26 April 2012

The Truth about Spreading Rumors and Gossip


Gossip at Home and Work
Gossip infiltrates every area of our lives; it affects our relationship with God, our personal relationships, and our career growth. Read on to find out the truth about how gossip is affecting your relationships.


The Truth about Spreading Rumors and Gossip
¶”Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.[i]

Gossip Defined

Hitler
What is in a definition? Definitions give our words meaning. Whether spoken or written, words have power. The word, “gossip” carries power and energy. That is why we should think about the definition of the word, and the many connotations associated with it.

Gossip, like the name Judas and Hitler, carries with it a hideous, foul and sour reputation. The name bears darkness on the left shoulder and loathsomeness on the right.

It is a carrier of disease with few remedies. It is a venomous snake, ugly and poisonous, one to be feared, having a life of its own, and its own persona. Its breath is stink and its legs wander whether so ever it is welcomed.

The eyes roam to and fro, drifting in a subconscious search to raze and destroy individual, personal and the very moral fiber of character. Its companions and supporters are lovers of lies, tale-bearing fools, contentious entertainers, evil-speakers, strife makers, backbiters in love with bearing false witness.

It is like a windy carrier; blowing the words to and fro to whomever it listeth. For it becomes, “scattered about by the four winds like the seeds of a ripe dandelion held aloft by a child. Neither the seeds nor the gossip can ever be gathered in".[ii]

Jesus Addressed Gossip

Gossip for the most part is defined as the, “unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true… a person who likes talking about other people’s private lives.” [iii] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints defines gossip as the sharing of, “personal facts or information about another person without that person’s approval.”

Gossip Does Not Have to be False

This last definition is worth mentioning because gossip does not have to be false in order for it to fall into the category of transgression.

Someone who is gossiping may have all the truth and may have even told you the truth, but it is gossip because you are sharing, according to the LDS church, “personal facts or information about another person without that person’s approval.”

The degree and extent of the harm done by the gossip is immeasurable.” It is a bird that hears and flies away to tell all in its path. The Kings of Old stand and say, “Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.”[iv] Well, of course we know that birds don’t talk, (at least most of them.) but the illustration is great.


The Irony of Loose Lips: A Three-way Destroyer

There is an irony in gossiping. The person who is gossiping about another man’s life is only ruining his own reputation as a gossiper. Even worse is that it is a three way destroyer. It destroys the man or woman who speaks it, the person who hears it, and the person whom they are speaking about. The gossiper is only shooting himself in his own foot.

When someone talks about others in a negative way to you, you may rest assured that that person is someone who is willing to talk about you behind your back.

There is an old Spanish Proverb that says, “Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.”

His or her own gossip will soon label themselves as a backstabber. He becomes a destroyer of his own character and the character of the gossiped. Both reputation and character are being destroyed, for, “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity,”[v] harming the person being talked about, the person who is doing the gossiping and the person or persons who listen. For, loose lips sink ships…even friendships.

LDS Prophets Teach us Words ARE Matter

John A. Widtsoe
From the teachings of LDS Prophets we know that there are four types of matter. There is mortal matter, translated matter, spirit matter and resurrected matter. So it seems that all things have matter. If everything contains matter and a word is spoken, where does that matter or where does that word go? Will it truly fade away or die? Or would your words constantly float above the heavens never to disappear?  John A. Widtsoe once believed it. He said, “A word is spoken. The air movements that it causes… radiates into space and can never die.”[3] President N. Eldon Tanner described the tongue as, “the most dangerous, destructive and deadly weapon available to man.”[4]

How Gossiping Affects Our Emotions

Gossip holds within itself a strange quality. One peculiar quality is that some gossipers feel elevated, important and more superior than others. It is, for some strange reason, a way of relieving tension and stress. “For example, if we read bad news about celebrities in the tabloids, or get into the gruesome details of our neighbor’s misery over a cup of coffee, our own problems begin to pale in comparison.”[5]

Media Takes No Responsibility for Pain Inflicted

Magazines, tabloids and all other internet gossip sites hide behind their offices taking no responsibility for the hurt that they cause others. They carry an attitude of, “I can say anything about anyone for any reason, and I don’t even have to answer to anyone and what’s even better is that I get paid for it.” He is as, “a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death.”[6] He is one who, “hateth…with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him.”[7]

Who Says Gossip is Healthy?

There is, in my opinion, a satanic side of gossip that I have never encountered until my study of gossip. There are those today who believe that gossip is a healthy virtue for one to acquire.

It just goes to show, as Jim Carrey once said in his movie, The Grinch, “One man’s toxic waste is another man’s potpourri.”

A person once said, “In the beginning was the word and the word, [was] ‘Hey, guess what I heard!”[8] For, “gossip is, and always has been good for us.”[9]

I have found many website articles published by editors stating that gossip is crucial to our social, physical and psychological health, even, “therapeutic.”[10] Some call it ‘social grooming ’or ‘vocal grooming,’[11] “the corner stone of society.”[12] Many sites list benefits to gossip such as the, “production of endorphins,”[13] the, “relieving stress,”[14] and the, “boosting the immune system.”[15] But just because it does these ‘amazing things’ does not make it right.

In fact, I hear that drugs and pornography do the same exact thing—but it doesn’t make it right. Some even say that it even builds relationships, and resolves conflicts, [16] making it a, “saintly virtue.”[17]

One lady even says, “By criticizing someone else, we are affirming the values and opinions we share with each other – emphasizing what we have in common, cementing our friendships, building alliances.” [18]

“Evolutionary psychologists have compared the evolution of gossip in humans with the practice of 'social grooming' among chimps – where the animals spend hours grooming each other's fur, even when they are perfectly clean, as a form of social bonding. This would indicate that gossip, far from being a trivial pastime, actually performs a vital and socially therapeutic function.”[19] However, the only difference is that we are not monkeys.

God’s Image Renounces Gossip

We are human beings created in the image of God, [20] who have been given commandments not to gossip or in other words not to, “bear false witness.” [21]

One even goes so far as to contradict Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends And Influence People, by saying that gossip is one of the characters needed to, “win friends and influence people.” [22]

Some Questions for Robin Dunbar

Psychologist Robin Dunbar said in his book, “language evolved to allow us to gossip.”[23]

But Robert what do you mean by this? Language has allowed us to do many things besides gossip.

Are you saying that God is the author of Gossip? For the scriptures teach us that at one time, “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.”[24] And as they built a tower to reach unto heaven God punished them by confounding their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”[25]

A Mockery of the Christian Faith

To say that God confounded the language for the purpose of allowing society to gossip is an absolute mockery of the Christian faith. Social gossiping is NOT, “hardwired into our DNA,”[26] as Robert Dunbar says it is. For his definition of the word, “social,” is, “gossip.”

Gossip Not; for it is a Judgment!

Gossip is a form of judgment. We are commanded to, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” [27]

Joseph Smith gives a better translation of that scripture by saying, “Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged: but judge righteous judgment.” [28]

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” [29]

God’s Judgment of the Gossiper

Gods’ judgment to the unrepenting sinner is quite scary. For all things will be revealed. Whatever you gossiped about in the privacy of your own home will be revealed for all to hear and see.

“For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. [30]

A Famous Quote Worth Remembering

Orson Scott Card once said, “Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.”[vi]

There is value in keeping our own council. There is value in controlling our own tongue. Once spoken, we cannot take our words back. Our words cannot be unsaid.

Some religions are more austere than others. Some go without speaking for long periods of time, for there is, “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” [31] For, “even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” [32] King David knew the importance of having a Godly tongue, “I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle.” [33] “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”[34]

Biblical Consequences of Gossip

Gossip does not go unnoticed by our Heavenly Father, “for all his ways are judgment[s].” [vii]

There is a punishment for those who continue to love the spreading of gossip. The scriptures teach, “For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again.”[viii]

For it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. For, if a soul sin, and commit…these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord; … he [is] guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.” [ix] “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.”[x]

God’s Commandments: There are More Than Ten

When we speak of the Commandments of God, we tend to all instantly think upon the Ten Commandments or the Decalogue that Moses received amid the lightings and thunderings upon Mount Sinai.

These Commandments give us instruction on how to worship God. But the Decalogue is not an all inclusive blueprint and guideline for one to enter into the kingdom of God.

According to Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Commandments are classified under, “Laws, ordinances, covenants, contracts, statutes, judgments, decrees, revelations, and requirements which come to man from God.”[35]

A Palestinian Talmudic sage from the 3rd century named Rabbi Simlai is known for the numbering of over 613 commandments in the Torah (5 Books of Moses.) alone. He listed 365 negative commandments and 248 positive commandments.[36]

In any case, the words that Jesus spoke and speaks today are bound upon the church to follow. For, “You shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.”[37]

Compliance Issues: Startling Statistics About the Commandments

But the question arises, how can we, “live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God,” and to, “Keep my commandments,”[38] if we don’t know what his words are?

Church Survey Taken in 1551

Long ago, “A church survey conducted in Gloucestershire in 1551 by Bishop Hooper discovered that of 311 clerics, nine did not know how many commandments God gave to Moses on Sinai, 33 did not know where to find them in the Bible, [and] 168 could not repeat them.”[39]

Today is even worse. According to a study done by USA Today, “60 Sixty percent of Americans can't name five of the Ten Commandments, and 50% of high school seniors think Sodom and Gomorrah were married.”[40]

There is a bright side to things though. A poll done by, “The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life,” states that, “Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge.” [41] Given, “seven questions about the Bible (five Old Testament and two New Testament items) Mormons do best.”[42] All in all, “Mormons are the highest-scoring group on questions about the Bible.” [43]

One commandment that is specific to this topic is, “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the Lord.” [44]

This commandment as all others must be obeyed. For, “obedience is the first law of heaven, the cornerstone upon which all righteousness and progression rest.” [45]

Malicious Gossip is a Sin

By gossiping or back-biting we are deliberately breaking the eleventh commandment that says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” And its place among the last of the Ten Commandments does not mean it is of any less importance that the first, fourth, and eighth. “Whereas murder involves the taking of human life, bearing false witness involves the destruction of character and reputation. To do so maliciously is the sin of calumny, or character assassination.” [46]

A Life And Death Decision

One man once wisely said, “Why do we choose death rather than life? We do! And then try to convince others that it’s really life, alternative lifestyles or alternative death styles!”[47] Keeping the commandment to, “not bear false witness,” is a life and death situation, “For the wages of sin is death.”[48] 

During Christ’s ministry a man approached Him and asked the question, “…what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” [49]

Jesus’ response was, “if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”[50]

Then the man replied, “which?”

Jesus replied, “…thou shalt not bear false witness.”[51] For, “he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” [52]

Doctrine and Covenants 42:27 says, “Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm.

The Lord will not allow anyone into the Kingdom of God who breaks this commandment. According to the Psalmist, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.”[53] At another time, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul…”[54]

We learn from the Book of Mormon that the Spirit of contention is not of God but is from the devil. “For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine that such things should be done away.”[55]

The Kingdom of Heaven: Our Words Matter

Our day of Judgment is approaching. Our lives are but a small time here on this earth and if we do not watch ourselves in speech we may forfeit our place in the Kingdom of God. “But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.” [56]


James’ Discourse: The Tongue and Heart Connection

The Apostle James in the New Testament gave the greatest masterful discourse on the subject of ruling one’s own tongue.

“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and beasy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”[57]

Be Ye Therefore Perfect

James’ comment that those who do not offend in word is a perfect man is an interesting and powerful statement to make.

Why James would say such a thing is because of his learning from the Master himself when, “he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man…whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught [.] But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”[58] Perfection comes by following the teachings of Jesus Christ and his disciples. This particular teaching to bridle ones tongue is of great importance.

What if I am Not Perfect?

We are as followers of Jesus Christ asked to do our best.

In fact, we are commanded to do so. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” 

This may seem impossible for us to do but we are told by the brethren of the church that “the Lord gives no commandments that are impossible to obey.”

Apostle Russell M. Nelson said that, “keeping this commandment can be a concern because each of us is far from perfect, both spiritually and temporally.”

Nephi gives the world faith and hope that one can indeed become perfect when he said, “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

Baby Steps

The first step in obedience in this area is to become aware of the words you choose to use. The second step is to pray for God’s guidance on what you should and should not say.

Lucifer Loves Toxic Behavior

Gossip functions as an aggressor. It falsely gives the gossiper control, authority and empowerment while disempowering, hurting and ruining the reputation of the other.

The, “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this…but…” can be classified as toxic behavior. It is a poison that spreads like a disease. It is toxic because it poisons and contaminates reputations and relationships. It is an evil act established by Satan himself. For, he is the author of all unrighteousness, a liar who has been a, “liar from the beginning.” [59]
Jesus to the Pharisees

In speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus said, “Ye are of your father the devil… He… abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” [60]

One must wonder about Lucifer and his life. It must be a terrible life to live. The book of Job gives us an tiny glimpse of what Satan is doing on a daily basis. The Lord called upon Satan and said, “Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”[61]

What else can he do except tempt and try to destroy mankind? His only work and design is to destroy.

Moses also was one who received a glimpse into the life of the evil one when, “he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.” [62]

The crowning event in the Book of Mormon is the appearance of the resurrected Jesus Christ to the Americas.

But for every good there always seems to be an opposite. For, before He visited the Americas “Satan did stir [the people] up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come” [63]

That was then but what about now?

One of the signs of the second coming of Jesus Christ is that people will talk of wars and rumors of wars.” [64]

Can Satan today still be going, “to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it?” Indeed he is. Could he still be stirring up the people, “to do iniquity;…spreading rumors … upon all the face of the land?

The Lord Jesus Christ gave some specific commandments to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that they are to keep from speaking evil one to another. “Cease to contend one with another; cease to speak evil one to another.” [65] “And see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking.” [66]

The Prophet Joseph Smith

The Prophet Joseph Smith knew how terrible gossip could be and how it can affect others. One day a man named Jesse Crosby, “accompanied a woman on a visit to the Prophet. She felt she had been maligned unjustly by gossip. Regarding such matters, Joseph would say: ‘The little foxes spoil the vines-little evils do the most damage in the can Church.’[67] He also said, ‘The devil flatters us that we are very righteous, when we are feeding on the faults of others.’[68] He pointed out, ‘The Savior has the words of eternal life’-that is, if you really want to prize words, the Savior has the words of eternal life-and ‘nothing else can profit us.’ And then in order to make the point, he added, ‘There is no salvation in believing an evil report against our neighbor.’[69]

But this sister had been troubled, and she came and asked for redress: she wanted the Prophet now to go to the person who was the source of the story and properly take care of it. He enquired of her in some detail and then counseled her in terms something like this: ‘Sister, when I have heard of a story about me [and he could have said there had been many], I sit down and think about it and pray about it, and I ask myself the question, 'Did I say something or was there something about my manner to give some basis for that story to start?' And, Sister, often if I think about it long enough I realize I have done something to give that basis. And there wells up in me a forgiveness of the person who has told that story and a resolve that I will never do that thing again.” [70] And when others found fault with Joseph Smith, instead of confrontation, putting all the blame on them, the spirit of his counsel to himself as to this sister was otherwise: ‘Look deeper, Brother, and see if maybe there is a kernel of truth in what they are saying.’ That, I suggest, shows wisdom.” [71] Joseph Smith was indeed the wisest optimist that ever lived. He always took occasion to teach his friends to look on the bright side of things. If he heard gossip about himself his council was to himself was to, “Look deeper… and see if maybe there is a kernel of truth in what they are saying.’[72]

Women and Gossip: A False Stereotype?

Women today are frequently stereotyped as gossipers, and back biters. This really upsets women who hear this, but in reality none of us are completely and entirely immune to it. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”[73] 

“For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.”[74]

We get a hint from the Prophet Joseph Smith that the women of the church, were specifically, at that time, causing strife through words that were unwisely spoken one to another. “Sisters of the society, shall there be strife among you? I will not have it. You must repent, and get the love of God.”[75]  “Notwithstanding the unworthy are among us, the virtuous should not, from self importance, grieve and oppress needlessly, those unfortunate ones—even these should be encouraged to hereafter live to be honored by this society, who are the best portions of the community.

He said he had two things to recommend to the members of this society.
Recommendation One: to put a double watch over the tongue, “no organized body can exist without this at all. … The object is to make those not so good reform and return to the path of virtue that they may be numbered with the good.”[76]

 Recommendation Two: He elsewhere said, “Do not injure the character of anyone. If members of the Society shall conduct themselves improperly, deal with them, and keep all your doings within your own bosoms, and hold all characters sacred.”[77]

Are Men More Likely to Gossip? Survey Says…

Many studies have been conducted showing that today men are more likely to gossip than women are.[78] BMRB Research performed a survey that revealed, “one in ten men like to dish the dirt on other people, compared with 4% of women…55% of men said they gossiped at work, compared with 46% of women… At home, 17% of men confess they were more interested in pillow talk than sex, with only 10% of women saying the same… and a fifth of those asked said they spent at least three hours a day gossiping - mainly at work - with the main topics including women colleagues and who is in line for promotion.”[79]


Facts And Information

Gossip may begin by someone who heard something yet did not take the time to get all of the facts and information.

For instance, imagine that you heard on the radio that an artist in San Francisco just finished creating what he thought was a great artistic piece of work. He has just sculpted a beautiful image of a dragon. When he was done, a group of rowdy children took it outside and began whacking it with sticks.

Soon his entire work lay in ruins. The children really had a great time doing this. Even the parents encouraged them to do it.[80] What you just heard was the truth. This really did happen. From hearing this, you would think that these parents and children are terrible people.


However, there was a critical important truth that was left out. The most important information left out was that it was a piñata!


When we leave things out, it changes the meaning. Some people do this purposefully to portray what they want to portray.

A Familiar Story

Truman G. Madsen once told a familiar story of how someone did not get the correct information because of his own ignorance.

He said that there were two men who both came from the primitive areas of Africa who came to America. One of them had a terrible stomach ache, and was taken by a modern surgeon into a hospital.

His friend finds him and he sees for the first time, surgery underway. He sees his friend laid out and unconscious. There are people dressed in white digging into his stomach with knives and he makes three assumptions:

·         Number one, they have done this against the will of my friend.
·         Number two, they are trying to kill him.
·         Number three, the best thing I can do is to pull him off right now and get him out of here.

“Wrong, Wrong and Wrong!”

·         Number one, he consented to the operation to take out his appendix and anything else that might be in trouble.
·         Number two they are not trying to take his life. They are trying to save it.
·         Number three the worst thing his friend can do would be to pull him away until the operation is completed.[81]

The Lesson

The lesson that we can learn here is that one needs to get true information.

There is an old Jewish proverb that says, “What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth.”

What we can also say, “What you do see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth,” because what you saw was your own interpretation of what was going on.

All In Favor?

Just about every single Mormon has heard the words, ‘All in favor, please signify by the uplifted hand.’

We do this to sustain and uphold those who receive callings. The world acts in a different way. Instead of sustaining and upholding things with the raise of our right hands, we uphold and sustain things with our money.

Each time we purchase something over the counter we are voting and sustaining the product. If nobody bought bananas then obviously we would have very few if any bananas in the grocery stores.

But the world loves gossip. Today gossip is on a glamorized money-making crescendo.
If you type in the words, “Gossip,” into a search engine, you will find television shows, magazines and other multimedia influences that glamorize gossip.

Google Tracks Our Quest for Gossip

The company Google has tracked a worldwide massive increase of the word, “Gossip,” being searched from January 2008 to September 2009 and staying roughly the same throughout 2012. 

An article published by Robin Westen on a website called, “Psychology Today,” wrote, “gossip, for those millions of us who are interested, is everywhere… over 40 newspaper columns, dozens of magazines, 50 television talk shows, and three major tabloids are spreading the word. In addition, there’s gossip via cyberspace and, of course, good old-fashioned word of mouth. Today, gossip is a national growth industry.”[82]

So, What Will You Do?

The harmful effects of gossip are legion. By checking your words, bridleing your tongue, and seeking God’s guidance, your life, and countless others’ lives will be improved.

The words we use come from our hearts, and they have the power to lift up or tear down. What does your heart say?. Does your heart need a tune-up?



[1] Truman G. Madsen
[2] Proverbs 18:8
[3] John A. Widtsoe
[4] President N. Eldon Tanner "Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged," Ensign, July 1972.
[5] Jack Levin, Ph.D., professor of sociology and criminology at Boston's Northeastern University and coauthor of Gossip: The Inside Scoop.
[6] Proverbs 26:18
[7] Proverbs 26:24
[8] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[9] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[10] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[11] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[12] http://www.ukessays.com/essays/philosophy/gossip.php
[14] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[15] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[16] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[17] http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~sousa/gossip.html
[18] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[19] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[20] Genesis 1:26
[21] Exodus 20:16
[22] Kate Fox http://www.sirc.org/publik/gossip.shtml
[23] Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language, by Robert Dunbar
[24] Genesis 11:1
[25] Genesis 11:8-9
[26] http://globalhumancapital.org/book-review-grooming-gossip-and-the-evolution-of-language/
[27] Matthew 7 :1
[28] JST Matt. 7:1–2
[29] Matthew 7 :2
[30] Luke 12:2-3
[31][31] Ecclesiastes 3:7
[32] Proverbs 17:28
[33] Psalms 39:1
[34] Psalms 141:3
[35] Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine p. 149
[36] Babylonian Talmud, Makkot 23b-24a
[37] Doctrine and Covenants 84:43-44
[38] John 14:15
[39] S. Michael Wilcox “Fire in my Bones”
[40]Cathy Lynn Grossman,  “Americans Get an “F” in Religion” Updated 3/14/2007 7:38 AM
[41] Pew Research Centers Forum on Religion and Public Life, May 19th – June 6th 2010 http://www.pewforum.org/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx
[42] Pew Research Centers Forum on Religion and Public Life, May 19th – June 6th 2010 http://www.pewforum.org/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx
[43] Pew Research Centers Forum on Religion and Public Life, May 19th – June 6th 2010 http://www.pewforum.org/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx
[44] Leviticus 19:16
[45] Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 539
[46] Robert J. Matthews “Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness”, Oct. 1994
[47] Truman G. Madsen
[48] Romans 6:23
[49] Matthew 19 :16
[50] Matthew 16:17
[51] Matthew 19:18
[52] 1 Peter 3:10
[53] Psalms 15:1-3
[54] Proverbs 21 :23
[55] 3 Nephi 11:29-30
[56] Mosiah 4 :30
[57] James Chapter 3                                                                                                 
[58] Matthew 15:10-11, 17,18
[59] Doctrine and Covenants 93:25
[60] John 8:44
[61] Job 1:7
[62] Moses 7:26
[63] Hel. 16:22
[64] Matthew 24:6; D&C 45:26
[65] Doctrine and Covenants 136:23
[66] Doctrine and Covenants 20:54
[67] Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 258
[68] Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 241
[69] Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 364
[70] Reported collection of Jesse Crosby in Cox, “Stories from Notebook,” p.2; Andrus, They Knew, p. 144
[71] Truman G. Madsen, Joseph Smith the Prophet p. 94-95
[72] Truman G. Madsen, Joseph Smith the Prophet p. 94-95
[73] Romans 3:23
[74] Ecclesiastes 7:22
[75]  History of the Church, 5:24–25 from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on June 9, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Eliza R. Snow.
[76]  History of the Church, 5:20; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on May 26, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Eliza R. Snow.
[77]  Discourse given by Joseph Smith on Mar. 17, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Willard Richards, in Relief Society, Minute Book Mar. 1842–Mar. 1844, p. 10, Church Archives.
[79] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-83255/Men-likely-gossip-women--survey.html
[80] BBC World News

[82] http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199607/the-real-slant-gossip




[i] Ecclesiastes 10:20
[ii] Spencer W. Kimball The Miracle of Forgiveness [1969], 54
[iii] http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/gossip
[iv] Ecclesiastes 10:20
[v] James 3:6
[vi] http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/101168-among-my-most-prized-possessions-are-words-that-i-have
[vii] Deuteronomy 32:4
[viii] Alma 41:15
[ix] Romans 12:19
[x] Proverbs 19:9
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The Truth About Spreading Rumors and Gossip by Michael A. Hickman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.