Gandalf's Wisdom

Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.

The first time I heard that quote it really stuck with me. I don't consider myself a judgmental person, but I think I've been too hasty (eager, perhaps?) in dealing out judgment. One of the redeeming virtues of the Atonement is that Christ did suffer all things in order to understand them fully. His judgments are not one-sided. Complex issues are easier for us to understand if we can dismiss the facets and aspects that don't fit our current mindset and style. There's simply less to cope with.

Humans form opinions. For whatever reason, we like to pat ourselves on the back and be proud that we have a firm handle on things. We know the right answer; and relatively little changes our mind. The natural man is unteachable, he is prideful. To him, being right is more about ego than it is about understanding and compassion. Compassion leads one to explore other opportunities and see the relationships that cause people to do the things they do. When we bump into something that doesn't mesh with our opinions that have been hitherto cemented into our psyche, our pride will cause us to tweak the perception of the issue so that it matches our prejudices and preconceived notions.

Perhaps this is why pride is such a strong tool. We limit our thinking and convince ourselves that it's right to do so. Limited thinking is the product of the natural man, the latter is the product of the adversary.

As such, I think there are several people and social groups that deserve my apologies. I have been quick to judge others that don't march the same line I do when it comes to the Gospel. I still hold onto (for better or for worse) the ideal that being critical of any aspect of the Church is a dangerous road, but surely those that do it do not deserve my scorn and bitterness.

After all, judge ye not unrighteously, lest ye be judged.

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