I'd like to say I gained my testimony of tithing when I was seven.
I remember sitting quietly in Sunday School as rowdy boys ran swirls of irreverence into the carpet. The ever resilient teacher managed to break through the little boy mayhem with a "hands on" lesson. The teacher handed each of us a 1 dollar bill. Our fidgety hands found peace within the green folds of the cash which allowed our ears to listen. He taught about the law of tithing, how it was revealed, and how to uphold this law. He explained that the Lord wants 10% of our earnings. So in our case the Lord needed 10 pennies. He challenged each of us to pay our tithing and on the way out the door he handed each of us a tithing slip with an encouraging smile...
I remember turning the dollar over in my hand contemplating on shaking the lesson right out of my ears and stepping on it on my way to Franks Market. You see the minute the green touched my fingers I thought about blue raspberry, grape, apple, and strawberry tootsie rolls. My dollar could get me 100 of those little delights. But if I paid my tithing as instructed I would be out 10 tootsie rolls. After some serious consideration I realized it wouldn't be so bad if Heavenly Father only wanted 10 tootsie rolls. I mean my earthly dad's "tax" always left me at least 30 short. So I ended up putting a dime in an envelope and a spark of something in my heart.
I'd like to say I gained my testimony of tithing when I was seven. But this is not the case. The real testimony came when more than one dollar bill was in my grasp. The testimony came when I realized that Heavenly Father needs a lot more than just 10 tootsie rolls. I find myself month to month standing like a seven year old clutching my money and debating wether I will spend it on grown up tootsie rolls like mortgage payments, car insurance, and bills instead of sharing with Heavenly Father. I somehow tell myself I can spare a few and place the money in the envelope and add some faith to that growing spark in my heart.
The amazing thing is every month when we expect to come up short, we are blessed in excess. The blessings come in different forms such as a dollar raise to my salary and forgotten housing deposits. Each are beautifully merciful and very much appreciated. I'm so thankful for the testimony I grew of tithing. I'm so thankful for the joy that comes from having faith and living the gospel. And I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father always seems to share some of his tootsie rolls with me too.