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Elder. Lynn G. Robbins

Elder Lynn G. Robbins, General Authority Seventy, spoke in his Sunday morning conference address on the command to judge righteously. He said, "There is only one way to judge righteous judgment, as Jesus Christ does, and that is to be as He is."

Unrighteous judgment

"The natural man and woman in each of us has a tendency to condemn others and to judge unrighteously, or self-righteously," Elder Robbins said.

"A righteous judge would respond to confessions with compassion and understanding. An erring youth, for example, should leave the bishop's office feeling the love of the Savior through the bishop, and enveloped in the joy and healing power of the Atonement — never shamed or held in contempt. Otherwise, the bishop may unwittingly drive the lost sheep further into the wilderness," Elder Robbins said.


"However, compassion doesn't nullify the need for discipline," Elder Robbins said. The Lord's way of disciplining His people is to lovingly and patiently teach them, often by chastening them.

Joseph Smith was disciplined by the Lord with a four-year probation before he could obtain the golden plates, then again for a short season when the 116 pages were lost. He was remorseful, but the Lord still withdrew his privileges because "... whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven ..." (Doctrine and Covenants 95:1).

"Because the Lord wanted to teach Joseph a heart-changing lesson, He required a heart-rending sacrifice of him — sacrifice being an essential part of discipline."


Elder Robbins said that "through the sweet irony of sacrifice, people actually gain something of eternal worth — His mercy and forgiveness, and eventually 'all that [the] Father hath'" (Doctrine and Covenants 84:38).

The Parent as a righteous judge

"To effectively teach a child is the very essence of good parenting," Elder Robbins said, "and to lovingly discipline is the very essence of being a righteous judge." Scriptures teach that the time to reprove someone is when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, not when moved upon by anger.

Our children's true identity

"To remember a child's true identity is a gift of foresight, that divinely inspires the vision of a righteous judge," Elder Robbins said.

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