My ‘Mormon Ears’


I recall standing up and bearing my testimony only once at church when I was a teenager. I don’t recall much of what I said that day, but apparently someone did. Something that I said in that meeting stayed with someone I would have never guessed. In relating how I dealt with the prevalent swearing that went on in the locker rooms of the sports teams I was playing on in High School, I explained how I had told the other players that when I heard such language it offended my “Mormon Ears.”

Fast forward 35 plus years! A member of the temple presidency and his wife came to visit our ward. They were a young couple in my ward when I was a teenager. We started to reminisce about the old ward. We talked of places and people but one recollection related by the wife took me by surprise. She said, “I remember your ‘Mormon Ears’ story. You don’t know how many times I have told that over the years.” I was flattered she remembered such a trivial thing! But then again, who is to say what is trivial! Sometimes we say things that seem of little importance. But from personal experience, I know that there has been many times that I been inspired or impressed by little things that others say or do. I store them in my mind and sometimes in my heart. I draw inspiration from them. They are like a spiritual reservoir from which I draw strength in my time of need. Occasionally, years later, I get the opportunity to thank the providers of such pearls. But, more often than not, I am never able to properly extend appreciation to those who have given me such inspiration. They are long gone out of my life. But this experience re-emphasized to me that the small things we do can have an impact. You never know!

And so I have reflected on the phrase I coined that day, “Mormon Ears.” It didn’t mean much to me when I said it. At the time I never imagined that I could say anything of value to adults. But the other day, I received a confirmation from that sister, that what we say, no matter what age, or what position we hold, can be of value to someone. I learned even a seventeen year old can say something of value that can last for decades. And I learned that by listening with my “Mormon Ears.”

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