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Why Mormons Pay Tithing

By Mormon.org
money in an envelope

Ten percent off a store purchase seems like so little. But what about giving ten percent of your income for the rest of your life? Ten percent can seem a lot bigger! But Mormons all over the world do it. Why is that? Well, they do it because it’s one of God’s commandments and they believe they will receive blessings if they obey, but the greatest reason is love for God and His children.

Who's Asking?

Who asks for the ten percent makes a difference, and if God asks us to do something, it’s best to do it. Mormons donate ten percent of their income as tithing (the word “tithing” means “tenth”) to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints every year because they believe God has commanded it. Obeying that commandment shows their love for Him and brings tremendous blessings.

A Commandment with Blessings

The principle of tithing isn’t new; it is a law God’s people have obeyed since biblical times. In Malachi 3:10 it reads, “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.” Talk about a promise! Whenever God gives a commandment, He promises blessings for keeping that commandment, and tithing is no exception. In this verse, it’s almost as if God is saying, “Look—give this a try and see if I don’t give you so many blessings that you can’t receive them all,” and His promise can be fulfilled in sometimes dramatic ways. There are miraculous accounts of people receiving the financial help they need in the very hour they need it, such as in these stories.

However, as Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently noted, the blessings of tithing can be much more subtle, but just as significant. For example, he says, “We might want and expect a larger paycheck, but the blessing that comes to us through heavenly windows may be greater capacity to change our own circumstances rather than expecting our circumstances to be changed by someone or something else.” God will keep His promises to “pour us out a blessing” in whatever way He sees most fit—often in the way that will bring us the greatest amount of spiritual growth.

Love for God and Neighbor

Tithing is about more than just receiving blessings, however. It is an important way to keep the greatest commandments—to love God and our neighbor. We show our love for God by keeping His commandment and giving freely what is already His, and we show love for our fellowmen by providing financial means to care for those in need and further the work of God all over the world. Donations are given privately and voluntarily, but those who choose to obey this commandment are paid richly in God’s currency. Those who obey the law of tithing exercise and develop faith in Jesus Christ.

So, why do Mormons pay tithing? Out of faith and love for God, who gives all things. As we obey God’s commandments and rely upon the grace of Jesus Christ, we feel the peace and joy that comes from knowing our lives are acceptable before God and that someday we will live with Him again.

For answers to frequently asked questions about tithing, see here.

Missionaries can teach you more about the principle of tithing. Click here to schedule a visit.