Thursday, December 4, 2008

"If you can't say something nice...Don't say anything at all"

During Sacrament meeting this Sunday a young man of 14 gave a talk on gratitude. As he spoke he mentioned the importance of our voice in expressing gratitude. At this moment simple truth and light began to pour into my mind. Truth about the power of my voice...The words I speak, the way in which I speak them, and how I could create a voice of love, peace, compassion, a voice that encourages and lifts those around me, a voice like my Savior's. Recently a wonderful new friend of mine, sympathetic to my nearly 2000 mile journey from Conway, SC to Saratoga Springs Utah, gave me 5 CD's by John Lund to listen to along my way. He said something very profound for me that, like a puzzle piece fell right into place as I was pondering the voice I wanted to create. He said we are addicted to criticism and challenged his listeners to go 24 hours (that is waking hours...can't count sleeping) without criticizing anyone or anything. He defined criticism as that which tears down. I completely understand this principle and for a time in my life I had adopted the philosophy of "If what I want to say does not edify then it does not need to be said." Pretty much what my wise Grandmother repeated time and again as I was growing up, "If you don't have something nice to say then don't say anything at all." However, we are so bombarded by criticism and negativity in our daily lives that if we aren't on our guard and watching our words and our thoughts we are swept up in it. That is what has happened to me...I stopped watching and praying about my words. So, I decided to take up his challenge and to go criticism free for 24 hours. Monday morning I used my scripture study time pondering D&C 136: 23-24 and D&C 88: 124

23. Cease to contend one with another; cease to speak evil one of another.
24. ...and let your words tend to edifying one another.

124. ...cease to find fault one with another;...

I felt completely inspired and ready for victory however, it wasn't an hour later that critical words fell from my lips and I had to start over. I have started over and over and over. But, I am learning that it isn't the making it the 24 hours criticism free but the fact that I am watching my words and not only seeking to refrain from criticism but to fill my voice with words of encouragement, forbearance, compassion, appreciation, kindness, and love. The Savior commanded us in 3 Nephi 18:18

18. Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.

It requires a constant effort but what joy and peace it is bringing..this edifying voice I am creating.

1 comment:


you are right. i have been listening to the cd's and wow there are alot of things I am doing wrong. I know I am really but the 2 yr old side of myself doesn't want to change. lol
so how did your test go? I have not been brave enough to try it yet.

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