Brigham Young University (BYU) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple Mormon religion classes.
Some of these students have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
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!