Today we had a very successful Family Home Evening tonight. We have had the problem lately with screaming (the girls), back talking (the girls), sassing (the girls) and yelling (the girls and I). So tonight we talked about the tongues of angels. Elder Holland gave a wonderful talk last April about it. He said:
There is a line from the Apocrypha which puts the seriousness of this issue better than I can. It reads, “The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh: but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones.”3 With that stinging image in mind, I was particularly impressed to read in the book of James that there was a way I could be “a perfect man.”
Said James: “For in many things we offend all. [But] if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”…
“For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, … hath been tamed of mankind:
“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
Matt rightly requoted the line from the Apocrypha “The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh: but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the HOME.”
We all know that sticks and stones don’t hurt nearly as much as words can. And no words hurt more than the rude and thoughtless words of those in your family (even if they are unintentional.)
So we read James 3: 2-10 and explained these scriptures to the girls and explained the consequences of “spitting fire”. And since I try to not hold our children to a higher standard than I hold myself. I told them that they need to remind me when I “spit fire” (yell) and I will also have consequences. Matt is also included with this, but he doesn’t really say anything mean or yell anyway. After FHE we didn’t have one yell, scream or complaint the rest of the evening. Off to a good start!
I think tomorrow I am going to take pictures of us all sticking our tongues out and put it on the fridge to remind us how to speak like angels.
I will end with another quote from Elder Holland:
So, brothers and sisters, in this long eternal quest to be more like our Savior, may we try to be “perfect” men and women in at least this one way now—by offending not in word, or more positively put, by speaking with a new tongue, the tongue of angels. Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith and hope and charity, the three great Christian imperatives so desperately needed in the world today. With such words, spoken under the influence of the Spirit, tears can be dried, hearts can be healed, lives can be elevated, hope can return, confidence can prevail.