Thursday, June 9, 2011

Can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other?

For some time now it seems like a lot of the "Christians" I know have become some of the most very judgmental people I know. This makes my heart hurt in such a deep way. It seems as though people want to fit everyone into some kind of mold. My heart is also angry right now so I am trying to be very careful in my words. My 17 year old son has had his ears pierced since he was about 2. ( I didn't do it, and didn't know about it til after the fact) Also I was not a Christian when he was 2, and lead the complete opposite of my life I lead now. He hasn't worn earrings since he was like 3. He has been asking if he could put some in. We have said no, up until the point where he graduated High School, and is working a full time job. I feel like he is old and mature enough to make that choice for himself. The deal was he couldn't wear them to Church  or Church activities. Well last night he forgot to take them out. Someone felt the need to talk to him about it, and in so many words told him he was a bad role model (Not sure when he ever claimed to be a role model) and then questioned him in his faith and plans to serve a mission. Now we all know earrings come out right? Its not a tattoo on his forehead. He doesn't drink, smoke, do drugs, go to parties, heck he doesn't even date. He is an amazing kid that helps with his special needs brothers and sisters, works full time, is always home by curfew of before, and loves the Lord. Sometimes we need to pick our battles. If his having sparkly earring in his ears that can be taken out is my biggest concern for him, then well I think we are pretty lucky.
Our own Church prophet has given many talks on not judging others. We talk about listening to the words of our prophet, maybe we should make sure we are listening to all his words and not picking and choosing what works for us.

"At a recent conference for Mormon women, Thomas S. Monson encouraged women to be kinder to each other and to avoid criticism. Following is a quote from that sermon and several thoughts from previous talks on the subject of not judging others.
Each Person is Unique
My dear sisters, each of you is unique. You are different from each other in many ways. There are those of you who are married. Some of you stay at home with your children, while others of you work outside your homes. Some of you are empty-nesters. There are those of you who are married but do not have children. There are those who are divorced, those who are widowed. Many of you are single women. Some of you have college degrees; some of you do not. There are those who can afford the latest fashions and those who are lucky to have one appropriate Sunday outfit. Such differences are almost endless. Do these differences tempt us to judge one another?
Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” The Savior has admonished, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” I ask: Can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer—with Mother Teresa—“No; we cannot” (General Relief Society Meeting, September 25, 2010).

Courage to Refrain From Judging
May I speak first about the courage to refrain from judging others. Oh, you may ask, “Does this really take courage?” And I would reply that I believe there are many times when refraining from judgment—or gossip or criticism, which are certainly akin to judgment—takes an act of courage.
Unfortunately, there are those who feel it necessary to criticize and to belittle others. You have, no doubt, been with such people, as you will be in the future. My dear young friends, we are not left to wonder what our behavior should be in such situations. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior declared, “Judge not.” At a later time He admonished, “Cease to find fault one with another.” It will take real courage when you are surrounded by your peers and feeling the pressure to participate in such criticisms and judgments to refrain from joining in.
I would venture to say that there are young women around you who, because of your unkind comments and criticism, are often left out. It seems to be the pattern, particularly at this time in your lives, to avoid or to be unkind to those who might be judged different, those who don’t fit the mold of what we or others think they should be.
The Savior said:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another. …
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Thomas S. Monson, “May You Have Courage,” Liahona, May 2009, 123–27


Patience With Young People
 A proper perspective of our young men is absolutely essential for those called to serve them. They are young, pliable, eager, and filled with unlimited energy. Sometimes they make mistakes. I remember a meeting where we of the First Presidency and the Twelve were reviewing a youthful mistake made by a missionary. The tone was serious and rather critical, when Elder LeGrand Richards said, “Now, brethren, if the good Lord wanted to put a forty-year-old head on a nineteen-year-old body, He would have done so. But He didn’t. He placed a nineteen-year-old head on a nineteen-year-old body, and we should be a bit more understanding.” The mood of the group changed, the problem was solved, and we moved on with the meeting.
Thomas S. Monson, “‘Called to Serve’,” Ensign, Nov 1991, 46



Lady Rose said...


I'm sorry to hear that your son was judged so harshly.

Sometimes, I feel that as Christians, we forget that not everyone is perfect, and therefore, we need to "hold our tongues" when we don't know the entire situation on an issue. This keeps us from judging others unnecessarily.

The LDS resources you used in regards to treating others with love and respect were helpful and inspiring.

I pray that the Lord will help you to relieve your anger in regards to this situation.


-L. Rose

Busy Mommy said...

Thank you for your sweet words. Its not that we love the earrings, or even agree with them. But we are learning to pick our battles :)

He is an amazing child that truly makes me feel blessed to be his Mother. To see the hurt in his eyes, and hear it in his voice last night just broke my heart into a million pieces.

saskia said...

I felt inspired to bare my testimony on this on Sunday. I spoke about loving, and when we think we are better than someone because we are LDS, etc. etc. then we are saying we are better than one of GOd's children. My daughter has a boyfriend, he has been the best thing for her. If people knew what my daughter has been through, they might be different, because heaven forbid, she has a boyfriend and he isn't LDS. it's jsut the way people are, and well, they can think what they want, it's about us knowing who we are and what we stand for. If we know who we are, then what other's said, should never ever matter :) btw, I know about ptsd, and rad, and all that, it's not easy, but there is a reason why God has entrusted you with these trials, it's because you CAN do it!

Emily Fay said...

Dear Friend,

I am so sorry that your son was judged so harshly. I think the worst criticism sometimes comes from those in the church. There are many times I have to tell myself "It's the Church that's true, not the people." I think many people don't get the fact that we are "free to chose." And people NEVER see past things to see who the person is. I have had so much hurtful judgements too (you know) ~

Praying for you to find peace and healing - and comfort.

Emily Fay