I have found that I cannot judge and love at the same time. I can choose to do only one or the other in any given moment. To judge is to condemn; if the people I deem unworthy do not repent, my accusation (were it true) would keep them from the presence of God. The one thing I can do to be most like Lucifer is to accuse someone of sin: “For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Rev 12:10, JST)
Judging others is inherently prideful as I falsely place myself above them; “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7) I now realize that when I judge others, and I do it CONSTANTLY, I make them my enemy. The act of willfully aligning myself in opposition to another is the essence of enmity. And it was through enmity that Lucifer was to be allowed to afflict and torment man: “I will put enmity between thee and the [seed of the] woman,” (Moses 4:21)
When I judge others I invoke the spirit of enmity and open myself up to be afflicted by the devil. I have not come to understand this in just a doctrinal sense. I know this through real personal experience.
Try it. Next time you are in a public place carefully monitor your own thoughts and feelings when you see others. I have been shocked by my overwhelming propensity to judge. I have to consciously fight against my natural tendency to immediately assign perceived weakness to others. Only when I intentionally pray to be filled with and project Jesus’ love to all those I see am I able to ignore my natural, internal judging instincts. I find it drastically changes my perception in general when I choose to love instead of judge. It’s very freeing. My world suddenly fills with hope and love and optimism. I believe it is impossible for me to judge another and feel the companionship of the Holy Ghost. But given my years of practice its a hard habit to break.
Only when I am feeling and projecting unconditional Christ-like love do I feel His grace becoming operative in my life. That’s why, I believe, He told us:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (3 Nephi 14:1-2)
Regarding the concept of righteous judgement: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment,” (John 7:24) I have concluded that does not apply to me because I am not righteous. Only God is righteous, so only when He tells me to harshly consider another should I do it. I find He effectively never asks me to enter into judgement. (see Luke 18:19)
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
― Mother Teresa