In this verse God commands us to not contend with or speak evil of each other. How do you feel when others gossip or speak unkindly? What helps you remember to be respectful and refrain from contention?
23 Cease to contend one with another; cease to speak evil one of another.
Do you remember the story of Bambi, the little deer, and all of his friends in the forest? If you do, you will remember that one of Bambi’s good friends was a rabbit named Thumper. … He was a neat rabbit, but he had one problem. He kept saying bad things about people. One day Bambi was in the forest learning to walk, and he fell down. Thumper just couldn’t resist the temptation. “He doesn’t walk very good, does he?” Thumper blurted out. His mother felt very bad and said, “What did your father tell you this morning?” And then Thumper, looking down at his feet and kind of shifting his weight, said, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” That’s a good piece of advice that all of us need to follow. What I need you to do … is this. If you hear anyone in your family start to say something bad about someone else, will you please just stamp your foot and say in a loud voice, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” Now, even though that isn’t correct English, everyone will understand exactly what you mean.
I pray that the Lord will bless each of us that we may never cross over the line on the ground and that we may live so that it can be said, “Your name is safe in our home.”
Elder Cree-L Kofford