Not to Condemn

Elder Gerrit W. Gong pointed out that recognizing a wrong can lead us in two directions: either toward condemnation or toward forgiveness. “Often condemnation focuses on the past,” he said. “Forgiveness looks liberatingly to the future.” Then he quoted the words of the Savior to Nicodemus:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:17

(See “Trust Again,” General Conference, October 2021.)

J. Reuben Clark said:

I believe that our Heavenly Father wants to save every one of his children, … that in his justice and mercy he will give us the maximum reward for our acts, give us all that he can give, and in the reverse, I believe that he will impose upon us the minimum penalty which it is possible for him to impose.

Conference Report, Oct. 1953, 84; quoted in Gerrit W. Gong, “Trust Again.”

If God is inclined to bless and reward us, then we should also be inclined to bless and reward one another as much as possible.

Moroni shared a thought pattern to use when when we identify imperfections in others:

Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.

Mormon 9:31

I think we can apply this strategy to ourselves as well: When we fall short of our expectations, instead of condemning ourselves, we can learn to be more wise than we were before.

Today, I will remember that God is inclined to forgive, that He wants to save us, not to condemn us. I will strive to emulate His example by forgiving myself and others, and by looking to the future, not dwelling on the past.

One thought on “Not to Condemn

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  1. What a wonderful world this would be if everyone could receive and live by this beautiful message. I will strive to ❤️


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