Sunday, May 23, 2010

I See... Righteous Trash Talking

Recent guidance from the Church's Public Relations Department encourages civil discourse when we feel the need to disagree: “Latter-day Saint ethical life requires members to treat their neighbors with respect, regardless of the situation. Behavior in a religious setting should be consistent with behavior in a secular setting. The Church hopes that our democratic system will facilitate kinder and more reasoned exchanges among fellow Americans than we are now seeing.” (The Mormon Ethic of Civility, accessed at 16 May 2010).

But is there a time and a place for trash talking? Righteous trash talking? Our extended family Monopoly matches and Alma Ch. 54 say yes!

First, in Alma chapter 54, the great Captain Moroni is negotiating with Ammoron, leader of the enemy Lamanite army, for an exchange of prisoners. Notice how he tries to persuade his adversary to cooperate: “But behold, it supposeth me that I talk to you concerning these things in vain; or it supposeth me that thou art a child of hell; therefore I will close my epistle by telling you that I will not exchange prisoners, save it be on conditions that ye will deliver up a man and his wife and his children, for one prisoner; if this be the case that ye will do it, I will exchange.” ( Alma 54:11)

Ammoron doesn't accept this counsel well. He responds with: “And as concerning that God whom ye say we have rejected, behold, we know not such a being; neither do ye; but if it so be that there is such a being, we know not but that he hath made us as well as you.And if it so be that there is a devil and a hell, behold will he not send you there to dwell with my brother whom ye have murdered, whom ye have hinted that he hath gone to such a place? But behold these things matter not.” ( Alma 54:21-22)

Second, about our extended family Monopoly matches, all I'm going to say is that there are definitely winners and losers, and I'm a winner, so what does that make my brothers and sisters and neices and nephews?


  1. Uncle Richard some day I will TAKE YOU DOWN in Monopoly! Just you wait!

  2. Yea, Laura, I can wait for a few decades until you visit me with your teenage daughter in a nursing home. You can take advantage of an old Richard riddled with Alzheimers... perhaps then you MAY have a chance...