New Harmony: Speaking plainly about 'rascals' and 'shortcomings'

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  • Kazbert VAIL, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    I agree, mostly. I just wonder if there are other possible motivations behind it. I think error can be made going in both directions – speaking too softly and speaking too harshly. Often in softening our words we are not intentionally belittling the seriousness of the sin but instead are trying not to sound too judgmental. It is far more telling when we use softer words to describe our own sins versus using softer words to describe someone else’s. Yet I can see the value of being totally forthright in recounting the scriptural stories. Stories often use characters who embody one trait or another, which clarity and definition are often necessary for that story to teach the lessons intended.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    Marvelous piece! I teach writing to college freshmen, and I always talk to them about euphemisms. Frequently they're necessary, such as when we refer to death, or we want to express our frustration without swearing.

    But as illustrated here, quite often softening the language also misrepresents the deed. There are many stories my mom told me about her family, with eyebrows raised, and I still don't know what she was trying to imply.

    Yes, we want to preserve feelings and reputations, but as pointed out in the article, isn't it more important to be clear about the sin and also about the miracle of forgiveness for that sin?

  • John T Scranton, PA
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Well said….thanks for seeing thru what could be called another form of political correctness.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Perhaps this says more about the nature of people attracted to Mormonism than it does about the Church itself. If you’re inclined to believe (as I am) that religions diversify, not because of better theology or new “revealed truths” but because different people have different needs, then the author is misguided in his efforts to alter the speech patterns of Mormons.

    He might be better off simply becoming a Baptist where blunt speech is the norm.