- Strained and broken relationships are as old as humankind itself. Ancient Cain was the first who allowed the cancer of bitterness and malice to canker his heart. He tilled the ground of his soul with envy and hatred and allowed these feelings to ripen until he did the unthinkable—murdering his own brother and becoming, in the process, the father of Satan’s lies. Since those first days the spirit of envy and hatred has led to some of the most tragic stories in history. It turned Saul against David, the sons of Jacob against their brother Joseph, Laman and Lemuel against Nephi, and Amalickiah against Moroni.
Judging others is a key part of the resentment that builds between two people. It is one key action that we need to work to overcome.
- We can so clearly and easily see the harmful results that come when others judge and hold grudges. And we certainly don’t like it when people judge us. But when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that, in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt.
The Lord doesn't justify our actions when it comes to judging others. We need to be kind and loving just as the Savior was to those that hurt Him and showed a lack of compassion. President Uchtdorf breaks from his talk for just a moment to remind us that we need to be forgiving of others but the hardest person to forgive is usually the person we look at in the mirror.
- When the Lord requires that we forgive all men, that includes forgiving ourselves. Sometimes, of all the people in the world, the one who is the hardest to forgive—as well as perhaps the one who is most in need of our forgiveness—is the person looking back at us in the mirror.
President Uchtdorf offers advice to those that are struggling with these issues in their lives.
- When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it! It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.
- Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? My beloved brothers and sisters, should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven?
The love of God is the answer to our resentments against other people. When the love of God is within our souls, we are kinder, more compassionate, more caring, and more easily to look past ones faults.
- The more we allow the love of God to govern our minds and emotions—the more we allow our love for our Heavenly Father to swell within our hearts—the easier it is to love others with the pure love of Christ. As we open our hearts to the glowing dawn of the love of God, the darkness and cold of animosity and envy will eventually fade.
- The pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment and wrath from our eyes, allowing us to see others the way our Heavenly Father sees us: as flawed and imperfect mortals who have potential and worth far beyond our capacity to imagine. Because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive each other.
For all of us, President Uchtdorf gives us a self-test to see where we stand.
- Consider the following questions as a self-test:
- Do you harbor a grudge against someone else?
- Do you gossip, even when what you say may be true?
- Do you exclude, push away, or punish others because of something they have done?
- Do you secretly envy another?
- Do you wish to cause harm to someone?
- Do you harbor a grudge against someone else?
- If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to apply the two-word sermon from earlier: stop it!
He offers these words of advice to those that have taken the self-test and need to change.
- Let us be kind.
- Let us forgive.
- Let us talk peacefully with each other.
- Let the love of God fill our hearts.
- “Let us do good unto all men.”
As we look to be more merciful with those in our lives, it is important to remember that none of us are perfect. But the way God looks at us, we all have the potential to be saved with Him after this life. President Uchtdorf reminds us of this great through to close his talk.
- Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive.
It is so easy to judge others. It is so easy to pick out the faults that others have because we can see how differently we might approach a situation. We need to be more patient, or loving, or compassionate, and more caring to others. As we apply the love that God has for us, towards others in our lives, we will be blessed with an increase understanding of how the Lord sees others and how we can be more merciful to other peoples struggles. I need to be more merciful to those that are different than me and more compassionate to those that do things that annoy me and handle situations differently than I do. If I am, the Lord will be more merciful to me over time.