The greatest gift, next to that of life itself, is the ability to choose what to do with that life. The war in heaven was all about allowing us to come to mortality to make our own choices, rather than being compelled to make certain choices. We are all endowed with the ability to choose for ourselves.
Sometimes, our choices are good ones and other times they aren’t. As we go through our lives making choices, we determine whether we will follow God’s plan of happiness or venture down another path.
It’s important to remember that despite our choices, we are all Heavenly Father’s children and He desires that each of us return to live with Him. He has given us the road map that we need to follow throughout our life’s journey if our intended destination is with Him. We can either choose to follow His guidelines, or commandments, or not. It’s up to each of us to decide if we will follow Him.
Even as members of the Church, we sometimes mistakenly see people as their choices, rather than seeing them separate from their choices. We may be guilty of judging a person instead of that person’s choice.
Only the Lord can judge a person. However, we are required to judge behaviors and actions and to judge between choices. This kind of judgment is righteous and we not only have the right to exercise righteous judgment, we are responsible to do so. We are constantly faced with choices and we have to decide which choices will bring us closer to God and which will lead us away from Him.
“For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (D&C 1:31) 1Nephi 15:34 teaches us that no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. Some choices are not acceptable to God and are sins. While we are not to judge the person who commits the sin, we are to judge whether or not a specific choice will be considered a sin by God. If we want to live with Him again, we must repent of our sins and be cleansed by the power of the atonement.
When the woman was caught in the very act of adultery and brought before the Savior (John 8:3-11), He told her accusers to not cast judgment on her, but he then turned to her and said, “Go and sin no more.” Clearly, the Savior taught that adultery was a sin and was wrong, yet the woman was still a daughter of God.
We are not to decide that because someone does something he or she will be cast out of heaven, but we must decide what choices are acceptable unto God. We are to love the sinner, but abhor the sin. We should take courage in teaching and defending the laws of God. We should never feel bad for standing up for truth and righteousness and should stand as witnesses of God in all things, in all places, and at all times.
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