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Tithing

The word tithe literally means a tenth part, most often in relation to a tenth part given to God. Just as tithing is commanded in the Bible—Abraham and Jacob as well as other ancient prophets paid tithes (see Leviticus 27:32)—in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church, the paying of tithing is also a commandment.In revelation given through Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the Mormon Church, Saints learned how to properly give tithes. “And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord” (see Doctrine and Covenants 119). In the early days of the Church, members often paid tithing “in kind.”  In other words, they donated a tenth portion of their crops and animals to the Church.  Now, however, tithing is donated in monetary form. To members of the Mormon religion, tithing is seen as giving back only a small part of what is already Heavenly Father’s. All that a person has is really the Lord’s, so giving a tenth part back is really not too much for the Lord to ask. Paying tithing with the right attitude is also a way that the Saints can show their love for Heavenly Father and all that He has given them.

Mormon TithesIt is shown in several scriptures that blessings from the payment of tithing are both temporal and spiritual, and failure to pay an honest tithe is a form of robbery (see Malachi 3:8-12 Doctrine and Covenants 64: 23-25, 85:3). In Malachi 3:10 it says, “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.” In this verse, it is obvious that the Lord promises blessings to those who willingly pay an honest tithe.

“President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., a modern prophet, said over and over again that the Lord would never let one of his Saints who had been faithful in the payment of tithes and offerings go without the necessities of life” (Marion G. Romney, “The Blessings of an Honest Tithe,” New Era, Jan.-Feb. 1982, 45). Members who faithfully pay tithing are promised spiritual blessings as well. “I think it is not well known in the Church that payment of tithing has very little to do with money. Tithing has to do with faith” (A. Theodore Tuttle, Conference Report, Apr. 1970, p. 86).

Tithing is used to help maintain and build up the Mormon Church. After it is given to the Mormon bishop (the congregation leader), it is sent to the Church’s headquarters. Then it is combined with other tithes and distributed to pay for building and maintaining Mormon temples, meetinghouses, and other Church property. It is also used to pay for printing books, and other materials that are used to teach the gospel. Some of it is also used to help support Mormon missionaries and family history work.