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Elevating Language: A Call to Discourse with Dignity

Today’s inspiration is drawn from Elder Ted E. Brewerton’s insightful discourse on “Profanity and Swearing,” delivered during the April 1983 General Conference. In his address, Elder Brewerton addresses the harmful effects of profane language and emphasizes the importance of uplifting speech in our daily interactions.

The Weight of Words

Elder Brewerton begins by highlighting the gravity of taking the name of God in vain, citing it as one of the most frequently broken commandments. He delves into the definitions of profanity, blasphemy, and obscenity, emphasizing their corrosive nature on individual character and societal well-being.

Revealing Ourselves through Speech

Quoting Socrates and Shakespeare, Elder Brewerton underscores the significance of speech as a reflection of character. He emphasizes the need for self-correction and quotes Confucius, urging continual improvement in our communication.

The Harm of Swearing

Drawing from scriptures and prophetic counsel, Elder Brewerton explores the consequences of swearing and profanity. He references Jeremiah’s lamentation over the land mourning due to swearing and President McKay’s admonition against profane language in well-ordered homes.

Civility in Discourse

Elder Brewerton advocates for polite responses to rudeness, citing etiquette expert Judith Martin. He stresses the importance of patience and refraining from contention, echoing the counsel of Doctrine and Covenants to avoid reviling against others.

Building with Words

The discourse shifts to the power of language to uplift and edify. Elder Brewerton quotes President Joseph Fielding Smith on the filthiness of profanity and emphasizes the importance of nurturing language as a means of communication.

Respecting Others through Speech

Referencing Bob Greene’s concept of “Hear Pollution,” Elder Brewerton explores the impact of profanity on society and individuals. He warns against the assault on the senses caused by vulgar language and advocates for uplifting discourse as a means of elevating others.

The Virtue of Optimism

Elder Brewerton contrasts pessimism with optimism, asserting that those who are positive and uplifting are the most progressive, happy, and prosperous. He encourages readers to emulate Church leaders in building and uplifting others through speech.

Hearing and Doing

The discourse concludes with a call to hear and heed the counsel of the Lord and His prophets. Elder Brewerton shares examples of individuals who hearkened to divine direction and invites readers to cultivate self-mastery over their words.

Speaking with Dignity

As we reflect on Elder Brewerton’s message, let us embrace the following call to action:

Choose Uplifting Language: Commit to using language that uplifts and edifies others. Refrain from profanity and swearing, and instead, strive to communicate with dignity and respect.

Cultivate Optimism: Foster an attitude of optimism and positivity in all interactions. Seek opportunities to uplift and encourage those around you through your words and actions. Link to Original: Profanity and Swearing

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