Introduce the Principle
In 1 Peter 1:15 we read, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” For the Strength of Youth teaches us, “Speak kindly and positively about others. Choose not to insult others or put them down, even in joking. Avoid gossip of any kind, and avoid speaking in anger. When you are tempted to say harsh or hurtful things, leave them unsaid” (20).
As you show concern for and counsel about ways to support and strengthen members of your class, think carefully before you speak. Communicate in ways that build trust and respect individuals and families. As a leader you are in a sacred position to keep confidential any private or sensitive information that is discussed.
- Discuss Alma’s counsel to his son Corianton (see Alma 41:14). How can you, as leaders, “see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually” as you strive to help your class members?
- Discuss together the importance of keeping confidences and not allowing anything shared in confidential settings to be turned into gossip.
- Discuss ways you as presidency members can stop gossip and encourage kindness.
Live What We Are Learning
Commit to keeping confidences of individual class members. Determine as a presidency to keep your meetings and all your conversations gossip free. Speak kindly of others, and by your example invite others to do the same.