Saturday, 5 April 2014

Saturday Session of General Conference - Kindness and Civility Towards Those Who Disagree With Us...

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch?lang=eng&cid=HPTU040114644
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."

He continues...
"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."

...sigh

Wow!

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,

Corine :D

6 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed Elder Zwick's talk as well. I don't remember hearing from him before. Such an interesting perspective.
    Sandy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't remember hearing him before, either. I'm so thankful for his talk because I needed the reminder to really LISTEN, and focus more on understanding and showing respect - than on getting my own points across. Great talk! :)

      Delete
  2. This was one of my favorite conference talks and you did a good job summarizing it. I've seen in my life that when I communicate with my husband with understanding things are so much better between us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Isn't it amazing what happens when we actually CONSCIOUSLY choose to understand before speaking? I need to make it a HABIT to do that. :o As for your compliment about my summary... I was just sitting here wishing I had said a few other things in this summary; so I really appreciate your compliment, thanks! :) I know, I will add a couple things here in the comment section! Ha! :D Check out the comment following this one for a more complete summary. ;) And Michaela, thanks so much for reading! :D

      Delete
  3. FYI - I think I should have included a couple other things so I will add them here. :) Elder Zwick started out with a GREAT story in which he and his wife had an engine issue, in which the husband knew everything would be fine, but the wife didn't, so she jumped out with the vehicle moving - with the baby in her arms! He spoke of how they saw things differently and disagreed about the safest course of action to take. And about how what really mattered wasn't who was most right, but that they listened to each other and understood each other (and that they show love and compassion to each other in words and in actions). It was great to hear both points of views in the stories given and to understand how two people can disagree and think so differently - and both be equally deserving of respect and kindness shown to them...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Elder Zwick also quoted Paul when he said, "The Apostle Paul taught similar principles to the Ephesians: 'Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers' (Ephesians 4:29). According to this scripture, all our communication should uplift others and strengthen them in the Lord. "

    Paul didn't say "unless you are more right." ;0 - The solutions to peace and love in our relationships are so simple. And they can transform lives - one interaction at a time... :D

    ReplyDelete

There is a ripple effect in all that we do; what you do touches me, what I do touches you...

THANK YOU for your comments; you brighten my day! :)