Friday, March 2, 2012

What leaves your lips, sugar or poison?

You know, I'm sure people blog for many reasons. Some use blogging as a form of journal writing or record keeping (umm, guilty!) or some use their blog as a way to share their thoughts and beliefs. Blogging can be a source of income if you gain enough people who like what you do, say, and how you say it, and for others they just want to be heard, and to have what they say help or influence others.

To those who are unfamiliar with the BYU's, each week each campus has a "devotional" where for an hour nearly the whole campus puts on their Sunday best and gather in a conference center of some sort to listen to a talk prepared by a professor, church leader, or other esteemed individual. These talks are prepared with much prayer and pondering and are specifically chosen as something that the students most need to hear at this time. They range anywhere from faith, to Christ, and on an occasion (or ten), even marriage. They are always centered around Jesus Christ, and his teachings. A few weeks ago the devotional given was regarding words, and their effect on others. 

I've been pretty thrashed this week thanks to a kiss of death from Mr. Flu (and in my opinion, my 6 year old client who's definitely been sick and laid a nice big wet one on my lips last week...)
Yesterday I enjoyed a nice, looooong bath, which is quite the treat because as you can imagine, living with 6 girls rarely allows enough hot water for a full shower let alone to fill a bath tub! AND we all know you do your best thinking in the privacy of the bathroom right? So, I figured why not gain a little secular and non-secular knowledge while I'm soaking away my sorrows and this plague?

At this link you can listen to, view, or read past devotionals, and typically when I'm doing something else, they make great background noise to attract my thoughts to. 

I selected the devotional entitled "The influence, power, and possibility of words" and let the cranial and moral expanding begin. 
Some insightful thoughts that I really enjoyed from this talk were those such as these:

"Words have power to trigger emotions, stimulate thoughts, and stir us to action. They can elicit joy, soothe a troubled mind, bring relief to the suffering and engender gratitude. We may have blissfully chanted in elementary school, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” But that is just not true. Words can have a devastating effect. Words said to or about someone can ruin a reputation, crush hopes, inflict pain or bring tears of despair. As Elder Jeffry R. Holland quoted in a recent General Conference, “The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh: but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones” (“The Tongue of Angels,” Ensign, May 2007, 16).

Words, written or spoken, can linger with us for years, bringing back thoughts or feelings to cheer or discourage, to remind or to counsel."

 "Words come in many sizes. Some of the smallest can make the biggest difference. I’ll be eternally grateful that my wife’s response to my proposal of marriage was a three-letter word and not one of the two-letter variety! “If” is a small word with often major implications. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is a long word with relatively minor implications.

Job exclaimed, “How forcible are right words!” (Job 6:25) And in Proverbs we read, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). Sometimes written or spoken words are not the “right words” nor are they “fitly spoken.” When words are misused, the results can be either comical or disastrous depending on the situation."

 "Such words can be a window opening on an ever-expanding view of life or a mirror in which we can see into the depths of our own souls. They can express noble thoughts and present vivid descriptions."

"I’m guessing we all have page after page of idle, and not so idle, words––perhaps spoken thoughtlessly or carelessly––that we would like erased before that day of judgment. Elder Holland taught:

 “It is with this realization of the power and sanctity of words that I wish to caution us, if caution is needed, regarding how we speak to each other and how we speak of ourselves.”

“Paul put it candidly, but very hopefully. He said to all of us: ‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good … [and] edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.’

“Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith and hope and charity…With such words, spoken under the influence of the Spirit, tears can be dried, hearts can be healed, lives can be elevated, hope can return, confidence can prevail.

“Like all gifts ‘which cometh from above’ words are ‘sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit’” (“The Tongue of Angels,” Ensign, May 2007)."

"Words wrapped in love can be unwrapped with hope and joy. Those wrapped in anger, impatience or ridicule, when opened, can inflict pain, humiliation, or spark a desire for retaliation. We would be wise to pause from time to time and weigh our words carefully, reflecting on the impact they may have on others. What is their effect when unwrapped in the mind and in the heart? Do they edify or build spiritually? Or do they tear down and destroy? Do they hurt? Or heal?"

"Besides the words we say or write there are other words we should consider for a moment; these are the words that should have been spoken or written; words we thought of saying, planned to say, perhaps were even prompted or inspired to say but that remained stillborn.

What happiness, encouragement, and comfort would have been added if we had made the effort? I’m afraid there are times when we think of making a phone call, sending a text, note, or letter but we get busy, we forget, we get lazy, or we convince ourselves that it won’t really matter. I can’t help but think that there are many such words we should have said, but didn’t."

I know that was quite a bit, and I'm sure if you wanted to read all that, you could have just read the talk, but I feel that those were important insights we as people sometimes overlook. Words truly carry unmeasurable power. If they didn't, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have cried when Cedric Diggory died in the 4th Harry Potter book, and I think it would be much harder to fall in love with someone if the things they said had no effect on you. My first love won me in the beautiful and eloquent things he would write and say (That boy could right one lean, mean, i-gotta-have-you machine love letter!). I'm reading a book right now called "Prozac Nation", that is not normally something considered uplifting, and certainly isn't G-rated, but the powerful way the author uses her words is mind-blowing and effective. She truly places you into her world using ink on paper. Description and persuasion is an art in the form of words. Without words, I daresay there is no progression. They are essential.  
So today I solicit a challenge.
  It's something I've been trying to incorporate in my own life as of late. 
What are the things you regret, or will regret never having said? The way I see it, our clock ticks just as fast as anybodies, and we can spend that time watching The Bachelor (again, guuuuiiilllty), or we can spend it  calling an elderly person who rarely gets to speak to anyone. We can write a note that may be the saving grace to a person's crummy day. I think we've all had those times where we were able to see the hand of the Lord, or the love of Christ, through the words of another person. We truly have the ability to do so much good in the way we speak, and act as disciples of Christ. I remember when I was having friend troubles in 5th grade, my mother told me, 
"Never, ever say anything unkind. No one can say something bad or mean about someone who is nice to everyone." 
And ya know what? She was right. Think about it. We all had awful words spoken go around or come around to harness pain rather than love. Friendships are ruined, relationship destroyed, and the power is all on the tips of our tongues. Additionally, we often hear "actions speak louder than words", I've been asked in response to my previous blog about a newly widowed expecting mother, "What can we do?". For those interested in making a material difference, please view the button on my sidebar for donations in regards to assisting in the expenses of Landon's funeral expenses. Thanks SO much for all your prayers!

Now, how are we using our words, and
What do you have to say?


  1. Valerie, I can not tell you how much I LOVE your blog!!! Thanks for being You!


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