“You cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.”

art by Eva Timothy

It was Christmas time and my grandparents had to choose: tithing or Christmas.

They paid their tithing. My grandma carefully wrapped a pack of canned cream of chicken soup in newspaper and put it under the tree for my mom. She looked at the near empty fridge, ready to get very creative for Christmas dinner, before she went to bed.

Then, that morning, her porch was full of so much that they literally “did not have room to receive it” in their refrigerator.

These moments are nothing short of sacred and miraculous. But what about when they DON’T come?

Elder Christofferson said, “We ought not to think of God’s plan as a cosmic vending machine where we (i) select a desired blessing, (ii) insert the required sum of good works, and (iii) the order is delivered promptly.”

That isn’t how God works. 

Maybe the experience is more like a vending machine with no selection buttons. 

We don’t know how those blessings will come or when…but we know something WILL come out when we put something in.

As Elder Ballard said, “You cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.”

God has said, “Prove me now herewith, 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.” (Malachi 3:10)

So, when we hear miraculous, obvious, perfectly-timed stories of the blessings of tithing, we can be encouraged—knowing that is surely the extent and personalization of the blessings coming our way, even if the connection is not as straightforward. 

Look at Joseph Smith—the Lord said “For thou shalt devote all thy service in Zion, and in this, thou shalt have strength.” 

Then continues, ”Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many. In temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling.” (D&C 24:9)

Joseph consecrated basically all of his life to the Lord—yet he still struggled with trials and finances.

His blessings came wrapped in different packages.

Ours will too.

So no use in comparing…

God has the perfect gift for you..with your name handwritten right on the top.


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