Stacey Carruth has served in a variety of callings under all of the organization umbrellas. She currently helps manage the co-sponsorship efforts between her stake and local refugee resettlement organizations. She works in journalism, focusing on the how and why of including conservative audiences. Her content can be found at She and her husband live in Denver, Colorado with their four kids.

Enter Stacey…

I spend my time teaching journalists. Specifically, I teach them why they need to attract conservative audiences and how to do it. Since more than 70% of journalists identify as liberal or progressive, most are curious if not desperate to hear me out.

I am uniquely qualified to be in this position because while I currently align most with liberal policies and values, I grew up a strict and loyal conservative. What’s different about me is that I don’t regret being conservative. I have my conservative upbringing to thank for much of the good I’ve done in my life.

So, I spend my time explaining conservative views and values to liberals to help them write a more accurate story that benefits all of their readers, not just the liberal ones.

These are not easy conversations, especially when so many people can’t even stand being in the same room as someone from the opposite side of the political aisle, let alone have a conversation with them. Despite this, I see these conversations as crucial to building Zion and gathering Israel in our communities.

Which is why I was ecstatic to listen to President Nelson rebuke the saints and call on them to become peacemakers this past General Conference.

“Regrettably, we sometimes see contentious behavior even within our own ranks….This should not be….One of the easiest ways to identify a true follower of Jesus Christ is how compassionately that person treats other people”.

Identifying As a Peacemaker

There are a few ways that he specifically mentioned that we can be peacemakers. It is important that we don’t take these out of context or go “beyond the mark.” He said,

“If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” that we can say about another person—whether to his face or behind her back—that should be our standard of communication”.

He did NOT say that we need to refuse to stand up for ourselves in fear of “causing” contention. He said, “Contention drives away the Spirit—every time. Contention reinforces the false notion that confrontation is the way to resolve differences; but it never is”.

What he did NOT say was that disciples of Christ should avoid conversations that trigger contention, should avoid people that we extremely dislike, or should avoid getting involved in situations that make us angry. We are called to be peace-makers not professional avoiders. If anything, the call to being a peacemaker requires us to enter into MORE difficult conversations, not fewer.

Praying for Charity

The prophet’s solution to avoid contention was to pray for the gift of charity. While I believe in the power of prayer and of charity, if you’re a normal human (like me), your natural man tendencies occur on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Praying to make that giant leap to charity seems like too tall of an order for my mustard seed-sized faith. Add to that the importance of not being a professional avoider and the prophet’s call seems all but impossible to follow.

Through my work, I’ve discovered an often unsung value that, when cultivated, can act as a bridge between where we are now to our ultimate goal of being charitable, in possessing the pure love of Christ, even in the most difficult discussions.

That value is curiosity.

The Power of Curiosity

Curiosity is the opposite of judgment. It doesn’t require you to love, accept or forgive. Neither does it require you to condemn, malign or vilify. All it requires of you is to wonder: wonder why someone would choose those words, wonder how someone could arrive at such a belief, wonder if there was something more, wonder what’s missing.

There are many organizations and individuals that are experts in guiding people along the curiosity bridge. The one I recommend to start with is Braver Angels. It is an organization dedicated to bridging the partisan divide. They produce free workshops and podcast episodes that help individuals understand and be understood across the political spectrum.

Monica Guzman is a Senior Fellow at Braver Angels and recently published a book about how to have fearlessly curious conversations. She discusses the simple things we ignorantly do to cultivate our contempt and misunderstanding of one another while showing a way out. It is a must read.

Curiosity can also help us in spreading peace while holding those in power accountable for their part in our society’s contentious polarization. Two powerful groups to start with are journalists and politicians.

Use Our Curious Voice

Stay in touch with your local newsroom. When you see or hear them producing content that aims to incite contempt rather than understanding, call them up and be curious. Share your concerns. Give alternative suggestions. Listen to their response. The Spirit will touch your conversation on how to move forward.

Take a similar approach with your local and national politicians. Rather than complain about the political climate of our day, use your voice! Keep track of your elected officials’ behavior. Call or email their offices when you feel they are sowing division rather than cultivating collaboration.

Stand Still

As we seek to spread peace in our lives and our communities, take courage in the words of the prophet Joseph Smith:

“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed” (D&C 123:17).

I can promise that you will see the power of God move mountains as you follow the prophet’s council.

I have.

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