Sister Duvall asked me a few weeks ago if I would teach a 4th Sunday lesson in Relief Society. I was to use the October 2013 Conference talk by Elder Bednar, "The Windows of Heaven." I told her I would if I could pretend the sisters were 4-year-olds, because that's what I'm used to teaching.
All my life, I've experienced material blessings from paying my tithing, and I've heard a zillion stories about how others have been blessed by giving 10% of their income back to the Lord. But I have to admit that I haven't thought too much about the spiritual blessings that come from paying an honest tithe - until I gave the RS lesson. There are SO many blessings! I would never not want to pay my tithing!
Years ago, I went visiting teaching to a young mother who said to me, "I wish I could afford the luxury of being able to paying tithing." I thought to myself, "How could you afford NOT to pay it?" I should have taken more time to respond to her question. Unfortunately, I didn't.
In Elder Bednar's talk, he mentions so many spiritual blessings that come from paying tithing. I wrote them all on the board. These spiritual blessings include, gratitude, enhanced discernment, greater personal determination, capacity to do more with less, a keener ability to prioritize and simplify, an enhanced ability to take proper care of the material possessions we already have, greater capacity to change our own circumstances, assurance, peace, faith and hope, courage, physical and mental stamina, enlarged perspective and increased patience, grace, conviction, confidence, and increased resolve and resilience After I wrote them on the board, I drew a raindrop around them, and a big cloud overheard. Then I used the analogy Justin Barber suggested when he said that only TWO times in all of the scriptures, did Heavenly Father use the phrase, "open the windows of heaven..." when he talked about the blessings of paying an honest tithe (Malachi 3:10), and when he flooded the earth in the days of Noah (Genesis 7:11). Just think of that implication!!!