We all know it's important to pay our tithing. My parents taught this to my siblings and me from a very young age. I think that's the reason today that I don't even bat an eyelash when my husband or I hand over that check, even though we don't really know how we're going to pay the mortgage this month. It helps that my husband is rather firm on this principle as well, and that he makes out most of the checks... I just have a mild heart attack when the check clears the bank. =) Nonetheless, somehow we still have a warm house, food in our belllies, clothes on our bodies and gas in the car (most days). So, here's a Family Home Evening guaranteed to help your kids remember the principle of tithing.
Things You'll Need: Copy each family member a page of coins. It may be helpful during the activity for each person's coins to be a different color. If you decide to do that, make sure you copy each person's page on a different color of paper... Seems obvious, I know, but I didn't and wished I had later on. Cut out the coins and put each person's in a separate baggie or envelope. Get or make some typical FHE refreshments... they will be part of the activity before they are refreshments though. Then get or make one of your family's favorite desserts or each family member's favorite candy bar, but don't let anyone see it or know that it is part of your family home evening plans. Go to the Dollar Store and get a few treats or small toys. Take some envelopes and write "Tithing" on them. Decide whether you want to make each thing worth it's own price or if you want everything worth the same amount. If you want each thing priced differently (a little more 'real-worldly') then go ahead and write the prices out.
Scripture: D&C 119:4
Song: I'm Glad to Pay a Tithing, Primary Children's Songbook, Page 150
Lesson: Begin the lesson talking about what tithing is. Tithing is willingly giving one-tenth of our income back to the Lord and His purposes. What can and should we pay tithing on? In the days of Joseph Smith and the pioneers, tithes were paid on anything the Saints were able to call their "income". Sometimes that was ten percent of the eggs their chickens laid or ten percent of the beef they raised. It all depended on how each family met their individual needs. Sometimes it was paid in money. Today, tithing is paid mostly in money. Where does our tithing go? Members turn their tithing donations into their local leaders, who then transfer it directly to the Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City. Our tithing helps "to build and maintain temples and meetinghouses, to sustain missionary work, to educate Church members, and to carry on the work of the Lord throughout the world."* What do we get if we faithfully pay our tithing? D&C 64:23 says, "Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming." We will be blessed and protected if we obey and follow the principle of tithing.
Activity: After you have talked about the importance of tithing see how well your children understand the concept. Hand each member of the family their individual baggies or envelopes. Tell them that they have all just gotten paid. Pull out your bag of goodies from the Dollar Store and lay your treasures out for all to see. Exclaim that the store is now open and that your family members are free to purchase the goodies with their coins. While everyone's eyes are wide and wonderous from the new toys and treats set out the envelopes you labeled "Tithing". Go get the standard FHE treats and set them out as an option, too. Another idea is to have all of this already set up on the kitchen table and to lead your family into the kitchen after you hand out their coins. Spend 15-20 minutes letting everyone spend their coins. After all the coins are spent, gather the envelopes you labeled "Tithing" and see how many family members remembered to pay their tithing. Tell them that because they remembered to give back to the Lord they will be blessed. Sometimes the blessings are saved for us until the next life, but sometimes we get them in this life. Pull out the super yummy dessert you had stashed away and tell them this is their blessing. Everyone who didn't remember to pay tithing can eat some of the first dessert, while only those who remembered to pay their tithing get to reap the blessings!
This will all depend on your family. If you make rice crispy treats as your first dessert, have ice cream sundaes or something a little more grandiose for your "blessing".
Click on the picture and it will make it full size. You can print it from there. You can scale it up to 125% and they will all fit on one page, depending how big you want them.