Tuesday, January 13, 2015

latter day loaves and fishes

Here is a perfect example of latter day loaves and fishes from the life of my dear friend, Victoria.  She shared this experience in institute last year and we were all touched by it.  

The principle of tithing is one that I have a deep testimony of: it's one of the few commandments which we can claim perfection while on this earth; you are either perfect at paying your  tithing or you're not, there is no gray area. Tithing allows us to not only show our gratitude to our Father in Heaven for all that we are and all that we have, but it forces us to admit that we are not self sufficient;  we need His help in our daily lives.

In late 1974, my family and I were living in Argentina. My parents were baptized in June 1972 and a little over 2 years later, my father was called as one of the first bishops in our city. Only one of the families in our ward had been through the temple to receive their endowments and be sealed, so my dad had challenged the ward to set a goal for all of the families to attend the temple. The closest temple at that time was in Los Angeles, California. Wanting to lead by example, our family set a goal to travel to the United States to be sealed, and my parents drew up a plan by which we would save the
money to be able to make the expensive trip.

The money was saved, funds were turned over to a travel agent to purchase our airline tickets, and a reservation was made for late in March, 1975 at the LA temple to be sealed together. A few months later, my father arrived at the travel agent's office to pick up our tickets so that we could then
go to the United States Embassy to receive visitor visas which would enable us to enter and travel within the United States. Once he got there, he was informed that the person who had taken his order had in fact not purchased the tickets, but had instead absconded with all of our money.

My parents went home in a state of panic; there was not enough time to save all of that money
again and be able to meet the assigned time that we had been given at the temple. Reservations for the temple back then required doing so by mail, and mail delivery sometimes would take more than 2 weeks one way if they were delivered at all. My mom then stated that we needed to get on our knees and plead to our Father in Heaven for His assistance. My mom told us that they were diligent, full-tithe payers and we needed to have faith in the promises that are found in the book of Malachi. So as a family, we began to pray.

A few weeks later, an envelope arrived in our mailbox: it was a letter postmarked from Salt Lake City.  In it, there was an invitation from the First Presidency inviting our family to attend the April 1975 General Conference (since my dad was a bishop), along with tickets for the sessions and funds to purchase airline tickets to travel to the United States.

We were blessed way more than what my parents lost in airline tickets; that is what Malachi's promise is all about. Not only was our blessing a monetary one, but it strengthened our faith that with God, nothing is impossible.

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