Saturday, November 19, 2011

How I gained my testimony of the law of tithing

I want to share this story from my life with you.

First, I have to say that my parents taught me about paying tithing, and I grew up paying it without any question. 10% right off the top.

When I started going to college at BYU, I found that it was necessary for me to earn a certain amount every summer in order to have enough for the rest of the school year. That’s when it started to feel a little more difficult to pay tithing. I would look at the amount I was writing for a tithing check, and somehow it seemed large to me, and I would resent it just a little bit.

My second summer home from BYU, I heard of another guy in the ward who had paid all his paychecks as tithing at the beginning until it reached 10% of the full sum he needed and how he was blessed to make enough money for college. I decided I wanted to do that to bind the Lord to bless me with the money I needed for college.

I got a part time job as a telemarketer at the beginning of that summer. (This was back when telemarketers still sold things.) That job was really hard for me, especially because I had to try to convince people to take out a second mortgage. (More debt, bad!) It was also especially hard to pay my entire paychecks as tithing. I remember crying a few times as I was filling out the tithing slip. But I had faith that Heavenly Father would bless me.

Then, I lost my telemarketing job. On one hand, I was happy about that because I didn’t like telemarketing to try to get people to go deeper into debt. On the other hand, I was sad because it meant I had to go on the job search AGAIN. Deep down, I didn’t worry at all because I had paid all the tithing for the sum I needed for college, so Heavenly Father was now BOUND to bless me. The iron had entered my soul. I sensed that there was a better job out there for me.

There was. With a job application miraculously pulled from the trash, I became one of two candidates for a job with a mosquito abatement company. They chose me. All of a sudden, I had a job counting dead mosquitoes and treating standing water for mosquito larvae. The amount of work I had depended upon how bad the mosquitoes were and how much standing water there was for mosquitoes to breed in. In turn, the amount of mosquitoes depended upon high temperature and lots of rain. That summer became a very hot and rainy summer. The mosquitoes were so terrible, my hometown used up all of that year’s mosquito abatement budget and had to use part of the next year’s mosquito abatement budget to pay for mosquito abatement services.

At the end of the summer, I didn’t have all the money I needed for the school year, but I still wasn’t worried because I knew that Heavenly Father was bound to bless me. While I was at BYU, I was prompted to get an on-campus job. I picked out a job at an electronics parts storeroom, which I felt qualified for and applied. They didn’t hire me, but as I left, I felt prompted to go back and ask if they knew anyone else who might need me. They directed me to a different electronics storeroom on campus. The second storeroom didn’t need employees at the moment, but they took my name and number. After that, I didn’t feel any extra urgency to apply for jobs. Near the beginning of winter semester, I got a call from the second storeroom with an offer of a job to work there. I took the job and thereby earned the rest of the money I needed.

When I looked back at the end of the year, I could see how the Lord had blessed me with what I needed, and I had a strong testimony of the law of tithing. But that wasn’t the end of it. A few years later, I could look back and see that not only had the Lord blessed me with the money I needed, He led me to a job where I met my future husband. Every time I think of this experience, I am always flabbergasted by the immensity of this blessing the Lord poured out upon me. I feel like what I did was so small in comparison, even though it was an extra trial of faith for me. I learned that sacrifice does bring forth the blessings of heaven.

Will you share with me how you gained your testimony of the law of tithing?

3 comments:

thatgoodpart said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I have had a few experiences that have bolstered my testimony of tithing, but I'll share just one.

- after 7 years of marriage, I was divorced. It was difficult, I had two children. I became a single, working mother. My ex-husband was not supportive. He owed me thousands in back child support. It was December and he was in landscaping, so he was out of work for the season - which meant I hadn't received any kind of child support. Bills were piling up. Literally. Still, I met with the bishop for tithing settlement, and I was happy to be straight with the Lord. We wouldn't have a Christmas. I owed my babysitter a bit of cash. I had a few bills piling up. Then, I got in a car crash. my car was totalled. The airbag deployed, and I was in a little bit of pain. This could have been horrible. I stepped out of my car, and instead of feeling angry or worried, calm washed over me. I knew that I was straight with the Lord. I had paid my tithing, and He would take care of me. He did. The wreck was 100% the other person's fault. My insurance company wrote me a check for it - and the value of the car was about 2 grand more than my loan (I had been making extra payments when I could). So...I was able to pay off my loan, and I had some cash left over. I was able to pay all of my bills, we had Christmas, and I had some cash for a down payment on a new car.

The woman that I got in a wreck with was an au pair. Her employer came to the scene of the wreck that night. She drove a Volvo. He drove a Mercedes. He was cursing and very visibly upset - complaining that the timing of this was all wrong - near the Holidays. I couldn't help but notice the irony - the rich guy was worried sick while I - the poor, single mom - was at complete peace.

I know that the Lord blesses us when we are honest with Him and when we pay our tithing.

Becky Rose said...

I had never heard of paying tithing like this. Wow. I admit my tithing is not coming off the top, but it always gets paid- 100% for all my 39 years. I need to be better because i really need the blessings.

Thatgoodpart- what an amazing story! thank you for sharing!

Michaela Stephens said...

thatgoodpart, thanks so much for sharing that story; it is very inspiring!