Sunday, November 19, 2017

President Gordon B. Hinckley on avoiding the pull of the world

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.
"All of us live in the world. Of course we do. We cannot live a cloistered existence. But we can live in the world without partaking of the unseemly ways of the world.
"The pull gets ever stronger. The adversary is clever and subtle. He speaks in a seductive voice of fascinating and attractive things. We cannot afford to let down our guard. We cannot afford to drop the ball. We need not run the wrong way. The right way is simple. It means following the program of the Church, bringing into our lives the principles of the gospel, and never losing sight of what is expected of us as sons [and daughters] of God with a great inheritance and a marvelous and eternal potential.
"Simple and tremendously challenging are the words of the Scout Oath: 'On my honor I will do my best.' If every one of us would make that effort, the world would be much better, and we would be much happier. It is so often the very small and singularly inconsequential acts of our lives that eventually make so great a difference."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "Don't Drop the Ball," General Conference October 1994
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The challenge of "living in the world" without being overwhelmed by it, and particularly by its "unseemly ways," is only getting greater. But President Hinckley finds a simple answer to the challenge: follow Church programs, allow gospel principles to influence our lives, and remember our eternal inheritance and potential:

President Hinckley finds wisdom in the simple words that begin the Scout Oath: "On my honor, I will do my best." In today's society we need more people whose honor means something, whose promises and oaths can be trusted, and who are willing to always strive to simply do their best at all times. That would truly make the world, and each of us individually, a much happier place. As President Hinckley notes, the small and seemingly "inconsequential acts" can have powerful results.

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

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