Short Stories » Tithing and Fast-day Offerings

Tithing and Fast-day Offerings - Page 2 of 2

After the meeting was over, Mrs. Lane went a little farther on, to the Bishop's house, with her basket. As the Bishop's wife .took out the things, she remarked pleasantly : " How nice these will be for that sick family, and will save our going down town after these very articles ! This bunch of grapes will be delightful to the poor woman's fevered taste." Some general conversation then ensued and Mrs. Lane returned home.

A few weeks later Mr. Lane was taken sick and on his recovery could not go back to the store; his place had been filled, and in vain he strove to obtain another. By a dispensation of providence he was enabled to exchange some mining stock for a small house in the suburbs of the city, and thither the family moved. One cow and a few chickens, with a few fruit-trees and scant vegetable garden, afforded part of their sustenance; and, one by one, they were obliged to part with articles of value to get shoes, coal and light. Unable now to pay for their schooling, they kept their children at home to study alone as best they could.

Times grew harder month after month, until even the visiting " teachers " felt prompted to offer assistance. It would be difficult to imagine their distress of spirit when they were at last compelled to accept charity ; they who were all willing to work if work could only be had.

Doubtless the Lord had His own reasons for bringing them into this state, and they did not murmur against Him, but constantly implored Him to open their way before them, feeling all the time that they would rather endure even worse than this than turn away from the faith.

It was arranged that the fast-day offerings should all be given to the family of Mr. Lane, they being the only ones in that particular district in special need. In some way the matter became known, and little Bessie's cheeks and eyes were often wet with tears of mortification.

One day her father came home with some flour and meat. "Pa, don't folks down here ever bring anything for fast offerings but flour and meat ? Don't you think some syrup or fruit would taste good ?"

"Dear child," he answered, "I expect they don't think of it as you do. We must be thankful for flour, until I can get work. Then you shall have syrup and many other comforts."

Bessie's mother drew her darling to her side and whispered: " If we are prospered again, do you think you have got the law of tithing and of the fast-day offerings securely committed in your mind ? "

And Bessie, pale-faced and grieving, sweetly answered, "Yen, ma, and in my heart."

" Do you think you would have learned and understood these laws of God as well if we had not been placed as we are now ? No, daughter, those lessons He desires to engrave deeply upon our hearts must be written there by experience alone, and when, in His time, we are blessed with his bounties, let us do as we did before, and, with generous measure, pay these dues to the poor, in kind, of everything we enjoy, and with never-changing humility of spirit."

Bessie answered with a kiss, and turned to her supper of bread and milk, accepting the lesson of life from God with sweetness, patience and faith.

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