20962_000_002(Adapted from an April 1999 conference address. See Ensign, May 1999, pages 81–83.)If ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, … even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish (Mosiah 4:30).
When we were children, a line on the ground had special significance. Whenever boyhood tempers caused disagreement, the time-honored solution called for a line on the ground. The antagonists stood on opposite sides of the line, attempting to act as intimidating as possible. Someone would say, “Step over the line, and you’ll be sorry,” though they usually didn’t say it in those genteel words.
In those moments, I learned the great value of a line on the ground and the consequences of stepping over it. In the years that have followed, I have come to understand that figurative lines on the ground are placed there by a loving Heavenly Father who seeks to protect us from Lucifer’s army.
While each of us may have dozens of lines on the ground in our life today, I would like to discuss just one of them—the line that says, “Keep each person’s name safe in your home.”
Have you noticed how easy it is to cross over the line and find fault with other people?
James, a disciple of the Savior, said: “Speak not evil one of another” (James 4:11).
In this latter day, the Lord renewed His long-taught command in a revelation given through the prophet Brigham Young: “Cease to speak evil one of another” (D&C 136:23).
If you hear anyone in your family start to say something bad about someone else, will you please do what the father of Bambi’s friend Thumper said—will you say in a loud voice, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”? Even though that isn’t correct English, everyone will understand exactly what you mean.
I pray that the Lord will bless each of us that we may never cross over the line on the ground and that we may live so that it can be said, “Your name is safe in our home.”