Sunday, July 15, 2018

President Gordon B. Hinckley on the need for optimism in a stress-filled 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.
"Looking at the dark side of things always leads to a spirit of pessimism which so often leads to defeat....
"I have little doubt that many of us are troubled with fears concerning ourselves. We are in a period of stress across the world. There are occasionally hard days for each of us. Do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the sunlight through the clouds. Opportunities will eventually open to you. Do not let the prophets of gloom endanger your possibilities."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Continuing Pursuit of Truth,"  BYU—Hawaii commencement 18 June 1983; see Ensign, April 1986, p. 2
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President Hinckley's consistent message of hope and optimism rings true today. While we sometimes face storms and challenges that seem to block the sunlight in our lives, we should always remember that storms are temporary and we must never despair. This applies both to a "period of stress across the world" and to the most individual challenges in our own lives.

I think perhaps one of life's great challenges is to "look for the sunlight through the clouds." Our nature is to focus on the clouds, forgetting that the sunlight is still there behind them. Once we develop that gift, we will find our challenges much easier to bear.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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