Comments about ‘Ask Angela: Am I helping or gossiping?’

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Published: Saturday, Nov. 24 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

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ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

It's a delicate subject. Personally, I have decided that if I am simply passing on interesting info I've heard - it's usually gossip. If my sincere intention is to bring about genuine aid, then it's legitimate.

I've also been on the other side of the fence. I've had people discussing concerns I've shared with them, only to have the details become skewed with each passing mouth to ear and, well, it was an uncomfortable situation. I tend to be very very careful when home or visiting teachers pose the obligatory question of 'Is there anything we can do for you?'

When we serve others it is also important that our motives are to improve their situation and not to glorify ourselves. At this time of year many of us like to get involved in Secret Santa for someone we think is down cast. In our efforts to bless, we sometimes publicize their struggles and bring labels to them which now only embarrass them. In these trying times, we are strapped financially, but we don't consider ourselves especially needy. Having someone play Secret Santa to us would be almost mortifying.

Serenity
Manti, UT

I am surprised that no one mentioned the Relief Society President. It’s her job to know if people in the ward are in trouble and she has vast resources at her disposal. She has the bishop’s ear and between the two of them they can get priesthood help to get her yard in order and help her with food orders if need be. The Relief Society sisters can help clean her house and bring meals to her. I would never talk to anyone else in the ward about anything personal such as is in this article. I would let the Relief Society President know and offer to help. She can take it from there. It’s her job, after all.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

If we are passing just the important facts to people that can help or who have an ecclesiastical need to know, then it is less likely to be gossip. If we are just sharing information, we are more likely to be gossiping.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Keep your noses out of other people's business.

Church position does not give you the right to violate that principle.

raybies
Layton, UT

One of the best ways to counter gossip is to find ways to compliment and say uplifting things about all people, regardless of who they are. This is difficult to do if you know they have significant problems and can't get past it. But one ways it see people not by what they are now, but what they may become. In fact there was a great talk by Pres. Monson about this very topic in the last General Conference.

Good luck!

22ozn44ozglass
Southern Utah, UT

At least the woman in the story was concerned about gossiping in the first place. I have not attended many wards outside of Utah, but I can say without any hesitation that gossip mongering is a huge problem in Utah LDS wards. I am aware of an LDS sister who has on multiple occasions called people in her stake just to spread the latest dirt (real, imagined or fabricated) on people she does not like. There has been blatantly forethought and malice behind her actions. Sadly her husband either just turns a blind eye to what is going on, does not have sufficient courage or integrity to confront his wife on the ugliness, the out right lies and the destruction she is spreading.

I am aware of a another sister who has a compulsion to extract the deepest and most personal secrets out of others and then turn around and tell everyone in her social network about said secrets.

The sad part is too many LDS embrace these gossipmongers, partake of their fruits, and entertain themselves through consumption and repetition of the fruits of these two gossip mongers & the damage from their gossip is multiplied thereby.

raybies
Layton, UT

hey 22ozn44ozglass, you're gossiping.

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