Display the ten apples (or other objects) where all can see. Proceed to ask the following questions:
• If I were to give you these ten apples and then ask you for only one of them back, would you be willing to give it to me? Raise your hand if you would.
• Who made it possible for apples to grow?
• Who made the earth?
Emphasize that this world and everything good in it have been given to us by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They love and care for each of us. We can show our appreciation for their love and goodness by obeying their commandments and doing our part to help strengthen the Church.
Explain that this lesson is about an important commandment. When we obey this commandment, we help the Church grow.
Ask the children to listen as you read Doctrine and Covenants 119:3–4. Then ask the following questions:
• What commandment are we going to discuss? (Tithing.)
• What is tithing?
Review the concept that tithing means one-tenth. Show the children ten coins, and ask:
• If a person earned this much money, how much tithing should that person pay?
Let a child come up and pick one coin for tithing.
Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have asked Church members to give one-tenth of the money they earn to the Church for tithing. Since everything we have comes in one way or another from Heavenly Father, paying tithing is really just giving one-tenth back to him. Tithing belongs to Heavenly Father, and we should not keep it from him.
Show a Tithing and Other Offerings envelope. Explain where the Tithing and Other Offerings envelopes and slips can be found in your ward meetinghouse. These envelopes are usually found near the bishop’s office. They are used in paying tithing.
Pass out a Tithing and Other Offerings envelope and slip and a pencil to each child. Show the children where to write their names and write the amount of tithing being paid.
Explain that when they pay their tithing, they should fill out the slip, place the money in the envelope, seal it, print their name on the front, and give it to the bishop or one of his counselors.
Have the children print their names on the front of the envelopes.
Emphasize how important it is to pay one-tenth of any money we earn or receive to the bishop for tithing.
Explain what happens to the tithing after the bishop receives it. It is counted, and the tithing is sent to Church headquarters. The leaders of the Church then use it in different ways to help the Church grow, such as building temples and meetinghouses, providing materials for us to study, and for seminaries to help us learn the gospel.
Share the following story:
Patricia and DeWayne Warnock, “Tithing Shoes,”
Friend, Nov 2007, 10–12
He gave him tithes of all (Genesis 14:20).
(Based on a true story)
“I can’t go to church on Sunday!”
Jene looked up in surprise when she heard those words coming from her older brother, Rolf. On Rolf’s feet were shoes that were too worn out to wear anymore. His toes stuck out from under torn leather. Ragged ends of broken shoelaces dangled uselessly. These were the only shoes Rolf had.
“I can’t walk around in these anymore,” he said. “And I can’t go to church or to town without shoes.” He flopped down on the floor and rested his chin in his hands.
Mother walked over to the kitchen cupboard and pulled out a jar. The children knew what was in that jar—tithing money.
Holding out a few dollar bills, Mother said: “This is all the money I have. It’s enough to pay tithing on what your father was paid the last time he found work.” They all stared at it for a minute, and then she added, “It would be enough to buy shoes, but I can’t do both.”
She put the money back in the jar and sat down at the kitchen table. “I need to think about this for a while,” she said.
For a long time the children played quietly, trying not to disturb their mother while she sat at the table. Finally, she stood up and walked toward the door. “I don’t know what Rolf will do for shoes,” she said quietly. “But I’ll feel better if our tithing is paid. I’ll go take the money down to the bishop’s house right now,” she said.
Jene ran out the door behind her. “Can I go too?” she asked.
“Yes, come along if you want,” Mother said.
Jene and her mother silently walked the six blocks to the bishop’s house. As they reached the door, her mother took the money out of her pocket and looked at it one more time. Jene saw the worried look on her mother’s face.
“Come in, come in,” Bishop Johnson said, smiling at them. He shook Jene’s hand and thanked her mother when she handed him the money. Then he said, “I know it’s not easy sometimes to pay tithing, but the Lord blesses us when we do.”
On their way home, Jene and her mother saw their neighbor Mrs. Colgrove coming out her front door. She waved for them to come over to her front gate. As they got closer, Mrs. Colgrove held out a pair of leather shoes to Jene’s mother.
“I’ve been meaning to bring these over to you,” she said. “I thought maybe one of your children could use them.”
Mother looked at the shoes with amazement. Jene clapped her hands happily as she realized they looked very close to the size Rolf needed.
Finally Mother was able to speak. “Thank you … thank you so much,” she said, rubbing the soft leather.
Jene took off running toward home. Bursting through the kitchen door she shouted:
“Rolf, Rolf! You have new shoes!”
Rolf jumped up, looking puzzled. Jene pointed outside to their mother who was walking into the yard holding the shoes. Soon Mother was explaining to Rolf where the shoes had come from.
Rolf quickly put them on and marched around the room to show how well they fit. Picking up the old pair of raggedy shoes from the floor, he said, “Now we can dump these in the garbage where they belong!”
“Oh no,” Mother said, taking the shoes out of his hands. “These are very special shoes,” she said. “They need to be kept in a special place.”
Jene and Rolf followed her to her bedroom and watched as she opened a big wooden chest.
“Why would you want to put those old shoes in there?” Jene asked.
With a tear in her eye, Mother answered: “These shoes need to be kept forever.
Whenever we look at them we’ll remember that the Lord blesses us when we pay our tithing.”
Jene and Rolf grew up and had children and homes of their own. When their mother died, Jene was given the wooden trunk full of special things. The shoes are still in there and are taken out from time to time so that children and grandchildren can hear the story about the lesson learned long ago from a pair of old, worn-out shoes.
“If we decide now to be a full-tithe payer and if we are steady in paying it, blessings will flow.” Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 40.
Tell the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have promised to bless us if we pay our tithing.
Read Malachi 3:10.
• What do you think it means when Heavenly Father promises to open the windows of heaven and bless us?
Explain that blessings come to those who pay their tithing. President Heber J. Grant, one of our latter-day prophets, said that we would be blessed with a greater knowledge of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, a stronger testimony, and an increased ability to obey the commandments (see Conference Report, Apr. 1925, p. 10). Other latter-day prophets have also told us that when we pay our tithing, we will prosper. Prosper means that we will be blessed with material needs such as food and shelter.
• Would you like these blessings?
Point out that Heavenly Father blesses all people who pay their tithing. Tell the children that their Heavenly Father loves them, and though he may not bless them all in the same way, when they pay their tithing he will bless them in the ways that are best for them.
Emphasize that we should be faithful, pay an honest and full tithing, and trust in Heavenly Father.
Help the children arrange their chairs in a circle, or have them sit in a circle on the floor. Play spin the bottle. Place a bottle in the center of the circle of chairs. Spin the bottle. The child at whom the bottle points after it stops will be given the chance to agree or disagree. Then that child will spin the bottle.
If time permits, you may wish to replay the game.
Read the following statements. If the person disagrees, have the children supply the correct information.
1. It is a commandment to pay tithing. (Agree.)
2. Tithing means one-fifth. (Disagree. Tithing means one-tenth.)
3. We pay our tithing to the Church. (Agree.)
4. Tithing is used to help build Church buildings. (Agree.)
5. Tithing is used to help support missionary work, print books, and help with family history and temple work. (Agree.)
6. It doesn’t matter if we pay tithing. (Disagree.)
7. Heavenly Father and Jesus bless us when we pay our tithing. (Agree.)
Conclude the lesson by bearing your testimony of the blessings of paying tithing. Encourage the children to always choose the right and pay their tithing gladly.
Help the children prepare a special place where they can keep their tithing money separate from the rest of their money. It could be a box, a small jar/can, or an envelope. Tell them that each time they earn money they should first take the amount needed to pay tithing and place it in their special container. Then they can move on to filling out the appropriate form to submit their tithing to a member in the Bishopric.
Tithing has always been important in my life. I have always loved the scripture in Malachi 3:10 where it says “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.” I have always believed that scripture. I have never felt like I cannot pay my tithing because I don’t have the money. I have always felt like I will be blessed no matter what for paying it. I have been really working hard on teaching my children about paying their tithing. They have been doing pretty good with it too. My 7 year old son has had a kool aid stand a couple of times this summer and has made a little money, and we have talked about paying his tithing on it. I was worried that he wouldn’t want to. But he was actually excited to do so.
“Lesson 33: I Can Pay Tithing,” Primary 2: Choose the Right A, 176