And They Would Not Hear – Alma 21:10

10 And it came to pass as he began to expound these things unto them they were angry with him, and began to mock him; and they would not hear the words which he spake.

I would summarize this verse in the following way:

anger –> mocking –> not listening

How often do we gravitate to sarcasm or criticism when we are irritated with another person? Those types of “corrupt communication” (Ephesians 4:29) serve not only as symptoms of our anger, but also as defense mechanisms which prevent us from taking seriously what the other person is saying. No wonder President Thomas S. Monson has counseled us:

Love should be the very heart of family life, and yet sometimes it is not…. Lamented President Gordon B. Hinckley: “Why is it that the [ones] we love [most] become so frequently the targets of our harsh words? Why is it that [we] sometimes speak as if with daggers that cut to the quick?” The answers to these questions may be different for each of us, and yet the bottom line is that the reasons do not matter. If we would keep the commandment to love one another, we must treat each other with kindness and respect (“Love—the Essence of the Gospel,” General Conference, April 2014).

Today, I will make a conscious effort to avoid unkind words, particularly toward those I love the most. I will remember that unkind words can cut off lines of communication which are vital to preserving and building relationships. I will remember that the best response to aggravation is patience and kindness.

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