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

3. Cultivate with the Holy Spirit a relationship of listening.

In another talk given at the April 1972 general conference, "Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged," President N. Eldon Tanner mentions the story of when the Old Testament prophet Samuel was guided by the Lord to choose the next king of Isreal, David.

When Samuel looked at David's older brother Eliab he thought he had found the next king for sure. But then he got this message from the Lord, "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7).

After meeting with seven of Jesse's sons, Samuel met David, the youngest, and was guided to choose him to become the next king of Isreal.

As President Tanner said in his talk, "The reason, therefore, that we cannot judge is obvious. We cannot see what is in the heart. We do not know motives, although we impute motives to every action we see. They may be pure while we think they are improper."

Instead of relying solely on our own judgment, we should do as Samuel did and trust in the spirit to guide us to the correct decision, especially with important, personal matters.

As Elder Schwitzer says in his talk, "We are given the gift of the Holy Ghost after our baptism, but often we leave this gift on the shelf, forgetting that He will help us in the most important judgments of our lives. The Lord gave us this gift, knowing we would face difficult decisions in life. Listening to this voice is vital in developing good judgment."

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