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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

03. Drop Your Stones

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the third examining the phrase "forsake his sins".
I've gotten a few comments about the picture I posted here and at left regarding the woman at Christ's feet.  It's based on John 8:1-11, and is very meaningful to me.

I've received the tremendous blessing of having been shown the event where the woman taken in adultery faced the Savior.  It is astounding how gentle He was with her.  It seemed as if He understood her whole life, and that what she needed most at that moment was just someone to believe in her, to touch her chin with his finger, lift her head up, smile and make sure she knew she was loved as a daughter of God on a wavelength that emanated to and permeated the souls of herself and all around her.  It was a small moment in time, powerful yet gentle on a godlike level.   Even the most hardened of souls were transformed by the love -- and not a particle of judgment -- He so freely gave.

All too often, I see many people -- particularly members of the church -- who are quick to cast stones at others.  As you'll see in the brief dialogue I had with Gayle in the comments of the afore-mentioned post, it's sad that member judgmentalism has an immediate, adverse effect on new members who are still very tender and have small roots in the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Such unfortunate events aren't limited to new members.  Not by a mile.  In fact, I just read a series of statements elsewhere by members who said they were following church leaders in one sentence, then unilaterally judging and condemning others to hell in the next sentence.  This runs pretty contrary to something I learned quite a few years ago: You cannot teach (or be an example of) celestial principles by using telestial means.

So, I'd like to challenge you to do something:

Take a minute and ponder your life, and all the times you've gone astray from Christ and his gospel.  I mean, REALLY ponder this.  Put yourself in the place of the woman.  In fact, you might even see people all around you holding stones, ready to exact judgment upon you.

Next, watch this video (although it doesn't exactly match what I described above, it does a pretty good job of portraying the emotion of the moment).

My advice:

First, it's been my experience that often, we are the only one who is holding a stone, ready to stone ourselves.  If you have truly repented (see my previous post for the details), then you should have no accusers.  Just drop that stone where you're at before you hurt yourself with it.

Second, if you truly wish to be forgiven of your sins, never, ever even look at a stone to condemn another. In fact, I challenge you to do as the Master would do, and to treat that person or persons (or even yourself) with the upmost respect, understanding, non-judgmentalism, tenderness and love.

For this is the Christ that I know.


  1. This is also the Christ that I have come to know. I teach each week at my local jail. I could not teach these men if I were judgmental. I would be a complete hypocrite if, after my own life, I were to judge others who have taken a divergent path. It is the love of the savior that is the light of the gospel. Without it, all is fruitless and meaningless. With it, all is fruitful and meaningful.

    We each claim the right to repentance. For us to judge and fail to forgive is to deny others the same right we claim for ourselves.

    Sometimes my heart is just filled with the love of the Savior. This post has prompted that. I know of His love, and I cannot wait until I can feel of the fullness of His love in person.

    1. Scott,

      Thanks so much for your comment! Your words touched my soul.

      Many years ago, I worked in a job which brought me into close proximity to those who had been arrested and confined in jail. One day, I was lamenting to a co-worker how dreadful these prisoners were -- child molesters, drug pushers, some of the vilest of sinners. This co-worker then said something to me I've never forgotten: "And to think, every one of them is a son of God."

      My perspective changed that day. I think, to a certain extent, this co-worker re-oriented me so I could help see these men as our Savior might.

  2. No one EVER mentions the male partner who was also an adulterer. The mosiac law says that they Both shall be stoned.

  3. A few years ago I made a convenant with the Lord to give up sugar. I struggled for months to actually be able to do it. I failed and failed, and one day while meditating on this scene from the scriptures as above, I became that woman taken in "eating sugar. " my shame and guilt were overwhelming. Jesus knelt before me, and said"Valerie, YOU are the ONLY ONE condemning you." As I looked at the faces of those around us, my face was on each body, male or female. I WAS the only one condemning me. I learned a very valuable lesson that day. We condemn ourselves by not believing in His instant forgiveness and complete and total love for us. He wants us to succeed in loving ourselves as He loves us. He knows we aren't perfect. All he asks, really, is to continually trust in His love and keep trying. This experience changed how I approach repentance and forgiveness of myself. I still occasionally fail this covenant, but I repent immediately and try to not condemn myself.