After speaking to the twelve He has called to the ministry, Jesus turns back to the rest of the people and tells them to “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (1)
We need to give others the benefit of the doubt and not judge their actions harshly.
Jesus is our Judge. He knows our inmost thoughts, desires, motivations, and weaknesses. He knows what we have experienced to influence our worldview. He knows the misbeliefs we hold that might lead us to make erroneous decisions, thinking we are making the right ones. He knows what we have suffered, lost, and endured. Because He knows us so intimately, only He can judge us righteously.
None of us have this knowledge of others, so when we take the heavy weight of judging others upon ourselves, we will usually cast an unrighteous, unmerciful judgment upon them. So, work with all your might to be humble, to repent when you slip and judge another. Forgive those who trespass against you, so you can be forgiven of your Savior. Don’t cast stones. Lift others up instead, see how you can help them, work to inspire, to improve. You and everyone around you will be happier if you do.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”3 Nephi 14:3
It is easy and natural to judge. We do it all the time, often unawares. But, when we catch ourselves, a good way to gain humility again is to do as our Savior said, to consider the beam in our own eyes, so we can see more clearly. When we do that, we will be slower to point out the motes in other people’s eyes.
Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”3 Nephi 14:7
It is good to ask questions. Humble inquiry added to faith (the seeking out answers) will bring about personal revelation in our lives. Our prophet has said:
Does God really want to speak to you? Yes!…Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know.”Pres. Russell M. Nelson, Revelation for the Church, Revelation for our Lives, May 2018
We need personal revelation in our lives to guide and direct us through this confusing and wicked world. We need revelation to help us see the beams in our own eyes, so we can repent and get rid of these obstacles to seeing truth and wisdom from God. We need revelation to help us know what to say to others, to life, unify, and point them back to Christ, our Savior.
After we are baptized by water by one holding proper priesthood authority from Jesus Christ, our Savior has promised to baptize us with fire and give us the Holy Ghost to be with us, if we live worthy and repent, so we are holy vessels that can receive His light.
God has given direction in modern times on how to recognize the Holy Ghost’s answers to our humble prayers. It goes along with Christ’s counsel to ask, seek and knock.
D&C 9:7-9 “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong…”Doctrine & Covenants 9:7-9
Jesus tells them that if we, being natural men and women, know how to give good gifts to our children, “how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him.” (12)
Jesus warns them about false prophets that will come among them (and us!) and says we need to be careful and wise. We can know these false prophets by their fruits. It is easy for anyone to say the right words and feign goodness. But the fruits of our lives are harder to hide. When someone seeks influence or power over us, to sway our beliefs, attitudes, or stances, let us remember Christ’s warning and His counsel, and judge fruits and actions.
Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”3 Nephi 14:17
We aren’t supposed to judge other’s hearts, but we can judge their fruits. Are their fruits promoting love, unity, and brotherhood? Or are they promoting contention, fear, and confusion?
When the fruits aren’t bringing others to Christ, we can choose not to partake or be led astray by such false prophets in sheep’s clothing. We can choose to protect ourselves from the ravening wolves they truly are.
One of the good fruits Jesus specifically says those that truly follow Him will do is they will do “the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (21) They won’t be seeking their own agenda or platform. They will be seeking God’s will, which includes the positive fruits I already listed above. Peace. Unity. Hope. Love. Brotherhood.
Jesus compares those who hear His words and doeth them to “a wise man, who built his house upon a rock.” (24)
The Rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. This foundation is sure and will keep us standing firm and steadfast, no matter how strong the storms in life may get around us.
He compares those who won’t hear and won’t do to a man who builds upon a sandy foundation. And when the storms the devil sends blow and beat upon that house, great shall be the fall of it.
Which type of house am I building? Am I building a strong one on the firm foundation of Christ and His teachings, or am I building on unstable ground, trying to keep a foot in the world for some gain or pleasure?
Ask, seek, knock.
Ask for God’s help. Seek His answers through His holy scriptures and words of living prophets He has called to lead us today. And knock, to gain entrance into His kingdom, so we can build our houses upon solid, stable, everlasting foundations that will never fall.