Monday, April 28, 2014
I had a very interesting opportunity to teach one of my nieces a very valuable lesson last night. Her Dad is my brother, and was very harsh and judgmental of me growing up. For those of you who follow this blog, you know that I was not always a member of the church. From the ages of 14-24 I was inactive, and didn't even tell people that I was ever member of the church. During this time I had a lot of family members say that the bad things that happened to me were because of the choices I was making. They never saw that if they would have just shown unconditional love, like the Savior taught, I would've come back a lot quicker.
As I sat with this niece allowing her to tell me all about her life, experiences, friends, and what's important to her, she made a comment that struck a nerve with me. She was telling me of a young girl (my niece is in 5th grade) that is choosing to "Go Out" with a boy. She was telling me in not so many words that she was better because she was choosing to not "date" because she's not old enough. She then made a very revealing comment. She said, "This girl probably won't get very far in life because of the choices she's making." I about jumped out of my skin. It reminded me of the way so many of my family members treated me over the years. As I finished letting her tell me about this girl, I said a silent prayer asking the Lord to help me teach my niece a very valuable lesson. We should never judge anyone.
As she finished I said, "Sweetie, do you think Aunt Jilly is a good person?" She said "Yes" then I said, "Do you think I've gotten very far in life?" (Knowing that this little angel thinks the world of her Aunt Jill). She said, "Well, yeah." I then took a beautiful opportunity to teach her something. I shared with her that I stopped going to church when I was 14 years old. Her mouth about hit the floor. I told her that I didn't believe in the church, I swore, I hung out with bad people, and I even dated boys before I was 16. She was stunned. Then I asked her this, "Do you think Aunt Jilly turned out okay?" You could see her little brain turning. She said, "Yeah you did." I said, do you think that this little girl might turn out okay too? She's doing the same things that Aunt Jill did, and you just said that I turned out okay." She said, "Yeah Aunt Jill. She might." Then I took the opportunity to teach her how very wrong it is to judge another person. Not only that, I taught her that judging someone can often keep them away longer, but if we will show them love like the Savior, they might come back.
When I was younger some of my family members were very judgmental of me. Some even believed that I had Bipolar disorder because of things I did wrong in my life. A couple were very critical, unloving, and harsh in the way they treated me because my life wasn't in perfect line with the church. They have now seen how very damaging their judgments were, and that they should have shown me unconditional love. So many people think that judging is the way we should go about things. If we truly believe in the Savior's example we would know that loving someone unconditionally is the most important. The Savior is the only one that can rightfully judge us, for it is required of us to forgive all. Until we are without blame we should never cast the first stone.
It's amazing what unconditional love can do for someone. Loving someone will make miracles happen. Love can change the world. Think how much better we would be as a people if we chose to love rather than to judge? I know personally, I would've understood the Savior's message a lot quicker if I would've been shown unconditional love.
I'm so thankful for my Father. He never judged me, punished me for not believing the church, and always let me figure it on my own. He was always there to pick me up when I fell even if I still didn't choose the example he set. He never said mean things to me, he never said I was in the wrong, and he never held my choices against me. He always loved, and hoped that one day I would see the correct path. Because of his example, and love, I came back to the church. I'm truly happy, just like he always wanted.
We should never judge another person unless we ourselves are blameless. Since none of us are perfect, it is required of us to forgive all and love one another. If we claim to follow Christ that is how we should live our lives. I'm grateful for this opportunity I had to open my niece's eyes, and teach her a very valuable lesson. We should never judge another, but love unconditionally. That is how the Savior lived his life, and that is what he expects from us.