In the April 2012 general conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “[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 simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children” (“The Merciful Obtain Mercy,” Ensign, May 2012, 75).
How can you apply President Uchtdorf’s teachings to your own life? Check out these examples of several Latter-day Saint youth who shared their stories with the New Era (names have been changed). Then read or watch the full conference talk at lds.org/go/43F and act on the promptings you receive while doing so.
Jessica moved into a new ward. Though she wasn’t unhappy, she didn’t smile much. Youth in her new ward misread her facial expressions and judged her because of them. By the end of her first Sunday, rumors were already going around that Jessica was mean, and then people didn’t want to be her friend.
What would you do? How would you fix the situation?
Try This Ashley, the young woman who told us this story, decided to be Jessica’s friend. “I tried to get to know her, and I tried saying hi,” she says. “It made me feel really good when she smiled or started talking with me.” Eventually these two young women became friends. “I realized that Jessica is a great person, and now a lot of people love her. They just misjudged her at the beginning,” Ashley says.
Todd and Sam used to be good friends. Then they got in a couple of arguments. None of the arguments was over big things, but they disagreed with each other and each thought the other person was wrong. It was hard for them to let go of what happened.
What should they do?
Try This After hearing President Uchtdorf’s talk, Todd decided he needed to forgive his friend and let things go (see D&C 64:9–11). Every time he saw Sam, he tried to be nice and act like nothing was wrong. Eventually they both got over their feelings, forgave each other, and became good friends again.
During her freshman year of high school, Crystal sat next to Samantha in English class. She disliked Samantha because she felt overly annoyed by little things Samantha did.
What should Crystal do?
Try This Here’s what happened: Crystal started talking to the young woman and got to know her. “She’s just the sweetest young woman and so nice,” Crystal says. “Now we’re really good friends. For two months I just didn’t like her, and then I realized how sweet she was. And I missed out on two months of knowing this amazing person!”
A young woman in Michelle’s ward had made some bad decisions. She repented, but people in her ward and school judged her for her past mistakes. Wherever she went, the young woman’s reputation preceded her, and many people gossiped about things she had done and even things she hadn’t.
What do you think Michelle should do? What would you do if this young woman were your friend? What if you heard the rumors?
Try This Michelle decided she would be the young woman’s friend no matter what people said about her. “I think people just need to give her a chance,” Michelle says. “I was lucky to get to know her, and she is such a lovely person. I think it’s unfair that people judge her before they even meet her. Once most people hear the rumors, they don’t even want to be her friend. I think people just have to stop spreading rumors.”
Cameron got braces during summer vacation. When he came back to school, some of his friends starting picking on him and calling him names behind his back.
What would you do if you were Cameron? What if you were his friend?
Try This One of Cameron’s friends told the young men to stop making fun of Cameron and then told Cameron that the others weren’t being very nice. Cameron confronted the young men and told them he didn’t think it was funny. They had thought it was a joke, but when they realized it hurt Cameron’s feelings, they stopped.