Friday, November 23, 2018

Elder Marvin J. Ashton on having a proper attitude in the world

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915-1994) served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1971 until his death in 1994 at age 78.
"Proper attitude in this crisis-dominated world is a priceless possession. Never before is it more important for all of us to move forward with conviction. We may be behind, but we are not losing if we are moving in the right direction. God will not score our performances until the end of the journey. He who made us expects us to be victorious. He stands by anxious to answer our call for help. Sad but true, many today are behind in their contacts with God and encouraging destructive attitudes toward self and fellowmen. We need to lead with good cheer, optimism, and courage if we are to move onward and upward.
"The truths 'And in everything give thanks' (D&C 98:1) and 'Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things' (D&C 59:7) and 'He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious' (D&C 78:19) are not only recommended tools of appreciation, but are powerful attitude guidelines prescribing rewarding patterns. Think of the personal challenge to thank God in all things. If we thank God in all things, we will not permit ourselves to get behind. We must work each day to beat yesterday's record, not someone else's. With His help we can accomplish all things and be winners indeed in the processes of eternity."
- Marvin J. Ashton, "Who's Losing?", General Conference October 1974
Click here to read or listen to the full address

The title of this talk, "Who's Losing?", comes from an experience when Elder Ashton was asked that question by a late arriver at a baseball game. He responded that no one was losing. While there might be a difference in score, and one might be ahead of another, no one is a loser who is striving to move forward in efforts to achieve a goal or do good things.

Elder Ashton shared one of the keys to this kind of "proper attitude" that is much-needed in our "crisis-dominated world." We should be thankful to God for our blessings.

Not only should we occasionally express thanks, but we should receive all things with thankfulness. That kind of attitude, Elder Ashton maintains, is among the "powerful attitude guidelines prescribing rewarding patterns." As we learn to live in gratitude, the whole course of our life will be impacted and blessed for good.

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

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