Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My talk

I gave a talk last Sunday. It went very well. I love giving talks! Here it is.

Amy’s talk
Our Dog has been hiding things from us, we discovered this yesterday when my Dad Rota tilled our garden and found over 20 socks she buried. Heavenly Father expects us to be good stewards over the resources he gives to us. One of the ways we can provide an increase is to pay our Tithes and Offerings to the Lord instead of burying our talents.

These are strong words of warning.in Malachi 3:8-108 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, where in have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.10 “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.”
This portion of my talk is from
Elder Lynn G. Robbins
Tithing, A commandment even for the destitute

The Lord often teaches using extreme circumstances to illustrate a principle. The story of the widow of Zarephath is an example of extreme poverty used to teach the doctrine that mercy cannot rob sacrifice any more than it can rob justice. In fact, the truer measure of sacrifice isn't so much what one gives to sacrifice as what one sacrifices to give. Faith isn't tested so much when the cupboard is full as when it is bare. In these defining moments, the crisis doesn't create one's character—it reveals it. The crisis is the test.
The widow of Zarephath lived in the days of the prophet Elijah, by whose word the Lord brought a drought upon the land for three and a half years. The famine grew so severe that many were finally at the point of death. This is the circumstance in which we find the widow.
The Lord says to Elijah, "Arise, get thee to Zarephath, behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. It is interesting that Elijah is not told to go to Zarephath until the widow and her son are at the point of death. It is at this extreme moment—facing starvation—that her faith will be tested.
As he comes into the city he sees her gathering sticks.
"And he called to her, and said, fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel that I may drink.
"And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
"And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
A handful of meal would be very little indeed, perhaps just enough for one serving, which makes Elijah's response intriguing. Listen: "And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first.
Now doesn't that sound selfish, asking not just for the first piece, but possibly the only piece? Didn't our parents teach us to let other people go first and especially for a gentleman to let a lady go first, let alone a starving widow? Her choice—does she eat, or does she sacrifice her last meal and hasten death? Perhaps she will sacrifice her own food, but could she sacrifice the food meant for her starving son?
Elijah understood the doctrine that blessings come after the trial of our faith. He wasn't being selfish. As the Lord's servant, Elijah was there to give, not to take. Continuing from the narrative:
"But make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
"For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
"And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
"And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.
One reason the Lord illustrates doctrines with the most extreme circumstances is to eliminate excuses. If the Lord expects even the poorest widow to pay her mite, where does that leave all others who find that it is not convenient or easy to sacrifice?

Heres another example from
Elder Dallin H. Oaks

During World War II, my widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager. When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things because we didn’t have enough money, I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing. I have never forgotten her explanation: “Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t. The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children. I cannot do that without the blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing. When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.”

My Portion
In Tithing Settlement Bishop Johnson reminded our family that the peace and love we have in our home was a blessing of paying tithing, I didn’t believe it then, love? Peace? in our home? Believe me it’s not always so peaceful! Two months ago our parents returned home from the Temple and found our home filled with smoke and a faulty microwave with flames burning in it. Our Dad was able to remove the microwave and searched the house. No one was injured because we were all at the Darly’s. The next day our Dad got pretty weak, perhaps from the smoke he inhaled the day before, but he was in a place he could get the help he needed. In Malachi 3:8 it says “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of hosts.I realize better than I did before that our family is blessed as we pay our tithes and offerings.
I have a testimony of tithing. I know that it has blessed my life in so many ways. I also can’t live without the blessings of paying my tithing. I know that it can strengthen families and bless each one of us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


joyous said...

Amy, that was a great talk. Why couldn't you have been the youth speaker when Jim and I spoke a few weeks ago?!?! Maybe next time!

Jules Janae said...

aww sounds like a good talk! I am not looking forward to speaking in my ward. but my roommate had been in the ward a year and just now has to give a talk... so hopefully i will be as lucky. I am just not that into public speaking. ;(

bridgett said...

mmb it hid ur hamster!

Tiffany & Annabella said...

You are such a great girl!! Miss you and wish we could have been there.