To me, the first law of wealth, the first and foremost principle of prosperity, is to truly honor the one from Whom our wealth comes, our Heavenly Father. As the Lord said to Moses:
And [if] thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth . . . thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. (Deuteronomy 8:17–18.)
Think about this with me for a few minutes. Did you create your life and can you alone preserve it? Did you create the planet you live on? Did you create apples or oranges or chocolate? Did these things just happen by a chance atomic collision? They did not.
I’m looking right now at my desk calculator. Did that calculator just show up there by chance? How did that little mass of plastic and electronics appear? Like all creation, intelligence and planning went behind it. Though I have a few ideas, I don’t know who created it, where it was created, or how it was created it, but does that mean that is just poofed into existence?
What about that piece of chevron amethyst on my desk. Was that formed by chance? Was there no intelligence behind that combination of minerals? Is is just a fluke? Just because we don’t know exactly where or how it came into existence doesn’t mean its existence is arbitrary. What is intelligence if it is not rooted in choice? What is choice if it is not governed by law?
What happens when we honor the Lord with this world’s goods? What happens when we freely give back at least a portion of what He has given us? Early in the Book of Proverbs we find these words:
Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9–10.)
The Lord asks us to love and honor Him. One way we can demonstrate that honor is by restoring, at least in part, the means or substance He gives to us. And what will He do for those who honor Him from the heart?
Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. (1 Samuel 2:30.)
Through the centuries, at least from the time of Abraham and Melchizedek (see Genesis 14:18–20), men and women of God have honored Him by the payment of tithes. We first read of tithing in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament. We also read of it in the last book of that volume. Through Malachi the Lord promised us abundant blessings when we honor Him with our tithes:
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:10–12.)
Anyone who has paid tithing by faith has experienced miracles, and those miracles, an interdependence between man and Maker, become a way of life. The Psalmist wrote of such men and women:
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. (Psalms 112:1–3.)
This is a principle we can believe in. It is a law of heaven, of the universe, that when we honor God He will likewise honor us. It is a law of reciprocation, a law of the harvest, that what we sow we shall reap (see Galatians 6:7; D&C 6:33; compare Job 4:8).
This kind of wealth and honor do not come by chance: they come by law. If they come by any other way, by any degree of greed, deception, or thievery, they will be fleeting. That is something you can count on.
By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. (Proverbs 22:4.)