It is my fear that we become so hypersensitive to an incorrect view of "judgment", that we limit our opportunities for sharing, learning and growth, and shy away from our own responsibility to “let go and let God”.
Let me clarify: I think President Uchtdorf said it brilliantly. I also think that many misunderstand what he said. "This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges or wanting to cause harm — please apply the following: Stop it!"
Stop what? Stop it! What is "it"? "It" is defined as:
Wanting to cause harm
I see a trend here. All of these words are negative, and motivated by sin. But all judgment does not fall into this category. Some judgment is essential. Righteous judgment is encouraged. These words serve as filters to help us differentiate bad judgment vs. good judgment. Hmmm. I like to think of it as discernment.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
Upon closer examination, you can see that as Tarzan reaches out and grabs the next vine, he releases the vine he had been riding on. This allows him to move forward, constantly grasping new vines to continue his journey.
Imagine what would happen if Tarzan grabbed the next vine, but refused to let go of the old vine? Exactly. He would stop dead - suspended in the air between two vines. To regain his momentum, he would eventually have to choose which vine to release.
Everyone of us finds ourselves reaching towards the Savior, towards the atonement - reaching and searching for forgiveness. It is inevitable. It is part of the plan.
The Lord said it better, and he didn’t even need to use Tarzan: “Wherefore I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespassesstandeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.” Doctrine & Covenants 64:9
The greater sin? You are telling me that my refusal to let go of the things that have been done to me - the pains that I have had to endure - will cause me to lose the Lord’s forgiveness and the power of the atonement? Yes. Exactly. You get it.
If we are unwilling to forgive - unwilling to let go - we are condemned, and have denied the core principles of the very atonement we reach for. Seems a bit hypocritical doesn't it - to try to get something for ourselves that we deny others?
I have witnessed the toxic nature of an unforgiving heart. I have seen an unwillingness to forgive prevent couples and families from moving forward and regaining their spiritual momentum. Stalled. Damned.
I have witnessed people who cling to the old vines of anger, accusation and resentment until they are so cankered that they no longer reach for the Savior. Spiritually stuck between two vines. One offers hope and joy, the other condemnation and bitterness. Personally, at times I have carried grudges far longer than I should, and I have felt those burdens immediately lift and drift away as I decide to release them. Immediately.
I have also seen those who labor to forgive find great peace and happiness as they free themselves from burdens they have been carrying for 10, 20 years, or 10 to 20 minutes. Forgiveness offers hope, peace and spiritual momentum.