Monday, March 2, 2015

Gordon B. Hinckley on accentuating the positive

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1961. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1981-1995, then as Church President until his death in 2008.
"I am asking that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we 'accentuate the positive.' I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort. I am not asking that all criticism be silenced. Growth comes of correction. Strength comes of repentance. Wise is the man who can acknowledge mistakes pointed out by others and change his course.
"What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another's virtues more than we speak of one another's faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: 'Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.'"
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Continuing Pursuit of Truth," Ensign, April 1986, p. 2
Click here to read the full article

Storms are a part of life. They come from time to time, and in spite of the challenges they bring, they also bring benefits. That's true in the physical world. But symbolically, President Hinckley warns about the tendency to "seek out" storms, or to focus only on the challenges to be found in our lives:

Each of us can try harder to compliment the good we encounter and overlook the negative. As we seek virtues and strengths instead of shortcomings, our interactions will improve and our whole outlook on life will be blessed.

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