Monday, May 13, 2013

Sharing Time - May Week 3

This week we're shifting gears a little bit and going from talking about the many different teachings we've received from our prophets to delving into one specific topic, tithing.

The plus side of a specific topic is that it's easier to find lots of good ideas, the downside to one specific topic?  There are so many good ideas! 

I want to cover the basics of tithing (getting a little deeper with the older kids, but still staying pretty basic) by talking about some Hows, Whens, Whos, Whats and Whys.

How do we figure out how much money to give for tithing?  I found a few cute poems to help the kids remember this and we'll use one from A Year of FHE that starts (there's more to the poem, but I'll introduce that section later):

My Tithing
by DaLee Clegg James

A dime from every dollar,
A penny from a dime -
One in ten is for the Lord;
I pay him first each time.

There are also a few different games you could play to teach the kids how much money to pay (and to test Senior Primary) like this cute file folder game on Green Jello with Carrots that has you match the tithing amount to how much you earned.  Or this ice cream game in the tithing lesson on Parenting in the Latter-days (this lesson is pretty awesome and I'll talk about other parts you can use during Sharing Time later on).  If you don't want to print out a game, you can always make up your own just by writing an amount on a chalk/white board and asking the kids to help you figure out how much tithing you owe. 

I also like the idea of blowing up a tithing slip and using it to talk to the kids one of two ways.  First, you can just show them HOW they'd fill it out (you could even have one of the kids do it for you, talking about the different sections as you go) or you can cut it up (making it a puzzle), hide the pieces around the room and write each of the questions (how, when...) on the back, talking about them as they're found.

When talking about how to pay tithing, it's very important to stress paying FIRST.  There are some super cute ideas out there to illustrate this.  It would be hard to do my favorite object lesson with a whole primary, but you could have a teacher/leader help you out. 

Give the leader 10 small candies (like Skittles or M&M's) and tell them they can eat 10, but please save one.  Then, go on to do some other activity (or leave the room for a second to "get something") while the leader quickly eats them all and then stares at the last candy acting as if they really, really want to eat it (if you have a leader who would be willing to ham it up, that would make the biggest impression) and then you could either have them eat it at the last minute, or save it for you making sure everyone knows how hard it was.

Then give your helpful leader 10 more candies and ask for the one candy first.  Ask the kids if they think it was easier for the leader to give up one candy at the beginning or the end and compare this to paying our tithing.

Who do we give our tithing slips to?  You can talk about where the slips are located in the building and that they can give them to any member of the bishopric or even mail it to the bishops house.  You can also explain, that even though that's who we give them to, that's not who ultimately gets our tithing money.  The bishopric gives it to the financial clerk who records exactly who gave the money and then they send the money to the church office building in Salt Lake City.

So, once the church office building gets our money, what is it used for?  If you go here on Mormon dot org, you can see a list of what's done with our tithing money.  I'm pretty sure I've not been paying enough attention to tithing lessons in the past because I didn't know all of these. 

I'm going to put up (or read) the second part of the My Tithing poem here:

My tithing's for the missions
And for building temples too.
He asks so very little,
It's the least that I can do.

There is also a story and a wheel in the FHE lesson from Parenting in the Latter-days (I linked to it in the How section above) that tell you what's done with your money.  The story is about a little girl who has to decide if she wants to pay her tithing and talks to her mom about what her money is used for.  You could tell the story asking the kids to stand up (or raise their hands) as soon as they hear one way our tithing is used or go through the wheel in a similar fashion.

Now, this is the best question of all, why do we pay tithing?  Why in the world would someone give up 10% of their money?  Is it because they just really don't need it?

If you used the story from Parenting in the Latter-days earlier, you could ask if Emma could have used her money and then ask why she gave it anyway?

I love an idea from Sofia's Primary Ideas to have a leader standing outside a window so that as you read Malachi 3:10 to find out why we pay our tithing, the leader throws a bag inside the primary room (the windows of heaven opening).  Now, you'd have to make sure and try this out before because the windows of any church building I've been in do not open very far.  You'd have to make sure they'd be able to get the bag in without too much trouble and try out which location would work best. 

Instead of just having stories inside the bag, I would also have words to represent the reasons why we pay our tithing.  You could have the word commandment, humble (paying it keeps us humble), gratitude (we show how grateful we are by paying the Lord back 10% of all He's given us), this great quote by President Hinckley talking about how our tithing helps build the church, and a story or two.  My favorite is the last story titled, A Nudge in the Right Direction.

Testimony Challenge
We are blessed to have prophets who can give us counsel and direction in our lives.  So very blessed to have the opportunity to receive amazing blessings by obeying the commandments!  The only way to gain a testimony of any commandment is to LIVE IT!  So, I want each of you to make a goal to pay your own tithing.  If you don't yet earn money, ask your parents if you can hand the bishopric your family's tithing envelope.  Pray and ask Heavenly Father if tithing is really His commandment, if you really want to know and ask, Heavenly Father will always answer your prayers!!

Back to Parenting in the Latter-day's, if you want to send home a simple handout, you could use the maze at the end of their lesson.  It reviews all the steps from needing to pay your tithing, how to go about it, who to give it to, where it goes and what happens to the money you've given.  It's a really great review!

Have a wonderful week and a great Sharing Time!


  1. A truly fantastic sharing time!! Thank you for sharing it!! :)

  2. Thanks for the maze idea. Kids love these activities!!

  3. Just fyi - The money isn't sent to the COB it actually gets deposited in a local bank (two priesthood holders have to go together for honesty's sake). Thanks for all your insights and ideas.

  4. Wow, this was really thought out, thank you!

  5. What a great sharing time! So happy you shared!

  6. Thank you for posting your ideas and sharing them!


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