Listening too Carefully
January 30, 2011 6 Comments
Today in our Sunday meeting we were treated to two excellent talks, one by a recently returned missionary, the other from a high councilor (yes it was good). While I was inspired by both, I find I have developed a disease of sorts. I listen too carefully. This disease may have come upon me as a result of my work on the Joseph Smith sermons. I now *read* way too carefully (mostly because I have to compare published versions of a text – and reading for punctuation, capitalization, spelling, paragraphing, etc., etc., etc. is both irritating and unfortunately habitual). But also I find myself listening too carefully now.
By this I mean that I’m hypersensitive to construction, causative sequence, grammar and so on. I hasten to add that this problem has not made me a better speaker, as my students will happily witness. I noted that one of our speakers contradicted himself in a number of places in his speech and other issues probably revealed a lack of critical thinking. Remarkably, in the end, this did not detract from the value of the talk for me. I enjoyed it and it spoke to both my own strengths and deficiencies as a family member. I think I can safely say, the Spirit made the difference. To quote the song, it made “everything groovy.”
In editing Joseph Smith’s funeral sermons, I’ve discovered both the candor and kindness of his reporters and editors. They are both worthy things, but the latter causes me problems. Happy Sunday.