Quotes on Murmuring

A basic cause of murmuring is that too many of us seem to expect that life will flow ever smoothly, featuring an unbroken chain of green lights with empty parking places just in front of our destination! — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, October 1989

Murmuring always undermines the influence of the Lord’s spokesmen in bringing His children to righteousness.

Closely associated with murmuring is resisting righteous instruction, correction and reproof.  If it is true that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) it goes without saying that each of us from time to time will need course corrections, which we ought to receive with humility and grace. — “Be one,” Church News, March 13, 2004

Imperfect people are, in fact, called by our perfect Lord to assist in His work.  The Lord declared to certain associates of Joseph Smith that He knew that they had observed Joseph’s minor imperfections.  Even so, the Lord then testified that the revelations given through the Prophet were true!  (See D&C 67:5, 9.)

Unsurprisingly, therefore, we do notice each other’s weaknesses.  But we should not celebrate them.  Let us be grateful for the small strides that we and others make, rather than rejoice in the shortfalls.  And when mistakes occur, let them become instructive, not destructive. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “A Brother Offended,” Ensign, May 1982, p. 37

Now for persons to do things, merely because they are advised to do them, and yet murmur all the time they are doing them, is of no use at all;  they might as well not do them.

There are those who profess to be saints who are too apt to murmur, and find fault, when any advice is given, which comes in opposition to their feelings, even when they, themselves, ask for counsel;  much more so when council is given unasked for, which does not agree with their notion of things; but brethren, we hope for better things from the most of you;  we trust that you desire counsel, from time to time, and that you will cheerfully conform to it, whenever you receive it from a proper source. — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:45

Leaders of the Church are men with human frailties, and are imperfect in their wisdom and judgment.  Perfection in men is not found on the earth.  But these leaders, hold a divine warrant and commission through which great and eternal blessings come to those who sustain and follow them. — Elder James E. Faust, Conference Report, October 1985, p. 8

“Speak not against the authorities.”  What does it mean?  Be not a murmurer; that is what it means.  It is one of the most poisonous things that can be introduced into the home of a Latter-day Saint – this murmuring against presidents of stakes, high councilors, Sunday School superintendents, etc. . . . 

Better stop murmuring and build.  Remember that one of the worst means of tearing down an individual is slander.  It is one of the most poisonous weapons that the evil one uses.  Backbiting and evil speaking throw us into the class of malefactors rather than the class of benefactors. — President David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, pp. 142-43; Improvement Era, 1953

I love what Elder Orson F. Whitney once said:  “The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things.  The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience.”  (In Conference Report, Apr. 1917, 43.)  We should honor the Savior’s declaration to “be of good cheer.”  (Matthew 14:27; Mark 6:50; John 16:33)  (Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other!)  Speak hopefully.  Speak encouragingly, including about yourself.  Try not to complain and moan incessantly.  As someone once said, “Even in the golden age of civilization someone undoubtedly grumbled that everything looked too yellow.”

I have often thought that Nephi’s being bound with cords and beaten by rods must have been more tolerable to him than listening to Laman and Lemuel’s constant murmuring.  (See 1 Nephi 3:28–31; 18:11–15.)  Surely he must have said at least once, “Hit me one more time.  I can still hear you.”  Yes, life has its problems, and yes, there are negative things to face, but please accept one of Elder Holland’s maxims for living – no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Tongue of Angels,” Ensign, April 2007