© 2011 mikeandbrynne


Thanks to an inspired comment from a friend, I read an article this morning by Elder Holland entitled “The Tongue of Angels”.  It was the perfect remedy for my current malady (which, by default, has become our family’s malady–the power of example:  love it/ hate it).  With my current suboptimal health (excuses, excuses, I know) my patience threshold has diminished.  I have found that when multiple demands and frustrations from multiple kids are piled on me simultaneoulsy, I rapidly digress into a derogatory or frustrated tone of voice.  This in turn leads the child or children with whom I am assisting into a further state of frustration with an escalation in their pitch.  Thus, the downward spiral begins.  Holland’s beautifully written dissertation reiterates the importance of words and speaking.  He turns us to the book of James, in which James compares the tongue to a horses bridle or a ships rutter.  Although a small member, it truly controls the whole body.  Positive words spoken with a positive tone can elevate and inspire us to new heights and vistas.  On the other end of the scale, Holland explains, “A woman’s words can be more piercing than any dagger ever forged, and they can drive the people they love to retreat beyond a barrier more distant than anyone in the beginning of that exchange could ever have imagined.” (Holland, Tongue of Angels, April 2007)- Ouch!!  I did not chose to stay home with my kids to belittle or demean them, but upon analysis I realize that my tone of voice sometimes does this–even if my words do not.  Today, I have made a conscious effort to speak in a tone and manner that expresses love.  Children still made mistakes, green smoothie was still finger painted over the kitchen by Luke, my computer still malfunctioned, but somehow EVERYTHING was different and everything felt right.  It all comes down to me……depressing, yet invigorating.  I have long felt that yelling out a child’s full name when they are in trouble (you know, the old fall back- Jonathan Jones Smith YOU get over here!) is disrespecting and akin to taking a child’s name in vain, but I obviously haven’t focused on my exasperation in all my conversation.  I look forward to the elevation that can potentially occur if I choose to be constructive and positive in my word and tone always.  My new daily vitamin is going to be reading this talk daily until I can speak to my children in a healing and edifying tongue (or at least most of the time!).  Hopefully the perscription will not have to be permanent!



  1. Jessica Sedgwick
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 4:45 am | #

    I love that talk! “Ouch” is the same thought I had when reading it. But I love Elder Holland’s directness. I need to go re-read it!

  2. Andee Martineau
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 2:29 am | #

    Thanks for this post! I am going to go print it off and read it right now. 🙂 This is something I want to master…’speaking to my children in a healing and edifying tongue.’ Thanks for the little boost!