What does it really mean to be tolerant and not judgmental?
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“What does it really mean to be tolerant and not judgmental?” New Era, July 2018

To the Point

What does it really mean to be tolerant and not judgmental?

Sydney Australia: Young Adults

Tolerance means respecting others and their freedom to choose. For example, we should “allow all men the … privilege [to] worship how, where, or what they may” (Articles of Faith 1:11).

However, tolerance should have limits. President Russell M. Nelson has cautioned that “tolerance, without limit, could lead to spineless permissiveness” and acceptance of sin (Apr. 1994 general conference). We can respect people while frowning upon sin.

As for being judgmental, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has explained, “We should refrain from anything that seems to be a final judgment of any person” because only the Lord can make those kinds of judgments (“‘Judge Not’ and Judging,” Ensign, Aug. 1999, 13).

Of course, we need to make certain kinds of judgments. President Oaks has counseled us to “seek the guidance of the Spirit in our decisions” and to “limit our judgments to our own stewardships.” If possible, we should “refrain from judging people until we have an adequate knowledge of the facts” and “judge circumstances rather than people.” And we should “apply righteous standards” and always “remember the command to forgive” (“‘Judge Not’ and Judging,” 13).