Sure we will be judged as we judge. But we haven’t the faintest idea what that means. We think it means that if we call evil evil, then the Lord will condemn us at the last day.
But what it means is that we will be judged by our works, and therefore we cannot be judged of living better at the judgment bar than we have learned how to discern. The issue is that to whatever degree that we have learned to call good evil, and to call evil good, then to that same degree we will do many evil things, thinking we are doing good, and cast aside good things, thinking they are evil. Thus our ability to do good works and earn a good reward at the judgment bar cannot exceed our ability to rightly discern what is good and what is evil.
The teaching that we will be judged as we judge means that we cannot walk more correctly than we can see. It means that we will be judged by our works, and our works will not be better that our ability to discern.
But to that degree that we have learned to discern rightly, calling good good, and calling evil evil, then we will choose rightly, as we will know good from evil in truth and our actions will be right.
Many of the prophets in the past were killed. The people who killed them did not think they were doing evil. Those people that killed the prophets believed they were doing good. Christ warned his disciples:
John 16:2 … the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
Who will fare worse at the judgment bar than those that killed the prophets?
They will be judged at the judgment bar as they judged good from evil. They judged good from evil very poorly, calling prophets blasphemers worthy of death. They judged very poorly, murdering God’s own servants, rationalizing to themselves that it was the right thing to do.
Now you and I have a pretty hard time judging. We have grown up in a horribly wicked age. We grew up surrounded by ideas and teachings meant to mislead us. We grew up inundated with the philosophies of men. The ideas of the hippies, the ideas of psychology, the ideas, of big business, the ideas of relativism, the ideas of the rich and the learned permeate our world. They are an ocean we are born into, growing up without ever seeing pure sunlight because of the depth of water we are under.
And we have a hard time learning to discern. We hardly know the first thing. If we were thrust into the city of Zion we would be aghast at how wrong-minded it all was, because we are so caught up in our traditions and so deluded by the philosophies of men.
And yet, we must build Zion. It is our calling as a people. We know Christ will return, and we must have a society to which the resurrected Christ may return and dwell among. If we do not build Zion and he returns, we would be horrified to find that we are “polutions in his holy land”. We don’t know enough about the realities of right and wrong to live in Zion.
We must learn to judge right and wrong as perfectly as we know day from night. As we judge, so we will be judged.
But we have such a terribly great way to go. We think we know a bit, but we are, by and large, so very blind. We have a little truth, and that is a start, but it is a candle to us and what God wants to bestow is the noon day sun.
We are in a telestial world. We see our God through a dark glass, dimly. We see truth as if by the light of only the stars at night. It takes great effort for us to see a little truth, as if we were looking around by starlight.
But God wants us to come up to greater light. He wants us to gain light like the full moon to see by instead of seeing by starlight alone. And in time he wants us to learn to see by the full light of the sun.
He wants us to judge and know good and evil because as we judge so we will be judged.
Our situation is a serious matter. But it is not hopeless.
For we can feast diligently on the scriptures, and through them learn to see more and more by the light of Christ, and at times enjoy a measure of the Holy Ghost in our hearts. And as we press forward diligently in those means, our light will increase.
If we press forward diligently, feasting on the words of Christ, our light will grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day. And then we will face being judged as we judge, and it will be delicious to us.