Mon - Sep 13, 2010 : 09:08 am
3 Nephi : 14
The golden rule seems to have come out of this chapter.
The first thing that caught my attention in this chapter is the possible meaning of verses 4 and 5. the "mote in thy brother's eye" verses. Some people would interpret this as "live and let live", or "worry about yourself, not others". To me, this would be the case if the last sentence of verse 5 wasn't written.
"...and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye."
The meaning of the beginning of this chapter seems to hinge on verse 1, which says "Judge not". If that were the only thing written, then I wouldn't have a problem with it. However, it goes on for 5 verses about the details.
Like it or not, we're almost always casting judgements. Using an extreme case, if someone is pointing a gun at my wife's head, my judgement is that their intent is to shoot her. Only a fool would judge otherwise. I'm not going to judge that a drunk person is going to be able to make rational choices, nor am I going to judge a mentally unstable person with a weapon as safe. We always make judgements.
We've just got to be careful about the associations made within us that form our judgements. If we judge harshly, then the consequence of our harsh judgement seems to be a harsh judgement of God against us.
We also should be concerned about purifying ourselves, instead of only worrying about the flaws of others. The flip-side to that is, we also shouldn't be uncaring for others. If we are actively doing our best to be our best selves, then it is given us a more clear view of what others are in need of. It wouldn't be doing us any good to ignore that. Gentile persuasion is the Lord's way, and while we are in pursuit of self-cleansing, we should use the Spirit to see how we can help others do the same.
That's all for now, but so far, we've only touched the first 5 verses. This whole chapter is all about how to more properly govern ourselves, as well as how much God loves us.