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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Evils of Gossiping and Fault-finding

My most hated character trait that I have is my outspokenness.  Some may term it opinionated, holier-than-thou, etc.  I have realized of late that when I gossip or find fault with others, I lose the Spirit of the Lord and am left to myself.  In this essay, we will examine what the scriptures say about gossiping and the evils that flow therefrom, and try and find ways not to do so.

D&C 42:27 states, "Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm."  "Cease to contend one with another; cease to speak evil one of another. (D&C 136:23)"  These two scriptures are listed in the Index to the Triple Combination.  When I read the latter verse, I had a flash of inspiration, in that talking to OURSELVES about a person in a fault-finding manner also is included in this sin of Gossiping.  All the Presidents of the Church have taught that thoughts always precede actions, and that in order to maintain the Spirit of the Lord within our systems, thoughts must be controlled.  Thus said the Lord through Brigham Young, "Let your words tend to edifying one another. (D&C 136:24)"  I would go so far as to change it into "let your THOUGHTS tend to edifying one another", because it is our thoughts that leads to anything and everything we do.

The foregoing seems sufficient to call our attention to ourselves.  I am not writing this essay to call attention to anyone else but the reader (including and especially me, because I also reread after completion, thus falling into that category of reader).  Are we leading our lives as the Messiah would have us do?  In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ taught, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matt 5:13)"  In ancient times, salt was used not only to give flavor to a morsel of food, but to preserve it.  Meat was heavily salted, especially during the winter months, in order that it might keep longer.  It (salt) also preserved the food from impurities.  Now, how are we Christians, we Latter-day Saints, doing?  Are we letting the Salt of the Gospel preserve us from Satan?  Are we giving flavor to both the secular and religious world, led first by our thoughts, or are we being spoiled thought the evil thoughts and backbiting we have against others?

I myself pledge to put Thumper's philosophy (from Bambi) into action.  "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."  If we can't THINK anything nice, we should think of the Nicest and Purest Man who ever lived, and follow His example.  He is ever merciful to us, in regards to our failings and shortcomings.  So should we be with those we meet.

I know the Savior lives, that He taught goodness in thought and action, and that He has restored His Church on the earth today, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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