Carol Rice: Hey, I’m Judging

Related imageHey, I’m judging …

… the immodest dress of that newly-endowed bride.

(Now that I’ve got your attention, allow me to explain.)

You make judgments. I make judgments. We all judge. We’re supposed to. And in my opinion, this “don’t judge me” philosophy has gone a little off the rails.

In reality, we have been commanded to judge and been given instructions on how to do so righteously (see Luke 12:57, John 7:24Matt. 7:6Matt. 7:15–16D&C 38:42.)

It is not unloving or judgmental when we see a temple endowed bride, clearly not wearing her garments, and think, “That isn’t in harmony with the covenants and instructions we’re given in the temple,” while acknowledging a poor choice that reflects her understanding or frame of mind.  It’s okay to find it sad and hope for something better for her in the future. 

There is nothing in the above sequence of thoughts that is unkind, condemning or uncharitable. On the contrary, there is love and hope for something better.

The line is not when we assess people’s choices for their moral value. We should always be refining our sense of right and wrong by judging. We should be doing that a dozen times a day. It’s part of living the gospel. The line—the unrighteous judgment line—is in holding malice, feeling superior, concluding they’ll never change, and so on.

Recently, my son Andrew was asked to give a talk in church. As a young millennial, the whole “don’t judge!” subject has come up a time or two, so he did some studying on it. The following are excerpts from things he has learned:

The natural man judges unrighteously. Such judgment seeks to condemn and is conquered by pessimism and a desperate search to find fault in others.

Righteous judgment is when Heavenly Father helps us see the true potential of others, while also giving us, through the light of Christ the ability to know right from wrong the second we see it. To condemn the sin and love the sinner.

While unrighteous judgment robs us of our being able to understand and love others, righteous judgment allows us to see a brother or sister as one who can improve, loving them as Jesus does and as you would wish to be.

God’s quintessential command is that we love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind- and to love our neighbors as ourself. The Savior does not require his saints to be people–pleasers over standing up for the truth.

Elder Holland said once in an address that, “The Savior makes it clear that in some situations we have to judge, we are under obligation to judge—as when He said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.” A judgment is required there. He continues, “The alternative is to surrender to the moral relativism of a deconstructionist, postmodern world which, pushed far enough, posits that ultimately nothing is eternally true or especially sacred and, therefore, no one position on any given issue matters more than any other. And that simply is not true.”

I just went on one of the most enjoyable vacations of my life, to Disney World with my productions company at the high school. I roomed with a good friend of mine and we’d often end the day by telling one another about the experiences we had. In this friends group there was a boy that we both really love and enjoy, however some of his emotional and behavior skills struggle; seeming to have missed out on a few lessons on being polite. He would often become angry and lash out at others unnecessarily. My friend was being incredibly tolerant and patient with this friend of ours, however it got to the point where many innocent hearts were being wounded. My friend pulled him aside and explained that he was done, and that the behavior needed to change. He reproved with sharpness, truly seeing and understanding his potential, demanding that he leave their company to regain composure. Upon his return the behavior changed, and this individual was grateful for his sincere friendship. Often times those who are without boundaries cling to moral stability, yearning for absolute truth presented with love.

As disciples of Jesus Christ we must love our brothers and sisters, and to truly do so we must warn, correct, and judge righteously. As we work for and access the savior’s perfect love he unleashes that wealth of understanding, sympathy, kindness, and courage that is required for us to become like him and truly recognize others’ potential. Elder Palmer stated in this last conference that, “As we learn to see others as the Lord sees them rather than with our own eyes, our love for them will grow and so will our desire to help them. We will see potential within others they likely do not see in themselves. With Christlike love we will not be afraid to speak with boldness, for “perfect love casteth out fear.” And we will never give up, remembering that those who are hardest to love need love the most.”

I have a testimony in these truths, as a youth in this church I need to be able to stand up for what I know is right. Satan’s efforts are becoming more encouraged, and the society of my future will be one of few to no moral absolutes. As an Elder I want to be bold and loving, striving to make sure that the truths of eternity are not simply left up to opinion. I have been raised by a good ward and a faithful family, I know the truth of this gospel and I have a responsibility to share it.

Image result for temple marriageSo, I’m sharing it too. I will notice a newly endowed bride’s strapless gown or scooping back side. I’ll judge it to be an immodest choice based on the high standards we are taught before we enter in the House of the Lord, and the accompanying covenants she so recently made. I’ll notice when a young man is struggling—and make a judgment that he’s likely searching for answers. I’ll hug a sweet, young bride as I walk through her reception line and extend a hand of fellowship and testimony to her and the young man struggling.

I won’t pretend that abandoning covenants is okay. I won’t look to the world’s standards for answers as a way to bring peace and happiness. Why? Because I know better. Because I recognize their potential. And because I love them.

I’m judging—because they’re worth it.


Carol Rice photo - Communications & OutreachAuthor Carol Rice is the Director of Communications and Outreach for a an NGO who works to defend faith, family and religious liberty at the United Nations. Her career in sales and marketing has specialized in training and using the power of story. She has helped thousands of organizations and individuals share their stories. For over ten years she ran her own, successful on-line publishing company and has worked with prestigious storytelling organizations in the country, Carol and her husband, Scott, have five children and two grandchildren.

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48 thoughts on “Carol Rice: Hey, I’m Judging

  1. Leslie Meier

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post, and I wish to say thanks for your bravery and strength in writing what you believe and what has been in my heart and mind for a long time. I have been accused of being judgmental, and while it hurts me to hear that, yet I am forced to say in my heart “This is what the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church believes” and let it go. I agree we must keep some righteous judgments in our hearts and not utter them, so as not to be labeled the “J” word. I fear this will only increase as the world becomes more wicked, and the line is further drawn between good and evil.

  2. Kirsten

    This was fantastic. It cuts straight to the heart of the issue that SO many within our church membership are misunderstanding right now. As a friend recently said as we were talking about this very thing, “Finding the balance between “don’t judge unrighteously” and “don’t condone sinful behavior” is especially difficult right now. One way to start is to remember the correct standard is “don’t judge unrighteously,” and NOT “don’t ever make any judgements at all about anybody or anything or any activity.” I fear a lot of people do not understand this and they have fallen for the world’s philosophies about not judging and discerning. (Of course in response to this some will say that we are being judgmental without seeing the irony in it 😅.)

  3. Amanda

    Thank you so much for this post! You said exactly what was in my heart when i read that post. Your post was courageous, kind and spot in.

  4. Bravo!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    We need to refine our sense of right and wrong and try to discern how the prophets’ words should be carried out. It’s very reasonable and possible to acknowledge someone is making a bad choice (judging, in the good sense of discerning) and never come anywhere close to harboring harsh or malicious feelings toward them. We should be doing that a dozen times a day. It’s part of living the gospel.

    In True to the Faith, in the entry under “Judging,” it has one sentence acknowledging that we should not condemn, but then the rest of the entry focuses on how we’ve been commanded to judge not just situations and ideas, but also people. It’s possible to draw conclusions about a person’s actions and choices being wrong and simultaneously be filled with Christlike love for them (any calling with youth will teach a person that). I don’t see any necessary conflict there at all.

    Great post, Carol!

  5. John

    Excellent thoughts. Kudos to you and your husband for raising a son who is discerning, bold and kind.

    Elder Holland’s talk can hopefully help those well-intentioned but misguided individuals who may not be quite in alignment with understanding the whole “judge righteously” concept. It seems as though the whole “we don’t judge, we only love!” mantra is 1) a way to shut down the conversation with a proverbial hammer; and 2) distract us from the real issues being discussed–a complete diversion away from discussing that there a is something wrong with a bride breaking her temple covenants in the very hour she made them. Or with whatever issue is being discussed. This diversion is a tactic to basically brow beat those who stand up for truth, modesty and morality into silence, perhaps in an effort to get submission to the false attitudes about judging. This is the underlying issue in my mind.

    Elder Holland makes it very, very clear (no “buts” about it):

    “In this regard—this call for compassion and loyalty to the commandments—there is sometimes a chance for a misunderstanding, especially among young people who may think we are not supposed to judge anything, that we are never to make a value assessment of any kind. We have to help each other with that because the Savior makes it clear that in some situations we have to judge, we are under obligation to judge …

    In this process of evaluation, we are not called on to condemn others, but we are called upon to make decisions every day that reflect judgment—we hope good judgment. … When we face such situations in complex social issues in a democratic society, it can be very challenging and, to some, confusing. Young people may ask about this position taken or that policy made by the Church, saying: “Well, we don’t believe we should live or behave in such and such a way, but why do we have to make other people do the same? Don’t they have their free agency? Aren’t we being self-righteous and judgmental, forcing our beliefs on others, demanding that they act in a certain way?” In those situations you are going to have to explain sensitively why some principles are defended and some sins opposed wherever they are found because the issues and the laws involved are not just social or political but eternal in their consequence.

    In short, our compassion and our love—fundamental characteristics and requirements of our Christianity—must never be interpreted as compromising commandments or condoning sin.”

  6. Meg

    Thank you for writing this. this particular subject has been on my mind a lot lately and it seems to be trending on the internet as well. I have been praying to know how to act on certain issues with family and friends who are making choices that they know to be wrong. This article helped me to understand it’s okay to be bold and making righteous judgements is what we’re supposed to do. ❤️

  7. Anonymous

    Allow me to be bold: Focusing on appearance is what a Pharisee would do. “The Lord looketh… upon the heart”. Did you miss the point Christ was making when he ate with harlots and sinners? She is breaking a covenant by sinning, but it isn’t your place to punish her, is it? It isn’t your place to treat her as “less than”. In fact, it isn’t your place to point out her sin. She is aware of her own actions. You are acting like a Pharisee seeking to throw stones at those whose disobedience is more outward than your’s is.

    1. Carol

      How did I punish, point out or throw stones. It seems maybe you didn’t read the article.

    2. Lavinia

      Did you read the post, you’re missing the point! She’s not calling her out. People always say “Jesus hung with Harley’s and sinners” as if he was kicking back with them in a college frat party. He spent time teaching them, but didn’t hang out with them just sitting there watching them sin!

  8. Lindsey Servino


    I appreciate the intent with which I believe this was written, so thanks for trying to love. That said, I think you’re wrong here. To refrain from judging someone’s strapless wedding gown is not condoning it; it’s peacefully saying, “I leave it between her and God.” Your statements that you know what is right, can only apply to you. You know what is right, for you. You cannot possibly know what brought that bride to that moment, what’s happening in her heart, how much she is or is not living in integrity, how much love she lives her life with, what’s gone on between her and God. All you can do it wrap your arms around her and love her. Mother Teresa said, “If you judge someone, you have no time to love them.” Christ said love was the first and greatest commandment. To me, the line of judging is whether we are judging for ourselves or others. We have a moral obligation to judge what is right for ourselves. We have a moral obligation to leave what it right for others between them and God. With others, our highest moral obligation is to love without bounds.

    My experience is that people are perceptive; they can feel when you judge heir choices to be morally wrong. It drives them away and lessens your ability to reach their hearts with love.

    So, I’ll say it again: I believe God’s teachings are that we judge for ourselves and our own morality. We don’t judge others’ morality. We just love ’em.

    1. Carol

      I think I’m confused by your comment. To even say “I leave it between her and God” suggests you’ve made a judgement there’s something there to “leave between them.” Did I say anything different in this article? Sincerely, did I? That I would do anything other than love and hug her? I think that much of the commentary on this topic suggests we shouldn’t, or wouldn’t even notice, or identify sin? Do you see a danger in that? Thanks for your respectful comment. We might agree on more than it appears.

  9. Incredulous

    I suppose what the real question is: Why do so many people in the LDS church pay so much attention to the underwear others are (or aren’t) wearing?
    Really, what business is it of yours? Last time I checked, the covenant was between the person and Heavenly Father, not the person and you. Unless that person has specifically invited you to do so, your “gentle reminders” are almost certainly unwelcome and creating an air of holier-than-thou toxicity that is driving so many young people my generation and younger away.

  10. Mary

    Okay, Jesus’s teachings are quite clear..

    ““Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”

    You might judge a bride for not having garments on, but are you perfect? Do you gossip? Are you proud? Do you look after the poor? Do you harbour grudges against another?… and so on…

    I think what Jesus is trying to point out, is that we should be concentrating on improving ourselves. That should be our focus. If we are humble and introspective, we’ll have little time to judge the actions of people we do not know, love or understand.

    1. Carol

      Hi Mary. I agree with you. If I gossip, if I’m proud, if I’m rude giving unsolicited “advice” that’s none of my business, I would be sinning, in the wrong – and needing repentance. I need our Savior as much as anyone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  11. Brent

    Dallin H. Oaks had a good article about this in the August 1999 Ensign. He gets very specific about what constitutes a “righteous” judgment. This point is relevant here:

    “Third, 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.”

    If I’m the bishop of the bride in the revealing wedding dress, then maybe I will ask her about her garment-wearing practices the next time we have an interview. If I’m the parent of a young woman picking out a dress, then a conversation along those lines might be OK too.

    But if I’m just a guest at the wedding, then it’s none of my business. It’s outside my stewardship. I should be focusing on the beam in my eye instead of the mote in hers.

    1. David

      In part this is true but I think you’re comment still reflects a bit of misunderstanding of the importance of judging situations. We absolutely can take note of covenant breaking and not one person is saying in the post or comments that anyone goes up to a bride and says something. That is so obviously not good! However, we DO and should make a conscious effort to go home and teach our children and youth that obedience to covenants brings blessings AND we absolutely go home and teach a lesson on modesty and the garment and the temple. To not do so would be neglecting gospel teaching.

    2. Carol

      Hi Brent. I agree, such a wonderful article. Can you point out, in my article, where you perceive I have , “presume to exercise and act upon judgments that are outside our personal responsibilities.”

  12. Drew Armstrong

    The point is… to righteously judge you better know the hearts motivations and understanding. You cannot know that. Christ can and does… so unless you know every nuance of why the decision was made and what that persons motivation or understanding was, yes… keep your judgy self out of it lest you commit the sin of unrighteously passing judgement on someone else incorrectly. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

    It is out of fear for people who take this attitudes mortal souls that I cannot drink craft rootbeer from brown bottles outdoors.

    1. Carol

      Can we ever know a person’s heart like their Savior does? I would never presume I do. Yet, how do you personally, then, reconcile the command to judge righteously? What you’re saying sounds to me like we shouldn’t recognize sin, based on what we are taught. Am I misunderstanding your comment, Drew?

  13. Natalie

    My experience has been that judgment overshadows love. Every time, no matter your intent, whether righteous or unrighteous.

    The love you feel towards someone is lost when you judge their actions or the intent of their heart. And since I can’t figure out how to make love heard above judgement, I prefer to error on the side of mercy and reserve judgement for God.

    1. David

      No, no, it does not. Love does not supercede the law and the breaking of covenants. It never has and never will. This is a false teaching that good members of the church are falling for. I fear that this type of comment feeds the growing misunderstanding of the doctrine and all that Elder Holland and Oaks have taught on this subject.

      1. Natalie

        Love absolutely supersedes the law and supersedes broken covenants. That is the heart and purpose of the Atonement.
        I fear your approach pushes away people who crave the love their Savior offers them because judgement from good members of the church drowns out the message of love.

    2. Lily

      I agree. God is in control and I am sure he will do all the judging and correcting that needs to be done.

    3. Carol

      Hi Natalie. So true, love has to lead our actions, doesn’t it. I think we might define judgement differently, as I feel we need to learn how to righteously, wisely make them all the time. If I judge a movie maker’s choice to make a movie that would harm my spirit – I’m making a judgement. In that case, I’m even acting on that judgement by not giving my money to the endeavor. Learning to judge righteously is a critical commandment that I fear we don’t discuss enough. Leaving ourselves, our youth, to buy into a false premise that we shouldn’t make judgements, rather than learning together how to follow the command to do so righteously – which absolutely includes love, as you’ve pointed out. Thank you for jumping in and sharing your thoughts.

      1. Natalie

        For me I really like the distinction between judgement and discernment. I get to discern what I bring into my life, what helps me feel the spirit and what helps me deepen my relationship with God. Others should discern that for themselves as well. I believe that even within the LDS faith there will be differences between our conclusions as to what works for us. It’s about those differences that I feel we should leave judgment behind.
        For me, judgement has a lot of negative connotations with it as it moves very quickly into condemnation.

  14. Nick

    Ugh. If you go through life being saddened by everyone who doesn’t meet your (or the church’s) standards, then prepare for a sad life. In my experience, loving without assumption or judgment is ther better, happier way.

  15. Rozy

    Wonderful! Exactly what I’ve thought these many years of hearing “Don’t judge.” Maybe we can use the word discern which has a more nuanced and positive connotation.

    1. Carol

      I agree. But since recent commentary has used the word “judge”, I did feel a desire to respond specifically to the use of that word. But truly, righteous judgement absolutely needs discernment – especially in areas of stewardship. Thanks for your thoughts!

  16. Jeralee Renshaw

    I think the most powerful reminder for all of us should be President Uchtdorf’s words about judging.

    “Stop it!

    It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

    We must recognize that we are all imperfect—that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy—to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?

    Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? My beloved brothers and sisters, should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven? . . .”

    1. Carol

      I love that talk Jeralee, thanks for sharing. The sentences directly before the ones you quoted give the definition of judging,

      “This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
      Stop It!”

      I’m with President Uchtdorf and absolutely believe that kind of behavior is wrong, it hurts others, and ourselves if we indulge in it. I find it’s helpful to read things in context, since I don’t believe President Uchtdorf is contradicting the Lord’s command to judge righteously.

        1. Jeralee Renshaw

          I believe we simply love. Meet people where they are and lift where we stand, casting aside all judgement about these kind of things.
          We DON’T KNOW what is in another’s heart, or what their their lived experiences have been, or why they make the choices they make. We are not all having the same experiences in life or in Mormonism. So leaving behind judgement as Pres. Uchtdorf has so beautifully spoken about is my goal. “Stop it”. Is where the conversations ends for me.

  17. Damascene

    “It is not unloving or judgmental when we see a temple endowed bride, clearly not wearing her garments, and think, “That isn’t in harmony with the covenants and instructions we’re given in the temple,” while acknowledging a poor choice that reflects her understanding or frame of mind. It’s okay to find it sad and hope for something better for her in the future. ”

    It is acceptable to think all of those things and ponder them in your own heart. It is unacceptable to have those same thoughts find a voice and leave your mouth. It is injurious to chastise. Her relationship with God is just that — Her relationship with God. She will figure out for herself what she wants and what she needs. As she figures that out, she is supported by feeling loved, embraced and cherished unconditionally by her religious community for who she is and where she is in her spiritual journey.

    An individual’s spiritual journey needs to be driven from within. When others criticize and comment, the real possibility exists that the individual will make outward changes in order to conform to the religious community, but the inner more personal spiritual journey becomes stunted. Please ask yourself, what is your goal? Is it more important to have someone look a certain way that is deemed more culturally and socially appropriate to the religious community, or is it more important for an individual to figure out for themselves what is their idea of how to best honor God.

    Telling someone that they do not measure up can be wrapped in kind words. The words can be spoken very diplomatically. In the end, you are telling someone that they do not meet your standards and/or your organization’s standard. There is nothing about that action that is kind, inclusive, or Christ-like.

  18. Apete

    We cannot allow others to be thought police in telling us we cannot even think about judging situations. Of course we can think and observe when someone is breaking their covenants and making poor decisions in life. The line is drawn when we make assumptions or cast doubt on someone’s worth. Got it, folks? 🙂

    Putting down the “we don’t judge ever but only love” card is easier than what this author did. The “love, only love” is incomplete and I think most people know it. Sadly, this is usually a way for some to appear morally superior as compared to others who stand for morality and modesty because they want to show how big of hearts they have and be accepted and loved for their “non- judgement”. It is much harder to figure out how to put love and the law together, so the default tends to be the much easier (and dare I say lazier) way of dealing with difficult social and moral issues. It doesn’t require risk. It never gets backlash. Nada. It’just gets hugs and kisses and cheers of gratitude, despite the behavior being wrong or destructive or breaking covenants. It takes significant courage to take a stand on this complex issue of how to judge righteously while others are sitting down in the easy chair of “love–only love”. It takes no effort at all to say “I only love! I never judge!” but it takes great nuance, thought, skill and discernment to look at the scriptures, words of prophets and see how to make daily judgments on situations and behavior.

    We should judge the actions and behavior to be wrong when someone makes or enables poor choices. We should judge things that are wrong to be … wrong. Sadly, the alternate, easier path is what has gotten us into the mass confusion we see in the young adults today.

    We have the responsibility to ensure the standards and doctrine are taught over and over again. And if we are a parent, it is our duty to ensure we not only teach truth, but never lead our children astray by staying silent or taking te easier route by saying (incompletely) that we only love.

    The Elder Holland quote on here needs to be said and taught over and over and over again until we finally understand it and not shut down exploring the deeper principle here.

    1. Damascene

      If a parent is policing their child’s wedding dress choIce, that child is just that. A child. A child had no business getting married and no business making adult covenants. That is cultural coercion.

    1. Rache

      And what did the Lord Jesus say to the woman taken in adultery…”go thy way and sin no more” – He knew she was sinful and instructed to “stop it” basically! I get tired of being told “don’t judge” when how else are we to choose between good and evil? By making a judgement call of course. The Lord has given us His word that we may choose between good and evil!

      The Pharisees were not judging righteously! That is obvious!

      IMHO, A young woman who has just made temple covenants & then wears an immodest wedding dress was obviously not prepared to attend the temple in the first place. Eventually she will come to understand the sacred nature of those covenants. She doesn’t need me to say anything; but I will use her as an example ( not by name of course) when teaching my children or my class about modesty.

  19. Lynzi

    I am really struggling with this article, mainly because it goes against all the recent counsel we have received in general conf. to be accepting and non judgmental. The gospel gives us standards to live by, not to turn into a measuring stick for others.
    I guess my big issue with this article is you aren’t taking into consideration the idea of stewardship. If you are that newlywed’s mother, or RS president, and you notice her dress with the purpose of figuring out if there is a way you can help then I would say that is righteous judgment. But if you have no stewardship over that young woman, it’s it’s just straight judgement.
    I believe in the gospel with all my heart, I love the commandments, but unless I am given a specific stewardship over someone, it’s not my place to decide if others are keeping those commandments.

  20. Lavinia

    Thank you so very much for sharing this. I agree wholeheartedly!! I find it sad that people are missing the point. If someone cannot commit to a covenant they make in the temple, they probably aren’t ready to receive their endowments; and that is perfectly okay. This goes for wearing garments, to the word of wisdom, to the law of chastity. The are consequences that come from breaking the covenants. I would admire a young bride for being brave enough to admit that she isn’t ready to make those commitments than for her getting sealed in the temple and walking out in a strapless wedding dress for photos. All the while I’d support her and try to get her to understand the importance of the temple and the sacrifices we agree to with our Father in Heaven. It’s not easy keeping our covenants, but it’s worth it and the blessings that come from keeping those covenants are worth more than any fashion trend.

    Unfortunately, there are many eyes watching; from primary kids to Young Men and Young Women. All of us are an example whether we like it or not. So I when I see my kids primary leaders and youth leaders not wearing their garments while they teach about the importance of going to the temple, it is concerning for me. I don’t feel like I am better than them, or that they are less better than I am, but I am worried for them and know they can do better. I wonder if they truly understand what they are teaching my kids and theirs.

  21. Greg Barlow

    We are commanded to judge. Yes, it is true, fundamental to attaining the Christlike virtues and characteristics to which we all aspire, we must learn to keep the commandment to judge. The key to judgment is to learn to judge righteously.

    Elder Holland recently counseled us;
    “As you desire of me so it shall be done unto you,” the Lord has declared.
    “… Put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously. …
    “… [Then] whatsoever you desire of me [in] righteousness, … you shall receive.”8
    I love that doctrine! It says again and again that we are going to be blessed for our desire to do good, even as we actually strive to be so. And it reminds us that to qualify for those blessings, we must make certain we do not deny them to others: we are to deal justly, never unjustly, never unfairly; we are to walk humbly, never arrogantly, never pridefully; we are to judge righteously, never self-righteously, never unrighteously.” April 2016 General Conference.

    So tell me, if we are commanded to judge and to do so righteously, doesn’t it stand to reason that we are to learn this commandment by living it? We don’t learn and realize the blessings of the Word of Wisdom or the Law of Tithing, or any other law or commandment, without living them. Likewise we will not fully develop the powers of discernment nor the ability to assist in the salvation of our brothers and sisters without fully learning to live the Law of Judgment.

    Perhaps in this day of near universal licentiousness, it stands to reason that the secular culture screams that we must not judge. It might also stand to reason that we should learn and live the Law of Judgment like our eternal lives depend upon it.

  22. Brooke

    I think many who disagree with this article are making the term “judge” directly mean “assess worth, demean, feel superior, not love”. I interpret the Savior’s commandment and Elder Holland’s direction to “judge” as to evaluate and recognize something. Remember that often a Judge determines someone is not guilty and no punishmention is given. You judge how much space you have between you and the next car before you merge. We recognize and make conclusions to shape our behavior and gather insight about the world around us constantly. I hear lots of people saying that “we can’t judge and only can love”, but how do you even know how to show love if you haven’t recognized someone’s love language and made a judgement about how best you can serve them and show them your love, based on their previous behavior? Not judging means you cannot recognize poor behavior OR good behavior. The original article this post is talking about says “really? I didn’t even notice”…how then are we supposed to teach our children, or be missionaries, or stand for truth in uncomfortable situations, or speak out against bullying, etc, etc, if we can’t even “notice” sin.

  23. Jennie Hedworth

    Stand strong in the face of adversity. Satan works hard to destroy with the “accepting” this or that attitude. Everything is NOT fine and it is very clear that God’s laws are being taken lightly. Are you judging to point the finger or because you yearn to see your brothers and sisters make it back to OUR father in heaven. We ALL need a gentle reminder no matter what the fault. I see this sister pointing to the fact that we must not only love one another but help one another. Part of helping one another is also being honest with them when we fall off the path of righteousness. This sister is 100% right. Thank you for this much needed message. Sin will not go unseen when we are judged in the end.

  24. Whit

    For some reason I find it a little funny that there are so many judgmental comments on this particular article.

    One of my very favorite talks on this subject was given by Elder Bednar. It’s called, “Quick to Observe.”

    He said, “The issue was not earrings!” And we could say, “The issue was not garments!”

    Well done. Love this article.

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