The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Tithing

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 tithing."—Dallin H. Oaks, General Conference, April 1994

What is so important about tithing? If you don't pay tithing, you are stealing from the Lord (see Malachi 3:8), and that's contrary to the eighth commandment, and no one has ever prospered doing that. On the other hand, when we pay our tithes and offerings, the Lord gives it all back to us "good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over" (Luke 6:38). How is that for a promise?—Elder Hartman Rector, Jr., General Conference, October 1990

The payment of tithing is a commandment, a commandment with a promise. If we obey this commandment, we are promised that we will "prosper in the land." This prosperity consists of more than material goods--it may include enjoying good health and vigor of mind. It includes family solidarity and spiritual increase. I hope those of you not presently paying your full tithe will seek the faith and strength to do so. As you discharge this obligation to your Maker, you will find great, great happiness, the like of which is known only by those who are faithful to this commandment.—President N. Eldon Tanner, General Conference, October 1979

The Lord instituted tithing; it was practiced in the days of Abraham, and Enoch and Adam and his children did not forget their tithes and offerings. You can read for yourselves with regard to what the Lord requires. I want to say this much to those who profess to be Latter-day Saints—if we neglect our tithes and offerings we will receive the chastening hand of the Lord. We may just as well count on this first as last. If we neglect to pay our tithes and offerings we will neglect other things and this will grow upon us until the spirit of the Gospel is entirely gone from us, and we are in the dark, and know not whither we are going.—President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 15, page 163

The Lord does not care a straw whether we pay our tithing or not, it does not make him one particle richer or poorer. The gold and silver are his and the cattle upon a thousand hills. The world and all its fulness belong to him, for he organized and framed it. But as it is, of what benefit is it to him? He wants in the first place to get men to acknowledge God, I was going to say in one little carnal principle, one little earthly principle, he wants to get them to acknowledge him, by giving him a certain little part, or one-tenth of what he gives to them to see whether they will be honest in this trifle, to see whether they will act as honorable high-minded men or not, or whether they will try to cheat him out of it. If we do this honestly and conscientiously until we have fulfilled our duty, we are then prepared for anything else. It is the principle and not the tithing we pay that is esteemed of the Lord; he cares not for our tithing, but he cares about our doing right. If we cannot be faithful in a few things, we cannot expect to be made rulers over many things.—President John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, pages 280-281

I have felt for a good while that we required stirring up with regard to the law of tithing, and other things. The question is here: If this is the work of God, and the Lord has given us commandments, will we be blessed in obeying these commandments? The Lord holds our destiny in his hands. The earth, the riches of the earth, the crops, the herds, or flocks, our food and raiment are all the gifts of God to us.—The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p.179

The time has now come for every Latter-day Saint, who calculates to be prepared for the future and to hold his feet strong upon a proper foundation, to do the will of the Lord and to pay his tithing in full. That is the word of the Lord to you, and it will be the word of the Lord to every settlement throughout the land of Zion. After I leave you and you get to thinking about this, you will see yourselves that the time has come when every man should stand up and pay his tithing in full. The Lord has blessed us and has had mercy upon us in the past; but there are times coming when the Lord requires us to stand up and do that which He has commanded and not leave it any longer. What I say to you in this stake of Zion I will say to every stake of Zion that has been organized; there is no man or woman that now hears what I am saying who will feel satisfied if he or she fails to pay a full tithing.—Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.155

"The Lord, to whom one owes tithing, is in a position of a preferred creditor. If there is not enough to pay all creditors, he should be paid first. You may be a little shocked by this statement, but it is true. Other creditors, however, need not worry, for the Lord always blesses the person who has faith enough to pay tithing so his or her ability to pay other creditors is not thereby reduced." — Marion G. Romney, "Concerning Tithing," "Ensign," June 1980, p. 3

"Many of us have had the windows of heaven open up for us, so we do not look upon tithing as a sacrifice but rather a blessing and even a privilege." — James E. Faust, "Opening the Windows of Heaven," "Ensign," Nov. 1998, p. 59

"My plea this day to all members of the Church is: Pay an honest tithing and be blessed, and don't quibble over the amount you should pay. In the words attributed to President Young, 'We do not ask anybody to pay tithing unless they are disposed to do so, but if you pretend to pay tithing, pay it like honest men' (Journal of Discourses, 8:202)." — Marion G. Romney, "The Blessings of an Honest Tithe," "New Era," Jan.-Feb. 1982, p. 49

"For a short time during the first year of our marriage, Sister Nelson maintained two jobs while I was in medical school. Before her paychecks had arrived, we found ourselves owing more than our funds could defray. So we took advantage of an option then available to sell blood at $25 a pint. In an interval between her daytime job as a schoolteacher and her evening work as a clerk in a music store, we went to the hospital and each sold a pint of blood. As the needle was withdrawn from her arm, she said to me, 'Don't forget to pay tithing on my blood money.' (When her mother learned I was bleeding her daughter between two jobs, I sensed at that time she may not have been too pleased with her new son-in-law.) Such obedience was a tremendous lesson to me. Sister Nelson's commitment to tithe became my commitment, too." — Russell M. Nelson, "Lessons from Eve," "Ensign," Nov. 1987, p. 88

"President Marion G. Romney spoke concerning the funding of caring for the needy when he said: 'It has been, and now is, the desire and the objective of the Church to obtain from fast offerings the necessary funds to meet the cash needs of the welfare program. . At the present time we are not meeting this objective. We can, we ought, and we must do better. If we will double our fast offerings, we shall increase our own prosperity, both spiritually and temporally. This the Lord has promised, and this has been the record.' ('Basics of Church Welfare,' talk given to the Priesthood Board, 6 Mar. 1974, p. 10.)" — Thomas S. Monson, "Goal Beyond Victory," "Ensign," Nov. 1988, p. 45

"As long as one is honest with the Lord, the amount paid is not material. The widow's or child's mite is as important and acceptable as the rich man's offerings. When men, women, and children are honest with God and pay their tithes and offerings, the Lord gives them wisdom whereby they can do as much or more with the remainder than they could if they had not been honest with the Lord. Many times they are blessed and prospered in various ways-spiritually, physically, and mentally, as well as materially. I bear my witness to you that this is true, and I am sure that many of you can bear such a testimony." - Franklin D. Richards, "The Law of Abundance," Ensign, June 1971, p. 46

"When serving a meal, it is much easier to set one more plate at the beginning of the meal than it is to find food for a latecomer once the meal is over and the food has been served. Likewise, isn't it actually easier to give the Lord the firstlings or the firstfruits than it is to hope that there are sufficient 'leftovers' for Him? As the founder of our feast, shouldn't He be the guest of honor, the first to be served?

"My loving mother, Evelyn Robbins, taught me the law of tithing when I was four years old. She gave me an empty Band-Aid box, the tin kind with a snapping lid. She taught me to keep my tithing pennies in it and then take it to the bishop. I am eternally grateful for her, for that Band-Aid box, and for the blessings that have come from paying tithing." - Lynn G. Robbins, "Tithing-a Commandment Even for the Destitute," General Conference, April 2005

"So I come to the conclusion that the principal thing about tithe paying is obedience to the law, and that more good will come to us through that obedience than to anybody else. We may be worth our tens of thousands, and pay an honest tithing on our income, making our tithing a large amount; yet the good that will come to ourselves by being obedient to the law of God will be far greater in the end than the good which our substance may do to the poor. He is more blessed who giveth alms than is he who receiveth them. The trouble is, when a man becomes rich he at once begins to feel too poor to be obedient to the laws of God. Riches make men poor when it comes to dealing with the Almighty." - Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," April 1899, Afternoon Session

"The law of tithing prepares us to live the higher law of consecration—to dedicate and give all our time, talents, and resources to the work of the Lord. Until the day when we are required to live this higher law, we are commanded to live the law of the tithe, which is to freely give one-tenth of our income annually.

"To those who faithfully and honestly live the law of tithing, the Lord promises an abundance of blessings. Some of these blessings are temporal, just as tithes are temporal. But like the outward physical ordinances of baptism and the sacrament, the commandment to pay tithing requires temporal sacrifice, which ultimately yields great spiritual blessings." - Robert D. Hales, "Tithing: A Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings," Ensign (CR), November 2002, p.26

"Brothers and sisters, how can every member enjoy the thrill and the blessing that comes from making a sacrifice to help the work? The answer is very simple, as are most answers in the Church. Every member of the Church can pay a full, honest tithing and can attend tithing settlement. The Lord said, 'Verily [now] is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people' (D&C 64:23)." - M. Russell Ballard, "Sacrifice and Self-Sufficiency," Ensign (CR), November 1987, p.78

"In order to bestow His blessings on His children in a just and equitable manner, the Lord has instituted laws that govern those blessings that He wants all of us to enjoy....

"The Lord knew from the beginning that we, His children, would be faced with temporal and spiritual adversities during this mortal life. Indeed, these adversities are a vital part of this mortal probation. He knew that we would stand in need of His blessings throughout our lives in order to not only survive our individual trials, but also to enjoy a degree of comfort and even prosperity.

"Thus the law of tithing, which was instituted from the beginning. We know from the scriptures that Abraham was blessed through his obedience to this law, and we now have that same law as it was reiterated by the Savior during His visit to the inhabitants of the American continent almost 2,000 years ago:

"'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.' (3 Nephi 24:10–12; see also Malachi 3:10–12.)" - Daniel L. Johnson, "The Law of Tithing," Ensign, November 2006

"We consecrate our lives in this Church to the advancement of the cause of God. There is no higher evidence of that consecration than this giving which has been enjoined upon us by the Lord. 'He who gives himself with his gift feeds three-himself, his hungering neighbor and me.' So the law of tithing is the epitome of the Gospel. It is genuine worship and true recognition of the sovereignty of God. It is real consecration, the giving of the muscle and energy of life to the cause: and it begets the abundant life of love and service for which the Christ came. It is a measurement of true religion. By the extent of its observance every man may determine for himself the vitality of his own faith and love of God. A prophet has said, 'The tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.' It will be holy unto you, men and women of Israel, if you give it lovingly, joyfully, willingly, to the great cause." - Stephen L Richards, "Conference Report," April 1929, p.53

"In these hard times financially, I want to repeat to the Latter-day Saints my firm belief that God our heavenly Father prospers and blesses and gives wisdom to those men and to those women who are strictly honest with him in the payment of their tithing. I believe that when a man is in financial difficulty, the best way to get out of that difficulty (and I speak from personal experience, because I believe that more than once in my life I have been in the financial mud as deep as almost anybody) is to be absolutely honest with the Lord, and never to allow a dollar to come into our hands without the Lord receiving ten per cent of it. The Lord does not need your money or mine. Compliance with the law of tithing and donations for ward meetinghouses, stake houses, academies, temples, missionary work and these various needs, are all for our good. They are but lessons that we are learning which will qualify and prepare us to become more godlike and to be fitted to go back into the presence of our heavenly Father." - Heber J. Grant, "Conference Report," October 1921, p.7

"It is a matter of commitment. The earth belongs to the Lord, and this includes our own lives. He allows us to use everything on this earth. He only asks us to return one-tenth. Tithing is a token of gratitude, obedience, and thanksgiving—a token of our willingness and dedication. Paying tithing, willingly, develops an honest and pure heart. Paying tithing increases our love for the Lord.

"The Lord said, 'It is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people.' (D&C 64:23)

"Brothers and sisters, let us demonstrate our faith. Let us show our willingness to obey. I promise you, in the name of Jesus Christ, when you and I pay honest, true tithes to the Lord, the Lord will open the windows of heaven." - Yoshihiko Kikuchi, "Will A Man Rob God?" General Conference, April 2007

"The Lord asked Israel to prove Him, to test Him, to have faith in Him so that He would be able to keep His promise to them. That same commandment and that same promise are in effect today. When we keep the law of the tithe, the Lord’s promise is sure: blessings will come to us both temporally and spiritually, according to the wisdom and timing of the Lord.
" - Sheldon F. Child, "The Best Investment," General Conference, April 2008

"Tithing matters have been touched by our President, and incidentally by two or three other speakers. We have recently had a tithing settlement, and the tithes of the Church have materially increased. Crops in most districts have been bountiful, and some of our brethren have been blessed with larger incomes, as a result of the high prices obtaining for certain products. The Lord has blessed this land, and he has done so because it is occupied by his people. As we pay our tithes and offerings gladly and willingly, as a part of our service to the Lord, so will he bless this land. What was once a barren waste is now a marvel to those who travel through this country." - John Wells, "Conference Report," April 1926, Afternoon Session, p.120

"The first time I paid tithing, the amount was five cents. With my father, I went to the office of the bishop, who solemnly accepted my five pennies and wrote out the receipt. Then he stood and, coming from behind his desk, sat next to me. With his hand on my shoulder, he gave me the small but significant slip of paper and said, 'Ronald, you have made a good beginning, and if you continue as you have begun, you can be a perfect tithe payer.' The idea of being perfect at anything seemed well beyond my ability. I was trying hard just to be a good boy. But with those words, the bishop inspired me to strive for perfection in that one basic aspect of the gospel. The blessings, both temporal and spiritual, have been abundant." - Ronald E. Poelman, "Tithing: A Privilege," Ensign (CR), May 1998, p.78

“I was taught more about the spirit of tithing by President Henry D. Moyle, who lived in my ward when I was serving as a young bishop. One tithing settlement, President Moyle came in and declared, ‘Bishop, this is a full tithe and a little bit more, because that's the way we have been blessed.’” - James E. Faust, “Opening the Windows of Heaven,” Ensign (CR), November 1998, p. 54

I remember as a youth walking with my mother up the dusty road to the bishop’s house in a day when we often paid tithing from our animals and produce. As we walked, I said, “Why do we take the eggs to the bishop?” She answered, “Because they are tithing eggs and the bishop receives the tithing for Heavenly Father.” My mother then recounted how each evening when the eggs were brought in, the first one went into a small basket and the next nine went into a large basket. I first learned the law of tithing from my beloved mother. -
Spencer W. Kimball, "Will A Man Rob God?" New Era, March 2002

Often as we teach and testify about the law of tithing, we emphasize the immediate, dramatic, and readily recognizable temporal blessings that we receive. And surely such blessings do occur. Yet some of the diverse blessings we obtain as we are obedient to this commandment are significant but subtle. Such blessings can be discerned only if we are both spiritually attentive and observant (see 1 Corinthians 2:14). - David A. Bednar, “The Windows of Heaven,” Ensign (CR) November 2013

Tithing is so simple and straightforward a thing. The principle, as it applies to us, is actually set forth in one verse of section 119 of the Doctrine and Covenants. That fourth verse consists of thirty-five words. Contrast that with the cumbersome and complex tax codes enacted and enforced by governments. In the one case it is a brief statement from the Lord, the payment left to the individual and motivated by faith. With the other it is a tangled web created by men and enforced by law. - Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Miracle Made Possible by Faith," Ensign (CR), May 1984, p. 46

Tithing is a commandment with a promise. The words of Malachi, reaffirmed by the Savior, promise those who bring their tithes into the storehouse that the Lord will open "the windows of heaven, and pour [them] out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." The promised blessings are temporal and spiritual. The Lord promises to "rebuke the devourer," and he also promises tithe payers that "all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land" (3 Ne. 24:10-12; see Mal. 3:10-12). - Dallin H. Oaks, “Tithing," Ensign (CR), May 1994, p. 33

The Lord will remember His people for their faithfulness, and will abundantly reward them with the things pertaining to this life and eternity. I admonish the Latter-day Saints to not tire but to continue on and on, and see to it that when we give our tithings that we give them ungrudgingly; that when we give our offerings our hearts go out therewith, that it may be counted unto us for righteousness, and that we may receive a blessing from the Lord. - George F. Richards, "Conference Report," April 1911, Second Day-Morning Session, p.43

It is my firm belief, after many years of close observation, that those who honestly pay their tithes and offerings do prosper and get along better in almost every way. It is my testimony that in discharging this debt to the Lord, one enjoys great personal satisfaction. Unfortunately this great satisfaction will be known only by those who have the faith and strength to keep this commandment. - James E. Faust, "Responsibility for Welfare Rests with Me and My Family," Ensign (CR), May 1986, p.20

I express my deepest gratitude for every blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ, especially that greatest of all gifts, the exemplary life and atoning death of God’s Only Begotten Son. I know I can never repay heaven for any of this benevolence, but there are many ways I need to try to show my thankfulness. One of those ways is in the payment of tithes and freewill offerings. I want to give something back, but I never want it to be (in King David's words) “that which doth cost me nothing.” - Jeffrey R. Holland, "Like a Watered Garden," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p.33

Frequently we hear the expression "I can't afford to pay tithing." Persons who make such statements have not yet learned thatthey can't afford not to pay tithing. There are many members who from experience can and do testify that nine-tenths carefully planned, budgeted, andspent wisely, with the blessings of the Lord, will go much farther than ten-tenths spent haphazardly without planning and without the Lord's blessings.- Henry D. Taylor, “I Will … Pour You Out a Blessing,” Ensign (CR), May 1974, p.107

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