As I looked over this talk again, I quickly remembered the great story he told about the bag of coins. It’s worth studying one more time:
“The Lord’s Richest Blessings”
by Elder Carl B. Pratt
Of the Seventy
I love to pay my tithing because I need to pay my tithing. With many years of schooling between Matt and I, there have been many (and will still be many) years of financial instability. I love to write that check and turn it into the bishop because I don’t even want to know what would happen to our budget without paying off that debt to the Lord. And though I can testify that our monetary needs have often been miraculously okay thanks to tithing, in my heart I also know that this is true:
He fulfills His promises, and if we faithfully pay our tithing, we will not lack for the necessities of life, but He does not promise wealth. Money and bank accounts are not His richest blessings. . . . I have come to understand that the Lord’s richest blessings are spiritual, and they often have to do with family, friends, and the gospel.
What stands out to you as you study this talk? I would love to hear some of your experiences and testimony related to tithing. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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9 thoughts on “GCBC Week 21: “The Lord’s Richest Blessings” by Elder Carl B. Pratt”
I have to confess, I had overlooked this conference talk, until tonight. What a wonderful story of the faith in this address. My husband and I have been blessed countless times, but I had never really stopped to consider some of the less obvious blessings, as a result of paying a full tithe. For example, my husband works really hard- but we are by no means rich. Yet, after reading this address, the Spirit helped me to realize that my opportunity to be a stay at home mother and raise our darling girls AND our ability to be debt free (aside from our home) is a direct blessing from obedience to the law of tithing. I can think of several times when we have been blessed with an unexpected check that covers an expense or the typical stories you hear when it comes to tithing- we’ve experienced them all too. But to stop and truly consider all the MYRIAD of blessings that can be attributed to obeying the law of tithing. Elder Pratt really opened my eyes to several areas in my life where I can see blessings I hadn’t before seen or recognized for what they were. I also like the quote from President Faust, paying tithing is “an excellent insurance against divorce”. How true it is….. 🙂
Tithing is absolutely a principle of faith. It is less about the money than it is our trusting in the Lord to take care of us. Although I don’t have any miraculous stories involving the payment of my tithing, I know that I have been richly blessed. When I go over my budget at the end of each month, I am amazed at how far my income has been stretched. I agree with E. Pratt’s statement that paying tithing helps us use the other 90% more effectively.
Tithing had always been a difficult thing for my husband and I. Neither one of us really had a testimony of it. But then as our activity in church increased and we came unto Christ we had a desire to pay a full tithe first (we’d been paying from our abundance, when tax return money would come in). So we did it. And it was HARD. Just like in the story he shared how they wouldn’t have enough for the school expenses, we didn’t have enough for some dental expenses.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more worried and upset than when I realized that because we’d paid our tithing we wouldn’t be able to pay the dentist too. It went on like that for a few weeks, and then somehow, I don’t fully understand how, suddenly there was money enough for everything-plus extra! It was incredible.
But it was more than how the Lord took care of us financially. He also enriched our faith, deepened our testimonies and brought us closer together. The spirit entered our home and hearts with more power than we had ever had previously. I will always be grateful for tithing because of those incredible blessings. It is one of the principles of the gospel that I am most sure about.
Also, I loved how in the story it was a joint decision to pay the tithing. One spouse didn’t just do it, they did it together, perhaps that unified show of faith is what prevents divorce (as the quote from President Faust suggested).
And finally, though it wasn’t mentioned in the talk, Tithing is a prerequisite to entering the temple where we can be sealed to our family. If that were the only blessing we would still indeed be richly blessed.
Came across this today:
A story told by President Marion G. Romney in his talk Trust in the Lord, Ensign, Nov. 1977:
“President Heber J. Grant tells of a different type of reward that comes from trusting in the Lord. When he was a young man, he heard his bishop in a fast meeting, which was then held on Thursdays (in the early days, we held our fast meetings on Thursdays), make a strong appeal for donations. At that time President Grant had $50 in his pocket which he intended to deposit in the bank. But he was so impressed by his bishop’s appeal that he tendered the whole $50 to the bishop. The bishop took $5 and handed him back $45, stating that $5 was his full share. Then President Grant replied, ‘Bishop Wooley, by what right do you rob me of putting the Lord in my debt? Didn’t you preach here today that the Lord rewards fourfold? My mother is a widow and she needs two hundred dollars.’
“‘My boy,’ queried the bishop, ‘do you believe that if I take this other forty-five dollars you will get your two hundred dollars quicker?’
“Certainly, replied President Grant.
“Now here was an expression of trust in the Lord which the bishop could not withstand. He took the remaining $45.
“President Grant testified that on his way back to work, ‘an idea popped’ into his head, acting upon which he made $218.50. Speaking on this incident years later, he said, “Someone will say that it would have happened anyway.
“I do not think it would have happened. I do not think I would have got the idea.
“I am a firm believer that the Lord opens up the windows of heaven when we do our duty financially and pours out blessings upon us of a spiritual nature, which are of far greater value than temporal things. But I believe He also gives us blessings of a temporal nature.” (Improvement Era 42:457.)”
Steph that is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us!
I love this address. It’s a great reminder for me since pay day is later this week for my family, and we’re currently focusing on paying a full tithe.
My husband and I have been trying to get on track with our finances. He is in school, I just graduated but am having difficulties finding a job. We will be getting part of his loan back soon and have been trying to figure out which bills to pay first. We knew we needed to “catch up” on tithing but were thinking about paying part of it so we could cover other bills as well.
The paragraph where he starts off, “I testify that He fulfills His promises…” really stood out to me and made me realize where we needed to prioritize. It is also a condition, IF we pay our tithing then we will have blessings. I know if we pay an honest and full tithe we will be blessed even if it is harder right now.
I just found the GCBC yesterday. I’ve been looking for a way to jump start myself spiritually, and this really is helping! Thank you!
The one amazing truth about the Law of Tithing is this: The moment you choose to live it, or in some cases, choose to “prove” the Lord in His promise because there are times that the Law of Tithing is very difficult, the miracles begins. I don’t think I have ever sat in a tithing lesson without hearing story after story after story of AMAZING things that happened because of paying tithing. And when those stories/miracles do happen, we cannot help but share them with our families about how the Lord fulfilled His promise.
I was grateful Elder Pratt reminded me that tithing does not bring wealth in the worldly sense. As I listened to his talk the Spirit was able to help me identify gifts and blessings and attributes the Lord has given me as a result of my faithful payment of tithing. I would not have otherwise connected them with tithing, but it is amazing the things I learn when I am Under the Influence of the Spirit.
Finally, in PMG (Preach My Gospel) it says this, in part, about Obedience (I know, because we have it up on our kitchen wall doing our darndest to memorize it this month as a family): “Obedience is the first law of heaven. It is an act of faith.” Tithing is also an act of faith. It is an indication of our obedience to the Lord. If I want to keep the First Law of Heaven, I must be able to keep the Law of Tithing.
One of the things I love about tithing is that it’s possible to become perfect in keeping that commandment. Some things really are black and white. Another blessing of keeping the law of tithing is that it definitely helps increase faith. Like everyone else, we have several family stories related to tithing and the blessings that can come. As Elder Pratt mentioned at the end of his talk, they aren’t always temporal. We’ve learned money management skills and our family has grown closer together. We’ve recognized that miracles are real. And we’re more committed to staying on the path to eternal life.
P.S. I, too, loved the “divorce insurance” phrase.