"I should like to say a few words about America.... No land is without its beauty, no people without their virtues, and I hope that you who come from elsewhere will pardon my saying a few words concerning my own native land, America. I know that she has problems. We have heard so much of them for so long. But surely this is a good land, a choice land, a chosen land. To me it is a miracle, a creation of the Almighty....
"I was stirred in my heart by the words of our late, great President Harold B. Lee, who, speaking to a group such as this, said:
"'This nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail.... I have faith in America. You and I must have faith in America if we understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.' (Deseret News, 27 October 1973.)
"I doubt not that we shall have days of trial.... But I am certain that if we will emphasize the greater good and turn our time and talents from vituperative criticism, from constantly looking for evil, and lift our sights to what may be done to build strength and goodness in our nation, America will continue to go forward with the blessing of the Almighty and stand as an ensign of strength and peace and generosity to all the world."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled," BYU Speeches of the Year, October 29, 1974, pp. 267-68; see Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley pp. 10-11
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In his leadership of a large international organization, President Hinckley was aware and sensitive to the feelings of those who lived in other countries. But in this excerpt he expressed his love and confidence in the country of his birth and upbringing. While he acknowledged America's many problems, he maintained his faith and hope in the future: "surely this is a good land, a choice land, a chosen land."
This quote from his dear friend President Harold B. Lee is instructive:
And again, realistically acknowledging days of trial to come, President Hinckley's optimism in the country and its future focus on the responsibility of individuals to turn away from "vituperative criticism" and instead to lift our eyes in hope and goodness, helping build national strength through our personal righteousness.