Another example was recalled by a man named Jesse Crosby, who one day accompanied a woman on a visit to the Prophet. She felt she had been maligned unjustly by gossip. Regarding such matters, Joseph would say: "The little foxes spoil the vines-little evils do the most damage in the Church." He also said, "The devil flatters us that we are very righteous, when we are feeding on the faults of others." He pointed out, "The Savior has the words of eternal life"-that is, if you really want to prize words, the Savior has the words of eternal life-and "nothing else can profit us." And then in order to make the point, he added, "There is no salvation in believing an evil report against our neighbor."
But this sister had been troubled, and she came and asked for redress: she wanted the Prophet now to go to the person who was the source of the story and properly take care of it. He enquired of her in some detail and then counseled her in terms something like this: "Sister, when I have heard of a story about me [and he could have said there had been many], I sit down and think about it and pray about it, and I ask myself the question, 'Did I say something or was there something about my manner to give some basis for that story to start?' And, Sister, often if I think about it long enough I realize I have done something to give that basis. And there wells up in me a forgiveness of the person who has told that story, and a resolve that I will never do that thing again."
(Truman G. Madsen, Joseph Smith the Prophet , p.94-)