Christina's Reviews > Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

Standing for Something by Gordon B. Hinckley
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's review
Dec 08, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction-lds, nonfiction-attitude

Beautifully written book about how we can turn our nation around. President Hinckley writes to Americans in general - reminding us that he is a prophet for the world, not just members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I enjoy his powerful way with words and his humor.

I don't usually do this, but I'm going to type his main points in. President Hinckley spotlights 10 virtues that ... umm, read the book title and add "and nation" to the end.

1 - LOVE: One of the greatest challenges we face in our hurried, self-centered lives it to follow this counsel of the Master, to take the time and make the effort to care for others, to develop and exercise the one quality that would enable us to change the lives of others - what the scriptures call charity... Tremendous happiness and peace of mind are the results of loving service to others. Nobody can live fully and happily who lives only unto himself or herself.

2 - HONESTY: Integrity is at the heart of commerce in the world in which we live. Honesty and integrity comprise the very underpinning of society. Every bank president, every bank director knows that even with all the regulations and possible safeguards, in the last analysis the strength and safety of any financial institution lie in the integrity of its people. As with banks, so also with merchants, politicians, professional men and women, and leaders from all walks of life. Indeed, the strength and safety of of any organization - including the family - lie in the integrity of its members.

3 - MORALITY: Both experience and divine wisdom dictate that moral virtue and cleanliness pave the way that leads to strength of character, peace of mind and heart, and happiness in life. There is no question that the way of safety and the road to a sense of genuine fulfillment lie in sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity following marriage.

4 - CIVILITY: It is not enough just to be good. We must be good for something. We must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for our presence. And the good that is in us must be spread to others. This is the measure of our civility.

5 - LEARNING: It is incumbent on each of us to equip ourselves to do something worthwhile in society - to acquire more and more light, so that our personal light can help illuminate a darkened world. And this is made possible through learning, through educating ourselves, through progressing and growing in both mind and spirit.

6 - FORGIVENESS & MERCY: There are those who would look upon these virtues as signs of weakness. But it takes neither strength nor intelligence to brood in anger over wrongs suffered, to go through life with a spirit of vindictiveness, to dissipate one's abilities in planning retribution, or to press a grievance when someone else is "down". There is not genius or peace in the nursing of a grudge... Those who nurture in their hearts poisonous enmity toward another would be well served to ask the Almighty for the strength to forgive and to extend the hand of mercy.

7 - THRIFT & INDUSTRY: We have been seduced into believing that borrowed money has no penalty, that financial bondage is an acceptable way to live. I suggest that it is not. We would do well to look to the condition of our personal finances, to be modest and prudent in our expenditures, to discipline our purchasing and avoid debt to the extent possible, to pay off debt quickly, and to free ourselves from the bondage of others.

8 - GRATITUDE: When we walk with gratitude, we do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, but rather with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to us and will bless our lives.

9 - OPTIMISM: It will do us no good to be naive about the challenges we face in this country. We do have problems, and they are not a few. There are issues that demand our earnest, inspired attention. But there is too much fruitless carping and criticism of American. What might become of this land if we spoke less of its weaknesses and more of its goodness and strength, its capacity and potential? ... I am an optimist! What a wonderful time it is to be alive, here at the turn of a milestone century! With that frame of reference, my plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight.

10 - FAITH: There is no obstacle too great, no challenge to difficult, if we have faith. With faith we can rise above those negative elements in our lives that constantly pull us down... Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we'll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain.

This book really deserves 5 stars, but there wasn't a lot that I hadn't heard from President Hinckley at other times. As much as I would recommend this book for everyone to read, I didn't find any practical application for me. One thing I do feel is more motivation to get involved politically and 'stand for something' good. What a nation we could be if we, as a people, tried to live these virtues.
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message 1: by Linda (new)

Linda Christina,

Thanks for the synopsis - it was very inspiring. Linda

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