True Stuff that I Made Up

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Friday, February 26, 2010

It Happened to Me

Recent events reminded me of a life lesson learned long ago and far away.
My brief and reckless rebound marriage to my second wife had resulted in huge amounts of debt before she left me and all the debts.
I was frantic.
How could I make my financial ends meet?
I even worried about my ability to pay child support to my first wife, who also was struggling with our two children and another child with her new husband.
Then, as I forlornly sat, watching the televised Spring General Church Conference from the darkened back row of the chapel of the Zionsville (Indiana) Ward (congregation), I heard one of our Priesthood leaders promise us that the blessings of Heaven would pour out to us if we paid an honest tithe and increased our fast offerings.
When he first spoke this counsel, I shrugged it off as not applying to me and meant only for others.
After all, I already was paying an honest tithe as well as paying what I thought was a more than adequate fast offering, and still was mired in mountains of debt.
Besides, why should Our Father in Heaven help me out of a situation that resulted from my own poor choices?
Then, he said it again, and I slowly began to pay more attention.
Finally, I realized that this counsel applied directly to me.
Still lacking conviction in the outcome, I nevertheless gulped hard and vowed to triple my fast offerings.
It was a tremendous leap of faith for me to do that, because simple math showed that any increase in my expenditures only would make my personal financial disaster much worse.
And so, each payday thereafter, I first paid my tithes and then my tripled fast offerings, but not understanding how my financial plight could be resolved without an unforeseen influx of large amounts of money from a heretofore unknown source.
I wondered if and how that would happen.
Time passed, and I continued to abide by my promise to the Lord, all the while also doing my absolute best to be an extremely frugal money manager.
Then, after the end of the year and as I was doing my annual tax returns, I suddenly realized that I now was completely debt free and living completely within my means.
It just didn't seem possible, and I frenetically checked and rechecked my budget and tax returns, over and over again.
It simply was true that, while I was continuing to struggle but faithfully paying my tithing and increased fast offerings, the Lord quietly answered my prayers and blessed me so much that I could scarce believe or receive it all.
It was and is a lesson in personal responsibility and faith that I shall never forget.


Blogger Linnea said...

Sunday, March 7, 2010
I read your experience about sacrificing financially and the blessings that followed in my Gospel Doctrine class this morning. You could have heard a pin drop in the class as I read it. It had such an impact because it came from a former member of our stake, someone just like the rest of us. And the blessing that resulted for you didn't come in a sudden influx of money - you didn't win the lottery and a rich uncle didn't die and leave it all to you. It was your hard work and diligent management of your resources that led to the blessing of being debt free, especially your obedience to the call to give more to the fast offering fund. People were moved, touched. I don't know that anyone will pay more fast offering as a result, but I know, I could feel the effect your testimony had on those present. Thank you for allowing me to share it.


2:19 PM  

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