Tag Archives: tithing

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

183rd_seminannual_general_conference_header_screenshot

So here we sit in our family room getting ready for this session. As we usually do, we will have our kids watch the first half hour of every session, and then President Monson on Sunday morning.

I’ve been reading some of the blog postings online about how people feel about General Conference. I find that General Conference is like a lot of Church meetings… before the meeting I can think of every reason in the world why I shouldn’t bother going/participating, but after virtually every meeting I’m glad that I went, and I got something out of it.

I’m sure I’ll be tired after my 10 hours of conference this weekend (plus Music and the Spoken Word, and probably The World Report), but I’m also sure it will be an uplifting weekend. I’m looking forward to it!


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang How Wondrous and Great to start the session.

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang Now Let Us Rejoice ** It was an awesome arrangement!

Elder Kent F Richards offered the invocation

President Thomas S Monson

  • Church membership just passed 15 million members
  • Missionaries serving has gone from 58,500 in October 2012 to 80,333 today
  • “Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”
  • Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together to labour in the lords vineyard to bring souls unto him
  • He thanked us for the donations that have come in for missionary support. The need is ongoing.
  • No new announcements of any kind

The choir sang Israel, Israel, God is Calling

Elder Robert D Hales

  • Note: Elder Hales looked about the same as previous conferences. He definitely still doesn’t look well. He seemed to have a bit of trouble reading his talk, but still spoke well. You could also faintly hear the oxygen feed (there was a slight hissing sound)
  • No topics are assigned for General Conference
  • In conferences we can receive the word of the Lord
  • What is said is not as important as what is heard and felt
  • “Oh how we need General Conference!”

Elder Ulisses Soares

  • You can’t have hope unless you are meek and lowly in heart
  • Meekness is the quality of those who are God-fearing
  • If we want to be meek, we need to improve day by day

Sister Carol M Stephens

  • We all need priesthood ordinances
  • Men and women need to have respect for each other
  • We need to trust in Heavenly Father’s plan and show reverence for Him
  • Sons of God needs daughters of God and daughters of God need sons of God

The choir and congregation sang There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today

Elder Edward Dube

  • “Never look back. Look at what we still have to do”
  • The past is to be learned from, not lived in
  • Faith always points us towards the future

Elder David A Bednar

  • Will speak on the importance of tithing for individuals and families and the importance of tithing in the growth of the Church
  • We often teach about dramatic blessings, yet some of the diverse blessings we obtain are significant but subtle
  • We need to be spiritually attentive and observant
  • The foundation for the fiscal affairs of the Church are found in D&C 119 and 120
  • These sections are so simple compared to the complex financial setup of worldly companies
  • The Church lives within its means and doesn’t spend more than it receives
  • A portion of the annual income as a reserve for contingency
  • The Church follows the same principles that are taught to the members
  • Paying tithing is not just a duty

The choir sang Keep the Commandments

President Dieter F Uchtdorf ** Excellent **

  • The Church doesn’t require anything from us, but the Lord does
  • This Church was restored in our day by Jesus Christ himself
  • Here you find the authority to act in His name
  • The Church gives opportunity to do good
  • People want to put their faith into practice
  • Walking the path of discipleship leads to precious blessings
  • Some people struggle for years about whether they should separate themselves from the Church
  • In the history of the Church, some things have been done and said that raise questions. Sometimes we don’t have all the information. Sometimes there is a difference of opinion of what the facts really mean. There have been times when people have made mistakes
  • “If there are faults, they are the mistakes of men”
  • No decision of significance to this Church is made without prayerfully asking for His direction
  • One of the purposes of the Church is to cultivate the seed of faith, even if it is in the sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty
  • Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith
  • We need your diverse talents
  • Here you will find the pathway to happiness

The choir sang Come, Ye Thankful People

Brother Matthew O Richardson offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Most charitable states in America

There was recently a report about the most charitable states in America. Not too surprisingly Utah was number 1.

Utah, home to the nation’s biggest Mormon population, is also the most charitable state, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s most recent report that looks at giving as a percentage of discretionary income — your income excluding essential expenses.

Mormons are supposed to tithe at least 10 percent of their income to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the median donation among Utah households lines up with that requirement — amounting to $5,255 per household, or 10.6 percent of discretionary income.

On the one hand it’s interesting that the entire population, on average, pays 10% in charitable donations. This just happens to be what tithing is. On the other hand, I’m sure there are people who think that people should be giving to causes other than the Church.

If you read the entire article, and follow some of the links, the findings are quite interesting. Generally speaking, it seems that the more religious an area is, the more they donate. It also mentions that New Hampshire has a fairly high average income, but has the lowest donation rate.

The blessings of paying tithing

Original image found at
http://pathtogod.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/tithing-1.jpg

Some people might disagree with me, but I feel that much of the promises extended to faithful Christians are vague. We all have faith that by following commandments and trying to be like Jesus, our eternal reward will be life with God. However, what blessings are in store for me right now?

I feel that one of the clearest description of blessings is associated with paying tithing. The classic scripture in Malachi explains it this way:

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

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.

Malachi 3: 8-10

I guess you could say that the promised blessings are still vague, but it does seem to indicate that you will be blessed here and now. It’s a very vivid description. You can imagine a waterfall pouring over you and you can’t collect all of the water in the reservoirs you have gathered.

I was thinking about this because this past Sunday during Fast & Testimony Meeting a woman bore her testimony about tithing. She shared a story about how when she was younger she was speaking with someone who said that they couldn’t pay tithing. The member in my ward said that she had judged her friend. She had always thought paying tithing was easy and so judged her. Now, years later, the woman and her husband have had a very tough year. Her husband got laid off right after they bought their first house. During this time, she learned about the sacrifice it truly takes to pay tithing. They have continued to pay their tithing, and they feel they have been blessed for it.

It was one of the most touching testimonies I’ve ever heard in a Fast & Testimony meeting. She spoke of her past experience, compared it to the present situation, and bore testimony. It strengthened my own testimony of tithing, and reminded me of all of the blessings I have received from following this commandment. I truly felt the Spirit.

A 48-year long experiment of faith?

I taught the Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class this past week and we were covering Alma 3235 (lesson 28). We spent a majority of the time discussing faith and the experiment we are to do.

One thing that has always frustrated me is that people are willing to “experiment” with all sorts of things… drugs, alcohol, alternative lifestyles, etc. However, they often aren’t willing to experiment with the things that matter most. From a Church point of view, they won’t try to keep the Word of Wisdom, or they won’t try to stay morally clean. It’s as if the experiment isn’t worth doing.

I brought up the recent sort-of discovery of the Higgs boson particle (the so-called “God particle”). The existence of such a particle was first proposed in 1964. In July of this year, it was announced that they have probably found it, but they can’t prove it yet. That means that there have been scientists around the world trying to prove the existince of this particle for 48 years. They are getting close (very close), but they still haven’t gotten there yet. Isn’t that amazing?! Can you imagine feeling so strongly about something that for decades you are working towards that goal? Well, that is exactly what we should be doing in the gospel.

The whole chapter is great, but here are a few key points about the experiment:

Alma 32: 27 …awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith…

Alma 32: 40 …looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof…

Alma 32: 41 …nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof…

Alma 32: 42 …because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it…

Do you have a testimony of the Law of Tithing? If not, obey it, then keep obeying it. If you haven’t felt the blessings being poured out on you from the windows of heaven, keep obeying the law. Exercise a particle of faith; look forward to the blessings; be patience; be diligent.

If we are willing to put in the effort, whether it be 48 minutes, 48 days, 48 weeks, or 48 years, God will help us find the results we seek from our experiment. We will be able to get the fruit “which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.” It is a beautiful promise!