06 June 2014

Judge not, that ye be not judged.



Two of the most unpleasant terms I've heard involving my religion are these: "Mormons are so judgmental," and, "do you know so-and-so? What a jack-mormon." I think the reason why the two sentiments bother me so much are simply because the two go so directly hand-in-hand. It is the judgmental that call out the "jack-mormons," and there are "jack-mormons" because of the judgmental

Let me explain. 

I work at a book-store. We sell books of all sorts but we sell particularly, LDS based books. Almost every time someone brings a book up to the register regarding pornography, or same-sex attraction, or intimacy in marriage (or lack of), they hand me the book face down, sheepishly, without making eye-contact, and with a red face. There is nothing that makes me more sad. Would a righteous church member in all their goodness make one feel like an inadequate member because of a possible addiction or hurtle they may be carrying? Would anyone go so far as to say, "did you see what book they were buying!? How embarrassing for them." Unfortunately, from personal experience, I can answer yes to that question. Some do have the audacity to make those kind of remarks. 

Now, I'm not talking about the mormon culture only - I'm talking about society as a whole. If we didn't feel the need to so completely hide our weaknesses, if we didn't feel so much shame in seeking help, if we didn't constantly feel judged for a burden we may be carrying... in essence: if we were not so quick to judge, jack-this or jack-that would be a much less common phrase.

In a General Conference talk given in 1972, N. Eldon Tanner said: "Only by suspending judgement do we exhibit real charity."

With my whole heart I believe that. It is my hope and prayer that through self-reflection and humility, we will more deeply love our neighbors as ourselves, more quickly offer help instead of criticism, and more consistently extend love than unrighteous judgement.

For truly, that is the way the Savior loves each of us.