Our guest post today comes from Mackenzi Gilmore. Mackenzi is probably the most energetic person you’ll ever meet! She is 16 years old and LOVES photography, fashion and pinterest! She aspires to be a film producer once she’s gone to BYU. She has two little sisters and a brother – all of whom are her best friends. When she’s not with siblings, you’ll find her singing or reading a good book.
When I was 15, my greatest ambition was to learn photography. Because I didn’t have a camera I couldn’t practice my newly acquired knowledge. I convinced my parents to give me a loan of 600 dollars, so that I could buy my camera. I had never realized what an impact or what an importance paying my tithing had on my life at this point in my life.. The only income I ever had was from babysitting and a couple odd jobs here and there – that all 15-year-olds know about. So I didn’t think that paying this mighty loan was going to be a walk in the park. However, I was ready and willing to do anything it would take to pay it off.
As the months went by, paying my loan to my parents became very difficult. Earning money was not easy and it for sure does not grow on trees. I had always been a diligent tithing payer month-to-month. As I was putting my money in my tithing envelope to give to the bishop, my mom approached me and said “Mackenzi, are you sure you paid all your tithing?” My 15-year-old mouth hastily responded “Of course mom.” Later that evening I decided to pray about tithing. I asked Heavenly Father if I hadn’t put enough money in the envelope and if I should put more. The next morning I had a feeling to put more money in my tithing, so I did. The very next Sunday, I paid my Bishop my whole tithing for the month completely full.
A month went by and I had only paid a measly 100 dollars on my big loan to my parents; however, I still kept working hard to my best ability to get better in the art of photography, and I did. I progressed so much that a nearby Middle school’s theater department asked me to take pictures of all their cast and the actors during their show. Of course I said yes! That night my mom was inspired. She asked me “Mackenzi, why don’t you sell these pictures?” I thought about what she said and replied “MOM, THAT’S THE BEST IDEA EVER!” and she helped me set up my shop to sell my pictures.
In my mind my projected amount of sale would only be $50 total. I set up my shop on the nights of the performances and I was incredibly blessed. I was blessed so much that at one point I had a line of people wanting my pictures. At the end of the event, I went to count my money so that I could go pay my tithing. I opened my money box and inside the box there was a total of $600 dollars. I was astonished. I immediately kneeled down to my Heavenly Father thanking him for this huge blessing. I knew in my heart that I had been blessed by because I had paid my tithing in full.
This experience I had with tithing is one of the most important in my life; I learned the true importance of paying my tithing and the blessings that come with it. It amazes me that a 15-year-old girl with no income can still learn the lesson of tithing. It shows me how powerful the Lord is and that he knows everything! But most importantly, it shows that he is aware of all of our situations and he listens to us. Elder Robert D. Hales said “Pay your tithing, Unlock the windows of heaven, and you will be abundantly blessed.” I can testify that is most definitely true.
What experiences do you have with tithing? How has paying your tithing increased your testimony?