Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Gordon B. Hinckley on standards for life's decisions

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.
"There is involved in such simple decisions the entire question of what we do with our lives. It is not so much the major events as the small day-to-day decisions that map the course of our living....
"I should like to suggest three standards by which to judge each of the decisions that determine the behavior patterns of your lives. These standards are so simple as to appear elementary, but I believe their faithful observance will provide a set of moral imperatives by which to govern without argument or equivocation each of our actions and which will bring unmatched rewards. They are:
"Does it enrich the mind?
"Does it discipline and strengthen the body?
"Does it nourish the spirit?"
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "Caesar, Circus, or Christ," BYU devotional, October 26, 1965
Click here to listen to the full talk
Click here to read a transcript of the talk

This thought by President Hinckley focused not on the major, critical, course-changing decisions that we all encounter from time to time, but on the small, simple, daily, course-setting decisions that are such a part of our daily lives. They help determine the "behavior patterns" that can add meaning and value to life. President Hinckley suggests a thoughtful approach to these things, focusing on three simple questions:

So he is encouraging us to seek habits that will improve our thinking in positive ways; have beneficial effect on our health and physical well-being; and then build up our spiritual strength. If we are routinely involved in something that detracts from one of those areas, we should work to eliminate it!

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