Monday, July 10, 2017

Who Am I to Judge Another?

Hello All! 
It's been a hot week! But we survived! :) 
We have great news!!! MIKE GOT THE JOB!
Mike has been looking for work for quite some time, and last week he had an amazing experience where he felt the spirit prompt him to apply for this job, and then HE GOT IT! and he is SO excited about it! and we are SO excited for him too!!! Prayer works you guys!!! It really does!!! 

So this week we did a cool thing where we, as a mission, began a fast together on Thursday evening.  Throughout the fast we sought the Lord's direction on where to go to find people to teach. On Friday, between the hours of 2:00-5:00 each companionship in our mission was out talking with the people. It was a time for us to exercise our faith as a mission in talking to those the Lord puts into our path. We didn't find anyone new for us to start teaching right away, but it was an amazing experience overall! We got to talk to so many people, and we even offered a prayer with 5 of them! each time we were touched by the spirit and felt of God's love for them. We have heard about so many miracles throughout our mission that have come from this fast and find! 

This week I also went on my very last exchange ever! That was a super weird realization... 
We had a fun 4th of July dinner with some members, and had interviews with President and Sister Miles! As always, meeting with them was the highlight of my week:) 

When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation. Jesus Christ is out example of kindness. Christ did not just speak about love; He showed it each day of His life. He not only taught, but also showed us how to live the gospel.
During Christ's mortal life, He could have done what was logical and stuck with those who loved Him and were most like Him. But He didn't. Christ was interested in three kinds of people: the least, the last and the lost. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we commit to follow Him and His example. The divine nature within each of us is supposed to love, forgive, and give people a chance; however, the natural man within us is more inclined to judge, condemn, and be contentious. 
I'm sure we all remember President Uchtdorf's talk from 2012 where he said that the topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the Following: STOP IT! It's that simple. We simple have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thought and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. 
Miracles can happen, and will happen when there is kindness, respect, and love. Bitterness and animosity is not a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Ultimately we judge others because they are different than us in one regard or another. It is important to recognize that living with differences is a part of God's plan for us. We're never going to be the same. We're not always going to agree. And that's okay! there will always be different circumstances we can't control. But we can always choose how we respond. Jesus Christ is our teacher and helper in that regard. He, more that anyone else, understands what it's like to be opposed and oppressed, to love among opposites, and to respond to differing opinions of the day.  
So why is it that we are not supposed to judge? 
In Matthew 7 it explains "judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged." If the Lord uses His own criteria for judging, we are assured of a just, and merciful judgement. Are we confident enough with the criteria we use in judging others that we are willing to have the Lord judge us by our criteria rather than His? Do we want Him to judge us in the same way we judge others? If not, then perhaps we should be hesitant to criticize and condemn others. Seldom do we ever really see the true picture. We look at situations, at people, and see the topmost layer, an oversimplified, often deceiving layer. And we judge. On my mission I have had a chance to look behind the curtain of many struggling, and hurt children of God. It has hurt me to see the best efforts they put in completely looked over by those around them, and be judged for their uncontrollable and unfortunate circumstances. We always hear about this unseen "bigger picture" and yet, we think this is different. I do know, I do understand everything. But we are not the ones who took upon ourselves every sin, sorrow and pain in order to have the privilege of perfect empathy and perfect understanding. No, only the Savior truly knows. Only He understands. Only He see's the whole picture. 
We can never fully know the circumstances of someone else's life, their motives, or the state of their heart. The Lord's way will be to apply His perfect knowledge of each person's circumstances, motives, and actions thought their entire lives. 
We need to love as the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us. We need to love, be kind, avoid contention, be patient, reserve judgement for God, and forgive-- over and over again. As we pray in faith, he will help us to become more than we are, to see others as more than what they may appear to be, and to respect those who are different than we are and trust that maybe we can learn something from our fellow travelers in this world. Perhaps in knowing them we learn tolerance, empathy, compassion, patience, and ultimately how to love like God. 
I know that Jesus Christ is our perfect example. And I pray we can all strive to follow Him by choosing the higher road, choosing to love, to be kind, and to seek understanding. I know that as we pray for this help sincerely, we will receive it. 

Love you all so much! 
Be safe this week, and enjoy the heat! 
Sister Dobyns:) 

So sorry, but I kinda totally spaced on taking pictures this week:P 
Forgive me! 
(That's 104 degrees Fahrenheit!) I heard it even got to 45! Which is 113!!! Where's the lake when you need it?!?!

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