Sunday, March 07, 2010

Elder Oaks on speaking privately versus speaking to the world

Sheri Dew asked Elder Dallin H. Oaks what it was like talking publicly in a world where you can finish a talk and in moments your words can be spread around the globe. The question is at 47 minutes into this broadcast interview. His words made me think differently about the appropriateness of reporting the words that you hear someone speak in a smaller setting.

Oaks: In the last 12 months, I never stand before an audience at a stake conference--these are in small audiences where you don't anticipate that it will be broadcast--without confronting the possibility that someone there is putting it on some electronic transmission, or would make notes and then go send an email to family members...

Dew: Or a blog.

Oaks: Or a blog... which they would press a key and send that to 150 people and so on. So when I want to speak very candidly to a particular audience, I have begun saying before I begin to speak to this audience of a 100 priesthood or auxiliary leaders, "I would like to know whether I am speaking to 100 people or whether I'm potentially speaking to the world. Because it is going to affect the talk that I will give. Now if I can understand that I'm just speaking to you and that you won't appoint yourself as an agent to transmit my words to the world, I'll speak one way. But if I can't have that commitment from all of you,  I'll speak differently. Because I simply have to speak differently if I'm speaking to people unseen. And generally they get the message and I've not been disappointed by the outcome.


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  • Wow. I see the dilemma. But is there a difference between "reporting" on his words and musing on the thoughts and feelings you had while he was talking? Because so often I don't internalize a lesson until I've had a chance to write it out.

    Maybe it is the sharing that is the problem.

    By Blogger Keryn, at 3/08/2010 11:16 AM  

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