Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What to do when you "Stop It".

I loved this quote from Elder Uchtdorf.  I think deep down we all know this is what we should do.  But it is so hard!  I am going to be honest here, my biggest fear of not using negative speech is not having anything to talk about.  How silly is that?  And yet...sometimes I wonder what I would have to say.
Like always, a child has taught me.  He is a 9-year-old, autistic boy in my ward.  On Easter Sunday I sang a solo for my congregation.  After the meeting was over, this boy just lavished me with praise.  He told me that I had the best voice he had ever heard, and it was beautiful, and I was better than professional singers he had heard.  Over the top?  Maybe ;).  But did it feel so nice to hear?  Most definitely.  The next week he continued to tell me how wonderful I was.  I told him he could follow me around everywhere if he liked.
This is not the first time I have heard this boy give a sincere, wonderful compliment.  He was flabbergasted when one woman mentioned her grandbaby.  "You don't look like a grandma.  You look like...32!"  Of course, everyone shrugs off the grandiosity as coming from a 9-year-old autistic boy, but everyone also walks away feeling a little brighter and better about themselves.
This morning I realized I had an addiction.  We all have little addictions.  Overcoming an addiction is hard work.  A lot of times it is easier to replace one addiction with another.  I once knew a woman overcoming an alcohol addiction who replaced it with smoking, smokers who replace their addiction with chewing gum.  I need to replace my addiction with a better one.  An addiction to building up instead of tearing down.
I realized that while "Stop It." is a good prescription, it is awful hard to do without filling the void, and the only way we can fill that conversational void is by changing how we look at people.  We need to truly view the people around us like that little boy does.  Wonderful.  Amazing.  Because they are.  We all have the potential to be great.  We are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father blessed with divine talents.
Can you imagine how much better the world would be if, instead of picking at the differences and perceived shortcomings of others, we built them up and treated them the way the Lord sees them?  As beings with potential and promise.  Start with yourself.  See yourself this way.  Then look outside.
What have you missed noticing about the people around you?

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." -Mother Teresa


  1. Very wise words written here.

  2. And I don't doubt that boy in your ward is right--not exaggerating but RIGHT :). You are more awesome than you realize, Amanda. This is a great post.


    1. Aw, thanks Bobi! And A+ for taking this message to heart!

  3. The words of a sweet child are from the heart - so accept them please and pass it on!

  4. I'm a Pastor's kid and saw how gossip stung my family. How it tore down my parents, and so deeply deeply hurt me.How it literally ripped our church apart on not one or two but three separate occasions. If it's not nice I try not to go there.