In the most recent issue of the Ensign, a mother shares a story of the pain and challenges she went through when he sister decided to leave the Church and start living with another man. She details her struggle trying to figure out how to tell her two young daughters about their aunt's new choices.
Below are five tips published with the article designed to help members better know how to stop judging and start loving others as well as this personal account.
By condemning others in our hearts, we forget that the consequences of their decisions can be made right through the Atonement of Christ. In fact, we are told in Matthew 7:1 to “judge not, that ye be not judged.”
Here are five tips to remember when we struggle to love others with different values:
- Don't condone, but don't condemn. True friends don’t enable others; true friends empower their loved ones with Christ’s love.
- Remember, we have not been called to judge others.
- Don't take things personally. Sometimes we can be the source of another person's adverse reactions, but it shouldn't be our default assumption.
- Remember that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can make things right again for anyone.
- Shift your focus from anger to empathy, feel their pain, and think of the Savior when you think of others with differing viewpoints.
My sister-in-law Janey (name has been changed) was raised in the gospel and was a very committed member of the Church. After her seemingly happy temple marriage dissolved, people in her small community began to spread rumors and make judgments about her. She distanced herself from many of her friends and eventually the Church.
She started dating a young man, Andy, who soon moved in with her. I worried about what to tell my kids. My three young daughters loved their aunt Janey. Not only are our families very close, but she was their dance teacher, so they saw her several times a week.
For many months, they thought that Andy was visiting a lot, but I finally had to tell them that Janey and Andy were living together.