Monday, March 7, 2011

Christlike Communication

Yesterday we had a lesson in Relief Society that I enjoyed very much and wanted to share it with you.

I love mothers who seem to have it all together; they speak softly to there children, and the children listen and behave; they are always doing great and wonderous things for their children; they have patience....

I am not one of those mothers, I have been blessed with what my mom has always called a stage whisper I have no trouble broadcasting my voice if the mic is out at church and I am giving a talk. I have not always been the most patient with my children, and I am not creative. But, I do love them very much and have done the best I can do and have learned in the process.

I will say my husband's calling at church has really helped me with my patience at first it tried them very much and I had a very difficult time. But, now it isn't so hard and I have noticed that my relationship with my children has gotten better because of it.

The below clips are taken from and article by L. Lionel Kendrick, "Christlike Communications", Ensign, Nov. 1988,

Heavenly Father has given us a priceless gift in our capacity to communicate with each other. Our communications are at the core of our relationships with others. If we are to return home safely to Heavenly Father, we must develop righteous relationships with His children here in mortality.

Our communications reflect in our countenance. Therefore, we must be careful not only what we communicate, but also how we do so. Souls can be strengthened or shattered by the message and the manner in which we communicate.

There are certain kinds of un-Christlike communications which destroy relationships and are not for our development but are for our destruction. They result in a diminished opportunity of returning home safely to Heavenly Father. One of the major ways that Satan uses to retard the development of righteous relationships is in the use of gossip, rumor, and slander on his communication network. Perhaps the more common un-Christlike communications are those of lying, blaming, criticizing, and anger.

1. Lying. The first of these communications is that of lying. To lie is to be untruthful, deceptive, deceitful, and dishonest. This is a basic communications problem which is not new; it goes back to the Garden of Eden.

2. Blaming. A second un-Christlike communication is that of blaming. This is a condemning communication. It is interesting that when the Lord confronted Adam in his fallen state, Adam began to place the blame on Eve for his actions. He said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Gen. 3:12.) When Eve was confronted, she placed the blame on Satan. She said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Gen. 3:13.)

3. Criticizing. A third un-Christlike communication is that of criticizing. Positive criticism is feedback given with the purpose of helping another person to grow and to develop. This is both helpful and needful and is generally accepted and appreciated.

Negative criticism is intended to hurt and often to defame and to destroy. This caustic communication is cruel, and it tends to crush the character of all of those about whom it is directed. King Benjamin urged his people to “not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably.” (Mosiah 4:13.) We should surely follow this counsel and defend those who are defamed by these denouncements.

4. Anger. A fourth is anger. This is perhaps the most common form of un-Christlike communication. Anger causes anguish to the souls of all of those who experience the feeling as well as to those who are the recipients of this emotional explosion.

Anger shows a lack of self-control and an inability to relate in a righteous way to others. It is a senseless substitute for self-control. It is sometimes used as a selfish strategy to gain control of a relationship. President Wilford Woodruff counseled that “the moment a man or a woman becomes angry they show a great weakness.”

May we be found communicating with each other in a manner in which the Savior would communicate. Christlike communications are expressed in tones of love rather than loudness. They are intended to be helpful rather than hurtful. They tend to bind us together rather than to drive us apart. They tend to build rather than to belittle.

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.

The real challenge that we face in our communications with others is to condition our hearts to have Christlike feelings for all of Heavenly Father’s children. When we develop this concern for the condition of others, we then will communicate with them as the Savior would. We will then warm the hearts of those who may be suffering in silence. As we meet people with special needs along life’s way, we can then make their journey brighter by the things that we say.

Christlike communications will help us to develop righteous relationships and ultimately to return to our heavenly home safely. May we treasure the divine gift of communication, and may we use it wisely to build and to assist others on this marvelous journey through mortality. May Heavenly Father bless us to this end, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I enjoyed the reminders this lesson brought to me in my quest to grow rightouesly. I know I have a long way to go and I know that by daily working on my relationships with those who are most important to me it will spill out to those in the world around me.
May you have a blessed day...

1 comment:

  1. Dear Erika,,

    What a good reminder! I am working on these, as well. It takes practice to undo old habits, doesn't it?




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