The Power of Wise Communication

Small Christ teachingThe opportunity to communicate has increased a thousand fold in recent years. The power of the internet has made it possible to reach one individual at a time or thousands at one time. We live in a magnificent age.

Whether we communicate face to face or online, apparently the ability to communicate effectively has diminished. In a recent poll by Dan Jones & Associates, it was found that Utah based companies complained that people coming into the present workforce are lacking some serious skills, one being communication.

A common complaint was that companies are having to spend a lot of time and money training people in “sensitivities and cultures and how to do business.” My son, an attorney, has difficulty hiring front desk personnel that know how to communicate effectively. “Sometimes they are abrupt, blunt and discourteous without even recognizing it,” he said. It does not speak well of our education or culture.

Online communication has made it much easier to get away with “blunt and discourteous” communication. Perhaps online “bullying” has contributed to the face to face intimidation we are witnessing in our schools today.

No matter the mode used, ineffective communication stunts the opportunity to be heard or be considered a credible terminal for information.

Point of View

Beliefs are determined by our education and our experience. Beliefs form our point of view. Our views change as we learn and experience new things. Our view of life is “Our Truth” and may or may not be in line with anyone else, let alone eternal truths. We hold them dear.

We, spend a lot of time defending our point of view and trying to get others to change theirs. Various tactics of persuasion are used to give authority to our “Truths” such as polls, research, higher degree of education, the priesthood, the scriptures, the Ensign and “The Lord told me”. There is nothing wrong with this, however, some methods of communicating our message is more effective than others. The question is, does my method of communication “Work” to persuade or do I set myself up to be rejected and even persecuted?

Sound Relationships

Years ago I found this helpful model which helped me to understand how relationships work. It’s called the ARC triangle. The bottom corners of the pyramid are “Affinity” and “Reality.” The top of the pyramid is “Communication”. A break in any side of the triangle is a break in the relationship. If not handled, the relationship will suffer and may not last.arc

Affinity: closeness, harmony, bond, in accord. Do you like the person? Do you want to be near them, have a bond with them?  Do they have affinity toward you?

Reality: actuality, truth, realism, real life. Do you see eye to eye?  Are your beliefs and values the same? Is your view point on how to execute those values alike, compatible or at least workable?

Most relationship breaks comes within the “Reality” arena. Points of view have changed and are no longer compatible. The further apart your “Reality” is, the less “Affinity” you will feel for each other. You no longer want to be in the other persons presence because you don’t have anything in common.

Communication: When effective communication occurs, you have the opportunity come to understand the other person’s reality, or “point of view” and it make it a lot easier to be around each other. This does not mean you have to agree on everything. When the relationship allows for some differences and has mutual respect for variation of reality, the relationship has a better chance of lasting.

However, when we stand firmly in our ”Point of View”, with intent of making the other party “Wrong”, walls go up and we become the offensive party which forces defensive tactics by the other party and “War” begins. It seems that nothing brings out strong positions like politics and religion do. Look at the death and destruction that both of these topics have caused within the human family. Under certain circumstances, it may be wise to use caution and constraint when addressing these two issues.

Effective Communication

Effective communication is “Wise” communication. It is knowing who your audience is and staying within a framework that does not “Shoot” others down by our actions, words, or tone before we have a change to persuade them to consider a new way of thinking about any subject.

Sometimes “Wise” communication is “No” communication. There are some people and organizations that will never see another view point. Often, it is because they have so much time and energy invested in it to concede.To even entertain different ideas would be too embarrassing, hurtful or literally cause their death.

Christ was the ultimate “Wise” person when it came to communication. He understood his audience and acted accordingly.

  1. In some groups, he spoke in parables. Those who had ears and hearts to hear would get the message. Those who were not ready or in tune would leave, perhaps a little confused, but no worse for wear.

  2. With his enemies, he was discreet and answered questions with questions rather than cause open contention. His followers were always watching to see how He would handle sensitive subjects.

  3. He gave credit where credit was due… giving recognition to Ceasar that which was Ceasar’s and that which was God’s to God. In other words, he acknowledged authority.

  4. There were times when Christ did not speak or respond to his accusers. He knew their intent was to “Make Wrong” or entrap.This was especially true after his arrest. “And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.” When confronted by Pilate, he did not speak. “And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marveled greatly.” He knew when it was futile to try and change hearts and minds.

  5. However, in other groups, those who were like minded, such as his apostles and His people on the American continent, he was more direct and open, yet sensitive.

He was “The Master” in the way he taught and communicated. He was effective in each situation he was in, careful not to openly cause contention. He was a wise teacher. He understood the power of “Wise” communication.

We Have a Little Problem

This blog, as well as many others online, have a “Point of View” on the restoration of the gospel, how the gospel is taught, how scriptures are interpreted, and how the LDS church is managed, which often runs contrary to traditional thinking. These blogs have attracted many like minded people who desire to discuss gospel issues in light of new information and a new understanding of gospel matters.

Even though we seem to have much in common, there is often much contention when issues are discussed. The “I Am Right” attitude often disrupts meaningful dialogue. That is not to say that opposing points of view should not be discussed. It is more often the manner in which issues are discussed, not the subject matter.

So often, the “I Am Right” heels are firmly dug in and the war begins. In the end, everyone goes back to their corner, with no change of thought. This happens when persuasive methods, as taught in D&C 121 (persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, kindness, without hypocrisy), have not been applied. There often is a tendency to jump to verse 43: “Reproving betimes with sharpness…” assuming the Holy Ghost will uphold this strategy before all else has been tried.

There are times when the wise response is “No” response. It is best to let them have their way, especially when you know they want to contend or entrap.

Above all, we are guests of the blog owner and that should be respected. A sour tone may repel readers, and that is not fair.

Caution To Be Considered

Another caution should be considered. It is not appropriate to be combative in private territory, whether it is in a home, an LDS meeting house, temple, or privately owned grounds. They are not a place to openly oppose their beliefs, interpretation and standards, whether we believe their understanding is correct or not. By the nature of the LDS organization, we are not their advisers and they can run things any way they please. Like it or not, those who serve as officers in that organization have the duty to abide and defend the traditional standards whether we concur with the model or not. If they disagree, they should not be holding such positions because they represent the organization.

There may be unintended consequences in digging in our heals to defend our point of view. If we choose that course, one must be willing to risk rejection. The Corporate Church has a right to cut loose anyone they feel have views which are contrary or threaten their system. That is the nature of a corporation. Unfortunately, we have recently seen much fallout for those who have openly not seen eye to eye with the traditional thinking.

An Example

For example, whether one agrees with the “Ordain Women” cause or not, marching on Church property and appearing at the door of a traditionally held “Men Only” meeting was not the way to persuade, influence, or convince the Brethren of the validity of their mission.Their forceful approach did not work and their tactics turned against them. Now they spend much time “kicking against the pricks” still loudly defending their point of view. Are many still listening or care?

On the other hand, my personal opinion is, the Brethren did not handle the situation very well either. It may have been much more productive to have given Kate Kelly an audience with one of the Apostles rather than having their position related to her through a PR department. After all, the impetus for asking them to “Ask God” if women could received the priesthood came from a review of the Joseph Smith papers. Their public response to her appeared rude and disrespectful in light of her request.

Simply put, both sides dug in their “Point of View” heels and neither side faired very well in the end.

When comments or instructions are given in a class, one must examine intent. Is it to “Make Wrong” or to teach and inform? “Make Wrong” never works and care must be given when teaching others concepts which are contrary to traditional beliefs. Like Christ’s example, understanding your audience is paramount in knowing what technique of persuasion should be used and when to be quiet. Communication can be powerful if conducted wisely.

A Communication Blunder

About six months ago, I got caught using unsuccessful communication methods when I was “Defending my Point of View” on the subject of “Follow The Prophet.” My attempt to persuade a sister that we should “Follow Christ First” was anything but successful. It caused contention. Even though we are still friends, there is an element of discomfort when we see each other. My tactic simply did not “Work”.

whats-wrong-with-this-pictureSome time later, I found this photo on Facebook and sent it to a group of friends via e-mail.The title of the e-mail was, “What Is Wrong With This Picture.” There was no more dialog concerning the photo. Several did not respond at all, while four others did. “Sorry, I can’t see anything wrong”.

This was my reply: “Where is Christ? I have a concern that through this bulletin board, children may not understand that we “Follow Christ.” We listen to the wise counsel of our leaders as they point us to Christ, but we follow Christ first. Having Christ acknowledge first on the bulletin would have be more correct.

The response was positive and met with no resistance. “Oh my, you are right. I see it now.” Seeds were planted to think differently about the subject. When the issue comes up again, perhaps they will remember our dialog. My approach was much more successful the second time around.

This is certainly a subject I would not bring up in a class. By the very nature of the subject, it would cause contention and the chances of effectively changing any point of view would be practically nil. For this subject, a one on one conversation is probably more appropriate, but not in the Church building.

May We Do Likewise

Whether we are dealing with friends, co-workers, family or members of the LDS church, how we communicate is as important or more important than the message we are trying to deliver. Broken relationships are much harder to repair than to prevent a break by using good communication skills that “Work”.

When communicating, ask yourself… “What is the fruit of my “Point of View?”  “Do I cause repeated contention?”  Also, “Do I want it to “Work” or would I rather be “Right”.

Christ is our example for using all of the qualities of influence as described in D&C 121: 40-46 and in other scriptures.

May we do likewise.

22 thoughts on “The Power of Wise Communication”

  1. kathryn, Oh how beautifully written. This is exactly what I needed to read this morning, before heading to work. My five children, their spouses and my husband are unable or rather unwilling to be open hearted to my point of view on what is happening. I thank you from my heart.

  2. It is true that people lack communication skills. The new technology world of text messaging and the internet has been a great blessing but at the same time it has become a huge problem for some people when they go outinto the real world.
    In my opinion though it all comes down to most of the world in now selfish. We have turned into people that are in our own little worlds and are unaware of what’s going on around us. We don’t lift our heads or our thoughts rather to others that are around us.
    Christ was selfless and gave everything, never thinking about himself. It would be nice to see us as a people give, think of others and not worry about our own problems more often. I think if we thought less about ourselves and more about others then our communication skills would improve. We would be seeking to understand one another and our hearts would open to more truths that are out there.
    Thank you for the post.!

    1. Kathyrn,
      I agree with most everything you wrote but I wanted to add my personal view on the ordain woman group.
      You may look at what they did as the wrong way but that is an opinion. I personally believe they did the right thing. It brought great attention and awareness to the problem of the woman not being allowed the priesthood. I have prayed about it and learned for myself that what they did was right. Even if things bring up controversy and it may look wrong doesn’t mean that it is. I think about great people like martin Luther king, Rosa parks and ghandi all doing courageous acts that were considered wrong and even illegal.
      ghandi initially gathered a few followers to walk on the sidewalks rather than listening to the instruction of only white people were allowed to walk on the side walks when he was in south Africa. That small act didn’t seem like much at the time but it was the beggining of changing history for India.
      Rosa parks was the same that did the simple act of sitting in the front of the bus, refusing to move. It caused a lot of contention and riot but it gave beleivers hope and courage.
      Jesus went into the temple and threw the money tables over and caused a lot of contention and misunderstanding but it was obviously the right thing to do even if at the time no one could see it.
      That all being said, I am greatful for what the ordain woman group did. At the time I thought they were all crazy and wrong but after opening my heart and listening and communication with others I decided to pray about the matter and it gave me courage and hope for the woman

      1. Hi The Revenger

        I enjoyed your comments. There is no doubt that Ordain Women group received great attention and awareness of women not having the priesthood.

        I prefer to use the phrase, Did it “Work” rather than right or wrong. Did their process of communication “Work” to give them the results they originally wanted, which was to have the Prophet “Ask God” if women could hold the priesthood? Originally they did not demand, but simply ask.

        When there was no response, they upped the ante and pushed harder. Did it work? No…. if their primary intent or goal was have the Prophet ask God and report back what the Lord said. If their secondary goal was to gain attention, then yes… what they did… “Worked.” However, marching as a group has the flavor of “Rebellion” which apparently did not go over very well with the Brethren. Was the cause worth being excommunicated for? I don’t know, we would have to ask Kate Kelly and the others.

        Personally, I’m fine not having priesthood responsibilities. I like what Denver Snuffer said. “…when women focus on church office they may forfeit something a great deal more valuable. Given a choice, I’d trade away all church positions for a visit with the risen Lord.”

        However….. I would like women to be in control of their own organization again. That is one cause I could really sink my teeth into.

        A little background may be helpful.

        In the minutes, taken by Eliza R Snow, during the third meeting of the Relief Society, Joseph “Said he was going to make of this Society a kingdom of Priests as in Enoch’s day — as in Paul’s day.”  We don’t know what that “kingdom of priests” looked like. Perhaps it was a priesthood for women only. Perhaps is was the same priesthood as the men had. We simply don’t know because Joseph did not live long enough to give the women any type priestly authority as he apparently intended. However, he did give them keys to run their own organization. “That he would ordain them to preside over the Society — and let them preside just as the Presidency, presided over the church.”

        The Relief Society was organized independent of the Priesthood. The Relief Society was disband when leaving Nauvoo and was not reorganized for a number of years after the saints were settled in Salt Lake. When it was organized, it was after the pattern set up in Nauvoo. The RS organization was an independent organization .

        They had their own bank account, their own businesses, and eventually built their own building in Salt Lake with their own funds. I remember the bazaars in the cultural hall, where items were sold to add to their funds. Each month, my grandmother, mother and myself (I was a young chick then) put our RS monthly dues in a little brown envelope. In the first chapel I went to, the RS room was across the street from the chapel, totally independent. When our new chapel was built, the RS room was added and the RS president had the key. She could lock anyone out, including the bishop. It was an independent organization, run and managed by women. All moneys generated in a ward by the RS organization was used to give relief to those in need the area.

        When everything was “Correlated” in the early seventies, the Relief Society no longer was an independent organization. It was put under the arm of the Priesthood and the monies in ward RS bank accounts were taken and put in the general fund. The RS building became part of Church real estate. Oh my gosh… was my grandmother upset! “Now we will under the thumb of the priesthood.” She was correct.

        It will be interesting to see how this all works out and whether the communication method used by Ordain Women was effective in reaching their goal in the long run. It remains to be seen. There is always hope.

        1. Kathryn,

          Thank you for the response. I agree with you that things haven’t worked out with the ordain woman group the way they may have wanted but in the end we both know that it will work out the way that God wants it to.
          I will be completely honest about my believes with woman in the priesthood and also the relief society. I think that we first need to understand what the priesthood really is and really means because I don’t see priesthood responsibility being the same today or the way the church views it as the way it will be when Zion is being built up. Second, I believe in 100% equality between men and woman and don’t believe there should be any seperation between the man and the wife. I believe in Zion they will be of one heart and one mind. No one above the other. I know by the spirit that seperation of the man and woman in the lads temples is wrong. Husband should be sitting next to his wife. I don’t think it should be any different in church either. I believe that priesthood and relief society should be one class and one priestood.
          I know and have witnessed the heavenly power of woman giving blessings just as the men have given blessings in the LDS church. The most powerful blessing that I have ever been apart of was with a woman as the mouth peice.
          That being said I obviously know that the woman that was giving the blessing had a priesthood power that was not given to her by a church, organization or any man. That priesthood power was given to her by God. I believe in the end that this group of ordain woman will find this out for themselves that they never needed to ask a man for the priesthood power but that God had already given it to them, more specifically Heavenly Mother.
          I have a very strong testimony of the city of Enoch being raised up because there was this equality. There was no one placed above another. The woman and man were 1. There was no polygamy whatsover. I have a deep love for people that can respect woman and know that they are the light! They make everything go! They are the peace makers! They are the givers of life! They are our mothers that love unconditionally! They are the hen that gathers all the chicks in. Is this not a priesthood power? I can think of no greater power than this! Woman are the example, such as yourself Kathryn that us men need to look to! You are seeking the peace with all of us on this blog! I know God loves you and we need more woman but much more importantly more men that are like you!
          Thank you for everything! God bless!

        2. TheRevenger
          I agree with you, it remains to be seen what form the priesthood will take when Zion is established. At the present time, holding the priesthood holds no attraction for me as I see it basically administrative at the present time. My plate is full and I don’t need anymore responsibilities. I have no desire to be bishop. However, there are other women who would like to be a part of the administrative workings of the Church. If things were to change, I would support them.

          As far as the future is concerned, I believe the priesthood will be inclusive. As you have indicated, the timing is up to the Lord. There is no doubt in my mind that our Father and Mother in heaven are equal in every way and she plays a significant part in our lives.

          You give much credit to women and I value faithful, spiritual men. I think it is a common mistake to think that men cannot be as compassionate as women and women cannot as strong as men. Christ had all attributes.

          As far as the temple is concerned, I’m not bothered by the separation. The endowment is a personal, and individual covenant and has no bearing on whether one is married or not. However, it will be interesting to see how different the endowment will be when temples in Zion are built. So much of the endowment has been changed. I miss some of the old format.

          In the meantime, I pray for Zion and Christ’s coming…. “Soon please!”

  3. Great post

    I am one who gets along with almost everyone I meet face to face, but the internet is a new way of communicating and I lack some needed skills. It becomes difficult because not only am I thinking of the person who I am engaging in conversation but I am aware of the other readers so often it is like being in an arena and things are often written that I don’t think would be said in person.
    Very tough at times and I think like revenges said Jesus has been the catalyst for as much contention as anyone in history if looked at in one way.
    Elijah sarcastically taunted the priests of Baal and Ezekiel frankly said “who am I to be inquired of by you?…
    I really enjoyed this post and am looking to implement some of your wise counsel in the future. Thank you

  4. I believe contention exists in the eye of the receiver. If readers act on a surety of the Atonement of Christ then they will perceive no contention. Christ is not the cause of contention. Christ is the healing. Each man and woman can be offended (marred, frankly, by wicked thinking) or instead rely upon the Savior for truth and thus give no other individual power over their thoughts, deeds, actions, and responses.

    1. Dani,

      Great comment! That makes me think of something that a friend once told me and I have felt the spirit of truth when she has said it, it goes something like this… “if you are offended by something then there is something you need to learn”

    2. Dani

      I agree completely. That is why I tried to find the right word and say Christ was a “catalyst” for contention. He never had the spirit of contention. Others can often hear someone speak truth and because of where they are at they perceive the messenger as arrogant, deluded, dark, apostate, evil, contentious and many other things.
      In the end truth will always justify itself and those who love truth will find themselves with the Master.

      1. EvenTheLeastSaint

        Matt10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

        1. 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

        2. EvenTheLeastSaint

          Dani, thank you. Consider these verses.

          Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

          Also, those who would serve God but are not ready to receive the sword, should be wary of entering the fray.

          John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
          3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

          Clarity in delivering the message will probably only increase opposition.

  5. Hi EvenTheLeastSaint,

    I’m not sure if we are following the same line of thought. There is no doubt that the presence and word of Christ causes many people to come to a knowledge of their own wickedness. But you cannot say that Christ’s presence or word CAUSES them to respond violently in language or action. It is possible (and necessary) to receive His word in meekness–to trust Him.

    Likewise, on a much smaller scale, I cannot be responsible for how you or another reader takes my words. I am not the CAUSE of contention in posting this reply. How you receive the words determines the level of contention, because contention is perceived, not inherent. You don’t have to believe me, but even if we disagree, we can do so in peace, without assuming ill intent (as I believe we have). 🙂

    All have opportunity to receive Christ with peace.

    1. And maybe I should clarify that I’m not using the word “contention” only as meaning ‘a point of disagreement’ but rather with the connotations that the word often carries of intentional ‘friction, discord, harshness.”

  6. Here is my opinion about your post:

    “Another caution should be considered. It is not appropriate to be combative in private territory, whether it is in a home, an LDS meeting house, temple, or privately owned grounds. They are not a place to openly oppose their beliefs, interpretation and standards, whether we believe their understanding is correct or not.”

    Question: where would you consider the appropriate place to be? Ask yourself: when was the last time you have an honest, open discussion in a CHURCH VENUE about the policies, practices & procedures of the church, in a safe, loving environment?
    Answer: NEVER.

    “By the nature of the LDS organization, we are not their advisers and they can run things any way they please”.

    Comment: no, they don’t. At least not by nature. They have power to run the organization anyway they please, they don’t have authority to do so. They have authority to run the organization insofar as their actions are consistent with the Standard Works of the church, and coincident with the direction of the Holy Ghost.

    “Like it or not, those who serve as officers in that organization have the duty to abide and defend the traditional standards whether we concur with the model or not. If they disagree, they should not be holding such positions because they represent the organization.”

    Comment: no, no officer in the organization has the duty to defend policies, practices or procedures that run contrary to the Standard Works or contrary to revelation through the Holy Ghost. In fact, I suggest that officers have a duty to oppose (or at least ignore) edicts that violate these standards.

    “There may be unintended consequences in digging in our heals to defend our point of view. If we choose that course, one must be willing to risk rejection. The Corporate Church has a right to cut loose anyone they feel have views which are contrary or threaten their system. That is the nature of a corporation. Unfortunately, we have recently seen much fallout for those who have openly not seen eye to eye with the traditional thinking.”

    Comment: they have POWER to do so, they don’t have AUTHORITY to do so. They do not derive this by nature.

    I understand that you sincerely believe these words. I suggest, however, that you are outlining here in a nutshell, the very problem with the way leadership in the LDS church is running the show. This has been a very big problem for the past century. The truth is that there is NO FAITHFUL VENUE to express contrary opinion on anything in this church. One of the reasons that these blog venues are expressing so much angst is that this is so. Ask yourself: When have the leaders of the LDS church really been open to a dialogue with grass roots members, and open to influence, about policies, practices & procedures in the church? The answer is NEVER. The leaders of the church are still largely enthralled with a military-style top-down management style. This is beginning to soften, thanks to the internet, but many in the 12 are trying mightily to hold onto the old paradigm. Even now I notice, after being dead for 24 years, a large bio article on ET Benson is published in the Ensign Magazine. Why? I suspect to pave the way for his 14 points article which is to be highlighted in our new upcoming PH/RS manual. This illustrates the “hard line” the Brethren are taking with dissidents, apostates, and any who oppose the official party line on historical and doctrinal matters. I believe the Brethren are “doubling down” in effect on the old paradigm. In the end, however, they will be forced to consider the grass-roots opinions of the common members, because the Brethren will never be able to control the hundreds of thousands of bloggers on the internet.

    1. Karl,

      This sounds a lot like how the Jews reacted when Christ walked into his fathers temple and threw the money tables over. Do you believe that he was wrong by the way he acted ? The Jews claimed it was their church and they didn’t want christ to destroy it but even of it was corrupt it was still the fathers house. Still didn’t stop Christ from throwing the money tables over.

      1. The Revenger…. thanks for your comments.
        I find it interesting how many comments have gravitated toward Christ’s actions in the temple or picking up the sword. Remember, harsh actions by Christ were used at the end of his ministry not the beginning. Personally, I don’t think Christ was wrong. He is Christ and can use any methods he sees fit because he knows and understands ALL. We do not. However, it seems to be our nature, as “fallen man” to justify our point of view using harsh words or anger as the first method… not the last. I agree, when called upon by the Spirit it may the right thing to do. Yet, I think there are far too many folks claim the “Spirit” to defend being a jerk.

        Unfortunately, more mini wars are created on the news, on social media and online commentary more often than with face to fact contact. I believe Christ expects us to use ever other method of communication before using mean or harsh tactics toward each other. Is not the protocol in D&C 121:41-46 the ultimate way to influence others?

        As Dani said, what we say can be misunderstood and contention arises. Other times, anything you say can be taken as take as a slight and there will never be a win win situation. Just ask any parent of a teenager. On the other hand, I really think we can all agree …. we do have a responsibility to find ways of communicating that “Work” to change hearts and minds without contention, which is certainly a challenge for me. The “natural woman” in me rears her ugly head far to often.

        1. Kathryn,

          I agree with you in a way, if I understand correctly. However, not one of us are able to change anybody’s heart no matter how great our communication skills are. That is between individuals and God.

          On the matter of contention, the person that is sharing the message definitely has to always be guided by the spirit, like you mentioned above. You will notice that you can find hundreds of accounts from many different prophets that would have been considered “contentious”. The Book of Mormon is full of both examples. the first two examples that came to my mind were of Ammon and his brother Aaron. Ammon was a great prophet that used the peaceful route, working for the king Lamoni. Then you have his brother Aaron that went and was “contentious”, calling the people unto repentance in their synagogues. Both tactics worked as they were both guided by the Lord.

          The thing that I fear now in these latter days is that both methods seem to have little effect on people. Moroni who prophesied of the latter days wrote about his people in the end of the Book of Mormon saying “when I speak the word of God with sharpness, they tremble and anger against me and when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it; Wherefore I fear lest the spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them.

          This being said, I would much rather take the peaceful route. there would seem to be a lot less pain and suffering but God knows best and we do not so I guess we just need to trust in his plan for each of us individuals and realize that God knows us perfectly so he will use us perfectly.

    2. Karl

      Would you be surprised if I said I agree with you?

      However, with that being said… My post is about communicating “Wisely” and getting the best results. The principles expressed can be used no matter whether you are dealing with family members, friends, co-workers, management, or the Church.

      The main point is…. KNOW YOU AUDIENCE and proceed WISELY.

      Whether you or I agree with how the LDS Church is running their organization, by the very nature of a corporation they can run it how they choose, top down management style platform or not. Whether they have the “POWER” to do so or the “AUTHORITY, it is beside the point… they are in charge. If they have departed from “Source”, and have changed things, it is up to the “Commander in Chief” to handle it…. and I’m sure He will. We have been promised He will.”

      If I were hired by a corporation in a management position, I feel it is my duty to abide by the their set handbook. If I do not agree with the terms, I would either resign my position or try and convenience my superiors of alternative choices. If they do not agree, they have a right to fire me. (Yes, they could be following the wrong handbook, but either way, the same principle applies.)

      My point for respecting the private property of the Church by not ruffling feathers on their turf is that it just simply does not “Work” because the nature of the audience. I guess each individual has to decide for themselves whether it’s worth the risk of trying or not…. and so far…. it has not “Worked.”

      There is no doubt, people are coming out of the woodwork with a new paradigm. However, their claim is the desire to be closer to the Lord, hear his voice, see his face, have a “Christ like” mind, and establish a Zion thinking people, etc, etc, etc.

      How do you suggest we do that when we seem to be “Hell Bent” on changing the top of the organization to a different view point. Mosiah 2:32. Like you said, it will never happen. I don’t think the Brethren will ever find the need to “Consider the grassroots opinions of the common members”…. it’s not part of, and has never been part of the plan since the Church was restored. Our “Opinions” do not count. They are just opinions.

      I suggest we, individually, take a look at their own personal journey and determine what we need to do to reach our goals. Never mind what’s going on at the top.

      1. I personally have so much work to do to become “A New Creature In Christ”, that looking outside of myself to correct others is less and less appropriate or appealing.

      2. I find it much more rewarding and successful to discuss new ideas and new found understanding with “like minded” people… such as yourself… on the format we have chosen and leave the rest alone. I think the best way to convince others of my alternative point of view is to live it and keep my mouth shut, unless prompted by the “Spirit” to do otherwise. (Caution: 3 Nephi 1:29.)

      So, how do you suggest we avoid contention with each other in this new and exciting time?

      By the way… When I received the Ensign and saw the photo of ET Benson on the cover, my thoughts were similar to yours. “What’s next?”

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