“Judge Righteous Judgment”

John 7:24

24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

President Dallin H. Oaks said:

“On one occasion the Savior chided the people, ‘Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?’ (Luke 12:57). On another occasion He said, ‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment’ (John 7:24).

“We must, of course, make judgments every day in the exercise of our moral agency, but we must be careful that our judgments of people are intermediate and not final. . . .

“In one of the monthly General Authority fast and testimony meetings, I heard President James E. Faust say, ‘The older I get, the less judgmental I become.’ That wise observation gives us a standard to live by in the matter of judgments. We should refrain from anything that seems to be a final judgment of any person, manifesting our determination to leave final judgments to the Lord, who alone has the capacity to judge.

“In the intermediate judgments we must make, we should take care to judge righteously. We should seek the guidance of the Spirit in our decisions. We should limit our judgments to our own stewardships. Whenever possible we should refrain from judging people until we have an adequate knowledge of the facts. So far as possible, we should judge circumstances rather than people. In all our judgments we should apply righteous standards. And, in all of this we must remember the command to forgive. . . .

“. . . The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of love. Our Master whom we seek to serve is, as the scriptures say, a ‘God of love’ (2 Cor. 13:11). May we be examples of His love and His gospel.”

(“‘Judge Not’ and Judging,” Ensign, Aug. 1999, 9, 13.)