Friday, June 23, 2017

President Gordon B. Hinckley on living with happiness and optimism

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.
"The Lord said: 'Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.' (D&C 25:13.)
"I believe he is saying to each of us, be happy. The gospel is a thing of joy. It provides us with a reason for gladness. Of course there are times of sorrow. Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety. We all worry. But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice. I see so many people, including many women, who seem never to see the sunshine, but who constantly walk with storms under cloudy skies. Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "If Though Art Faithful," Ensign, November 1984, p. 92
Click here to read or listen to the full article

This expression is classic President Hinckley. He always encouraged optimism and hope, reminding us of the reasons for joy even in the midst of trails and struggles. He certainly felt that joy in his life, and always radiated the spirit of optimism and confidence.

President Hinckley acknowledges that there will be times of sorrow, concern, anxiety, and worry. But with the perspective of the Gospel, those things never should overshadow our optimism and faith. We need to remember to "see the sunshine" around us. I like the specific suggestions he gives here to accomplish that:
  • Rejoice in the beauties of natuer
  • Rejoice in the goodness of loved ones
  • Rejoice in the testimony of divine things

Those are wonderful reminders, not just for times of sorrow but for all times. We will be blessed with more confidence and peace as we cultivate the spirit President Hinckley is inviting us to have.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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