There are several scriptures throughout the Bible, and the Book of Mormon that speak of love, kindness and forgiveness. In Matthew 5 verses 43 and 44 it reads: ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.
In Moroni 7:47 we read: But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endreth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
This is a principle that I feel like I talk about every week. To be kind, to love and to have charity toward others. It is commanded of us that we not judge others. And yet in our society there is judgement in every facet of our lives. Even in our places of worship we find judgement. But it is not our place to judge, it is our place to be kind and love.
I know that this is a difficult concept to digest. And yet as much as we hear about love and kindness, we still seem to fail miserably when it comes to our judgement of others and maybe that is why we have to be continually reminded that it is by learning to love and treat others with respect that we will become perfected in Him.
In a talk given by Bonnie L. Oscarson in April 2014 she says, “The adversary would have us be critical or judgmental of one another. He wants us to concentrate on our differences and compare ourselves to one another.”
“To be sisters (and brothers) in Christ, implies that there is an unbreakable bond between us. We take care of each other, watch out for each other, comfort each other, and are there for each other through thick and thin. The Lord has said, “I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:27).
Loving our enemies may be one of the hardest challenges we undertake here on this Earth. When someone is judgemental of you, I think our natural inclination is to be judgemental right back. We want to defend ourselves and prove ourselves right. But being right all the time comes with a price.
We must come to an understanding of how to live amongst eachother without judging another person’s acts or decisions. Even if they are hurtful toward us or our loved ones.
One thing I learned when I left the church for a time, was how clearly I could see the judgement of others and I would continually complain about the actions of others and that is why I made the choices that I did. But the truth is, I was being just as judgemental to them as I felt they were towards me.
I have often said that I believe that one of the first questions that the Lord asks us when judgement day has come, is how did you treat others? Working towards saying “I just loved them”, is our true test.
So today, my invitation to you is to re-evaluate the way you view others. Are you loving and forgiving towards all people? Or are you selective in who you choose to love? And if you answer yes to the second question, which I think is probable for all of us, then we all have a lot of work to do. Today, choose to love.