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Leave the Judgement at Home

In October of 2011, I stood in the Washington D.C. temple to witness the sealing of one of my older brothers. Directly after the sealing, my dad asked all eight of us children to gather together. We sat down and looked around at each other. Seven of the eight of us were now sealed in the temple, with my youngest brother, newly endowed, getting ready to leave on his mission.

My parents looked at us in tears. Finally my dad found his voice and said, “I have dreamed of this day; the day when all my children would be gathered together in the temple. This is what we have prayed and worked so hard for. My heart is full.”

Not long after, I recalled a conversation I had with mom a while back.

One day, a friend had come to her very upset. As she unloaded all of her problems, my mom tried to offer comfort and said, “I understand”.

At this point, the sister became very angry and started shouting at her, “You don’t understand anything! How could you? You with your perfect life, you could never understand anything that I’m going through!”

I suppose you may have been thinking the same thing as I described that one brief little scene with my family in the temple.

But what if I were to tell you, that my mom, who is a convert to the church, was raised by an abusive mother, both physically and mentally.

Her dearest and closest friend was killed in a car accident when she was in high school.

Later she married her high school boyfriend who had been unfaithful to her before they were married, and continued to be so after. After four years of marriage to him, she believed she couldn't have children, especially after he got another woman pregnant. She had learned that the rumors about her husband were indeed true when she caught him in a room at a friend's home.

At this point she took a closer look at the gospel. When she decided to join the church, her family ridiculed and mocked her openly and publicly. She had no support from family or former friends, except for the one couple who brought her into the church.

She finalized her divorce during that time and as a new convert, discovered how easy it is for people to develop prejudicial attitudes based on preconceived notions of divorced individuals.

Three years later she served a mission where she met my father. One week after she returned home and was released from her mission, they were sealed in the temple, without family support on either side. For you see, my dad was a convert as well.

I could go on and on since this merely covers her younger years, but I’ll stop there.

You see, my mom did understand.

There is a popular saying by Pluto: “Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

How easy life makes it to forget that we each have a divine nature and a divine destiny.

My father too had to rise above an incredibly difficult past. But that's a story for another day.

3 Nephi 14:1-2 “ And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he turned again to the multitude, and did open his mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
Now, if we were to be completely honest here, we would all have to admit to passing unfair judgment upon someone else. It’s simply human nature!

But we usually only see a mere fraction of one’s life or a brief glimpse of a person’s situation. Nor can we ever fully understand a person’s temperament, their strengths or weaknesses, their personalities, or the trials they have had to endure.

Only the Savior can do that. Because, through the atonement, he suffered each individual’s conditions even before the person suffered. This he did to enable him to “succor his people according to their infirmities.” (Alma 7:11-12)

So for heaven’s sake, leave the judging to Him. “He that is without sin, cast the first stone.”

It is incredible to think that despite the hardships both my parents had to go through, they are without a doubt amazing and goodly parents who refused to let their past define them. They speak often of how it was and is through the gospel and the atonement of Jesus Christ that they were able to move on, forgive, and rise above their past.

Let it go. Let all the other stuff go. Your family is worth fighting for, it is worth protecting.

The trials in this life will come to each of us in time. Whether it’s early in our lives, or later, whether they pound us all at once, or are spread throughout our whole existence.

“So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.” ~ Jeffery R. Holland

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Serene is a highly imperfect mom of five children (born within 6.5 years) with baby number six on the way, who blogs humorously about all her parenting misadventures at Serene is my name, Not my life! She also has a severe chocolate addiction and likes to pretend she's stylish enough to wear high heels.

Enjoy shopping for quality baby clothing at

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