Only eight more days until the 184th Semiannual General Conference of the Church! In preparation, here is an inspirational thought from Elder W. Craig Zwick about the power of our words to hurt or heal, with a bonus message from some precious little children.
Elder W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy gave a poignant and thought-provoking message at the April 2014 Conference entitled “What Are You Thinking?“. In a world filled with increasing cruelty, anger and sorrow – globally and at home – Zwick’s plea for empathy couldn’t be more timely.
Elder Zwick recounts a story from his early marriage when he took a job driving a big rig truck across country carrying a heavy construction load. He brought his wife and young son along for the ‘fun’ road-trip. Unfortunately, during a very steep decent the breaks of the truck began to fail! Tense moments ticked by as he struggled frantically to get the sliding truck back into control. The rig fishtailed as he tried to pull it over to the side of the road toward safety. Suddenly, his wife grabbed their child and leaped out of the still-moving vehicle from the high cab door!
After pulling over and quickly breaking, Zwick leaped out, and rushed to his wife and child. Miraculously, they were unharmed, but he angrily yelled:
“What were you thinking?!? Do you know how dangerous that was? You could have been killed!””
Her unexpected response “pierced [his] heart” with regret.
“I was just trying to save our son.”
How often do we want to shout at others ‘What were you thinking?!?” [for me, that’s at least once every day…]
Zwick asks us to consider Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger”. He elaborates that,
“A “soft answer” consists of a reasoned response—disciplined words from a humble heart.”
Perhaps if we only knew the motivation and thought process behind someone’s deeds or words, we might not be so quick to judge.
“Fully owning the limits of my own imperfections and rough edges, I plead with you to practice asking this question, with tender regard for another’s experience: “What are you thinking?”
– W. Craig Zwick, What Are You Thinking?, April 2014
I personality tends to lead to the “firm” side. I’m grateful for this gentle reminder to tread a little softer. – MoSop
BONUS: “Out of the mouths of babes”
The scriptures often talk about unexpected wisdom little children can teach us by their actions or words.
The video is as funny as it is poignant. It makes us stop and think.
Are we so intent to be “right” that we eventually ‘poke’ a heart?”