4 Tips from Church Leaders About How We Can Judge Without Becoming Judgmental

2. Listen to the messages of the living prophet.

During the General Relief Society Meeting for the October 2010 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson shared a short story about a married couple, John and Lisa, in his "Charity Never Faileth" talk.

According to President Monson's talk, Lisa looked up one morning and noticed that her neighbor's laundry, hung out on a line to dry, looked dirty.

Every time she noticed her neighbor's laundry, she would make disparaging remarks about how her neighbor just didn't know how to get her clothes clean.

Until one morning she noticed a change.

"A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out her window and see a nice, clean wash hanging in her neighbor’s yard. She said to her husband, 'Look, John—she’s finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it.'
John replied, 'Well, dear, I have the answer for you. You’ll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!'"

President Monson went on to say that no one is perfect and we need to be careful to follow the Savior's advice to "judge not" (Matthew 7:1).

But this is not always easy.

In his April 2009 general conference talk "May You Have Courage," President Monson also said it may even take courage to refrain from judging others.

"Oh, you may ask, 'Does this really take courage?' And I would reply that I believe there are many times when refraining from judgment—or gossip or criticism, which are certainly akin to judgment—takes an act of courage."

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I agree with President Monson. It does take courage to be the one who walks away from gossip. It does take courage to change judgmental attitudes. But as Elder Schwitzer says in his talk, "Each general conference and Church magazine contains advice from the prophets which, if applied, will lead us to good judgment. We are left without excuse when we ignore them."

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