Day 25 | What Judgment
September 24, 2015 - WEEK FOUR
Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
CONSIDER AS YOU READ
- Which is worse, to judge yourself or others unrighteously? Which is harder for you to refrain from doing?
- Is there a contradiction between the commandment to not judge and the commandment in verse 6 to not give precious or holy things to dogs or swine? Why is this latter form of judgment necessary?
As a student of the scriptures and as a former judge, I have had a special interest in the many scriptures that refer to judging. The best known of these is “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (3 Ne. 14:1; Matt. 7:1).
I have been puzzled that some scriptures command us not to judge and others instruct us that we should judge and even tell us how to do it. But as I have studied these passages I have become convinced that these seemingly contradictory directions are consistent when we view them with the perspective of eternity. The key is to understand that there are two kinds of judging: final judgments, which we are forbidden to make, and intermediate judgments, which we are directed to make, but upon righteous principles…. [W]e presume to make final judgments whenever we proclaim that any particular person is going to hell (or to heaven) for a particular act or as of a particular time. When we do this—and there is great temptation to do so—we hurt ourselves and the person we pretend to judge….
In contrast to forbidding mortals to make final judgments, the scriptures require mortals to make what I will call “intermediate judgments.” These judgments are essential to the exercise of personal moral agency… We all make judgments in choosing our friends, in choosing how we will spend our time and our money, and, of course, in choosing an eternal companion. Some of these intermediate judgments are surely among those the Savior referenced when He taught that “the weightier matters of the law” include judgment (Matt. 23:23) (Dallin H. Oaks, “‘Judge Not’ and Judging,” Ensign, August 1999, 6–13).
FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
- How did they get the man into the house where Jesus was teaching?
- Would you work as hard as this man’s friends to being your friends to Jesus?