clbent04

Standing Up to Those Who Take the Lord's Name in Vain

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Do we have a duty as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to speak up when someone uses the Lord's name in vain around us?

I ask because of the example President Kimball set while in a hospital one day.  I think about this story sometimes whenever coworkers or others around me use the Lord's name in vain.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1981/02/president-kimball-speaks-out-on-profanity?lang=eng

Quote

In the hospital one day I was wheeled out of the operating room by an attendant who stumbled, and there issued from his angry lips vicious cursing with a combination of the names of the Savior. Even half-conscious, I recoiled and implored: “Please! Please! That is my Lord whose names you revile.”

There was a deathly silence, then a subdued voice whispered, “I am sorry.” He had forgotten for the moment that the Lord had forcefully commanded all his people, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Ex. 20:7).

 

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I remember I had a really bad day once and a guy on the bus was talking about something very sexually inappropriate and I got angry at him and told him to stop. He started yelling at me and i ended up using the Lord's name in vain under my breath when I told him to shut up. He then got even angrier and started acting like he was going to attack me because, "How dare you use the Lord's name in vain!!!" I eventually reached my stop and got off while telling him to stop being a hypocrite. Here he was speaking disgusting things, but when I got mad and swore, under my breath, he went off on me? No, if someone uses a curse we should try to be patient, unless they are actually threatening violence. 

That is my two cents.

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50 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

Do we have a duty as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to speak up when someone uses the Lord's name in vain around us?

I ask because of the example President Kimball set while in a hospital one day.  I think about this story sometimes whenever coworkers or others around me use the Lord's name in vain.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1981/02/president-kimball-speaks-out-on-profanity?lang=eng

 

I always cringe when someone swears and especially when they use the L-rd's name in vain.  However, we live in a society where vulgar language is not just normal but considered somewhat "proper" and acceptable.  A while back I thought to no longer watch any TV show where the L-rd's name was used improperly.  Within a week the only thing I could watch were general conference recording - no scheduled programming with perhaps the exception of BYU TV.  Perhaps I am hypersensitive with this issue - it is in part why on the internet I never spell out L-rd or G-d.

My point is - that if we shut out or isolate those individuals that use the L-rd's name in vain then we may find ourselves in a situation where we do not talk to anybody - including many church members.  I do not know the answer to this - but I will say one thing.  There are certain words I will not tolerate in my home.  And I do not care how otherwise wonderful someone or some movie is - it is not welcome in my home.  Same with smoking (including weed).  I am not so concerned if someone indulges - just not in my personal "safe" home space - ever.

 

The Traveler

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It might be best to just let it go, depending on the situation. @LadyGator and I are annual pass holders to Disney world, so we go quite frequently. I've heard people in line there say really rude things (and I curse all the time, so if I'm offended, than I'm sure there are other people who are offended as well) in front of children, women, etc.  But what can you do? Play hero and tell the person to watch their mouth? Go for it, and it'll just add to the drama and you might even start an argument or worse, start a fight. Don't allow it in your own home of course, but in public just ignore it. 
 

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My daughter had an interesting exchange at her work.  One of her co-workers noted that she never spoke any foul language.  At the same time, she never "threw a fit" (the co-worker's exact words) when others cussed around her.

This actually made people respect and love her even more.  And when they did cuss around her, they actually apologized to her.

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The other thing to remember is that except in rare circumstances, no one cares if you are offended. If you are in public, hear someone cursing and say to them, "Excuse me, if you keep talking that way, I will leave." The other person will say "Okay. Good bye."  And then they'll step it up a notch and use words that would make a sailor blush. In most cases, you aren't negotiating from a point of power, so you'll be ignored.

Edited by MormonGator

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Just now, MormonGator said:

The other thing to remember is that except in rare circumstances, no one cares if you are offended. If are in public, hear someone cursing and say to them, "Excuse me, if you keep talking that way, I will leave." The other person will say "Okay. Good bye."  And then they'll step it up a notch and use words that would make a sailor blush. In most cases, you aren't negotiating from a point of power, so you'll be ignored.

Insert:  Vulcan nerve pinch.

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4 minutes ago, Mores said:

Insert:  Vulcan nerve pinch.

Lol. 

it's funny to me. People will say "Well, I won't allow smoking/drinking/cursing/etc in my house." Good, you have every right to do that. But remember something: No one who smokes, drinks, curses etc was knocking on your door asking to be let in. Sometimes people who say those things (sometimes, not all the time, sometimes and no, the OP isn't doing this) are just trying to show off how holy and righteous they are. It's their way of bragging without trying to seem like they are bragging. 

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17 hours ago, MormonGator said:

But remember something: No one who smokes, drinks, curses etc was knocking on your door asking to be let in. 

Yes they were.  Some people do not know that no means no. 

Friends and relatives come knocking at my door all the time.  They ask if they can smoke in my home (while in the act of pulling out their cigarette and lighter).  When told no, they light up anyway.  I then take it out of their hands and say, "No means no."

Some of them learn.  Others don't, and the process repeats itself.  But they keep knocking at my door because I'm such a pleasant person to be around. <_<

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I don't say anything to strangers. Especially adults.  I might say something if a group of teenagers is cussing up a storm and there are children around.  I've rarely gotten any push back from a teenager when I've said "I know the kids will learn it eventually, but most parents would prefer their six year olds not be exposed to those words just yet."  (I've also rarely had to say anything, as most teenagers I've encountered are socially aware enough to dial it back around children)

With people I work with, I have never said anything, and most of them choose to self censor around me simply because they have noticed that I don't use the words*.  

I gave up long ago on getting people to stop invoking the word "God" around me.  It's just too pervasive. However, I will speak up when the words "Jesus" and "Christ" are employed inappropriately. I merely say, "I would prefer if you not use the name of my deities in that manner around me." With people I know, that is universally been enough to earn both an apology and a change in behavior.

 

* Funny anecdote: In my current work environment, I've never had a discussion with anyone about the language I choose to use or not use.  One of the branches for our software development is named DAAMS, but the database instance it was associated with was named DAAM.  I spent more than half a day troubleshooting a problem in the software only to find that I had been trying to point it to the DAAMS database.  I stormed over to my supervisor and just started saying. "DAAM....DAAM DAAM DAAM DAAM DAAM." At that point she fell out of her chair (literally) in disbelief of what I was saying.  Then I proceeded, "It's DAAM, not DAAMS. Why is the code branch named differently than the database?"  After which there was much laughter. More importantly, the database was renamed DAAMS.

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There's this thing called Sphere of Influence.  This is what I have taught my children since they were in grade school - it is always a good endeavor to find ways to expand your Sphere of Influence.  For example, being the "Popular Kid" in school, or the "Kid that girls have a crush on" is a good thing because then you got a really wide Sphere of Influence.  Other kids follow the Popular Kid.  Girls, who otherwise would have tried to drop out of school or contemplate suicide, might then be excited about going to school because they get to see you and talk to you.  Having that Sphere of Influence gives you the ability to change other people through your example.

So, about standing up to those who take the Lord's name in vain - when you are with strangers (or people who are not in your Sphere of Influence) rebuking them for taking the Lord's name in vain more than likely would simply get you resentful replies and reduce your chance of getting those people inside your Sphere of Influence.  The better way, in  my opinion, is to expand your Sphere of Influence to include those people so that they could learn from your example to curb their tongues.

So - ways to expand your Sphere of Influence - first, of course, your family is in your Sphere of Influence.  Your friends are in your Sphere of Influence.  The more friends you have, the wider your Sphere of Influence.  Your workmates are in your Sphere of Influence - the more respected you are at work, the wider your Sphere of Influence.  People in or outside of Church who you have stewardship over - people you are in a position to teach or serve or give TED talks to, etc., is in your Sphere of Influence.  Anyway, when you live your life such that people see you as a good person (and not an annoying person pointing at motes in other people's eyes) and strive to live in the world instead of limiting yourself to a small circle (something more common in Western cultures where people are independent and don't need to know the neighbors) then you have a much better chance of having a wide Sphere of Influence where you can then exert your influence into changing people's lives for the better.

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1 hour ago, Mores said:

Yes they were.  Some people do not know that no means no. 

Friends and relatives come knocking at my door all the time.  They ask if they can smoke in my home (while in the act of pulling out their cigarette and lighter).  When told no, they light up anyway.  I then take it out of their hands and say, "No means no."

Some of them learn.  Others don't, and the process repeats itself.  But they keep knocking at my door because I'm such a pleasant person to be around. <_<

Friends and relatives come knocking at my door all the time, too! Since I'm uncomfortable around people who don't smoke/drink/use foul language, I demand they light up a Marlboro, crack open a beer, and swear incessantly before I let them in. 

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Just now, MormonGator said:

Friends and relatives come knocking at my door all the time, too! Since I'm uncomfortable around people who don't smoke/drink/use foul language, I demand they light up a Marlboro, crack open a beer, and swear incessantly before I let them in. 

That can work too. :)

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Do we have a duty as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to speak up when someone uses the Lord's name in vain around us?

The truth of the answer to this question is simply -- yes. How a person responds to this duty is solely personal, and I am reminded of this verse scripture, "O be wise, what can I say more."

I think about this story sometimes whenever coworkers or others around me use the Lord's name in vain.

This OP reminds me of a young man who started a club at school where nobody cussed (this correlates with what @anatess2 was referring to). This club was not only members of the Church, but included anyone who didn't want to use vulgar language or cursing speech. The funny thing, and what is to be expected, (as @MormonGator pointed out) in response on Youtube a whole bunch of people (mainly Atheists because it was centered around religion) thought they were so hilarious to start making videos of them cursing for the whole video. Talk about a creative response to a no vulgar and cursing club, simply curse the whole video. <facepalm>

This young man made a stand. He should be applauded by "all" members of the Church for taking such a stand, but of course you have your members that like to throw out the word "self-righteous" any time they can.

When I first returned home from my mission, hearing curse words bothered me when used by intelligent people -- especially members who profess a belief in our prophets and their teachings. It wouldn't prevent me from being their friend, and at times I had discussions with friends if we should address cursing. Now, I no longer have those conversations, and I follow simple rules:

1) Does the person really care?

2) Stewardship (example - if I am at a young man's event and one of the young man curse. You can bet I will address his cursing right then and there -- politely.)

3) Doctrine and Covenants 121: 41-44 (if the Spirit moves you -- obey it) President Kimball was obviously moved by the Spirit, and that leads to the next rule.

4) Do I fear man more than I fear God?

5) There is a time and place for almost everything.

My experience in the workforce is what @Mores shared about his daughter. One time one of my brothers said the F-bomb and then looked at me and said, "Sorry, I will be more careful next time." I responded back with, "Sure, as-if that is the first time I ever heard you say that word." The group laughed. They knew I appreciated not hearing curse words, but they also knew I wasn't going to judge them, stop being their friend, or simply think I am better than them.

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A story from my distant past.  I joined the army at 17 where I finished high school.  Being in the army was a profound culture shock for me coming from a smaller city in Utah dominated by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  My first night in basic training I knelt by my bed and uttered a vocal prayer as I had always done - not knowing that some (many) would find such an act, something worthy of public ridicule.   Even those of authority took great pleasure in drawing negative attention whenever possible to all things I hold sacred and dear.  Worse of all for me was the foul language.  Few could utter a simple sentence without a wide spectrum and array of words so vulgar I wondered - honestly if hell could be worse.  It seemed to me that all others were intent on breaking me away and causing some word to be uttered by my lips that was appropriate for a "real man".   

During basic training we were not allowed to leave the company so attending church was not possible.  I was very isolated and alone and resolved that I had been abandoned - even by heaven.  But I remembered the stories in scripture of others as somewhat similar circumstance and determined the more to remain faithful.  To this day my heart aches for young Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt.  Obviously he endured so much more and for much longer than my circumstance.  Never-the-less I resolved myself to my isolation with no expectation of relief.

Towards the end of basic training I sat with my company for a lecture of gas warfare and the proper use of equipment should we encounter gas.  The sargent giving the lecture had the usual foul mouth and prided himself in every attempt to offend with his vulgar words.   Then he stopped and asked if anyone was offended by his language and if so that they should stand.  So I stood up - not realizing that I was being set up.  I was targeted and accused of being childish and a coward and a threat to my comrades in combat.   The lecture went on for what seemed to me much longer than it should.  I thought myself alone and rejected by all.  I was informed I was no longer in a sissy Sunday School class but that I was in the real world and would have to face much worse things than colorful words.  It was time for me to grow up and be a man.  The sargent went on to explain how I was caught up and alone in silly expectations.  He wanted me to see exactly how isolated I was and how much I needed to conform the the norm.  I thought I had really stepped in it this time and should not have stood up.  He then said that all in my company that agreed with me should stand up.  To my utter astonishment the entire company stood up.

I would like to say that we all lived happily ever after but that was not quite the case - but things did change.  A few from my company ended up joining the church.  But most of all I learned that I was not hated by everybody for being loyal to what I believe to be a disciple of Christ (not nearly as much as I had thought) - at least not by everyone that I thought for sure hated me.  When orders were issued for combat at the end of training it was not a few that came to me to be taught how to pray.  Including some of those that said they did not believe in any G-d.

 

The Traveler

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16 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

1) Does the person really care?

 

That's the problem in 99% of cases. The guy in line at Disney or at the grocery store who is using profanity doesn't care about your opinion anymore than you care about his. So when you say to him "Sir! I am commanded by God to inform you that your language is unholy! I demand you to stop in His name!" He's going to break into laughter. 

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2 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

That's the problem in 99% of cases. The guy in line at Disney or at the grocery store who is using profanity doesn't care about your opinion anymore than you care about his. So when you say to him "Sir! I am commanded by God to inform you that your language is unholy! I demand you to stop in His name!" He's going to break into laughter. 

So that'ssss... bad...?

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Just now, Mores said:

So that'ssss... bad...?

I didn't say it's bad.

Though it could be. What if he's a drunk fraternity boy and  decides to throw a swing at you. Oh sure, I'm sure you (generic!!!!) are a tough guy who can beat up anyone and fears no man, but it's not worth it. 

Or, lets say it's just some jerk with no class. He says "You think that's bad, check this out." and steps it up a notch-telling stories he read in Dear Penthouse. 

 

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20 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

I didn't say it's bad.

Though it could be. What if he's a drunk fraternity boy and  decides to throw a swing at you. 

And that would be bad?

 

 

 

 

 

In case you couldn't tell, I was joking (both times).

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38 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

That's the problem in 99% of cases. The guy in line at Disney or at the grocery store who is using profanity doesn't care about your opinion anymore than you care about his. So when you say to him "Sir! I am commanded by God to inform you that your language is unholy! I demand you to stop in His name!" He's going to break into laughter. 

Rule #4 - If God commands it doesn't matter how the individual responds. Remember, if God commands and the person doesn't hearken, he can take that laughter all the way to a perfect judge and see if he "laughs" then. ;)

But we agree, a good percentage won't care. A good percentage will laugh and mock (especially if they are Atheist). That is fine.

How a person is going to respond to the commands we receive shouldn't prevent us from following the command. Samuel the Lamanite is a perfect figurative example of what it means to be commanded and then have figurative stones, arrows, and the desire for your demise to be thrown at you. It didn't stop Samuel and it shouldn't stop us if we are indeed commanded.

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3 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

Rule #4 - If God commands it doesn't matter how the individual responds.

But it does. Like I said, if they escalate the situation, then you've just dug the hole deeper. Sometimes you just have to be a grown up and ignore it. 

 

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