If we are married in the temple and have a family what happens if one party has doubts? My husband has been a member for years. He obeys all the commandments bar one, tithing. For years he paid faithfully out of obedience. He has never developed a testimony of it. He was told not to pay it if he resents paying it by a member of bishopric. I worry this may keep us apart in the afterlife. In all other aspects he is a wonderful husband. He faithfully does his home teaching and calling. If he never develops a testimony of tithing, what does that mean for us eternally?
Thank you for your confidence in addressing your question and believing that Gramps may have a comforting answer to questions which weigh heavily upon your soul. Doubt is a relative principle all members face each year. Some members doubt the existence of a loving God due to the circumstances of our world. Some experience doubt with home or visiting teaching. Others experience doubt like your husband with the law of tithing. In your husbands case I am honestly shocked a bishopric member would provide this counsel to any ward member. In essence, your husband was instructed to break one of the most important commandments we have received as members of the Lord’s Church. President Kimball and George Albert Smith have declared (first quote from President Kimball — second quote from George Albert Smith):
“The Lord herein makes clear that tithing is his law and is required of all his followers. It is our honor and privilege, our safety and promise, our great blessing to live this law of God. To fail to meet this obligation in full is to deny ourselves the promises and is to omit a weighty matter. It is a transgression, not an inconsequential oversight.” (Source).
“… You have told me what you have done with the Lord’s money but you have not told me that you have given anyone a penny of your own. He is the best partner you have in the world. He gives you everything you have, even the air you breathe. He has said you should take one-tenth of what comes to you and give it to the Church as directed by the Lord. You haven’t done that; you have taken your best partner’s money, and have given it away.” (Source)
In relation to how this will affect your eternal relationship would require me to provide an eternal judgement which only the Lord is able to proclaim; however, when a member ceases to pay a full tithe, or any tithe, he/she no longer is temple worthy. “The purpose of the Church is prepare its members to live forever in the celestial kingdom or kingdom of heaven.” Our ability to attend the temple worthily is one of the most important elements of our lives that will protect us from the buffetings of the adversary, or the power of the destroyer. When we willingly disobey our covenants, the law of tithing being an aspect of one of these covenants, we remove ourselves willingly from the Lord’s protection and place ourselves willingly within the reach of the adversary. Our Heavenly Father is a loving and merciful father. He is also a just father who declared, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” When we choose not to pay tithing, this law has both eternal and temporal consequences; thus, whether we have a testimony or not — if we have entered the temple and received our covenants it is always better to keep our covenants than to break them.
As a brother in Christ, I would recommend that you exercise your faith in seeking the Lord’s help as you help your husband to gain a testimony of tithing and to overcome some unfortunate instruction specifying him not to pay his tithing. May the Lord bless you to find comfort through him during this trial in your life.