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Today I made a comment on a social website about an issue that is dividing people and in some cases even members of the Church.  I then read through my comment and realized that what I said needed a follow up comment because it could be viewed as offensive.  Then after reading that comment I realized that my clarification statement could be viewed as offensive to someone else.  Realizing that saying anything at all put me on either side of the issue I now found myself smack dab in the middle of a debate I originally wanted no part of and that making a comment literally dirtied my hands.  In this case, I had strong feelings about people who had strong feelings, but after making my comment I realized there was no place for it and I just made myself a part of the  ugliness of the issue. It would have been good for me to do a little research/studying so I knew where I stood on the issue, but it didn’t mean that I needed to say anything about it.  The insight on my hands being dirtied by saying something lent me new information I had never considered before and I literally witnessed a paradigm shift – and I’m grateful for that!

So, since this little experience I have found myself wondering when it would be appropriate to say something or not to say something.  Here’s a couple of things I learned for myself.

  1. Determine what the issue is even about and how big of a role does the advesary have in it (if it’s a lot then stay FAR AWAY!)
  2. Do I know anything about this subject?  (i.e. what do General Authorities or the scriptures have to say about it)
  3. Will saying anything help?  (Filters: Does this need to be said?  Does it need to be said by me?  Does it need to be said right now?)
  4. I would say that most of the time I would best serve my fellow men by not saying anything at all.  This does not mean however, that I shouldn’t say anything to my children.  If there is an issue I feel strongly about I do need to let them know how I feel (and not always with words) and that is probably about as far as that needs to go.

I am really going to work hard on this.  I am grateful for gentle corrections from the Spirit and the opportunities I am given every day to change for the better.

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