03 July 2014

This morning during my personal study I focused on Elder W. Craig Zwick's talk from April 2014 General Conference, 'What Are You Thinking?'

This wasn't one of the talks that originally stood out to me much during Conference weekend, but perhaps because the topic of empathy has been on my mind lately, he said a few things that especially touched me.

I won't regurgitate the entire talk, because you really should watch it for yourselves!

But there were a few memorable messages from his words that I'd like to remember.

  • "A 'soft answer' [see Prov 15:1] consists of a reasoned response--disciplined words from a humble heart. It does not mean we never speak directly... Words that may be firm in information can be soft in spirit."
  • Lehi gave us an example of how to respond with empathy (1 Nephi 5: 2-6):
    1. Listen
    2. Make a disciplined response in the language of compassion
      1. Own the truth of what things look like from the other's perspective
      2. Address the other's fears
  • "Practice asking this question, with tender regard for another's experience: 'What are you thinking?'"
  • "The willingness to see through each other's eyes will transform 'corrupt communication' into 'ministering grace.' ...It may not change or solve the problem, but the more important possibility may be whether ministering grace could change us."
  • "We can 'minister grace' through compassionate language when the cultivated gift of the Holy Ghost pierces our hearts with empathy for the feelings and context of others."
See? You really SHOULD watch it! I know this counsel will bless my life as I try to apply it.

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