Sister Lauri Arensmeyer spoke in today’s BYU-Idaho devotional with her address, “The Words We Speak.” In the talk, Sister Arensmeyer expressed the importance of the words we speak to other people.

As the registrar at BYU-Idaho, Sister Arensmeyer said she has had opportunities to learn and grow in her ability to consistently use her words wisely.

She encouraged students to show kindness and compassion in the way they communicate with others.

“One of the best ways to improve your words is to always consider the recipient of your words,” Sister Arensmeyer said. “You will never look into the eyes of someone God does not love.”

In her address, she expressed that her testimony of the importance of kind words comes from personal experience—both positive and negative. Sister Arensmeyer shared an experience she had as a child that impacted the rest of her life.

While learning to drive in her teenage years, she recalled losing control of her car and nearly crashing. Her father and then-driving instructor could have easily used harshness and condemnation in that situation, but he instead showed restraint and love. Sister Arensmeyer said that moment taught her a powerful lesson.

“My dad’s choice of words conveyed his understanding that I had not intentionally tried to wreck the car and harm us in the process, but that I was young, inexperienced, and simply made a mistake,” she said. “In that moment, his words comforted instead of condemned, helped instead of hurt.”

In an interview before today’s devotional, Sister Arensmeyer expounded on that experience and her motivations for choosing this topic.

“I have both experienced receiving words that were used correctly as well as received words that were not,” she explained. “I’ve recognized that we all need to be more mindful of what we speak.”

In her work at BYU-Idaho she has had many opportunities to grow in this sphere, she said. For example, in her workplace on campus, her office has established a zero-tolerance policy on gossip.

Ultimately, though, Sister Arensmeyer said using our words isn’t just about what we don’t say. It’s essentially focused on the good we can do when speaking.

She referenced Sister Camilla Kimball’s counsel to never suppress a generous thought.

“If you think about someone…act on it. Do it,” she said. “You never know that you may be the answer to their prayer.”