Saturday, April 30, 2011

Judging Others

   About 18 months ago I was serving in a little town in northwestern Montana called Eureka. I hold Eureka very dear to my heart, for I saw many miracles there and loved the people with whom I served around. One day my companion and I were walking down the street knocking on doors. As we were walking up to a small house, somebody pulled up in a beat up car and started approaching the house we were walking to. At a first glimpse, this man looked pretty rough around the edges. He was wearing raggedy, wrinkly clothing that did not appear to be washed or cared for. He had pretty messy hair and a scruffy beard. He had lots of chains, necklaces, piercings, and other forms of jewelry. I made an unfair judgement and immediately had the thought that this man would never want to listen to us, let alone join the church. But, nonetheless, I felt like we needed to talk to him. He turned out to be very friendly and expressed to us that he wasn't interested at the time but to come back later when his wife was home. To make a long story short, we went back a couplethree months later and ended up teaching him and his wife. A few short months after that, him and his wife both joined the church and are still active today.

Learn how civility and kindness go much deeper than appearances and quick judgments.

  Heavenly Father taught me a very valuable lesson about judging others. I learned that you will never know the potential of somebody until you get to know them and give them a fair chance. The common phrase says it all: "you can't judge a book by its cover."
   The Lord gave a warning to guide us in our judgment of others: “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye” (3 Nephi 14:2-5).
   In this scripture passage the Lord teaches that a fault we see in another is often like a tiny speck in that person's eye, compared to our own faults, which are like an enormous beam in our eyes. Sometimes we focus on others' faults when we should instead be working to improve ourselves. Let us strive to view others through the eyes of heaven - as special sons and daughters of God. The Savior taught, "by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. "
Who am I to judge another
When I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can’t see.
Who am I to judge another?
Lord, I would follow thee.
(“Lord, I Would Follow Thee,” Hymns, no. 220)

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said Elder Sargent. I know I've certainly been guilty of judging others once in a while and I'm working on that every day. Until we have walked in one another's shoes we will never know what people are going through. What a wonderful reminder to step back and look at everyone as Gods children no matter what color, race or background.
    Sister Chris Pyne


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