He Will Provide

He Will Provide

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

He Will Provide

Or do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit upon our thrones and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for us?

Alma 60:21

I had three children by the time I was twenty-one; money was always tight, and it seemed that week after week I sat with pencil and paper, trying to figure out how we would pay for groceries after our bills were paid. It was a constant struggle, and we were never able to get ahead.

When I was twenty-eight, my neighbor introduced me to the gospel. I knew from the first discussion that what they were teaching me was true, and very early on, I wanted to be baptized. I was finally receiving the answers to questions I’d been asking most of my life.

Everything made sense to me, but the one principle I knew I’d have trouble with was the law of tithing. How in the world was I going to squeeze 10 percent out of a paycheck that was already too small to cover our expenses? I discussed my concerns with my neighbor.

“If you are faithful in paying your tithing, the Lord will provide,” she assured me. She said she couldn’t promise that we would have any more income, but if I would examine my spending, I would find a way to not only pay my tithing, but to cover our expenses. She said maybe I would become more frugal in my grocery shopping— using coupons, learning to plan meals so that I could use every last morsel. Maybe I would become less wasteful— learning to mend my clothes, or even make them, rather than buying new ones. She bore testimony of how her life had been blessed by being a faithful tithe payer, and she knew for certain that mine would be blessed, too. She challenged me to exercise my faith and make the commitment to always pay my tithing.

I wrote that first check and prayed that the Lord would help me in my efforts. As the years went by, I discovered that there were quite a few things we could do to keep from spending money. I learned to cut back, stretch or do without!

• Instead of taking the kids to an occasional movie, we found things we could do at home. The kids and I loved riding our bikes together. It not only strengthened us as a family, but helped us to be in better physical shape.

• We planted a garden, and my grandmother was delighted to share her experience in preserving the food. This not only taught my children the value of work, but brought me closer to my grandmother.

• I searched for ideas on how to make gifts instead of buying them. Grandma taught me how to sew and crochet, my mother taught me how to decoupage and cross stitch. We enjoyed many hours perfecting our crafts and even sold a few. This helped me develop not only my talents, but even brought in a little extra cash.

• I got serious about looking for sales and using coupons. Why pay more for the same thing if you can get it at a discount?

• I learned how to make three meals out of a single chicken! I often remarked to my family that Brigham Young would be proud because of his counsel that not one grain of wheat should be wasted.

• I focused more on whole foods instead of buying packages of prepared foods that were filled with sodium and preservatives. I learned that when our bodies were fueled with nutritional foods, we were healthier and happier.

• I learned to repair instead of replace. This helped me appreciate the value of everything that we had been given.

I am grateful for my neighbor and her early counsel. Because she had a testimony of tithing and encouraged me to have one of my own, I have been able to face my bishop each year and answer honestly that I pay a full tithe.

The law of tithing is one principle that is very clear. You’re either paying it or you’re not—and the Lord blesses those who keep their covenants with Him.

Joyce Moseley Pierce

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