|photo by Jason Morrison|
We've all labeled someone a Molly Mormon or Peter Priesthood. That label is not a compliment. Why do we view people's decisions to be strict or spiritual as negative? Simply because we think they are extreme or weird or uptight doesn't mean we have the right to judge them, make fun of them, or treat them unkindly in any other way. As brothers and sisters in the Church we are supposed to uplift and encourage one another. We should applaud others' efforts to have high standards and do what they feel is necessary to stay close to Christ, not make it harder for them to do so.
We should also seek to understand them. As a former Miss Goody-Two-Shoes, I can tell you that most people misinterpreted my behavior. I did not think I was better than others or more righteous (though I admit I didn't always make it easy for people to think otherwise). In fact, I had higher standards in some areas because I knew they were my weaknesses and I had to be strict with myself to keep out of trouble. I am easily influenced, so I know I have to keep my environment Spirit-friendly in order to cast off worldly thoughts and desires and draw nearer to the Lord. As a result, I am a happier, more loving, and more patient wife, mother, and friend. When I slack off in spiritual activities, the spirit of my home is completely different, and I am more tempted, unhappier, and farther from the influences of heaven.
Everyone is at a different place on the the strait and narrow road back to Heavenly Father. What is important is that we are all on the road and helping each other along the way. It doesn't matter where we are as long as we are moving forward.
Challenge: The next time you are quick to judge someone's stricter spirituality, stop. Tell them how grateful you are for their example and make changes in your own standards that will help you be closer to Christ.