Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Love of All

     (p.s. This post is not "finished" yet, but since I have been working on it for a while and figured I got it to a good enough point, I published it as-is and I'll work on it more later)
     I recently saw a picture on Facebook of a gun with text that read "I believe in the death penalty to all child molesters" and then asked if you agree or disagree. I read through some of the comments and was amazed at how much anger and hatred was used. I did not notice a single comment about forgiveness. Not a single comment about love. Not one single comment about how those people who have made that decision are still people. Sons and Daughters of God. One comment I read was "Sadly they never stop, there is no other choice." No other choice? So people can't change?
     Many of the comments even urged for a punishment more inhumane and cruel than death itself. I read comments about torture, putting them in prison so bad things will happen to them, even so far as to say castrate them, and some other things I will not disclose due to the sheer darkness of it. I was completely shocked at how hateful, spiteful, and quick to judge so many people are. What gives us the right to pass hate and judgement, even death, so quickly on others?
     I was reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books and movie series of all time and from one of my favorite fictional characters. “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.” -Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring -J.R.R. Tolkein.
     Judgement of others has been something I've struggled with in life. I used to judge others so quickly and almost without reason. I remember how dark of a period of my life that was and how much I hurt others and myself. It has truly been something I feel I have improved greatly on. I have learned to love others regardless of their choices, past, or beliefs. Does that mean I always agree with what they do or believe? No. But I do not let it change the way I treat them.
     One thing I truly believe is that anyone can change, though not always on their own. More often than not it requires one to lean on God. The point is, anyone can change. Just because someone has made a poor decision, even a decision which can lead into something as long-lasting as addiction, it does not mean they can't change. Yes, it may be hard. Yes, it may take time and trial and error, but it can be done.
     May we all learn to love everyone the way God would have us love. Remember that everyone is a child of God. God be with you and bless you all! Love and hugs all around!
 

4 comments:

  1. Hi brother, this is part of a speech by Elder Jeffrey Holland. I think it fits in here

    Judge Righteous Judgments
    In this regard—this call for compassion and loyalty to the commandments—there is sometimes a chance for a misunderstanding, especially among young people who may think we are not supposed to judge anything, that we are never to make a value assessment of any kind. We have to help each other with that because the Savior makes it clear that in some situations we have to judge, we are under obligation to judge—as when He said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.” 17 That sounds like a judgment to me. The alternative is to surrender to the moral relativism of a deconstructionist, postmodern world which, pushed far enough, posits that ultimately nothing is eternally true or especially sacred and, therefore, no one position on any given issue matters more than any other. And that simply is not true.

    In this process of evaluation, we are not called on to condemn others, but we are called upon to make decisions every day that reflect judgment—we hope good judgment. Elder Dallin H. Oaks once referred to these kinds of decisions as “intermediate judgments,” which we often have to make for our own safety or for the safety of others, as opposed to what he called “final judgments,” which can only be made by God, who knows all the facts. 18 (Remember, in the scripture quoted earlier, that the Savior said these are to be “righteous judgments,” not self-righteous judgments, which is a very different thing.)

    For example, parents have to exercise good judgment regarding the safety and welfare of their children every day. No one would fault a parent who says children must eat their vegetables or who restricts a child from running into a street roaring with traffic. So why should a parent be faulted who cares, at a little later age, what time those children come home at night, or what the moral and behavioral standards of their friends are, or at what age they date, or whether or not they experiment with drugs or pornography or engage in sexual transgression? No, we are making decisions and taking stands and reaffirming our values—in short, making “intermediate judgments”—all the time, or at least we should be.

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    1. Thank you Ludwig! I completely agree with you and the talk that sometimes we must judge, not in hate or spite, but as a means of keeping ourselves and others safe. I think it is a really great point, and if it is ok with you, I may use that in the rest of my post once I decide to edit it again.

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