A Lifetime of Giving and Receiving
Today's article is Part 3 of a five-part series provided by the General Church Finance Committee on finances and faith.
Like Nephi, I was born of goodly parents. I was raised in The Church and have many blessed memories. I remember the old brothers preaching about the duty of members to donate financially to The Church and how God would reward them. The term “tithing” was mentioned often, and the “ten percent” really stood out.
As a child, I attended Sunday school regularly and started out in the youngest age group. My mother gave me some pennies to drop in the collection basket at the end of our class. Our teacher reminded us that the money would be used for the work of spreading the Gospel and taking care of other Church needs. As I grew older and moved to the higher classes, I felt to give more than just a few pennies, so I asked Mom for nickels, dimes, or quarters for my donations.
I was baptized in 1956 at the age of 23, and I married Lucetta in 1959. I had started to attend college to become a teacher. My wife worked, and I qualified for the GI Bill to help with my tuition. I graduated in 1962 and began my first teaching job, making $4,200 per year. This is when everything I remembered about tithing came back to me.
I remembered hearing and then reading the scripture about how God answered Malachi’s question, “How have we robbed God?” God replied, “In tithes and offerings.” My wife and I made the decision to donate 10 percent of my paycheck every month. We were blessed with three children in three years. As the years progressed and my pay increased, so did our Church donation. This did not include separate donations to Sunday school, MBA, and Ladies' Circle. We always had sufficient money to pay all of our bills with enough left over.
I retired in 1998 and received a good pension. I accumulated benefits that enabled us to make sufficient financial investments for the future. Although we were now on a fixed income, we continued our donations to The Church. We felt to increase our 10 percent obligation and were amazed by how our bank account was always more than we could imagine.
In the late 1960s, the GMBA and Area MBA campouts gained popularity. We decided to make the effort to go as a family and make these our yearly vacations. God provided the necessary finances so that we attended 38 GMBA campouts and all Area campouts as a family over the years. Many of our grandchildren were baptized at campouts or as a result of attending. We have had more than enough money to pay for our entire family to attend. It was a great blessing this past summer to have all 30 of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren attend the GMBA campout.
God certainly did reward us for our desires and efforts, both naturally and spiritually. We spent nearly four years living on an Indian Reservation in South Dakota as I taught in the school there. I have been blessed in making many trips to South America, Colombia, and Venezuela on missionary work. My wife accompanied me on two trips and my granddaughter on one trip. We have been able to make donations to several other good charities. In making our wills, we ensured a portion was designated for The Church.
Please do not think I am boasting as I share my testimony. None of this would have been possible had it not been for making our donations to The Church our first priority.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.