The word tithing, or tithe, means a tenth part. The paying of tithing to the Lord and His church has been a commandment for thousands of years. The first record of tithing is found in Genesis 14:20, when Abraham pays tithing to Melchizedek. In the biblical days of the Lord’s church, tithing was considered not only a commandment but also a law of the land.
Today Mormons believe that paying tithing is a commandment still. Everything we have comes from the Lord, and a tenth isn’t much to give back to Him. Tithing belongs to the Lord, and withholding tithing is, in essence, robbing the Lord of what is His and what He has commanded that men and women give back to Him.
This concept is made clear in the Old Testament. Leviticus 27:30 records, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord.”
”Mormons today believe that tithing is a duty and a way to prove their faithfulness to the Lord.” Mormon Church meetinghouses, where the congregations meet weekly, have receipts which members fill out, and envelopes, to enclose their money in. They then give their envelopes to the bishopric, meaning the bishop of the congregation or his two counselors. The money is then counted and sent to the Mormon Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Leaders of the Church use tithing in different ways to help the Mormon Church grow and to serve others. Tithing money goes to building meetinghouses, temples, and other Church buildings; family history and temple work; and funding for missionary work all over the world. When one member’s tithing is combined with the tithing of all members of the Mormon Church, it helps in innumerable ways.
Members consider it a blessing and a privilege to pay tithing, because it is a way to show gratitude to the Lord. It is important to members of the Mormon Church to know that they are helping the Church grow and serving God’s children worldwide.
Mormons believe that obeying the commandment to pay tithing is necessary to each member’s happiness and peace in this life. Mormonism teaches that the spirit of willingness with which one gives tithing is just as important as the paying of tithing itself. Paying tithing teaches humility and shows obedience. Members should pay their tithing to the Lord cheerfully and with faith that the Lord will bless and protect His people when they pay tithing willingly.
Malachi 3:10: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine 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.”
The phrase, “open you the windows of heaven,” is believed by Mormons to mean that the Lord will bless His faithful people more than they can imagine. When they pay their tithing to Him, He will not withhold any blessings from them, temporally or spiritually.
Former President and Prophet of the Mormon Church Heber J. Grant said that when the Lord’s people pay tithing, He blesses them with a greater knowledge of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, a stronger testimony, and an increased ability to obey the commandments (Conference Report, April 1925, p 10).
Mormons also believe the Lord will prosper those who pay an honest tithe, meaning they will be blessed and protected with the material needs they require. Heavenly Father doesn’t bless everyone in the same way, but blesses them in the ways that are the best for them. Those who pay tithing can have the peace and assurance that comes from knowing they are obeying a commandment of the Lord.