Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What is Tithing? by Anonymous

What is Tithing?

What is tithing?
I will tell you every time.
Ten cents from a dollar,
And a penny from a dime.

I like this poem. It's functional, it's memorable, it teaches not only tithing, but division by ten in general. It is also written entirely on a child's level. It's short, and talks about amounts of money that a child is likely to come in contact with. I wish I could have found out who wrote it. It was probably some faithful Primary teacher or someone on the Curriculum Committee who did a great service to the Lord and Humanity, but whose name will never be known.

President Faust says:
Tithing is a principle that is fundamental to the personal happiness and well-being of the Church members worldwide, both rich and poor. Tithing is a principle of sacrifice and a key to the opening of the windows of heaven. In Primary I memorized the tithing poem: But I did not understand it fully until it was taught by Grandfather and President Henry D. Moyle.

You can read more about the lessons he learned in the Oct 1998 Conference Report. The talk is called “Opening the Windows of Heaven.”


  1. I enjoyed the things you posted about Pres. Faust. Thanks for sharing.
    AND, I'm sure we have an old children's book that contains that
    tithing poem. I'll have to see if I can find it, and see if it says who the author is.

    -Kathey Ahlstrom

  2. ¿Que es el diezmo?
    Le dire’ ahorito.
    Es diez centavos de un Peso,
    Y uno de diez centavos.


  3. Hi Karen,

    We have several oversize books in the Little Deseret Stories series
    which were published by the Brigham Young University Press. One is called Tithing and is written by Karen Dixon Merrell. (First edition 1966, second printing 1970.) The very last page contains the tithing poem you were asking about, so I assume the poem was written by her. No one else is credited.

    Love, Kathey

  4. Of course, if President Faust memorized it in Primary, it would have been around long before 1966. I think it's more likely that she didn't credit anyone else because she figured the poem was common knowledge like a nursery rhyme--you wouldn't credit anyone if you used Humpty Dumpty in your book.

  5. Love your poetry and see that you have one of my favorites, although I never knew who wrote it. "Where Shall I Work Today", is a poem I have used for 35 years when leading Women's Bible studies. I am glad to see it has a known author.