Introductions all around – a little gossip

For some odd reason the Gods gods overlords here at M* decided to invite me to be a permablogger.  How they think they are ever going to increase readership is beyond me, but who am I to turn down a paying gig?

I have been blogging for a few years now.  My own blog,  Joel’s Monastery, mostly holds my Gospel Doctrine lessons and is gaining popularity with every weekly post.  Of course, I do have a few call me a radical anti-Christ for sharing viewpoints that are not always my own, but include views from ancient sources.

I do promise to try and offer quality blogging here, unlike another major LDS blog that today is offering a post on “skanky legs.”  No, I will not provide a link, because the blogger asked them to discuss, and like Jacob of old, I’m not interested in risking the innocence of our high class readers,  “many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God” (Jacob 2:7).

That said, let’s get into a topic I’ve pondered recently:


I’m sure I’m not the only around who has heard a family member or friend note that he/she/it never gossips, BUT….

And then comes the gossiping.  Is there no one around that does not gossip?  I note that I’ve even sat in on bishopric and PEC meetings in units in the past and some discussion lends more towards gossip than positive discussion.

As in the old Hee Haw story line, we never repeat gossip. You gotta hear it the first time.

What is the difference between gossip and valid discourse regarding an individual?

First, I think one key issue is if we have a dog in the fight.  If I’m discussing something because I have an important tie to the individual or event, then perhaps it leads towards valid discourse.

Second, whether a solution is being sought.  While Joseph Smith talked over the fence with some neighbors, another friend came up and said that a brother’s home had just burned down.  The men began to commiserate on how terrible an event this was.  Joseph reached into his pocket, pulled out a $5 gold coin and said, “Brethren, I’m sorry for five dollars worth. How sorry are you?”  The point being that discussion is good if it leads to solution, and not just more discussion.

What are other differences you see between gossip and valid discussion? And is the Bloggernacle the official gossip site for the Church, skanky legs and all?

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

13 thoughts on “Introductions all around – a little gossip

  1. Rameumpton, welcome. We look forward to your posts here. Gossip is one of the most pernicious things in society and certainly in the Church. As a former member of a bishopric, I cannot tell you how many fights and how much bad blood in Church starts because people are gossiping and sticking their noses into things that are not their business. Best rule of thumb: take about other peoples’ personal lives as little as possible. And, no, I don’t adhere to this rule like I should, but I’m trying.

  2. Deborah, no. Thank you!

    Geoff, it is nice to have an overlord approve of my first post.

    I recall an incident on my mission (Bolivia), when Elder Gene R. Cook was Area President. He talked once about an event in Peru regarding gossip. Due to gossip, a man’s life was ruined and several members were excommunicated for causing the rumors to spread.

    Perhaps one of the worse things about it is that we are to be building Zion. Zion is a people who are peacemakers, pure in heart, and united “having all things in common” (4 Nephi 1:2-3).

    I like your rule of thumb. I always try and use my two keys to control just whom I’m talking about, and the reason I’m doing the talking (or listening, if someone else is speaking).

  3. I sometimes worry about how much Bishoprics and Ward Councils do stick their noses into things that aren’t their business at all. Even when people are trying to help, when they over step the boundaries of propriety they harm everyone.

  4. Good point, psycho. (I can call you psycho, can’t I?).

    We live in a world of gossip. That the scriptures state that in the last days people’s sins would be revealed from the housetops (D&C 1:3) can be seen in our time. Gossip girl, Jerry Springer, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    I’ve noted that even on some LDS sites’ forums, there are members and non-members alike who will discuss their secret sins, asking the opinion of strangers! “Hi, my name is XXX, and I have been unfaithful in my marriage. Should I talk with my bishop about this?” or “Hello, my name is sleazebag, and I am addicted to porn. Can I get a temple recommend still?”

    Worse, some do not seek advice, but approval for their actions. So, it is now okay to gossip about oneself? What is it about the Internet that people actually think they are completely anonymous? Why don’t they just go directly to their bishop and confess, rather than confess to hundreds of people on an open forum? It just blows my mind….

  5. John M, no this site is not related to MGF. Any similarities with MGF, its affiliates, or readers are incidental. And no cartoon characters were harmed nor killed in the production of this blog.

  6. Welcome, rameumptom! I can’t think of that word without recalling my then-two-year-old daughter trying to say it. Good times.

    There seem to be some common key words that can warn one that what follows may very be gossip: “Did you know that…?” “Have you heard about…?”

  7. Ram,
    I prefer PC, you know, to support the irony of it all….

    I view it as a sure sign of some form of mental illness when people share too much. I think it’s a form of manipulation …

  8. Welcome Ram.

    Before you get too comfortable here, I confess I’ve been hearing some nasty things about you and need to confirm if they are true or not…

    If they are true, you can stay. 😛

  9. Which of the nasty rumors have you heard about me? I can be very particular about which ones I accept as mine, and which are just innuendo.

    As it is, I’m thinking of running for PTA president and so must be careful on which rumors stick to me. If they are the rumors regarding me being a brutal dictator over several smaller third world nations, then, yes. I’m guilty of that.

  10. “If they are the rumors regarding me being a brutal dictator over several smaller third world nations, then, yes. I’m guilty of that.”

    Yes! I knew it!

  11. ram: Did they have area presidents back when you were a missionary? I thought they were “regional representatives” and “area representatives” of the 12 back then.

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