Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Judge Not Unrighteous Judgments

Today I read Romans 2 where Paul mainly focuses on being the right kind of person. I'm not sure what the Saints in Rome were up to, but it doesn't sound like they were living the Gospel the way they were supposed to. It strikes me as interesting how often the scriptures say the same things. For example, I have blogged every day for 1 year and 3 and a half months. In that time, we have talked about the same things over the course of 4 books of scripture. And I'm not just referring to the Gospels in the New Testament. It is interesting to me that the Lord keeps saying the same things in every generation and with every Prophet that He calls. He is still saying the same things today. I'll bet that when we have General Conference this Saturday and Sunday we will hear a lot of the same messages that we have heard before. The Gospel has not changed, which is comforting.

Paul warns the Saints that they must not judge because they will judge unrighteous judgments. We have talked about this before. We know that it is unrighteous of us to judge according to how God will judge, or in other words, we must not make judgments ourselves of who we think will be a good fit for the Gospel or things like that. We make judgements everyday about people and what type of people they are and that is ok as long as we are adaptable. For example I have had to make many judgements in my life about people as far as who do I want to spend my time with. I seem to attract people to me for some reason. I am not quite sure why but people are drawn to me. They like me and want to be around me. The problem is they are not always the best of people. I once knew a gentleman who lived in the same apartment building as me who liked to hang out with me who told me a story once of how he savagely beat a man because he told him to not date his daughter. He was not a nice person but he seemed to always want to hang out with me. I decided early on that this was not a good person for me to be spending my time with. He was not living a life conducive to the Spirit, the kind of life a good Latter-day Saint should be living. Friends should uplift and make it easier to live the Gospel.

But Paul is talking about making judgements that only God is fit to make. Just like King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon taught us that when we see a man asking for money we should not say to ourselves that he has brought it upon himself, but rather we should render the aid he/she is requesting. It is not our place to judge what they will use the money for. It is our place to honor their request if we are able to. The Lord has told us that we are to care for the poor and needy, He did not say how we are to do that but left it up to us to figure it out. There are a myriad of ways we can help those around us and we should be helping when we can.

Paul also spends a large majority of the chapter talking about what to me sounds like not looking down upon those without the law. He talks about circumcision and looking down on those without the circumcision. That to me translates to we should not look down upon those who are not living the Gospel. We are not better than they are, we are just living the Gospel more completely. The fact that they have not heard of it or are choosing not to live it, does not make them a bad person. I have met hundreds of people who are good, upstanding people but do not live a life based on the 10 commandments. I personally think it is easier to live a good life when you are living the them, but it is certainly possible to live a good upstanding life without them. It just will not bring a fulness of happiness. The early Saints in this dispensation lost their inheritance in Missouri because they did not live this principle. They were haughty and looked down upon those who were not Latter-day Saints and were subsequently driven out. Now, what the people Missouri in those days did was inexcusable and they will answer for it to God, but it never would have happened if the Saints had been less proud.

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but the best tool we have to spread the Gospel is to live a good and righteous life, to lead by example. If we do this, opportunities will arise and we should be ready to take advantage of them. If we ask Heavenly Father to help us in this regard we will be prepared when they come our way. Few things can equal the joy that spreading the Gospel will bring into your life. I urge all to make it a priority in your lives and you will find it enriches all aspects of your life. Until tomorrow.

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