There has been A LOT of talk lately about tolerance and equality. And about what constitutes a sin, and what doesn't...
Many seem to think that to be tolerant and treat others as equals; one must give in to, or agree with everything a person believes...
Some erroneously believe that to not support anything that another wants (gay marriage, for example), is an act of animosity. These people simply do not understand that one can not support the breaking of God's commandments, and still be honoring and obeying God. But one CAN STILL LOVE those who choose a lifestyle that they do not agree with. Animosity and intolerance have NOTHING to do with the belief that something is morally wrong.
We are ALL in a fallen state; and ALL have tendencies to do things that are NOT in keeping with the commandments of God.
We ALL have things to give up.
Passions to bridle.
A cross to bear.
But we are here to learn to do so.
God has a great deal of confidence in us and desires that we "put off the natural man, and become Saints through Christ."
We ALL have struggles and weaknesses to overcome.
I believe that God GIVES man weaknesses, just as he gives us strengths. Not so we can give in and say we can't help ourselves, but so we can learn to FIGHT for what is right and to OVERCOME. And so we can LEARN TO OBEY GOD against all odds! AND have the opportunity to NOT JUDGE OTHERS.
For some, depression is a struggle. Some overeat. For another it is chastity before marriage with the opposite sex. For another it is chastity or fidelity after marriage. For some it is a gay or lesbian lifestyle, or simply same sex attraction. The list of struggles is endless. And I believe that each is uniquely our own... the challenge that God knows we need, to grow and to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.
Our weaknesses and struggles do NOT make is bad! They make us human. It is not a sin to struggle. Only to give in to that struggle. We all sin and fall short. And we all need the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to repent, change, and be made clean or whole.
Why then, do people treat other people like they are some kind of plague for having a struggle that they can't understand? Do they not realize that their struggles are just as incomprehensible to others?
Have you ever thought about how SEVERELY IMPERFECT we are compared to God?
While in my youth, I compared my sins to others' sins and thought mine were smaller. After all, I reasoned, I sinned in areas that were really quite difficult NOT to sin. While others had sins that I thought were EASY to avoid. :o
As I grew older I realized sins that were easy for me to avoid were challenging for others. And to my surprise, some things that were a challenge to me, were actually quite easy for others.
And I came to believe that in God's eyes, we are all equally loved, equally flawed, and equally capable of overcoming and being made clean through Christ.
God doesn't care what our struggles are. He only cares that we do our best to keep His commandments and to overcome!
And He wants us to LOVE each other, and not think we are any better or any worse than anyone else. He wants us to cease to find fault, or to judge, and just focus on doing our best to keep His commandments, and help others in their efforts to do the same.
I believe Christ set the example of supporting commandments AND PEOPLE... by condemning sins, not sinners...
The Savior ate with sinners.
He told the woman who was taken in adultery, "neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more."
Can we separate person from performance, as Christ does with us? To boldly say, "That isn't right. But I still love you."
I think we need to train ourselves to SEE others as children of our Father in Heaven who are every bit as loved by him as we are; and who THE LORD EXPECTS US TO TREAT with the KINDNESS and LOVE that we desire to be treated with! :)
This holds true whether one simply has a tendency to sin, or follows through and sins. We still need to SEE them as someone who can be made clean, and is no worse than we are. We must be humble and kind to follow our Savior.
I hope we can all fill our hearts and minds with more tolerance for people and where they are in their stage of progression (not tolerance for sins), more kindness to all, and more love for people (not for sins). ;) In other words... Don't judge people. But sustain the Lord and His prophets, and be honest about what truly IS a sin. Then do your best to repent of your own sins and just love others!
I've rambled enough.
UPDATE: I have mentioned both sins, weaknesses, and struggles here. Please know that I don't consider struggles to be sins!