Wednesday, March 27, 2019

President Gordon B. Hinckley on a positive outlook in life

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.
"I come this evening with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I’m suggesting that we accentuate the positive. I’m asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort.
"I am not asking that all criticism be silent. Growth comes with correction. Strength comes with repentance. Wise is the man or woman who, committing mistakes pointed out by others, changes his or her course. I am not suggesting that our conversation be all honey. Clever expression that is sincere and honest is a skill to be sought and cultivated. What I am suggesting and asking is that we turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good in the land and times in which we live, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism.
"Let our faith replace our fears. When I was a boy, my father often said to us, 'Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.'"
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Lord Is at the Helm," BYU Devotional, Mar. 6, 1994
Click here to read the full talk

This is a theme that President Hinckley loved, and spoke of a number of times during his ministry. We cannot always choose the circumstances around us, but we can always choose how we react to them and how we act in the midst of them. On another occasion he described people who always respond negatively and critically as "pickle suckers." He suggests there is a better way—seeking and dwelling on good things instead of the negative aspects:

President Hinckley does acknowledge that there is a proper place for criticism, pointing out of mistakes and errors, etc. But the spirit in which what is done (both given and received) makes all the difference. And one of the great keys is that when we "speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults" it becomes easier to receive helpful suggestions about those faults.

Not only should "optimism replace pessimism," but at the same time, in the Lord's hands, we will find that "our faith [will] replace our fears."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15