BYU Students Share Letters & Reflections on Scripture
BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
My name is Tim Colvin, and I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the Mormon church. So…I’m a Mormon. One of the unusual things about Mormons is that we pay tithing. I’ve been asked several times why I would pay ten-percent of my earnings to my church when I get nothing in return. Well, I’d like to explain.
The principle of tithing is revealed to us in scripture. It can be found in multiple places in the Bible, but I personally love how the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ and a companion book of scripture to the Bible, explains it. In 3rd Nephi 24:8 & 10 it reads:
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
I don’t want to be guilty of stealing from God. It doesn’t seem like a good idea. The way the Book of Mormon helps me understand tithing is that God has given me everything I own. My family is a gift from God, and all my worldly possessions come as blessings from him as well. So, since he has been so good to me, shouldn’t I give back? When I graduate from college, I’ll want to donate to my alma mater to give back to those who supported me. I think tithing is very much the same idea. Once we have, we should desire to give back to those who are less fortunate. That tithing money is then used for various purposes, but all of it helps the people in the world around me.
And verse 10 describes very clearly the blessings that will come from my actions. When I was young, I doubted that the principle of tithing actually worked, so I tried it out. When I was in high school, I wanted to participate in a student exchange program in Germany. The month-long program would cost a little over two thousand dollars. Since my family has seven more children besides me, I was going to have to come up with the money myself. I got a job and started earning money, but I knew it wasn’t going to be enough to pay for the trip. One day, my mom asked me if I was paying my tithing on the money I was earning. I told her that I wouldn’t have enough to pay for the trip if I paid tithing. She promised me God would work miracles if I had faith in Him. So I tried it, and a few weeks after paying a full tithing, I got a phone call about a job I had applied for a year prior asking me if I wanted work. With that second job I was able to make enough money to pay my own way to Germany!
It seems like a simple thing and it was, but I know I saw the windows of heaven open and received blessings more than I could receive. That exchange program has changed the direction of my life and given me lifelong friends. I never would have been able to experience that had I not paid tithing.
I know tithing is a true principle from God. If I pay it, I’ll be blessed. You won’t be able to take my word for it though. You’ll need to try it yourself. Pay tithing and I know you’ll be blessed for your sacrifice!
If you are reading this post and have any questions or comments, I would be happy to hear from you.