Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prepare Yourself to Be Amazed

the wockenflock was asked to speak on The Law of Tithing on November 28.  I wanted to speak from a positive stand point, look at the blessings.  Sunset

Prepare  yourself to be amazed.

Prepare yourself to prove God herewith.

Prepare yourself to have the windows of heaven opened up to you.

Prepare yourself for such a blessing that there is not room enough to hold it.

Would you intentionally reject this?  But this is what we do if we don’t pay our tithing, according to Elder Richard D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve (Tithing: a Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings, Ensign, Nov. 2002), “We say no to to the very blessings we are seeking and praying to receive…Prove Him now herewith…Pay your tithing.  Unlock the windows of heaven” 

The Lord promises an abundance of blessings both temporal and spiritual. “The temporal and spiritual blessings of tithing are specifically tailored to us and our families, according to the Lord’s will.  But to receive them, we must obey the law upon which they are predicated.  ‘ Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there  may be meat in mine 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. (Malachai 3:10……)”” (Tithing: A Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings)

Again, would we intentionally reject such a blessing?

Consider the blessings that come unto you and your household by being a full tithe payer.  For some, paying tithing is a natural as breathing. for others, it is a struggle.

Elder Dallin H Oakes  speaks fondly of his mother and what he learned from her example “My widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager.  When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things…., I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing.  I have never forgotten her explanation:  ‘Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t.  The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children.  I cannot do that without that blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing,  When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.’”

As a widow, myself, I live according to the same experiences as Elder Oakes mother.  I need the blessings of the Lord to get by.

Throughout my research on this topic, I found myself focusing on the blessings of paying tithing.

  • Paying tithing allows us the blessing of going to the temple and doing the work for our ancestors ourselves, of being there as the links of the generations are joined together.  We may feel the presence of our ancestors as we do their work.  We can be sealed to our families and receive the blessings of eternity.   When asked whether members of the Church could be baptized for the dead if they had not paid their tithing, President John Taylor said, “A man who has not paid his tithing is unfit to be baptized for his dead….if  a man has not faith enough to attend to these little things, he has not enough faith enough to save himself and his friends” (Tithing: A Test of Faith…..).
  • Tithing develops and tests our faith. By sacrificing to the Lord what we may think we need or want for ourselves, we learn to rely on Him.  Our faith in Him makes it possible to keep temple covenants.  “The obedient payment of tithing fortifies our faith, and that faith sustains us through the trials, tribulations and sorrows in our life’s journey.”  (Tithing": A Test of Faith…..)
  • President James E. Faust taught that paying tithing strengthens marriages, is an excellent insurance against divorce, that it keeps the Spiritual battery charged  (Enriching Your Marriage, Ensign, Apr. 2007, 4-8).
  • Paying tithing teaches us to control our desires and passions for the things of this world.   A young husband and father living on  a student budget said to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve,  “Perhaps our most pivotal moments as Latter-day Saints come when we have to swim directly against the current of the culture in which we  live.  Tithing provides just such a moment.  Living in a world that emphasizes material acquisition and cultivates distrust for anyone or anything that has designs on our money, we shed that self-absorption to give freely, trustingly, and generously.  By this act, we say—indeed- we are different, that we are God’s peculiar people.  In a society that tells us money is our most important asset, we declare emphatically it is not.”  (Like a Watered Garden, Ensign, Nov 2001, 33)
  • Paying tithing encourages us to be honest in our dealings with our fellow man.
  • In Malachai 3:11, we are promised that the Lord shall rebuke the devourer for our sake.

It’s not possible to name all the blessings received, as there is not room enough to receive them, but just a small attractive list. How have you been blessed?

The Lord desires all His children to have the blessings of tithing. Not just the adults. Consider how you teach your family about the Law of Tithing.  If your children are taught by you, they are more prepared and less vulnerable to the temptations of the world when clothes and expensive possessions they really cannot afford abound.  Their tithing may be only  a few pennies right now, but the lesson is what is important.  If it is already their lifestyle, they will be less vulnerable in their teens when the things of this world become more attractive.

Elder Hales taught, “As the years go on, is it possible that a young man can be ordained an elder, serve a mission and effectively teach a law to others that he has not lived himself?  When he returns home and faces the pressures of schooling, starting a family,  and a career, will the law of tithing become easier to live.  Likewise, will a young woman be worthy to serve the Lord and make celestial marriage covenants without having gained a testimony of tithing for herself?  Will she be prepared to teach her children a law she has not learned by her own experience?  Oh what faithfulness is required of fathers and mothers who would unitedly call down the protective blessings of tithing upon their family and the blessings are rightfully theirs.  Said President Lorenzo Snow:  ‘Teach the children to pay tithing, so that it may be perpetually observed.  IF we observe this law, no matter what our enemies may do, the Lord will preserve us."’”

As I go about living my life, I receive counsel from the Lord on purchases, whether to go ahead and buy, wait, or even skip it all together.  Things always just come together, amazingly enough. The money is there for daily needs and even when something unexpected comes up.  We’re doing okay, thanks to the promises of the Lord. 

Prepare yourselves to be amazed.   The Lord wishes to bless His children.

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