By Angela W Kleven
The beginning of December 2004 found my three young children and me without a penny to our name. In one day, our income was completely gone. It was a difficult yet defining month for all of us, and one we will never, ever, forget.
The church to which we belong teaches that all we have came from and belongs to God, and that we show our gratitude and faith when we return 10 percent of our increase to him. Each December we are asked to give an accounting to the local clergy and report whether or not we have been obedient to this commandment. There have been many promises connected with the payment of a full tithe, one of which is found in 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 Law of Cause and Effect simply states that everything that happens is caused by something else. There are no coincidences. Understanding this law allows us to have greater power and control over what happens in our lives. If we want a specific result, then all we need to do is find out what brings that about, and do it. In order to eat the meat of a walnut, the shell must be cracked and opened. In order to multiply easily, addition must be mastered. In order for our car to get from point A to point B, we must have fuel in the tank. The Law of Tithing is based on the Law of Cause and Effect. As the Lord promised in Malachi, when you pay your tithing, you will be blessed.
Because of the sudden drop in our income, I did not have the money to pay the last $30 I owed in tithing for the year. While I knew that food, clothing, and shelter were essential for our physical survival, I had faith that paying a full tithe was essential for our spiritual growth and that through obedience to this law, we would be blessed, and our physical needs would be met. I took my problem to the Lord in prayer and asked that I might find a way to earn the money to pay my tithing. Within a few days I had the opportunity to participate in a marketing survey, and for my time and effort I was paid $50 in cash. I immediately paid the rest of my tithing and spent the last $15 on groceries.
Once my tithing was paid in full, the windows of heaven did open and a month of miracles began. One day my vacuum broke, and the next day a brand new one was waiting for us when we got home. Another day I had no money for gas, and that night $300 was left on our front door. My children and I were provided with well over a month’s worth of food from a local storehouse or food bank. Christmas gifts were wrapped and left anonymously on our doorstep. Money was received through the mail. Our old camera had broken and was replaced by a new digital one. I was beginning a new job and needed transcription equipment which was donated anonymously. A few days before Christmas, we received a knock at our door and several men from our church walked in with baskets and boxes overflowing with food and gifts. There was literally no more room in our cupboards or our fridge, and food was piled high in boxes on the floor. Our small Christmas tree could not hold one more gift underneath its beloved branches, and our living room was full of unwrapped treasures.
That night my children and I knelt together and gave thanks for the great blessings we had received. I taught them that what we were experiencing was a direct result of the tithing we had paid a few weeks before. Because we were faithful and obeyed this commandment, the effect was an outpouring of abundance and love. When December ended and 2005 began, the flow of money was once again reestablished and we were able to provide for ourselves. That month I truly understood the message in the Doctrine & Covenants 130:21, “And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to the law upon which it is predicated.” Although we have had some very lean months since then, we have never again been entirely and completely without.