“Tithing is the Lord’s revenue system, and He requires it of the people, not because He is lacking in gold or silver, but because [we] need to pay it. …
The prime … purpose behind the establishment of the law of the tithe is the development of the soul of the tithe-payer, rather than the providing of revenue. The latter is an all important purpose, for so far as money is needed for the carrying on of the work of the Church, the Lord requires money that is sanctified by the faith of the giver; but blessings beyond estimate … are assured unto him who strictly conforms to the law of the tithe because the Lord hath so commanded.”
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are asked to give 10% of their increase to the Church. This isn't anything new, as the law of tithing is mentioned in the Old Testament. However, most Christian churches no longer consider tithing to be a literal tenth, for whatever reason, and encourage members to give what they feel comfortable with, or hold special fundraising time periods for specific needs (my mom's Methodist church, for example, asks members to commit to a dollar amount per week over a period of months when they are erecting a new building on their campus). The LDS church does tithing. Some members choose to pay one-tenth of their gross income, and others feel fine paying one-tenth of their net income. It's entirely between the person and the Lord. Once a year we get the chance to meet with our bishops and have "tithing settlement," which essentially is when the bishop shows you a printout of how much tithing the church has on record for you paying, and you say if that represents a full tithe. If it does not, you take measures to catch up and get back on track. Being a full tithe-payer is required for a temple recommend, which is what you show to enter the temple.
Why am I writing all of this? Well. Last year we met with our bishop at his house in early December. David realized then that he had missed paying tithing on a couple of freelance checks he'd gotten earlier in the year. Freelance money comes in sporadically, unlike his Ivy Tech salary, so the tithing is also paid sporadically on those. He really wanted to get them paid before the end of the year, so we managed to do it, but it was a little trying. Fast forward to a few weeks ago. We did our taxes and discovered that we owed about $3,000 total to federal and state. Not cool. It was a combination of things that did us in... we won something, so we're taxed on that (nevermind that we gave the winnings to a young widower - the government doesn't ask about THAT!), freelance work is taxed heavily, and not enough was held out. So, there was this big bill suddenly that needed paying in the next few weeks. We weren't sure how we were going to come up with that much money. We technically could, but you know, we kind of like to eat and stuff.
Then in the past week, things started to fall into place. One of David's freelance clients out of the blue said, "We want to give you a deposit on this job." A few other jobs that had been lingering forever finally wrapped up and he got paid for them. And one particular client who had been dodging paying his $1,500 invoice for the past six months called up and asked David to come by and pick up the check.
I'm sure you could say it was just serendipitous that these things would happen now. But I know otherwise. I know that when we are obedient, the Lord will not let us fail. "When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated" (D&C 130:21).