recorded. He quoted Malachi 3 and 4 and commanded that the information be included in the Nephite records.
Malachi means “My messenger.” The prophet Malachi wrote and prophesied about 430 B.C. – approximately two hundred years after Lehi left Jerusalem. The Lord considered Malachi’s words on several topics to be so important that He wanted them included in the Nephite record. One of the topics on which Malachi wrote was the commandment to pay tithing.
“Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye say: Wherein shall we return?
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
“Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
“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.
“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts.
“And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts”
(3 Nephi 24:7-12; see also Malachi 3:8-10 and Doctrine and Covenants 110:13-16).
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “Some people say, `I can’t afford to pay tithing.’ Those who place their faith in the Lord’s promises say, `I can’t afford not to pay my tithing.’
“Some time ago I was speaking to a meeting of Church leaders in a country outside of North America. As I spoke about tithing, I found myself saying something I had not intended to say. I told them the Lord was grieved that only a small fraction of the members in their nations relied on the Lord’s promises and paid a full tithing. I warned that the Lord would withhold material and spiritual blessings when his covenant children were not keeping this vital commandment.
“I hope those leaders taught that principle to the members of the stakes and districts in their countries. The law of tithing and the promise of blessings to those who live it apply to the people of the Lord in every nation. I hope our members will qualify for the blessings of the Lord by paying a full tithing.” (See “Tithing,” Ensign, May 1994.)
Elder Daniel L. Johnson of the Quorum of Seventy also spoke about tithing: “He who has not only the power and the means to bless His children temporally and spiritually, but also the desire to do so, has provided to us the key to those blessings that we both need and desire. This key is the law of tithing. Indeed, as stated by President James E. Faust: `Some may feel that they cannot afford to pay tithing, but the Lord has promised that He would prepare a way for us to keep all of His commandments. To pay tithing takes a leap of faith in the beginning. … We learn about tithing by paying it. Indeed, I believe it is possible to break out of poverty by having the faith to give back to the Lord part of what little we have.’ My brothers and sisters, we have but to obey the law.” (See “The Law of Tithing,” Ensign, November 2006.)
If you do not believe prophets, apostles, and other Church leaders, you might believe a financial advisor.
While reading The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom – Practical & Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying by Suze Orman, I found this interesting information in Step #7 “Being open to receive all that you are meant to have.”
“… As we’ve seen, money is a living entity and responds to energy…. When you are worrying about money, feeling powerless over your finances and sorry for yourself, money won’t want to hang around you…. On the other hand, when you feel you’re in control of your money and have enough to be generous with it, money will naturally flow your way….
“You open yourself to receive all that is meant to be yours. Giving not only when you feel poor, but also when you feel rich, lucky, grateful, expansive, vital. Giving to say please, and giving to say thank you. It’s the impulse to give that puts you in touch with the best part of yourself – and the principles of abundance that are alive in the world. Yes, we help ourselves when we give, but that is not why we give.”
“… You must break these thoughts of poverty, for thoughts of poverty are the chains that keep you bound to poverty. Mental chains may be invisible but they imprison you nevertheless. You must and you can break through, overcome, move beyond these mental barriers. You must open your hand…. Think of how much you do have, think of others with far less, and give thanks with your gift.” (See pages 262- 272.)
When I read this chapter in the book, I was amazed at how intelligent God is. Thousands of years ago He knew the same information as this financial advisor knows today! In order to open the windows of heaven and receive the gifts that God has to give to us, we must be willing to part with a “meaningful” amount of money each month. I consider a tithe – one tenth of our income – to be a significant amount. It is enough that we must make a real commitment to part with it, but it is a small enough amount to make the act possible and not be missed.