Saturday, September 12, 2009

Who Will Bear Reproof?

Reproof: noun
Reprove: verb
1. the act of reproving, censuring, or rebuking.
2. an expression of censure or rebuke.

Here is an article entitled Who Will Bear Reproof?, which is actually a speech given by Michael P. Thompson at a devotional in July 2002. Wow. What a phenominal speech.

I read through this article for my MComm class and was in awe by the end. I started on one end of the spectrum of feelings, completely understanding what Brother Thompson was talking about, to feeling somewhat embarassed for the way I have reacted or treated others when they have tried to lovingly reprove me. Reproof is a hard thing to take. "A frank and open rebuke provoketh a good man to emulation; and in the hour of trouble he will be your best friend; but on the other hand, it will draw out all the corruptions of corrupt hearts, and lying and the poison of asps is under their tongues; and they do cause the pure in heart to be cast into prison, because they want them out of their way," Joseph Smith said.

If you have a second, read through this speech. Here is a little snippet to wet your appetite:

"I read not long ago a passage in a book by Elder Gene R. Cook of the First Quorum of the Seventy that illustrates this process very well. In fact, I am bold enough to say that this experience shared by Elder Cook is the most unnerving account of correction and challenge issued by a contemporary Church leader that I have ever heard of. It is unnerving because it is the kind of counsel that could be given to many of us--you and me--in our own callings. I have read it time and again, almost haunted by the question "How would I have responded in this situation?" We may smile as we read about the blistering reproofs of a Brigham Young. We don't have to respond to those reproofs because they were not directed toward us.

But reproofs and corrections are still meted out by inspired leaders. They are given out of inspiration, not ego or impatience. And when they come, we are bound to respond in meekness and submissiveness. Here is Elder Cook's account of one such correction:" You want to keep reading, don't you?

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