Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Tongue of Angels

Last night I was reminded of a talk by the apostle Elder Jeffrey R. Holland entitled, "The Tongue of Angels," given almost four years ago. I have featured this talk once previously on this blog and the principles that Elder Holland teaches are so pure and so true and so needed in our lives that I'm posting the link again that we (and by we I mean I) may all read or reread this talk and benefit from it.

One of the biggest things that stood out to me this time was the power of words to hurt someone whom we dearly love and about whom we care so much. Words are so quick to come and so easy to speak that sometimes we do not even think about what we are saying during a conversation or even after it. We do not always need to be right, we can watch the condescending tone and phrasing we may use when we talk to our friends and associates, we can watch what we say about others when we think that only the right people are around, and one with which I especially struggle-we can watch how we jest and how we give each other a "hard time."

Words have such a power to heal, build, uplift, love, and mend, yet such polar opposite and equal powers to hurt, destroy, tear down, hate, and demean. Many of God's children are tender and even those who portray strength and "immunity" to words are susceptible to sorrow and hurt by things we may say purposefully or accidentally. Of course we are not to take offense, especially where none is intended, but we can ebb the chance of offense becoming a possibility by choosing carefully the words we use and the way we use them.

I have wonderful friends who choose wonderful things to say about others. They are an example to me and they are also patient with my attempts to be less abrasive and more tactful and kind with my words. I have a testimony that Elder Holland is an apostle of Jesus Christ and that the principles he teaches are true and if followed lead to a happier, more blessed life.

Cherish those whom you love and recognize that they are a blessing from God.