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We all wrestle with learning to give. This section will discuss our covenantal obligations to share with others. Someone has appropriately said, “We make a living by what we get, but we build a life by what we give” (as quoted by Thomas S. Monson in “A Gift Remembered,” New Era, Dec. 2001, 4). Any discussion on giving takes us back to the first section of this series where we discussed the four pillars of personal finance. An important part of learning to give is understanding those four pillars.

Much is written in the scriptures about money and giving. I shared a number of scriptures that illustrate the principles Jesus taught during his earthly ministry concerning material wealth.

We should give for many different reasons. I have come up with five reasons for giving that I think are important: (1) We have been commanded to give, (2) Giving shows our love of God, (3) Giving helps others, (4) Giving helps us become more like Christ, and (5) Giving helps us repay an inestimable debt.

There is a different type of accounting done in heaven—not an accounting of dollars and cents, but an accounting of our capacity and willingness to give. Elder Lynn G. Robbins made the following comment:

The truer measure of sacrifice is not so much what one gives to sacrifice as what one sacrifices to give. ( “Tithing—a Commandment Even for the Destitute,” Ensign, May 2005, 34)

In what manner are we to give? The following are a few ideas on the manner in which we should give: (1) We are to give out of love, (2) We are to give sacrificially, (3) We are to give wisely, (4) We are to give of our abundance, and (5) We are to give freely according to what we have been given.

Before you decide to give a penny (via phone, door-to-door, or by mail) to any charity, there are important steps you should take to ensure that your giving will be the most beneficial.

Remember that, just as the youth filled their bags with candy in Taz Murray’s candy store, we each fill our own bags—our lives—with the experiences we have while here on earth. We have been given instructions as to what is good and what is bad. If we choose wisely, we will be able to enjoy the good things in life. If we fail to choose wisely, we must reap the consequences of our actions. And, interestingly enough, the more we share with others, the greater our joy will be later on (see Picture 34.9).


Picture 34.9
Taz’s Candy Store


Now that you have completed this section, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you know what the scriptures say about money and giving?
  2. Do you understand the principles of wise giving?
  3. Do you understand why we should give?
  4. Do you understand the basic principles of wise giving?

Because God shares freely with us, we should be willing to share freely with God’s other children. From another perspective, learning to give is an important part of personal finance.


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