|Photo of Presidency - taken from lds.org -|
Hi. :) It's time for Semi-Annual General Conference! Whoot! Whoot! :D One day down and another to go!
I always look forward to General Conference, and am never disappointed... My favorite talks are usually those which give examples of practical application for Christ-like living.
I think my favorite talk that I heard today may have been the one given by W. Criag Zwick of the Quorum of the Seventy in the afternoon session.
This talk was very much about the disagreements or differences of opinions that we experience with loved ones as well as with others in the world whose perspectives are different than our own... and of the need to cultivate respect for one another.
Elder Zwick reminds us of the words given in a letter from the General Presidency...
"The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility, even when we disagree."
He also uses an example of this, as shown through a story we read from the Book of Mormon. This caused me to reflect upon the way my husband and I communicate and consider ways that we can be more respectful to each other. I am so thankful for the way this talk is helping me apply this story to my own life...
The story was of Lehi sending his sons to get the Brass plates, and of the worried response of his wife, Sariah, as she waited for their sons to return. I won't go through all the dialogue we read between these two from scripture, as was done so eloquently in this talk, but I will summarize the observations made...
Elder Zwick points out that Sariah had "legitimate concerns" which she "expressed in the language of anger, doubt, and blame." But his point is not to criticize her language, but rather to point out that she had reasons for how she spoke, and of the ability we have to look beyond the way a person expresses themselves and to understand their perspective and respond with compassion and love.
Elder Zwick points out that Sariah's husband, Lehi, listened to her with understanding. He did not make accusations of what she may have done wrong; instead he acknowledged how she was right.
Lehi first acknowledges the truth of what his wife says to him. Then he comforts her. He speaks words of understanding and empathy.
He does not worry about who is more right or who is more wrong; he simply seeks to understand her perspective and to respectfully and empathetically comfort her.
Elder Zwick speaks with such eloquence I am in awe at his speaking ability and thankful to the lord for blessing him. I will quote one of his statements here...
"The willingness to see through each other's eyes will transform 'corrupt communication' into 'ministering grace.' It may not solve the problem, but the more important possibility may be whether ministering grace could change us."
"I bear witness that we can 'minister grace' through compassionate language when the cultivated gift of the Holy Ghost pierces our hearts with empathy for the feelings and context of others. It enables us to transform hazardous situations into Holy places."
He then applies the example of the Savior for us to follow...
"I testify of a loving Savior, who "looketh upon our hearts" and cares what we are thinking."
I just love General Conference! :D
Do you have a favorite talk, or one that you are still thinking of after listening today that you would like to share? I'd love to hear about it!
...looking forward to another wonderful conference tomorrow,