The Law of Tithing
Tithing is a commandment from the Lord to give one-tenth of all our increase, which we understand to mean income.
Even Abraham paid tithing, "And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed." (Alma 13:15)
Blessings from Paying Tithing
When we obey the Law of Tithing we are blessed. Malachi 3:10 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."
When we don't pay tithing we are stealing from God. "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." (Malachi 3:8)
An important part about obedience to the Law of Tithing is to pay it faithfully. This means that we shouldn't begrudge paying it, such as grumbling in our hearts about "having" to give money. In D&C 130:20-21 it says, "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." Meaning we receive blessings by obeying God's laws and when we obey God's laws there are blessings that go with it. Remember, blessings can be spiritual, temporal or both but are not always given in the way we expect.
How to Calculate Tithing
Since tithing is one-tenth of our increase, meaning our income, we figure out how much money, either weekly, monthly, etc. and then times that amount by 10%. You can easily do this by dividing any amount by 10. For example take $552 divide it by ten and the amount of tithing would be $55.20. You can also move the "." over one placement to the left. So if you take $233.47 move the "." over one spot to the left and you have 10% which is $23.347. I round the numbers 1-4 down and 5-9 up, which would make the amount $23.35.
It's also important to note that you can be generous with your tithing, by paying even more. (Also see "You Need a Budget: Software Review" to learn how to budget for tithing.)
How to Pay Tithing
Each ward or branch has a place where you can pick up donation slips for paying tithing, fast offerings, and other donations. They are usually located in boxes hanging on the wall outside the Bishop or Branch President's office. Each slip has a carbon copy (yellow) which you keep for your records. The white copy is handed in with your tithing. There are also gray envelope placed next to the slips which usually have the name and address of the Bishop or Branch President. See this large Tithing Slip picture for a closer look.
How Tithing Money is Used
In "Preach My Gospel," the study guide given and used by missionaries, it says on page 78, "Tithing funds are used to support the ongoing activities of the Church, such as building and maintaining temples and meetinghouses, carrying the gospel to all the world, conducting temple and family history work, and many other worldwide activities. Tithing does not pay local Church leaders, who serve without receiving payment of any kind.
"Local Church leaders send the tithing received each week directly to Church headquarters. A council comprised of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presiding Bishopric determines specific ways to use the sacred tithing funds."
Gaining a Testimony of Tithing
Personally I know that obeying the law of tithing is a wonderful financial blessing. When I was in college I got behind in my tithing and hadn't paid it for several months. Suddenly the money I was earning from my work wasn't taking care of everything. I ended up needing a school loan for the first time. I started paying my tithing again and the ability to pay all my bills and needs went back to the way it was before I had stopped paying tithing. I realized how I really was being blessed when I was paying tithing and how I wasn't when I stopped. That's when I gained my own testimony of the Law of Tithing.
It's a privilege and a blessing to pay tithing. As you put your trust in the Lord and begin to pay a faithful tithe of 10 percent of your income you will gain your own personal testimony of the Law of Tithing. See the article, "How to Gain a Testimony" to learn more.