A short time ago I made a statement in Relief Society. Right after I ended, a sister said, "I disagree" and made her own statement.

Since I am hard of hearing I wasn't entirely certain that I heard what she said at the time. However, I was able to piece things together later.

We hadn't actually disagreed on anything. For some strange reason, she apparently thought we had. She must have misinterpreted what I said.

It's led me to reflect on some things.

She should have just stated her position. She didn't need to say she disagreed with me or agreed with me. If she wanted to state her position, she was free to do so.

What bothers me is that by doing what she did, she distorted and misrepresented what I said. Others may have accepted her distortion as accurate.

None of this needed to happen.

If something needs to be said, then by all means say it. If it has already been said, then there is no reason to restate it.

The rest of us are perfectly capable of determining who agrees with who and who disagrees with who if that needs to be determined which it probably doesn't. We don't need someone to inform us of anything.

None of us like be misunderstood, misrepresented or have what we said distorted. I've decided that one of the best ways to avoid it is to avoid saying "I agree" or "I disagree".

In fact, why are we personalizing things anyway? None of this is about you or about me. I'm inclined to think that this is just another aspect of spiritual vaunting.

Who you agree and disagree with doesn't matter in the long run. It has nothing to do with whether the principles under discussion are true.

Stating who you agree with and disagree with can derail the conversation in multiple ways, including the following:
  • Causing conflict if someone doesn't interpret your intent and meaning the way you intended.
  • Causing conflict if someone is offended that you don't agree with them.
  • Getting the discussion off topic from the relevant gospel discussion to various tangents like your intent/meaning, etc. See above.
If you just state your viewpoint, none of these negative things are going to happen.

Don't make something a controversy between you and someone else. Ideas can be discussed without personalizing everything.

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