No, not this Judgment Day, this one. Although Mormons don’t believe in judging others, I think it’s safe to say the makers of the film starring Mario Van Peebles will have some things to answer for in the next life.
But seriously, Mormons don’t believe in making “eternal judgments” or “final judgments” about others, although we all have to make temporal or intermediate judgments about situations and people in order to survive in this world. We believe Jesus’ admonition to not judge referred to the former type of judgment and not the latter. For more on the Mormon perspective about this matter read Elder Oaks’ talk on the matter.
But getting onto the day of judgment, Mormons do not believe this is a day when a vengeful God will hand out arbitrary judgments to those who happened to trip up and find themselves on the wrong side of the line. We don’t see it as something to dread, but something to look forward to, when the righteous will be rewarded and everyone will get what they want, in essence.
The Mormon perspective can be better understood when one understands that Mormons don’t see God as a being who sets up arbitrary rules and punishments, but rather as a loving Father in Heaven who is telling us how things work, how to avoid actions the natural consequences of which lead to pain, and how to perform the actions the natural consequences of which lead to happiness.
It is also helpful to understand that from the Mormon perspective the Final Judgment is not so much about what we’ve done, although that is important, but about what we’ve become, because ultimately we believe we will become like God. Thus, the judgement will be fairly easy to make, at least as easy to make as it is to judge whether or not someone is a body builder. Just about any of us can tell whether someone is an accomplished body builder or not. Becoming one is not based on a flurry of last-minute activity (deathbed confession) but rather is the accumulation of the results of specific activities over an extended period of time. As LDS scholar Hugh Nibley stated:
If every choice I make expresses a preference; if the world I build up is the world I really love and want, then with every choice I am judging myself, proclaiming all the day long to God, angels and my fellowmen where my real values lie, where my treasure is, the things to which I give supreme importance. Hence, in this life every moment provides a perfect and foolproof test of your real character, making this life a time of testing and probation.
Thus the Judgment may be less God judging us, and more us judging ourselves. Or that is, the judgment may be a rather quick and obvious process, a foregone conclusion in many ways.
In addition, to understand where Mormons come from when it comes to the Judgment, one must understand that we do not see this life as all there is that comes before the Judgment. Mormons believe that everyone will have a full and conscious opportunity to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s plainly unjust for someone who has never heard of Jesus Christ in this life to be condemned to an eternity of suffering due to their ignorance. Mormons believe that those who did not have the opportunity to accept Christ’s sacrifice in this life will have the opportunity in the next life, and therefore the only people who will not be “saved” will be those who reject Christ. We believe that while relatively few will have the opportunity to fully understand and accept the gospel of Christ in this life, that opportunity will be given to everyone in the next. And so again, we do not see the Final Judgment as a terrible day of pain and suffering, but rather a happy one because we Mormons believe that great numbers of people will accept Christ in the end.