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Brothers and sisters, I stand before you today to bear my testimony to you that you need not fear if you quit paying tithing. Your financial blessings will not change.

I was raised to pay tithing, starting with the dime I would put in the tithing envelope when I got a dollar allowance as a child. Throughout my life until my late forties, tithing was always the first thing I paid. After a lifetime of faithfully paying tithing, I had tithing stories galore! I could stand in front of a Sunday School class and tell tithing blessing stories for an hour. 

Then the spirit prompted me to stop paying my tithing. I questioned this prompting. How could the spirit prompt me to disobey our church leaders? Nevertheless, the prompting came again and again until I stopped paying my tithing. The timing of this was frightening, because my life was at a financial crossroads. I had taken a job that was for a specific time period, and the year I quit paying tithing was the year I was going to need to look for new work. Every other time in my life that I have needed a job, I had been paying tithing and felt blessed in my job search. Imagine my surprise when, even though I wasn’t paying tithing, I quickly found a job that not only had better pay than the job I was leaving, but had the excellent retirement benefits that I needed so badly.  

Then something went wrong with my start date — it was delayed for a month. My end date at my previous job was firm, so I went a month without a paycheck. Fortunately, I had enough savings to cover that month’s expenses. It made me think about how I would have framed that month if I had still been paying tithing. I would have attributed my ability to still pay the bills to paying tithing. However, even though I wasn’t paying tithing, I could still pay the bills for that month without a paycheck. Whether or not I could pay the bills that month had nothing to do with my tithing, but if I had been paying tithing I would have spun it as a tithing blessing and worked it into my next Gospel Doctrine lesson on tithing. 

I realized that I had been attributing all of my financial decisions and blessings to paying tithing, even when it was actually due to other factors. Heavenly Father did not penalize me for quitting my tithing. Instead, obeying that prompting showed me that his financial blessings are unconditional. Heavenly Father “sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45) and he won’t make your family suffer financially just because you didn’t pay your tithing.

Now, if you pay tithing because you can afford it, you believe the Church is a good entity to support, and you want to pay tithing, then by all means, keep paying your tithing. This testimony is for those members who are struggling financially and wish they didn’t have to be full tithe-payers, but are worried that Heavenly Father will punish them financially by making things worse if they stop paying tithing. I promise you that any financial blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for you will be yours, with or without tithing. 

The time is now yours, my brothers and sisters, to bear your testimony and reassure our readers that they do not need to obey commandments out of fear that Heavenly Father will withhold blessings and punish them for disobedience.