It is easy to judge other people based on what we see and how we interpret them. But only God knows their intentions and circumstances.
I look at myself a lot, and the things that I do and say. Sometimes I do and say some really stupid stuff. I look back at me ten years ago, even five years ago, and can see how I've changed. I cringe to know that some people out there have judged me- defined my worth and my destiny - by a single act or meeting. They don't know the entire picture- they don't really know me.
Judging strangers is one thing. What about judging those closer to us: our friends and our family? Are we kind and forgiving, or harsh and critical?
The Savior makes it very clear that we will be judged in the same degree that we judge others. Heaven knows that I have good intentions, but I mess up… a lot. I can be clumsy in my efforts to do good- but I try. I'm guessing most of us are that way. I hope that the Lord would be understanding and loving, seeing past my foibles to my righteous desires. But only if that is how I look at/treat/judge those around me.
Back to the bumper sticker President Uchtdorf quoted in his last Conference Talk: Don't judge me because I sin differently than you."
It was a wonderful talk about not judging- about being merciful. I loved it.
Now, in the same chapter the Savior talks about false prophets, and how we should beware of them. That we will know them by their fruits. Is that judging? Not when we are commanded to be watchful for them. They are dangerous. It is a divine judgment call, you could say.
If a man comes to me telling me lies, it is wise to not believe him or follow him. I don't have to condemn him. That's God's job. I don't have to assume he had a terrible childhood, or that he will go to hell someday. I just need to see him, assess the situation and make a judgment call: No thank you.
Anyway- enough about judging.
Let’s move on to the strait is the gait and narrow is the way to eternal life, and few there be that find it.
I used to think that everyone, every person on earth, would eventually hear and accept the gospel and obtain the highest degree of glory. That as an altruistic way of looking at things. And it was incorrect.
Not everyone will choose the Way- even when they have a testimony of it.
Not all will be saved. Not all will be exalted.
That makes me sad.
It' the opposite of the Titanic. We are all going down, and there are more than enough lifeboats, but people are choosing to jump into the water rather, or stay on the ship, rather than do what it takes to get on one.
The Atonement has already been performed for EVERY person that has ever, and will ever live. It is there for them to use in their daily lives at any moment. But, there are many- and according to the Savior Himself- most that will not be willing to enter into that narrow way to take full advantage of it.
I know if I were on a sinking ship I would do all that I could to warn the people and steer them to safety. That's what missionary work is!
What did you think/learn today?