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Church Talk: The power of words

Friday 19 April 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features

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Church Talk: The power of words
As disciples of Jesus Christ, may we seek to follow His example in the way we communicate. LDS/ 24041828

Have you ever said something in the heat of the moment that you did not mean, but it had a lasting impact on the person you said it to? How did you feel? Kayla Kaimarama-Willie of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints writes.

As humans, it’s common for us to say things on a whim. That is the power of ‘words’ – it can build connections and relationships as well as destroy them. Words hold power. What we say matters.

In today’s emoji-filled world, words carry weight and impact. Our words on social media and texting take on a life of their own.

Let us be careful with what we say and how we say it.

Words fuelled by anger and frustration results in heartbreak and bitterness. When these words are directed towards someone you love such as a parent, a child, or a spouse; seen and unseen wounds are inflicted that pierce the soul like daggers.

Whenever you find yourself in such situations, ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to say going to uplift or injure the feelings of the other person?” Remember the saying that goes “think before you speak.”

In Ephesians 4:29, the Apostle Paul counsels us to “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

In his recent address, Elder Ronald A. Rasband said, “Words represent our beliefs, morals, and perspectives. Sometimes we speak words; other times we listen. Words set a tone. They voice our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, for good or bad. Unfortunately, words can be thoughtless, hasty, and hurtful. Once said, we cannot take them back.”

As agents of our own choices, we are in control of what we say. Our words can be used to celebrate victory, give hope and encouragement. Elder Rasband adds, “Words can prompt us to rethink, reboot, and redirect our course. Words can open our minds to truth.”

Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” We can find comfort in his words. The word of God provides lasting joy. When our thoughts and the intents of our hearts are aligned with the word of God, we are more likely to speak kind words. The word of God surpasses all other expressions. Believing and heeding the word of God, as taught in the Holy Scriptures will draw us closer to Him.

Referring to Jesus Christ, Elder Rasband adds, “We ‘hear Him’ in the words of scriptures, but do we let them just sit on the page, or do we recognise He is speaking to us? Do we change? We ‘hear Him’ in personal revelation and promptings from the Holy Ghost, in answers to prayers, and in those moments when only Jesus Christ, through the power of His Atonement, can lift our burdens, grant us forgiveness and peace, and embrace us in the arms of his love.”

In 1 Timothy 4:12, the Apostle Paul encourages us to, “… be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” The greatest exemplar that we can look to is none other than our Saviour Jesus Christ who spoke with tolerance and kindness during His earthly ministry. There are many accounts in the Holy Scriptures where Jesus Christ used words to give life and hope. He spoke compassionately to the Samaritan woman who was looked down upon by many. He instructed His disciples to allow the little children to come unto Him. He was kind to all who had sinned, condemning only the sin, not the sinner.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, may we seek to follow His example in the way we communicate.

Let us speak in tones of love. Let us intend to be helpful rather than hurtful. May we use our words to respect and not ridicule, to counsel and not criticise.

I testify that the words of God. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.