Are Mormons too critical?


The LDS church and culture have so many elements that keep us busy. Family Home Evening, Quorom activities, Mutual, Relief Society activities, General Conference, priesthood duties, callings, home and visiting teaching, to name a few.

family

Because we have so much expected of us and we believe that one day we’ll become perfected we’re critical of others.  But how much time do you take to reflect upon yourself? We talk about people who are “less active or inactive” while we are slacking in at least one aspect of the gospel.

I have yet to meet someone who fulfills all of the following we’re asked to do:

1.Home/visiting teaching

2.Attending the temple regularly

3.Personal scripture and prayer

4.Family scripture and prayer

5.Family Home Evening

6.Genealogy

7.Indexing temple names

8.Doing community service

9.Voting

10.Watch every session of General Conference

11.Fulfil your church calling

12.Do member missionary work

And this list is not all inclusive either.

My point in naming all these is not to discourage faithful living, but to show how imperfect we all are.  How can we criticize or look down upon someone who is struggling with a different struggle than our own? For someone who finds home teaching easy, another could see it as the most difficult part of the gospel. For someone who finds keeping the Word of Wisdom a struggle another might have no temptation to break it.

Now this doesn’t mean we can’t help to make the weaknesses of others strengths instead. We ought to build each other up.  What we shouldn’t do is gossip or look down upon those who are not up to your standards.  Salvation is an individual process that the Saint must go through between him or herself and the Lord.

Not only am I saying we are too critical of each other but we are too critical of ourselves.

Satan’s job is too criticize us and make us feel unworthy and frankly not good enough.  We don’t have to do his job for him.  The hardest part of repentance, I feel, is too forgive yourself.  But it is a necessary part.

I love going to church and being uplifted and edified for the upcoming week.  I genuinely love members of the wards I’ve been in, but what I don’t want to see is members putting each other down.  If someone’s garments are showing or someone’s kids are misbehaving or someone is speaking during sacrament meeting you don’t know what kind of negative effect you can have if you handle the situation poorly and come off as church police.

think

We’re all on the same level and we come to lift each other up and to worship the Living Christ.

I pray we can be sensitive and loving in a world that’s harsh and critical. With all the demands that come with the Church and gospel, remember who we’re trying to be like.

 

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14 thoughts on “Are Mormons too critical?

  1. As someone who lives where the church is small and where both my husband and I have been in leadership callings our entire marriage- sometimes overlapping times in leadership- it is very frustrating when we have made sacrifices for our callings- especially in te youth program and then now that we have teens have their youth leaders bail on them- especially when they could use a supportive leader! Other than that I agree with the article but don’t disappoint my kids!!!!!

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  2. There are many kingdoms of which each of us are destined. The choice, as with agency, is within our heart, mind and might. I am not celestial and likely never will be but I understand that though disappointed I will be satisfied with my placement by the Savior for I will be surrounded by like souls. In life, there is the 80/20 rule and I can relate and believe only 20% of Saints are celestial bound. The other eighty percent go to a place they ultimately decided during mortality and judged by the Savior in immortality. So if you are don’t have your checklist completed you only have to reflect the image in the mirror to find the cause.

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    • I respectfully disagree with you. I used to believe that there were only so many mansions in heaven. But the older I get, the more I believe that that’s why there are worlds without numbers.

      While there are covenants required to get into the celestial kingdom, I don’t believe God has a standard checklist. We all have challenges and talents that will both condemn and excuse us.

      Bottom line : if our activities do not lead us to Christ, it doesn’t matter what we do. The Jews of the Bible at the time of Christ lived a huge checklist of laws and missed the mission of the Savior.

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  3. I appreciate that this article topic was even created in the first place. It wouldn’t have been written and this wouldn’t have resonated with so many people if there wasn’t a large kernel of truth to it.

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  4. This article topic reminds me of another I read a few years ago that hit me as true: “Are rich LDS members seen as more spiritual than others?” The question wouldn’t have been asked without members noticing the trend across wards.

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  5. If my garments are showing i hope someone would subtly say something much like i would if there was toilet paper stuck to my shoe or something on my face. The other things I try not to do but have been guilty of so try to be understanding
    I have been gossiped abt and ostracized and children let down at church so I’m very wary abt who I let in my home or open up to. It’s a lonely place to be. I should just get over it but that is one of my weaknesses in living the gospel.

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  6. Judging from internet comments all over the web, I think judgement and being critical is a universal problem. As for Mormons, I am reminded of the comment by Sherrie Dew to the effect that the final judgement will be nothing compared to what we do to each other here! I hope we can all try to not be a part of the problem. Thanks for the reminder.

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  7. Sanctification is not a check list. It is done through the grace and mercy of Christ upon conditions of repentance. The check list is a natural outgrowth of our sanctification, although we may be clumsy or forgetful in our efforts. We all need the mercy of Christ.

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  8. Being an older, now single, divorced, chronically ill member I like so many like me, am judged to the point, that apparently I’m no longer worthy of friendship, only hurtful remarks from those who are clearly uninformed. To suddenly go from presidency after presidency on both ward & stake level to cypher is such a humbling blow. I had no idea we as a people could be so emotionally cruel, but, we are.

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    • Being released from serving in “presidency after presidency” happens to all of us. Bishops are released and serve as librarians next. It is not a career ladder but a rotation in which all serve in order to learn, grow and help others. My husband has been faithful his entire life; yet at 67 is still “only” in the Elder’s Quorum. As we’re patient we will one day see why the Lord has had us serve where we have. Don’t take it as a bad thing. We need you to show the non-presidents how to not be critical and how to love better because you understand it while so many do not…yet. Fix it! Now you have more time than a presidency member to show friendship instead of stewardship.

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  9. Unfortunately we are all subjected to unfair or unwarranted criticism at times. Conversely, all of us are guilty of doing the same in some degree or another. Elder Melvin J. Ballard once said, “I would rather be one foot from hell going away than a thousand miles away going toward.” Among other things, that tells me that direction is more important than history. Our history of these habits is already in place. If our past is good or bad, it is what it is and we cannot change that. However, we CAN change direction….and, thankfully, we can do that in a split second. In the very moment we change our direction to going away from sin and error Divine Providence is our partner. Because of the Atonement we know that satan can have no power over us unless we consent. When we change directions we revoke that consent. I am so grateful for Father’s love and for the Savior’s infinite sacrifice.

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  10. I love the origin of the word sacrifice. It derives from sacer meaning holy and facere meaning to do.

    As long as we remember that sometimes the most holy thing we can do is take a nap, or smile, or take a child to the movies, I think we’re good.

    I’m not quite at the point where I ask every moment of my day “What is the most holy thing I could be doing at this exact moment?” Yet when I do ask, I know that my happiness and health is part of what God cares about.

    There are many details on how we are to live, as pointed out. Yet it is simple. We are to love The Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, might, and strength. And this last day is the day in which God will save all mankind through all generations of time across all the world, a day in which we are asked to show we love all these, living and dead, as we love ourselves.

    As long as we remember these two things, and strive in each moment to do that thing which is most holy in the sight of God, I think we’re good.

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  11. Thomas,

    Your “80/20 rule” was likely made up by someone to justify their actions. I’ve heard it refer to many different things, not just getting to the Celestial Kingdom, so I think people just transfer the meaning to whatever theory they’re trying to push. There’s no doctrine to support it in any of them.

    The Lord loves all His children and wants us all to return to him. Not only are we too hard on others, far too often we are usually too hard on ourselves as well. We are ALL Celestial bound. Like Matt says, Satan’s job is to criticize us and make us feel unworthy, and most of us are better at internalizing that and focusing on the mistakes we see ourselves making, than the fact that we are children of God and striving to do better in an imperfect world. Our loving Heavenly Father understands the trials we are going through and the struggles we face, and knows our hearts. HE doesn’t care about our checklists. Our hearts mean more to Him than our actions. If we can check off things on Matt’s list (or anyone else’s) but we do them grudgingly, as far as the Lord is concerned, it’s the same as if we didn’t do them at all. On the other hand, if we willingly and whole-heartedly do the best we can under our circumstances, the Atonement will make up the difference.

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