The Vanderhorst Family

The Vanderhorst Family

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Law of Tithing: A Gateway to the Lord's Tender Mercies

There have been many times in my life when it has been obvious that the Lord was watching over me or my family. One example was when my son was born 6 weeks early and had to be in the hospital for 3 weeks. It was a scary time and a busy time as I was in the middle of teaching my first year of school, and my husband, Grant, was in the last year of his college career at BYU. We could very clearly see the hand of the Lord blessing our son to grow healthy and strong despite his rough start, and helping Grant and I juggle our very hectic schedules at the time.

There have been other times in my life that I've recognized the hand of the Lord and His tender mercies, but they have not been so obvious. What might seem like a coincidence to other people, I consider a tender mercy. I have tied all of these small, tender mercies back to one principle: The law of tithing.

For those who aren't members of our faith, members of our church give one-tenth of everything they earn to the Lord, and we call this the law of tithing. It is a small way of us showing our willingness to give to the Lord's kingdom and a small way that we thank Heavenly Father for everything He has given us.
Some of Grant's coworkers have asked how we live in DC with a child (and another child on the way), and yet afford to only live on one income. Even though I tutor out of the home, the main source of our income is Grant's job. I'm sure it would shock his coworkers even more to learn that not only do we live on one income, but we live on 90% of an income, yet we have still managed to live within our means. While Grant and I have tried our best to live as frugally as possible, we know that the Lord has helped us in small ways.
For example, this past Christmas, Grant received an unexpected bonus from work. We were thrilled to have a little extra money to act as a buffer to our, but then about a week later, we had some issues with our car and had to get it repaired. The cost of the repair was only a few dollars less than the bonus that Grant had received. To some this might seem like a coincidence, or even a tragedy that we had to spend our bonus money on something as trivial as a car repair, but to us, it was the Lord's way of providing for an unexpected expense.
I remember when Grant and I were first married and I was working at a call center. We had just barely purchased car insurance, which was an extra $75 per month. Within that same month, I received a small raise at work, and when we calculated how much extra money I'd be getting a month, it was about 80 dollars.
There are so many of these small experiences with finances, that I know it's not simply coincidence, luck, or mine and Grant's hard work (though I do believe we have to be doing our best before the Lord can bless us). No, this is the Lord's tender mercies in our lives.

He not only has blessed us to live within our means, but the small spiritual blessings we have received have been wonderful. We have seen an added measure of the spirit in our home, and I have personally noticed that our family is more unified and harmonious when we all sacrifice together to live the law of tithing.

"We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance." Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

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