As we were going through those three years of working to be completely out of debt, I would comb through our budget and try to see ways I could save even more. Something that had been a weakness was becoming something I really enjoyed doing. One day as I was writing out the check for our tithing I actually looked at that number and thought, “Wow. That’s a lot of money.” My next thought was how much that would help paying off our debt. I then reminded myself of how important this spiritual law was to me, that we were paying our tithing, no matter what the math said. I can still hear my mother’s stories of her mother, Grandma Adams, in the middle of the Great Depression, coming upon a windfall for her apartments, exclaiming, “I am so glad I paid my tithing!”
We Latter-day Saints pay ten percent of our gross income. Because of Grandma’s example it has been easier for me to pay tithing. She thrived spiritually and temporally during the Great Depression, eventually paying off twelve rental homes in Provo, Utah, during one of the worst economic periods in our country.
As I was sitting there thinking about all of this, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could literally see all of our tithing blessings?” What if a big tithing stamp was put on a child’s forehead who was healed or that job you were able to get had “windows of heaven” written on the first paycheck? I went back to my budget and kept working on it.
Later that morning I had to run an errand. It was winter and the roads in my culdesac hadn’t been plowed thoroughly and became deep ridges of ice– frozen solid. I was driving slowly and was approaching the entrance of the larger road that would take me into town. I started putting on my brakes and started sliding into a brand new truck that was parked there. The truck belonged to someone who was on a construction crew that was building the house on the corner, because as I started sliding they all looked up. I turned my wheel and thought if I gave it a little more gas I could drive away from the truck. Because I was on ice I slid even further towards the truck. Now I really had the crew’s attention. Four men quickly came and with encouraging nods and shouts, literally manhandled my van away from the truck, with a little gas from me. I drove away relieved and on to my errands.
I still remember, later that day, I was wiping off my stove and thinking about the truck experience and thought, “Whew! That was close! I am so glad those men were there to help me.” Immediately, the words came into my head, “THAT was a tithing blessing.” I stopped and felt a little shocked. What I was thinking was a wonderful coincidence was actually shown to me, because I wished to know, to be the hand of God in my life. As I kept thinking about it later, sliding into that brand new truck would have cost me a lot of money. Even if I had just parked my van there to stop the sliding, I would have had to call a tow truck to help me move which also would have been a good chunk of change.
If you are struggling to pay tithing, you might want to start praying to know what your tithing blessings are. I also know that the doctrine of sacrifice promises an increase in spiritual power and as I have gotten older that spiritual power to help me be discerning and stronger means everything to me.