Tithing brings spiritual, temporal blessings
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- Pay one-tenth
- Place faith in promise- Use remainder effectively
Tithing is not a remote Old Testament practice, but a commandment directly from the Savior to the people of today, said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve.
Elder Oaks, in addressing the Saturday afternoon session, said the Lord reaffirmed the law of tithing in modern revelation, "commanding His people to pay `one-tenth of all their interest annually' and declaring that `this shall be a standing law unto them forever.' " (D&C 119:4.)
Interest, he said, means income. "The First Presidency has said, `No one is justified in making any other statement than this.' "
Elder Oaks quoted President Heber J. Grant, who said regarding tithe payers:
"God has given them wisdom whereby they have been able to utilize the remaining nine-tenths, and it has been of greater value to them, and they have accomplished more with it than they would if they had not been honest with the Lord."
Continuing, Elder Oaks related a personal experience concerning the importance of paying an honest tithing. He said his widowed mother supported three young children on a meager school teacher's salary. "When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things because we didn't have enough money, 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 the blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing.' "
Elder Oaks commented: "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.' "
He said tithing is a commandment with a promise. "The promised blessings are both temporal and spiritual."
In addition, he continued, "I believe that when many citizens of a nation are faithful in the payment of their tithes, they summon the blessings of heaven upon their entire nation. . . . The payment of tithing also brings the individual tithe-payer unique spiritual blessings. . . . It also prepares us for the law of consecration and other higher laws of the celestial kingdom."
He emphasized that Church members pay their tithing to bishops or branch presidents. "We do not pay tithing by contributing to our favorite charities."
Tithing funds, said Elder Oaks, are used by the Church to build and maintain temples, houses of worship, to conduct worldwide missionary work, to translate and publish the scriptures, to provide resources to redeem the dead, to fund religious education, and to support Church purposes selected by the designated servants of the Lord.
"Faithful adherence to this law opens the windows of heaven for blessings temporal and spiritual," Elder Oaks said.