I'd like to talk about judgment today. As members of a church with a well-established doctrine, Mormons can sometimes be very certain that their interpretation of a given element of the religion is the correct one. In other words, we can all be a bunch of Judgy McJudgersons. It's hard enough to be a good person, but when voices from all over are telling that you're doing it wrong, it gets to be downright miserable. I've noticed that that the tendency to judge (one another and ourselves) has come to a head on several blogs authored by LDS women.
Anonymous commenters throw around quotes that are often incomplete (or incorrectly cited, in some cases) to establish that they are in fact in the right regarding a given issues. The truth of the matter is, it doesn't matter if the whole quote is presented or not, I'm bothered by this assumption that because *I* understood something a certain way, *EVERYONE* should understand it that way. The point I’m trying to make here is that we each personally interpret the doctrines of the church as they are presented to us. I think each of us is probably imperfect in our interpretation, but I hope that we all do it with the guidance of the spirit.
In March of 1998, Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a wonderful devotional at BYU regarding judgment. He differentiated final judgments, which we believe will be left entirely to Christ, and intermediate judgments. He then explained that “to be righteous, an intermediate judgment must be within our stewardship. We should not presume to exercise and act upon judgments that are outside our personal responsibilities.”
In the end, I think that a lot of us in the church (and probably outside of it) spend an inordinate amount of time judging each other for highly personal decisions. I have been very guilty of this myself, but it’s something I really desire to change. Having been judged harshly for my decisions (and some circumstances that are beyond my control), I recognize that it’s better for me to say, “You know what, I don’t agree with the way you’re doing that, but I probably don’t have all of the information that you do.”
How do you feel about judgment and judging others? Are you as guilty as I am? How do you change this?