Feb 7, 2017

Tellng the Whole Truth is Dicey

by Terri Wagner

This is not really a writing post, but as with many things in life, can relate. I usually feed our missionaries about once a month. I skipped January because I have had company since December 16, and all of them haven't left yet. So in February, I was asked to feed all four missionaries, I usually only have the English speaking pair. No problem makes up for skipping January. Armed with a friend and in public, we all met at the local Mexican restaurant, their choice, and had dinner.

After the usual pleasantries, I was asked about my conversion story. I gave my five minute spiel. But was asked how long did I wait between the first lesson and baptism. I laughed and said about nine months which is about right. The following question was why did it take so long? Usually I give a reasonable but not wholly true response. This time I had one of those uncomfortable moments we all get. The Spirit whispered very softly, just tell the truth. So I blurted out, chastity was my issue. I have no idea what they thought or why I was directed to tell the "whole" truth. And to their credit, they never missed a beat and turned to my friend also a member and asked her about her conversion story.

I'm pretty confident I heard the Spirit correctly, and fairly confident, it was the answer I was supposed to share. Why? I'll probably never know. But it got me to thinking about that "whole" truth aspect. The scriptures are rife with people who shared half truths at the behest of the Spirit, Abraham, Sarah, Esther, Nephi...it reminds me of the advice or perhaps commandment of being wise as serpents and gentle as doves. But sometimes the truth just jumps out at you, demanding to be acknowledged.

I see that most of all on political posts on FB. I was getting so gleeful over my admittedly sarcastic comebacks to a family member's posts, I vowed to just stop responding to her posts. It's been hard, but I haven't responded to one since January 1st. However, I was responding to one post and got cyber "jumped." I figured I would since I felt 180 degrees different, but ONE out of many, asked me why. So I gave the whole truth, and she accepted it. The others just continued to "boo me off stage." So what about this tangle of whole truths? I am beginning to feel that responding in kind is not the answer, but I also doubt I can say anything that will change anyone's mind. And really that applies to more than FB posts, but in many of life's situations. And even in writing.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this Terri. I've been giving a lot of thought to what is the best way to stand firm for truth and righteousness without offending others. The truth is that there is always going to be someone who gets offended. No matter what I say. But I love that you had that one person who listened. Because there will always be that one person. The divide mentioned by the Apostle Paul and many others is widening. Scary and exciting times all at once.


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