Giving is something that takes on added meaning this time of year. The Savior, of course, would always have us have a giving spirit.
He set the example by giving His life for all mankind.
One of the ways we can show gratitude for His gift of eternal life — made possible by the Atonement — is by paying tithing.
Tithing is not a burden; it is a blessing. It elevates those who give.
As President Spencer W. Kimball stated during October general conference in 1980, "Prophets of all dispensations have clearly taught the law of tithing and the principles of the gospel with regard thereto. From the beginning we have been taught that 'the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.' (1 Corinthians 10:26.) From this fulness, the Lord requires that we dedicate one-tenth to Him. Tithing is a law of God and is required of His followers. To fail to meet this obligation is to fail in a very weighty matter. . . .
"Great blessings are promised to the obedient. Take for example, the promise to the tithe payer:
" '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.
" 'And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.
" 'And all nations shall call you blessed.' " (Malachi 3:10-12.)
Noted President Gordon B. Hinckley in last year's October general conference: "How grateful I am for the law of tithing. It is the Lord's law of finance. It is set forth in a few words in the 119th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. It comes of His wisdom. To every man and woman, to every boy and girl, to every child in this Church who pays an honest tithing, be it large or small, I express gratitude for the faith that is in your hearts." (Ensign, November 2001.)
Nearly 20 years earlier, President Hinckley, who was then a counselor in the First Presidency, stated while recalling his childhood: "We never felt that it was a sacrifice to pay our tithing. We felt it was an obligation, that even as small children we were doing our duty as the Lord had outlined that duty, and that we were assisting His Church in the great work it had to accomplish.
"We did not do it with the expectation of material blessings, although we can testify that we have been so blessed. The Lord has opened the windows of heaven and poured out His blessings in marvelous measure. I am satisfied that He will bless all who walk in obedience to this commandment." (Ensign, May 1982.)
In that same 1982 address, President Hinckley explained the reason for paying tithing:
"The basic purpose for tithing is to provide the Church with the means needed to carry on His work. The blessing to the giver is an ancillary return, and that blessing may not always be in the form of financial or material benefit.
"There are many ways in which the Lord can bless us beyond the riches of the world," President Hinckley continued. "There is the great boon of health. The Lord has promised He will rebuke the devourer for our sakes.
"There is the great blessing of wisdom, of knowledge, even hidden treasures of knowledge. We are promised that ours shall be a delightsome land if we will walk in obedience to this law. I can interpret the word land as people, that those who walk in obedience shall be a delightsome people. What a marvelous condition to be a delightsome people whom others would describe as blessed!"
As President Hinckley stated during that 1982 conference address, all blessings promised to tithe payers will be fulfilled because "the God of heaven . . . made these promises."