The Law of Tithing

The Law of Tithing

The Law of Tithing – a blessing in every way


Elder Sam Wong

Of the Seventy

I remember this talk given by President Hinckley on tithing vividly.  I can almost visualize the couple and what happened to them. 

'As a young man recently returned from his mission, he found the girl he wanted to marry. They were happy, but very poor.  Then came a particularly difficult time when their food and money ran out. It was a Saturday, and the cupboard was literally bare. Rene felt distraught that his young wife was hungry. He decided he had no other choice than to use their tithing money and go purchase food. As he was leaving the house, his wife stopped him and asked him where he was going. He told her he was going to buy food. She asked him where he got the money. He told her that it was the tithing money. She said, 'That is the Lord's money--you will not use that to buy food.' Her faith was stronger than his. He put the money back, and they went to bed hungry that night.

“The next morning they had no breakfast, and they went to church fasting. Rene gave the tithing money to the bishop, but he was too proud to tell the bishop that they were in need. After the meetings he and his wife left the chapel and started to walk home. They hadn't gone very far when a new member called to them from his house. This man was a fisherman and told them he had more fish than he could use. He wrapped five little fish in a newspaper for them, and they thanked him. As they continued to walk home, they were stopped by another member who gave them tortillas; then someone else stopped them and gave them rice; another member saw them and gave them beans.

“When they arrived home, they had enough food for two weeks. They were even more surprised when they unwrapped the package of fish and found two very large fish and not the five smaller ones they thought they had seen. They cut the fish in portions and stored it in their neighbor's freezer. They have repeatedly testified that never since then have they gone hungry.' [1]

Our loving Heavenly Father always finds ways to bless us. As we keep the law of tithing, we will be richly blessed. Miracles will happen in our lives as we diligently observe the law of tithing with faith. 

'In October of 1998 Hurricane Mitch devastated many parts of Central America. President Gordon B. Hinckley was very concerned for the victims of this disaster, many of whom lost everything — food, clothing, and household goods. He visited the Saints in the cities of San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and Managua, Nicaragua. And like the words of the loving prophet Elijah to a starving widow, this modern prophet's message in each city was similar — to sacrifice and be obedient to the law of tithing.

“But how can you ask someone so destitute to sacrifice? President Hinckley knew that the food and clothing shipments they received would help them survive the crisis, but his concern and love for them went far beyond that. As important as humanitarian aid is, he knew that the most important assistance comes from God, not from man. The prophet wanted to help them unlock the windows of heaven as promised by the Lord in the book of Malachi (see Malachi 3:10). President Hinckley taught them that if they would pay their tithing, they would always have food on their tables, they would always have clothing on their backs, and they would always have a roof over their heads.' 2

Tithing is a blessing that every member can claim through faithful obedience of paying an honest tithe.  Our leaders would love to see us receiving the choicest blessings from our Heavenly Father.  As stated in Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21, “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated — And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”

To open the windows of heaven, we need to pay our tithing.  Faithfully paying our honest tithes is the key.  Let us claim our blessings.  In my own life, I experienced similar situation as the poor couple when we were struggling financially at BYU-Hawaii in our early married life.  When I was serving as a Bishop, I saw people overcoming their financial challenges as they faithfully paying their honest tithes.  I heard members, young and old, bearing their testimonies on tithing during the year-end tithing settlement interviews.  It is so true that the Law of Tithing is a blessing in every way.

In closing, let me quote what President Monson has said about tithing.  “Always be active in the Church. I will give you a formula which will guarantee to a large extent your success in fulfilling that commitment. It is simple. It consists of just three words: Pay your tithing. Every bishop could tell you from his personal experience that when the members of the Church pay tithing, honestly, faithfully, they have little difficulty keeping the other commandments of God. I call it a benchmark commandment.” 3

I pray that we all have the faith to claim all the blessings of the Law of Tithing.  In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen. ■

CAPTION: Elder Sam Wong


[1] Gordon B. Hinckley,  'In the Arms of His Love,' Ensign, Nov. 2006,  117-18.

2 Lynn G. Robbins, 'Tithing — a Commandment Even for the Destitute,' Ensign, May 2005, 35-36.

3 Thomas S. Monson, “Life's Greatest Decisions” CES Fireside for Young Adults, September 7, 2003.