The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Language

"Much counsel has been given concerning our communications with others. The counsel given by the Apostle Paul to the Ephesian Saints seems to be most appropriate for the Latter-day Saints. He cautioned, 'Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good.' (Eph. 4:29.) He further counseled to be 'kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.' (Eph. 4:32.)" — L. Lionel Kendrick, "Christlike Communications," "Ensign," Nov. 1988, p. 24

"Try always to communicate with your fellowmen in a spirit of love, and the Lord will bless you accordingly. Using clean language at all times, in all places, under all circumstances, will make you a respected, loved, personable Latter-day Saint." — Jacob de Jager, "Know Your 'Rights'," "New Era," Mar. 1991, p. 6

"Our speech reflects the kind of person we are, exposing our background and our way of life. It describes our thinking, as well as our inner feelings. Today, probably more than in any other period of history, we find more profanity and vulgarity being used. It seems to stem from our television and movie presentations. Many are filled with language that can only defile the minds of men." — L. Tom Perry, "Thy Speech Reveals Thee," "New Era," Aug. 1986, p. 6

"When you tell a filthy story,
Do you ever stop to think
What impression you have made upon the crowd?
Do you think the boys enjoy it?
Do you think because they laugh
That you have sufficient reason to be proud?

Do you know that you exhibit
All that is within your soul,
When the filthy story passes from your tongue?
It reveals your own defilement,
It proclaims your ignorance,
It disgusts all decent boys who love real fun.

Do you think that you exhibit
Any real common sense,
When you show the crowd how rotten is your mind?
Do you know that you dishonor
Both your parents and your friends?
Think it over, boy, and that is what you'll find.

Be a little choice in language;
Be a little more refined,
If respect of those around you you would win.
You will have a great advantage
Over those who are inclined
To go through life in filth and slime and sin.

These verses I read when I was a little boy, and they made a deep impression on me. I hope they will touch your hearts." — Spencer W. Kimball, "The Davids and the Goliaths," "Ensign," Nov. 1974, p. 83

"My dear young brothers and sisters, have the courage to keep your speech clean and wholesome. Improve your vocabulary-it will place you among those who will be found serving the Lord." — L. Tom Perry, "Thy Speech Reveals Thee," "New Era," Aug. 1986, p. 7

"'Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.' (James 3:2-10)

"Well, that is pretty straightforward! Obviously James doesn't mean our tongues are always iniquitous, nor that everything we say is 'full of deadly poison.' But he clearly means that at least some things we say can be destructive, even venomous—and that is a chilling indictment for a Latter-day Saint! The voice that bears profound testimony, utters fervent prayer, and sings the hymns of Zion can be the same voice that berates and criticizes, embarrasses and demeans, inflicts pain and destroys the spirit of oneself and of others in the process. 'Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing,' James grieves. 'My brethren [and sisters], these things ought not so to be.'

"Is this something we could all work on just a little? Is this an area in which we could each try to be a little more like a "perfect" man or woman?" - Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Tongue of Angels," General Conference, April 2007

“In the first place, I must note that one of the virtues claimed by the Revisionists for their new work is that it consciously and deliberately sets about to destroy the New Testament as a book of supreme classic literature. They have all succeeded. They say the English of the King James Version is of too much beauty and elegance, is in English too majestic and lofty for the writings of New Testament times. I merely ask, could any language be too great, too elegant, too beautiful, too lofty, to record the doings and sayings of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ?” - J. Reuben Clark, Jr., “Conference Report,” April 1954, Afternoon Meeting, p. 40

There exists today a great need for men and women to cultivate respect for each other across wide distances of belief and behavior and across deep canyons of conflicting agendas. It is impossible to know all that informs our minds and hearts or even to fully understand the context for the trials and choices we each face.

Nevertheless, what would happen to the “corrupt communication” Paul spoke about if our own position included empathy for another’s experience first? 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?” Ensign (CR) May 2014

Christlike communications are expressions of affection and not anger, truth and not fabrication, compassion and not contention, respect and not ridicule, counsel and not criticism, correction and not condemnation. They are spoken with clarity and not with confusion. They may be tender or they may be tough, but they must always be tempered. - L. Lionel Kendrick, “Christlike Communications,” Ensign (CR) October 1988

Sincere yet simple words of praise can lift souls and bring gladness. Mark Twain remarked that he could live two months on one good compliment. In the words of the biblical proverbs of Solomon: "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." (Prov. 25:11.) - Marvin J. Ashton, "A Voice of Gladness," Ensign (CR), May 1991, p.18

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