Believe and Act To Receive the Promises

Believe and Act To Receive the Promises
Joseph Smith taught that: “...a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation” (Lectures on Faith, pg.58). We will soon have the annual tithing settlement.  It will be an opportunity to be sure that our books correctly record a part of our lives.  We will be able to see that the books reflect our faith.  In the book of Revelation 20: 11-12 it says: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.   And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

On Judgment Day, the books will be opened and Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught about which books will be opened to judge us: “The books were opened.  What books?  The Standard Works of the Church, the holy scriptures wherein the law of the Lord is recorded and the instruction given as to how men should walk in this mortal probation; also, the records of the Church wherein are recorded the faith and good works of the Saints—the records of their baptism, celestial marriage, tithe paying, missionary service, and their acts of devotion and worship” (New Testament Doctrinal Commentary, Volume III, page 578, emphasis added).        

The Blessings

We have the promise that if we pay our tithes and offerings the windows of heaven will open to pour out “a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:[10]). This type of blessing includes not only temporal matters but spiritual ones as well.

We also have a promise of protection for our fruits or efforts: “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 fields, saith the Lord of Hosts” (3 Nephi 24:11).  This includes the fruits of modern life, such as a career or any other effort we have made to build something. 

An Invitation to Act  

To receive these promises the Lord invites us to go to Him.  One way to go to Him is through the covenants we have.  The payment of tithes and offerings is part of our covenants, or of what we have promised our Heavenly Father that we would do.  The Lord reminds us that when we do not keep our covenants we alienate ourselves from Him.  In 3 Nephi He says:  “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them.”  Later He invites us to go to Him with the promise that He will come to us:  “Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts.” Then he explains that we return unto Him through the payment of tithes and offerings (3 Nefi 24:7-8).

After that, He invites us to act, saying “...prove me now herewith” [(3 Nephi 24:10)].  It is time to believe in the promises of a powerful God and to act in order to receive those blessings.

I know that the payment of tithes and offerings opens the windows of heaven and activates our blessings.  It is one way to elevate ourselves to live up to our privileges.  I know that God lives. I know that He is a God of truth.  He does what He promises.