We all recognize that as there are blessing associated with paying tithing, there are consequently costs associated with not paying tithing. No one is surprised that a member who is otherwise faithful but won’t pay their tithing might finds that their money doesn’t go as far as it really ought to, whereas a member who pays it faithfully finds that their smaller income is somehow sufficient for their needs
We are familiar with the many stories of people paying tithing and miraculously having enough money to get by, when by all rights they should not have.
So why can’t we realize the same general principle in other commandments?
What we so clearly recognize about obeying the law of tithing is nothing more nor less than a manifestation of the scripture:
D&C 130:20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
The biggest commandments involve life and death or involve sexual intimacy. Can’t we recognize that if the principle taught in D&C 130 is true of tithing, that it is also equally true of the greatest commandments?
We know if we don’t pay our tithing we can expect the Lord not to bless us.
But we think we can watch a woman taking off her shirt on television or being filmed provocatively or listen to a song with innuendo or two men kissing on many much worse things and that it will have no consequences.
We look back the stable families in the fifties before the sexual revolution, and we wish we our teenagers weren’t rebellious, we wish our marriages didn’t end in divorce, we wonder how the church is losing so many youth?
We think that we can use birth control to limit the spacing and number of our children, or to control the timing of them.
And we wonder why sterility has become such a common issue that terrorizes so many of our members? It has always existed of course, but the numbers that are tormented by such grief now seem totally out of proportion now when compared with what we find in older days doing our family history.
We have many that would not dream of skimping on tithing or taking a sip of alcohol, but think nothing of watching sex and open nudity played out on the movie screen in front of them.
We need to recognize that what we know about tithing, that the Lord one way or another blesses those that keep it, and blows on either the wealth, or on the enjoyment of that wealth, of those who do not, and we need to carry it over to the other commandments, and particularly the necessity for a firm commitment to basic moral decency and modesty akin to what was common among men before the sexual revolution if we want to have the basic blessings of marital stability and
Our culture has unilaterally not only rejected the idea of the husband as the head of the home, but consider the idea oppressive and offensive. Our society crows over the freedom so called liberated women enjoy, but their hearst are broken as our societies husbands commonly consider pornography normal and and huge numbers of marriages end in divorce. So much for our societies promises to women. They offer all the the world can and it turns out to only be heartbreak. And not just heartbreak for the women, but for the little children who are viewed by their own mother as being a secondary concern, next to their mother’s pursuit of career and fulfillment.
We look back snidely at older days as naive and simplistic and yet our sophistication has only brought us sorrow. We are too sophisticated to stand by plain truth about decency. We “too grown up” to be “bothered” when sleaze shows up on the movie screen. We are learned and think we are wise.
But we will never regain the stable families, the life long marriages, the unity among children and the unmitigated joy of family until we insist on the same decency in our own lives – in what we watch, listen to and read, until we submit with faith to the hand of God with regard to the number and timing of our children — seeing each as an incredible joy and blessing rather than a secondary object subject to our whims and plans. We will never have the same level of happiness for our women until our husbands are the head of their homes and the providers for their families.
Until we return to decency, turn away from birth control, turn back to husbands at the head as provider and protector, until we insist fiercely on decency in all our media and are not too sophisticated too invoke God and scripture as the foundation of our society with a proper place in motivating laws and public policies, until we return to submitting our will to God’s will when it comes to the sacred powers of procreation, the nature of men and women, the structure of family leadership, and the timing and number of our children when the mother’s health is not at risk, then we are like those who pay a part tithing, and we cannot expect the blessings of family joy unity, heritage and family endurance that come only from living these principles.
When we look at something sleazy, we need to realize that we anger our God and he, being a God will not fail to ensure that we pay the due price for it.
There is no moral misbehavior that doesn’t come at a cost in divine punishment whose misery always far outweighs whatever fun we thought we were having at the time.
And simultaneously, the blessings God is willing to pour out if we are willing to submit our will strictly to his on this matter in terms of family joy are always far more than what we conceive that he is willing to bless us with. His hand in our happiness will be shown almost without bound if we are willing to keep these weightier, but largely discarded, matters of his law.
We know that if we rob God $1 in Tithing, we will find our blessings sapped by far more than $1 worth. At the same time, if we strictly obey, we are surprised at the immense financial storms that we can weather. How great the cost of that stolen dollar!
And the same is true of much more serious commandments than tithing. There is a tremendous cost for the small disobediences we rationalize away as being nothing. Yet if we will instead obey strictly over time we will be amazed at how it will affect ourselves and our family.
It is not different for the lesser law than for the greater. But we seem to understand this for the lesser law, and not understand it at all for the greater.