Judging Others

Bridging the Chasms that Cause A Great Divide

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Winnie the Pooh and Friends

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart.. I’ll always be with you. — Winnie the Pooh

It Does Not Matter What Anyone Really Thinks About Us

It does not matter what anyone really thinks about us. They have their opinion, whether it be right or wrong. What does matter is that we know who we are, and more importantly, Whose we are. We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. It is His stamp of approval that we should seek, and not the approval or disapproval of man.

None of us are exempt from life’s trials and challenges. We all face our own battles – our own Goliath – as we travel on this pilgrim journey. Whether or not people understand our struggles ought not be our main concern.

I have come to realize that those who truly care and want to understand will do their best to understand, and those who don’t care are not worth spending the time and energy to extend an explanation, as no explanation would suffice anyway.

At the end of the day, whether we are true to ourselves is what matters, and not being overly concerned about what others say about us, or think about us. God, our Heavenly Father loves each of us, and to Him, we are all special.

~ Keith Lionel Brown

Coca-Cola Gay Anti-bullying Campaign

Coca Cola Gay Anti-bullying Campaign

The short video below will not get any air time in the United States, nevertheless, Coca-Cola is making a big gay bold statement in Latin America with a new short film and advertisement called “The Text.” The film, written and directed by Dustin Lance Black for Coca-Cola, centers on bullying and two gay teens in love.

Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black EngagedDustin Lance Black is an American screenwriter, director, film and television producer and LGBT rights activist. He has won a Writers Guild of America Award and an Academy Award for the 2008 film “Milk.” Dustin, 41, and his long-term boyfriend, Tom Daley, 21, have recently announced their engagement. Tom is an English diver and television celebrity. His specialty is the 10 metre platform event, and he was the 2009 FINA World Champion in the event at the age of 15. He started diving at the age of seven and is a member of Plymouth Diving Club. You can read an article in the Huffington Post where Tom sat down with The Guardian for a revealing interview in which he discusses coming to terms with his gay identity in the public eye, his relationship with Dustin Lance Black, and his life as an athlete.

Coca-Cola recruited Black to direct three short films for the company to air in Latin America that would challenge young people to choose compassion over bullying. He told AdWeek that one of the campaigns was specifically “aimed at the LGBT community.” He further stated that the intent was to show “a crossroads moment where you’ve got to make a decision: Are you going to go the way of kindness, or are you going to go for the easy joke when someone’s having a tough time?” The moral, he says, “If you do something with acceptance and kindness, you can create a true friendship.”

Source: Best Gay News; Category – Youth

Gay Youth Coming Out Stories

Let's treat each other with respect

No importa lo que realmente piensa de nosotros

No importa lo que alguien realmente piensa acerca de nosotros. Ellos tienen su opinión, ya sea bueno o malo. Lo que importa es que sabemos lo que somos, y lo más importante, de quién somos. Todos somos hijos de un amoroso Padre Celestial. Es su sello de aprobación que debemos buscar, y no a la aprobación o desaprobación del hombre.

Ninguno de nosotros está exento de pruebas y desafíos de la vida. Todos nos enfrentamos a nuestras propias batallas – nuestro propio Goliat – mientras viajamos en esta peregrinación. Sea o no la gente a entender nuestras luchas no deben ser nuestra principal preocupación.

Me he dado cuenta de que los que realmente se preocupan y quieren entender lo hará su mejor esfuerzo para entender, y los que no les importa, no vale la pena gastar el tiempo y la energía para extender una explicación, ya que no hay explicación sería suficiente de todos modos.

Al final del día, si somos fieles a nosotros mismos es lo que importa, y no estar demasiado preocupado por lo que otros dicen de nosotros, o piensan de nosotros. Dios, nuestro Padre Celestial ama a cada uno de nosotros, y para él, todos somos especiales.

~ Keith Lionel Brown

Love is love, and gay is OK

Judging Another Person

I’m Confident in the Goodness of Others

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Growing up I’ve had an intense focus on trying to do what is right.  Over time I’ve gained a strong sense of confidence in my goodness and righteous desires.  I have come to know deep down that I honestly want to do what’s right.

However, I haven’t always had this confidence in others…

Joseph Smith QuoteSeeing all the evil displayed on television, hearing about all the crimes committed, and seeing others living a lower standard of moral living has led me to doubt the goodness of others, even some within the restored Church.

However, my negative perceptions have changed in recent months.  I now am astonished at how many AMAZING, GOOD and CONSECRATED people there are in the world!

Let me tell you how my view of people in general became more positive.

Becoming Amazed at the Goodness of Others

LDS ConvertsOver the past several months I’ve been blessed to hear the testimonies of dozens of returned missionaries and converts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for our Mission Prep project.  In doing so, I’ve heard amazing stories – times when God saved people from death, and miracles when faith was exercised and people were healed through Priesthood power.  I’ve heard testimonies of such conviction that afterward I couldn’t help but kneel and offer a prayer of gratitude for having had the opportunity to hear such a powerful testimony.

It’s been amazing to see dozens of people share their testimonies and hear their strong convictions.  I’ve been amazed how even people I wouldn’t have thought had a strong testimony (from my first impression of them), have demonstrated amazing faith and commitment to the Lord.

On many occasions I’ve been proven wrong in my negative assumptions about others.

Through hearing the testimonies of others, I’ve learned a few lessons.

Lessons I’ve learned about others

  • Most people have righteous desires.  Though some people want to do evil things, I believe the vast majority of people are trying to do what’s right.
  • Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.  Just because I’m with myself 24/7 and am intimately aware of my personal efforts and growth, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t others trying and growing just as much, if not more than me. It’s been wonderful and humbling to recognize my own personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of others.
  • I shouldn’t judge people based on my first impressions of them. Time and time again, I’ve been surprised by the wonderful conviction and testimony of others. It’s not our role to judge others, plus we’re usually not that good at it anyway :).

For any of you who might be tempted to have a pessimistic outlook on people, I invite you to change your perspective.

I’ve found the best way to grow my confidence in the goodness of others is to talk about spiritual subjects with them and ask them to share their innermost yearnings. When a testimony is shared, the receptive listener and the speaker are brought closer together in the unity of the faith (see Ephesians 4:13).

My conclusion

A New Life EnjoyedAlthough the world is entrenched in sin, many people are trying to do what’s right.  Many who are entangled in sin, still desire to be good in the sight of God, but are fighting inner battles.

Amid the six-plus billion people in the world, I’m convinced that there are millions of people striving to be obedient to God.  In most communities there are people who inspire others all around them with their goodness.

Although there is great darkness in the world, there is also great goodness in the hearts of many people in the world.  To see the goodness in others, have them share their testimony with you.  Listening to others’ testimonies has increased my confidence in the goodness of others and can do the same for you.

Alex and Rebecca BalinskiThis post was written by Alex Balinski, Founder and CEO of Prepare to Serve. Learn about Alex’s Mission Prep project here.

I Have No Stones to Throw

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Who will cast the first stone?Whenever we refuse to forgive and forget the trespasses that a brother or sister have committed against us, and constantly remind them of their wrongdoings and misdeeds, we in essence label them as prisoners of their past who have no hope of ever having the prison door unlocked and being set free.

Because we insist on holding a brother or sister in condemnation for the wrongs that they may have committed, we are in effect saying to them that the grace of God is not sufficient to wash away their sins even though they have already repented of their misdeeds and have asked for forgiveness. We are saying to them that there is no love or mercy that could ever be extended to them. Most importantly, when we continue to re-live the wrongs that have been committed by a brother or sister, and refuse to allow them to bury their past and move on, we are sending them a message that even the blessings of the atonement are not meant for them – the Lord Jesus Christ shed his precious blood and was crucified on that cruel Roman cross on Golgotha’s lonely hill for everyone else, but not for them.

Are we so holy and so righteous that we can even begin to sit in judgment upon another? While we are busy gathering stones to cast at our brother or sister, perhaps we need to take a step back and examine our own lives a little more closely, and then decide if we should be casting any stones, or perhaps those stones which we have already gathered should be heaped upon ourselves.

If God has forgiven each of us in all of our sins and trespasses, who are we not to forgive those who sin or trespass against us, and to let those trespasses be forever forgotten? When I think about the goodness of God and all that He has done for me in my short lifetime, personally I find that I have no stones to throw at anyone. And so, my dear brothers and sisters of the jury, I put the question before you to decide at this hour as you deliberate your verdict – who among YOU will cast the first stone?

Matthew 18:21-22 – “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.”

Doctrine and Covenants 64:10 – “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”