How Do We “Judge Righteous Judgment”?


Judgment, Righteous Judgment, mercy, grace


Have you ever been in a situation where somebody tried to correct another person by saying, “Judge not, that ye be not judged”? (Matthew 7:1). Few of Jesus’s teachings are more widely known than this one. Unfortunately, this phrase is not always correctly understood or applied. Our ability to benefit from this command will increase as we examine how Jesus Christ used it in His teachings and how His prophets have reiterated it through time.

Let’s begin by looking at how the Savior used this “judge not” phrase. Preceding this command are the first two chapters of His Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5–6). This sermon is filled with commands that set the bar of discipleship very high—so high, in fact, that nobody can succeed without the merciful help of the Lord. As we learn in those chapters, it is no longer enough for His followers to refrain from killing or committing adultery or to love only those who love us; it is now required to not get angry, not allow immoral thoughts to linger, and to love our enemies (see Matthew 5:13–47). Ultimately, true followers of Christ are to be “perfect, even as [their] Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).1 This includes praying, fasting secretly rather than publicly, and giving charitable gifts.

Original Publication Citation

Griffin, Tyler J., (2019), “How Do We ‘Judge Righteous Judgment’”? Ensign Magazine, Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Volume 49, Issue 2, February 2019, 54-59.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor