Spiritual Fire Insurance

D&C 64:23
“Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a
day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.”
I remember when I was in Seminary many years ago and this was the scripture that was called the Fire Insurance Scripture. It was always an incentive to keep my tithing paid.
I hear that there are many people in our church who do not pay their tithing. A large part of one of my congregations that I attended  had not been paying. This had been a shock to me because I always felt that this is what separated us from the other churches on a temporal level. Did you realize that we were and as far as I still know, still are the only church organization that is out of debt? Why is this? Because we pay our debts.
During the time of the early Saints, people brought their tithes to the bishop’s storehouse. This was paid normally with food or other items of value. Now days, it is simpler. We write a check then we put it in one of those many gray envelopes and hand it to a member of our bishopric.
When did the time come that we have forgotten what the blessings are that come to us if we pay our tithing? What are the blessings we receive if we do pay? We receive both Spiritual and Temporal blessings.
For example, when I left home to go to College, I carried my tithing with me in hopes that I would be able to pay in my new ward. I did not pay it. I held the money for a month. While I did this, I was looking for a job. I could not find one. I looked and looked. When the time came that I decided to pay, within the next 24 hours, I had 3 job offers! Why did I not do it sooner? Why did I “Rob God?” and why did I rob myself of these blessings? Other times, when my health needed to be strong, when I paid my tithing, I had a miraculous amount of strength. I had endurance! My family was happy, there was peace in my home. These are great blessings!
There are many talks from our Prophets and other general authorities concerning these issues.
Why are we not listening? Do we really want to be burned? Have we forgotten what happens if we do not pay?  Are we earning so much money that we do not feel we need the blessings? Are we earning too little money where the question of whether we pay the rent or our tithing becomes the issue? Have we talked with our bishop and asked him for guidance? Have we gone to our family?
Tithing has been around since the time of Adam and Eve. We are to give a percentage of all that we have to Heavenly Father because it is his anyway. I understand that we have heard this before, but have you thought what the tithing would be used for? For buildings, learning materials, for Temples…

How about the fast offerings? How are they used? These items are in the hands of our chosen leaders and they are to listen to Heavenly Father as to what they are to do with it. Normally, it is used to assist those in the ward who needs that little blessing to help them keep going.

Have you been one of those? I have. I cherish the moment that I have had to ask for help. This is because it is given. There is hope created because there will always be the blessing of plenty for those who truly need it. I may not like to go for help, but that is because I have been taught that I am the only one who will change my life. I should be able to support myself. But, there are times when this is not the best answer. If I am able to give back, I try to give what is expected in my tithing, but I try to give more in my fast offerings. If it is a matter of money, then remember, there is a promise that the Savior will give 10 times back what you have given. I have tried this and with a prayerful heart, gave all that I have and found that sometime during the next week, the amount has been multiplied at least 10 times!
Try this, what have you to lose? Give of your tithes and fast offerings first when you receive your bounty. You will not miss it if you do so.  I love this gift and I appreciate the ability to see blessings in action.

Financial Management in a relationship

Statistics state that many marriages are destroyed because of lack of communication and bad decisions concerning money.
It has been my advice to my daughter that when she married, to make sure that she had an account for her, he had an account for him and then they had a joint account to take care of all household expenses. This way, she had spending money that she did not need to account for down to the penny and he did as well. Because they have heeded my advice, they were able to afford a house, they were able to go out and they were able to purchase items for each other without having to account for everything to each other.
Now, I am sure that many like the idea but there are many who do not. Let me address the ones that do not.
In my first marriage, I was expected to earn money-but not more than my husband. All of this money then went into the expenses for the family care. The sad part was, if I wanted to purchase his Christmas present, he knew how much it was. He would give me a certain amount to spend at the grocery store and then I had to stay within the tight budget to feed all of us($40 for the week for a family of 5 was normal). When I received a paycheck, I signed it and then never saw it again. I had no idea how much the bills were. We did not discuss them because he felt that he was the man of the house and he should take care of all of it.
When we separated and prepared for the divorce, I had no credit because my name was not on most of the bills. I had no budget, so did not know what our expenses would be. According to Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “How important are money management and finances in marriage and family affairs? May I respond, ‘Tremendously.'”
How could I pay tithing when I did not know how much it was?
How could I invest for my future when I had no idea what my present was?
How could I balance my checkbook when I had no idea what was out there?
How could we make a decision about how to improve our lives without knowing what our options were?
Now, I work in finance. I allow myself to play a little bit. I know how much is coming in and how much goes out. I actually get to touch my check before it is gone. I am able to pay my tithing and know that I earned it. I am empowered and you know what? I like it!
So, does this mean that I am in charge in my new relationship? No! We have already agreed that there will be a family joint account that will be contributed by both of us. We will share the bills and if one is not able to keep up their end, we will work it out. But I told him that my wish is that I purchased items for him because I wanted to, not because I had to. He understood and highly agreed!
May we all be willing to talk about things such as finance without feeling cautious with each other is my wish.

Mary

The ability to work hard

This is near and dear to my heart…This one is very difficult at this time for many of us. It is the ability to work hard. It is near to my heart because there were a couple of things that I was taught when I was a child:

1. No play until the chores were finished.

My mother wrote long lists for each of us kids to do each Saturday. This was beyond the basic chores that we did each day after school. It was frustrating, but we worked hard for a couple of hours (yes, she truly detailed each item for each room so that we had no excuse to miss anything) and then the rest of the day was ours to play with. This experience taught me to focus on taking care of the needs of my family before we even would consider the wants. Ok, so my home is not perfect, it is always cluttered somewhere, but when I get down to really deep cleaning it, the place looks amazing!

2. Leave a place better than how you found it.

My family was always the last to leave any church activity because we were always focused on making sure that everything was clean and put away. I still have a strong desire to do this, but find that I have the ability to let others focus on being the last one out of the door.

I take this into any job that I work because it makes things much better in the workplace.

3. Having a job shows responsibility.

I had my first babysitting job where I was paid $1 per hour per child. I was getting so good, that the mothers found that instead of fighting over me, they had sleepovers that I was in charge of while they left to go and play. I would walk out in the morning (yes sometimes I would be watching the sunrise because they stayed out so late) with quite a lot of money for both the children I watched and healthy tips for the quality of the job. I would not sleep while being there, but found that I did chores around the house to keep me awake. Therefore when they returned, they found dishes done, house clean…

When I am looking for a job, I do not give up. I treat the job hunt as if it is really a job. I work at it full-time. Normally, I have never gone longer than 2 months without finding something. I normally have some opportunities coming up, so I never worry.

Why is working important in a relationship? We are watched by our future partners as to how we spend our money. We watch them as well. If you do not agree, look again. When you are paid, do you have a strong desire to go out and get that great shirt/top you saw for sale or do you first pay your tithing and your bills?

We are also watching each other concerning how we do our chores around our homes. Do we take out the garbage? Care for our children well? Maintain our vehicles? Clean our homes? Everything that we do, we will be taking into a relationship.

I admit that this was one issue that I had difficulty with concerning 1 of my relationships. I would be working, paying the bills, taking care of my children, etc and my partner would be at home sleeping or eating, waiting for me to get home for his entertainment. The imbalance was too difficult. We did not share in the work that needed to be done, so we were not as happy as we could have been.

My wish is that we all learn to be happy with the work and responsibilities that we are in charge of. If not, then change ourselves or the job and responsibility so that we are finding joy in what we do.