Moroni, in this chapter, gives an address from Mormon, his father, to the peaceable followers of Christ in his day. This speech was given in their synagogue, which shows that even near the end of their civilization, there was religion. As we study his teachings, let us consider how such peaceable followers of Christ fell away from the truth so fast. And let us determine to learn from their mistakes and take these teachings to heart.
Mormon tells them that it is by the grace of Jesus Christ that he can speak to them. He talks about how by their fruits you shall know whether people are good or evil, “for if their works be good, then they are good also.” (5) But if an evil man does good works, it “profiteth him nothing” if he does it not with real intent.
Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.
But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.
Take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.”Moroni 7:12-14
Mormon tells his people specifically how to judge righteously.
For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good; no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.”Moroni 7:15-17
Mormon goes on to say to beware that we don’t judge wrongfully, for with what judgment we judge others, we will be judged.
Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil, and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.” (19)Moroni 7:19
The Holy Ghost can give us a perfect knowledge of what is good and what is evil. If someone is inviting to do good and persuading others to believe in Christ, that is of Christ. Satan will trick us and try to get us to judge good as evil, and evil as good.
In Gospel Topics, under Judging Others, these pieces of wisdom were shared that can help us judge righteously and make wise choices in our own lives.
All our judgments must be guided by righteous standards. Only God, who knows each individual’s heart, can make final judgments of individuals.
While it is true that we should not condemn others or judge them unrighteously, we will need to make judgments of ideas, situations, and people throughout our lives.Gospel Topics, Judging Others
This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve found.
Sometimes we focus on others’ faults when we should instead be working to improve ourselves.”ibid, Gospel Topics
Let us not get so caught up in judging others as sinful, that we forget to look inward and realize what we have need to repent of. If we are focusing on what we lack still in our path back to God, we will be less consumed with what others are lacking (at least in a self-righteous judgy way).
We should approach any such judgment with care and compassion. As much as we can, we should judge people’s situations rather than judging the people themselves. Whenever possible, we should refrain from making judgments until we have an adequate knowledge of the facts. And we should always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, who can guide our decisions.ibid, Gospel Topics
I love that. Approach any judgment with care and compassion. It is natural to judge others, but we must be careful to judge only as Christ has taught us, by His Spirit, which will be more merciful than what comes naturally to us in the moment. Let us remember that each person we meet and interact with in life is a spiritual brother or sister. Let us give the sort of compassion and mercy we would like others to give to us.