As a convert to the LDS Church, having no doubt that marriage is ordained of God, that divorce should never be sought after, and that being a stay-at-home mom is a noteworthy vocation, I found myself ill-prepared when, after nearly 20 years of marriage, I was handed divorce papers. Circumstances left me with few belongings, no reserves and minimal resources.
Feeling prompted to seek priesthood counsel and blessings, I was repeatedly instructed to forgive, to pay my tithing, and to hold my temple recommend as a sacred privilege. Although I sometimes felt challenged on all three of these principles, tithing was one that I had never previously had to take sole and personal accountability for, having shared this responsibility within a marriage union.
Temporal blessings of paying tithing have also transpired. Having lost a lot of weight subsequent to my divorce, my clothes were noticeably oversized. As I filled in my tithing slip one Sunday, I prayed in earnest that I could go to work each day more suitably attired.
On returning home from Church, I met with my sister, who is a religious leader in another faith. She related how a neighbouring lady had stopped by her home and said that she was doing a clean-out of her wardrobe. She enquired if my sister knew of anybody in need of clothes and shoes in three different sizes?
Two large suitcases were delivered, filled with seasonal clothing and shoes in exact sizes to accommodate not just myself, but my two daughters as well. There were so many clothes that we could not fit them all into our wardrobe – “… there shall not be room enough to receive it”!
My older daughter had the privilege recently of making a trip to the USA. Prior to her departure, she went to deposit her “piggy-bank” of funds into her account at an ATM. As she did so, the machine malfunctioned and swallowed all of her money. All her hard-earned savings were lost, just days before she was due to leave.
As our spirits sagged, a dear sister in the ward phoned us and asked us to come over to her house. While talking to this special lady, she handed us a gift-bag, saying that it contained a small present from some “angels”. Inside, we discovered money bestowed by some named and some anonymous contributors. We were filled with emotion at this heavenly intercession. Within the week, this same daughter became terribly ill and the doctor’s bills depleted much of my salary. Out of desperation, I resorted to using money put aside for tithing, promising myself that “somehow I’d find a way to repay the amount”. As the weekend approached, I was forced to weigh up the choice between paying tithing or living expenses.
Over the years, I have never been left without the comfort of Heavenly Father’s assurance that as we are obedient to the law of tithing, He more than compensates in every aspect of our lives. As the words of one of our hymns remind us “…because of Thy great bounty Lord, each day I live.”