Today’s article is Part 2 of a five-part series from the General Church Finance Committee on finances and faith.
Giving, donating, contributing, tithing, freewill tithing, offering — it’s kind of funny that we have so many phrases to express something that’s become almost taboo to talk about in church. Although financial giving might not be discussed much in your branch, it is discussed in scripture, and that makes it worth talking about.
Do We Have a Financial Responsibility to the Lord?
Proverbs 3:9 states that we are to “Honour the Lord with thy substance,” and 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “God loveth a cheerful giver.” If giving to the church is seen as a way to give honor to our Creator, and He loves to see that attribute in us, then it must be pretty significant. Scripture even gives guidance regarding how much to give: “Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed” (Alma 13:15).
Are Financial Donations Spiritually Significant?
In Malachi 3 and 3 Nephi 24, God makes the serious allegation that the people have robbed Him. The people ask for clarification — how have they robbed God? — and they receive the answer, “In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse.” God clearly sees spiritual significance in the fulfilment of this commandment and even counts Abel’s offering as faith (Hebrews 11:4).
But What If I Barely Have Enough to Get By?
Not everything God asks of us is necessarily easy, but thankfully if we exercise faith we can trust that God will provide. In 1 Kings 17, a widow is asked to bring food to Elijah, but she only has “an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse,” which she was planning to use as the last meal for her and her child. After giving what she had, it says, “she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail.” In Mark 12, we read the familiar story of the poor widow who donated her last farthing. Christ stated that the woman, “hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury.” Even though it was a small amount, Christ saw great value in her obedience.
How Can I Donate?
You can write a check and give it to your branch Financial Secretary. If you have online access to your bank account, then you can use your branch’s address to set up automatic bill pay. You can also donate online using PayPal at thechurchofjesuschrist.org/support-our-good-work.
As we seek to see more blessings and manifestations of God’s Spirit throughout the church, it is important that we do all we can to follow the teachings set forth in the Word of God. We must remember that giving is more than just a financial commitment. “It is holy unto the Lord” (Lev. 27:30).
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.