“For with What Judgment Ye Judge, Ye Shall Be Judged”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

For behold, Moroni wrote, “the same that judgeth rashly shall be judged rashly again; for according to his works shall his wages be; therefore, he that smiteth shall be smitten again, of the Lord” (Mormon 8:19).

“Judge Not That Ye Be Not Judged”

When the Lord warned against judging, he was counseling his people against condemning someone for his sins as well as against seeking to attribute motivation to a person when the observer cannot really know what is in that person’s heart. When Jesus encountered the woman taken in adultery, he did not deny the ugliness of her immoral actions. But he did not condemn her. He counseled her to go her way, repent, and sin no more, no doubt assuring her (implicitly, if not verbally) that forgiveness and peace of soul would follow. (See John 8:1-11; see also Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 165.)

“Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged”

This verse has been misused and abused for generations. Often it is cited to indicate that one should not take a stand should not acknowledge evil actions on the part of others, and so forth.

It is almost inconceivable that one could derive from this passage the meaning that he or she should never label or identify deeds or actions as inappropriate, or that to report such misdoings to the proper Church or civil authorities is to place one in a position of “judging his neighbor.”

This is simply incorrect. In point of fact, members of the Church are required and expected to make numerous judgments each day, definite discriminations which draw upon the discernment that comes from one’s conscience, through the Light of Christ (see Moroni 7:12-19). Such is appropriate and good.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4