Elder W. Craig Zwick spoke about effective communication in situations where people get angry.
He shared an experience of driving a semi-truck across several states with his wife and infant son. A malfunction caused smoke to erupt from the engine.
When he had slowed the truck down, his wife opened the truck’s door and leaped out of the truck, holding their son in her arms.
When Elder Zwick reached his wife, he spoke harshly to her. He told her she could have been killed and what she did was extremely dangerous.
He said she responded saying she was trying to save their son. She had thought the engine was on fire and was going to explode, but he knew it was electrical failure.
Elder Zwick went on to say their heated outburst were caused by feelings of love and fear for the other’s safety.
He quoted Ephesians 4:29, which says people should not let “corrupt communication” leave their mouths.
Elder Zwick defined corrupt communication as letting anger, blame and doubt penetrate our speech.
The example he used in his talk was that of Sariah being angry at Lehi in the Book of Mormon. She was angry with Lehi for making her sons go back to the dangerous city of Jerusalem.
Elder Zwick said Lehi responded in a language of compassion and addressed her concern for their sons. He said we should talk to one another the way Lehi did to Sariah, even in the face of anger.
“[We] can and should participate in continuing civil dialogue, especially when we view the world from differing perspectives,” he said.