Recently I was saddened to hear an unfair and uninformed public comment made about someone that I love. I was not offended. I was, however, grateful. Grateful because the person that was being judged was not present to hear the comment. I think it would have broken her heart.
It reminded me of this talk that I LOVE. I have listened to it so many times that I feel like I almost have it memorized. It is from Sister Sheri Dew. She gave it at a Women's conference at BYU when she was serving in the Relief Society General Presidency several years ago. I feel like it was written for me. I used to REALLY struggle with being judgemental. This talk changed alot of that for me. Now when I am tempted to make a judgement about someone, it almost immediately comes into my mind. Because this is an area that I know we all struggle, I thought it was well worth posting.
It is simply not for us to judge each
other. The Lord has reserved that right for
Himself, because only He knows our hearts and
understands the varying circumstances of our
lives. Principles and covenants are the same for
all of us. But the application of those principles
will differ from woman to woman. ...And His
approval is so much more vital than that of the
Another kind of judging is more subtle
but equally destructive. How often do we
describe a sister with words like these: She's a
convert. She's been inactive. She's a Utah
Mormon. She's single. She's a stay‐at‐home
mom. When we label one another, we make
judgments that divide us from each other and
inevitably alienate us from the Lord. The
Nephites learned this lesson the hard way. After
the Savior appeared on this continent, those
converted to the gospel lived in harmony for
two hundred years. Because they loved God,
they also loved each other. And though
previously there had been Nephites and
Lamanites and Ishmaelites, there were now no
"‐ites," as the scriptures tell us (4 Nephi 1:17).
They were one. The result? There was not "a
happier people among all the people who had
been created by the hand of God" (4 Nephi
1:16). It wasn't until they again divided into
classes that Satan began to win many hearts.
The Nephites never recovered spiritually.
Can't we get rid of the "‐ites" among
us? Can't we avoid this "hardening of the
categories"? We gain nothing by segregating
ourselves based on superficial differences.
What we have in common‐particularly our
commitment to the same glorious cause‐is so
much more significant than any distinctions in
our individual lives. I think again of our sisters in
Africa. The fact that my life is completely
different from theirs didn't matter. When we
left that last meeting in Ghana, I wept because I
felt such a bond with them. We are our sister's
keeper. Heaven forbid that we would ever make
even one sister feel left out. If there is anyplace
in all the world where a woman should feel that
she belongs, it is in this Church.
None of us needs one more person
pointing out where we've fallen short. What we
do need are each other's compassion, prayers,
and support. What if we were to decide today
that we would make just one assumption about
each other‐that we are each doing the best we
can? And what if we were to try a little harder
to help each other? Imagine the cumulative
effect, not to mention the effect on us
spiritually. Followers of Christ who pray with all
the energy of their hearts to be filled with His
love, the pure love of Christ, will become like
Him (Moroni 7:48). As we are filled with this
love, we no longer feel envy or think evil of
others. That's because "charity never faileth"
(Moroni 7:46). Charity is demonstrated when
we give someone the benefit of the doubt, or
readily accept an apology, or refuse to pass
along a juicy piece of gossip. Might we this
evening in prayer contemplate grudges we need
to put behind us, jealousies we should let go,
and relationships we could improve by simply
laying our pride aside?