PROLOGUE. In 1992 I had a dream. I woke up at 4 am, the dream still VIVID on my mind. I had seen the future and I was so literally compelled for the next decade to come, even more, to pursue the development of an invention I called the Chordboard CX10.
Many of our faith promoting lessons on the blessings of tithing came early in our marriage. This one came in 1993 when I was submitting a patent application, and I had used the services of an expensive Lawyer to bolster my patent application, so I thought.
Now I could have turned it in without this special Law Firm title in the application, but I had read that it would help the Patent and Trademarks Office (PTO) examiners feel better about your application, to know that a patent lawyer had been involved and reviewed it. I had spent countless hours putting my huge report together (the application) with lots of illustrations and using all kinds of research that I had done. It was an impressive two inch thick binder of info. I felt that the Lord had given me the dream in the first place, for this invention, for it was a kind of miraculous dream where I saw the future and this musical instrument in it. I was very much impressed that I needed to do something with this information and so I diligently pursued preparing this application, even though I didn't have expertise. I did get the patent, which is another story, and especially how the final last ditch sales pitch persuasive interview on the phone with the examiner got him to say "OK.".
But during this process of back and forth, a 2.5 year process, I did get a bill from the Law Firm. Limbach and Limbach in San Francisco, and I had gone to San Francisco to sit down with the lawyer there and those two or three hours added up to about $800 which for me at the time, was a large sum of money. I felt that I needed the lawyer to do this right, and so I met with the lawyer thinking that somehow I would be able to pay the bill. I had no plan or savings for this bill. But I proceeded as I did with all the rest of it, the hundreds of hours spent preparing, editing, drawing, thinking, researching, websites, etc., trying to get this off the ground. I was short of just being obsessed with it, but it felt like an errand from the Lord. Hence, I moved forward and now had this Law Firm bill.
I had forgotten about it even though it had only been a month or two since my visit with the lawyer. The bill came in the mail and as I examined the envelope in my hands at the foot of our staircase in our home, I looked at the amount, realized we had nothing in the bank, and I immediately thought "I pay tithing, and yet I can't pay these bills." I was frustrated because I didn't know how to pay it. In a moment of faithlessness I threw the envelope down and hoped that it would go away. I forgot all about it.
Then the next month, another envelope from the same Law Firm Limbach and Limbach came, and I held the envelope again in my hands, and then opened it to look at the bill, again, and wondered if there was going to be some late payment, etc. The stress was a little high as I looked at it, and at the bottom I noticed it said PAID in FULL and balance due, $0.00. I thought, is this one of those moments you get too much change at the store and you walk out with a choice to make, do you go back in and give it back or keep it and steal it. I knew I had not paid the bill, but I wanted to see what they had to say about it so I called. I got the receptionist / assistant and asked "I'm calling to inquire about the status of the account for Grant Johnson on the patent application for Chordboard..." and she said just a moment, and then came back on the line and said "It's paid in full" to which I said "Thank you," and hung up.
I was somehow relieved that this worked in my favor, but I had guilt. I knew I did not pay this bill and I was worried that I was stealing to just remain quiet about it. Soon I was calling again and inquiring as to WHO paid this bill, and they said they could not tell me, and I said, OK. And hung up again.
At this point, the thought occurred to me, "Grant, why are you looking this gift from God over, why don't you just realize what has happened here and accept it, embrace it as a gift from God" and so I did. I thought, I pay my tithing, and last month I was frustrated as to how I was going to pay this impossible bill, and then it gets paid. Who paid it? I will never know. But it got paid, paid in full, so that the bank accounts of Limbach and Limbach were satisfied. To me, it was a miracle. A miracle that the Lord answers prayers. He can bless us in ways that we can not understand or know in order to satisfy His promises concerning the law of tithing. He said about tithing in the scriptures that there were WINDOWS of HEAVEN that He would open and pour out blessings. In this manner, my bill was paid, a bill that I could not pay normally:
3 Nephi 24:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my 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.
This scripture was originally given to MALACHI, from Jehovah (Jesus Christ before He was born in the flesh), but repeated again by the resurrected Jesus Christ to the Nephite/Lamanite nation on the American Continent. Malachi 3:8 ¶Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 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.