I have been a member for years, in that time I haven’t gone a month without hearing a talk on tithing. The scripture from Malachi is always used. I’ve read all of he questions and answers on the site in regarding tithing. I get the impression paying tithing is the single most important earthly duty we have, even to the financial ruin of our families. What I haven’t seen is whether or not tithing will bar you from exaltation if all other ordinances are met. Can someone who struggles with tithing be exalted?
I’m going to make a correction, and I hope you’ll bear with me as I am thinking this out.
A “single earthly duty”… doesn’t exist. We all have multiple priorities and different things to accomplish at different points in our lives. When we are young, being raised by our parents, our duty is to listen and honor our parents. It is to learn the gospel, magnify our priesthood, and prepare for missionary service.
When we are a young man, we are to serve an honorable mission, receive the education we need to support ourselves and a family, get married in the temple, and start that family. As we grow, and our family grows, we are to teach, by word and deed, what it means to be a follower of Christ. We may begin doing our own family history work. I understand now that the youth are encouraged to do family history work because of their familiarity with the technology.
If there is a “single earthly duty”, it is to live our lives in such a way that we can always be a worthy temple recommend holder who attends the House of the Lord as frequently as possible. We teach our children that temple worship and work is a priority, that the sealing of families throughout eternity is a priority.
While your question was centered more about tithing and if paying it affects our exaltation… I don’t know. What I do know, is that the payment of tithes is an outward showing of our faith in the Lord and the desire to support His work here on earth. It is through tithing funds that temples are built and maintained for our use, so we may be sealed to our ancestors.
Let us look at the OTHER scripture in Malachi 4:5-6.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
I’ve heard it said once that if we don’t have the Spirit of Elijah in our own hearts, we have an individual curse upon ourselves until we do. Remember that a curse is a separation from God because of sin. An improper attitude could be a sin, unless we humble ourselves to seek the Lord’s view, accept it, and sustain it. We can help sustain the Spirit of Elijah by paying our tithes, doing our temple work, attending the temple, and praising the Lord for the blessings that follow.
In this perspective, yes, the lack of the payment of tithes will hinder our exaltation, as well as the exaltation of those whose temple work we need to be doing.