Short Stories » Tithing and Fast-day Offerings
Tithing and Fast-day Offerings - Page 1 of 2
LITTLE Bessie Lane lived in Salt Lake City, in rather comfortable circumstances, her father being a clerk in a large mercantile establishment. Bessie had two brothers and one little sister, so she had companions enough for play, study, or working hours. Bessie's mother was industrous, and never a seamstress or other hired help was engaged except in rare cases, for the mother wished her children to learn all useful home employments. They rented a plain cottage with a small garden and a few trees, and this set them often to wishing that they owned a home of their own, so that they might plant for future as well as present interests; they often, also, expressed their wishes to own a cow, a horse, and some chickens, and imagined how hard they would work if such could only be their good-fortune in life. Their mother once told them that God had promised to grant all our reasonable desires if we would obey His commandments and seek His throne by daily, earnest prayer, and they began to try to fulfill their part of the conditions with sincere faith, from that very time.
One morning in September their mother asked Bessie and Harry to carry down to the Tithing Office a peck basket of pears. They had always made it a practice to pay the tithing at the end of the year in money, but on this occasion Mrs. Lane concluded to send these fine pears. Bessie looked unwillingly at the basket and replied, " Why not let pa pay the money instead, as he always does."
And Harry answered, " I don't ever see boys taking things in baskets to the Tithing Office."
Mrs. Lane replied: "I have been thinking how the law of tithing used to be, that we should pay our tithing on just what we earn, or raise, or make; and if others for convenience or some other reason do differently, that is nothing to justify us from obeying the plain word of the Lord, especially when we can do so as well as not. So go, and perhaps you will learn a lesson."
Bessie and Harry each took hold of the basket handle and went down street rather seriously. When Bessie returned, her eyes were brighter, and she was in haste to tell her story. " O ma, you've no idea how pleased the man was to see those pears. He said they were the first ones brought in this season, and gave us credit on the book for seventy-five cents. Who would have expected that ? Then a man stepped up and said, ' I'll take the lot, if you please,' and the clerk said, ' No, these must be divided so as to go as far as possible; you can have three, if you want.' The man took three and then another one said, 'I would like three, I have a sick child; ' and a young girl said, ' I would like some too, for my poor old grandma,' and while we stood there every pear was given out, and, O ma, I wish there had been a bushel instead of a peck."
"Ma," said Harry, "I'm glad you had the word of the Lord right in your head; just see how good it turned out."
"Yes, children, the Lord knows just which is the best way of doing everything, and when He is kind enough to teach us, we should be willing to obey."
After this the children were very anxious to keep account and take a full and correct tithing of all the little garden afforded, and were very happy when one day the clerk said: "You little children are the most regular, prompt and best tithing payers in this department. Everything is so clean and fresh and you come as if it were a treat to you to bring it."
One fast-day morning, instead of taking some silver change, as had been her custom, Mrs. Lane filled the basket with small parcels, sweet, fresh butter, pack- ages of rice, sugar and raisins, and some ham, just what she would have used that day for her own family. Bessie and Harry looked at each other but said nothing, even when Annie, the eldest sister, said, "That basket looks so conspicuous and old-fashioned, too."