Wednesday Words of Wisdom: “The Merciful Obtain Mercy”

In Conference on Sunday, President Uchtdorf gave some very sound advice: “This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon,” he said. “When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm—please apply the following: Stop it!” He goes on to say, “We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way.
“Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way.”

I have often pondered the concept of not judging and have tried to improve. It feels impossible sometimes. In my psychology class I’m taking right now, I learned about a study where two subjects were selected, a man and a woman. The woman had her picture taken, but the picture was put aside. Instead, the man was given a picture of a different woman depending on the reaction the study wanted to see. For example, the man was shown a picture of an attractive woman. Then he received a phone call from the woman whom he thought was pictured. The conversation was recorded. The recording was played back to a college class, except the only portion that was played back was the woman’s end of the conversation. Women who were perceived by the men as attractive were more warm, humorous and poised than when the man was shown a picture of an “unattractive” woman. The conclusion is that we not only judge other people, we also respond to the judgements placed upon us whether we know it or not (Study from “The Personality Puzzle” 5th Edition by David C. Funder page 187). That was shocking to me. I started to realize how my behavior through my depressive stage may not have just been how I felt about myself or the people around me, but actually my response to how people around me had perceived me.

I love this video illustrating the story President Monson told in his talk “Charity Never Faileth” in the Relief Society General broadcast in 2010. If you get the chance to read it, it is a great talk.

Conclusion: if you judge others: “Stop it!”

(I’m sorry if you can’t see the video doesn’t work. Here is a link anyway.)