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In the tradition of William Bennett's Book of Virtues, Hinckley has created a classic look at the values that can change our world—and how to stand up for them. Drawing on anecdotes from his own life, as well as from our nation today, he examines ten virtues that have proven through the ages to provide the most profound path to a better world: love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness and mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism, and faith.
Standing for Something is an inspiring blue-print for what we can all do—as individuals, as a nation, and as a world community—to rediscover the values that make us strong and by which all of us can work toward a brighter future.
We need a new emphasis on honesty, character, and integrity. As we build into the fiber of our individual lives the virtues that are the essence of true civilization, so will the pattern of our times change. The question that confronts us is: Where shall we begin?
Love: The Lodestar of Life
Love is the only force that can erase the differences between people or bridge the chasms of bitterness.
When I was a little boy, we children traced paper hearts at school on Valentine's Day. At night, we dropped them at the doors of our friends, stamped on the porch, and then ran into the dark to hide.
Almost without exception, those Valentines had printed on them: "I love you." I have since come to know that love is more than a paper heart. Love is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is not found only at the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, and neighbors!
Love, like faith, is a gift of God. It is also the most enduring and most powerful virtue.
In our youth, we sometimes acquire faulty ideas of love, believing that it can be imposed or simply created for convenience. I noted the following in a newspaper column some years ago:
One of the grand errors we tend tomake when we are young is supposing that a person is a bundle of qualities, and we add up the individual's good and bad qualities, like a bookkeeper working on debits and credits. If the balance is favorable, we may decide to take the jump [into marriage]. . . . The world is full of unhappy men and women who married because . . . it seemed to be a good investment. Love, however, is not an investment; it is an adventure. And when marriage turns out to be as dull and comfortable as a sound investment, the disgruntled party soon turns elsewhere. . . . Ignorant people are always saying, "I wonder what he sees in her," not realizing that what he sees in her (and what no one else can see) is the secret essence of love.
I think of two friends from my high school and university years. He was a boy from a country town, plain in appearance, without money or apparent promise. He had grown up on a farm, and if he had any quality that was attractive, it was the capacity to work. He carried bologna sandwiches in a brown paper bag for his lunch, and swept the school floors to pay his tuition. But with all of his rustic appearance, he had a smile and a personality that seemed to sing of goodness. She was a city girl who had come out of a comfortable home. She would not have won a beauty contest, but she was wholesome in her decency and integrity, and attractive in her decorum and dress.
Something wonderful took place between them. They fell in love. Some whispered that there were far more promising boys for her, and a gossip or two noted that perhaps other girls might have interested him. But these two laughed and danced and studied together through their school years. They married when people wondered how they could ever earn enough to stay alive. He struggled through his professional school and came out well in his class. She scrimped and saved and worked and prayed. She encouraged and sustained, and when things were really tough, she said quietly, "Somehow we can make it." Buoyed by her faith in him, he kept going through the difficult years. Children came, and together they loved them and nourished them and gave them the security that came of their own love for and loyalty to each other. Now many years have passed. Their children are grown, a lasting credit to them and to the communities in which they live.
I happened to find myself on the same flight as this couple a few years ago. I walked down the aisle in the semidarkness of the cabin and saw a woman, white-haired, her head on her husband's shoulder as she dozed. His hand was clasped warmly about hers. He was awake and recognized me. She awakened, and we talked. They were returning from a convention where he had delivered a paper before a learned society. He said little about it, but she proudly spoke of the honors accorded him.
I wish that I might have caught with a camera the look on her face as she talked of him. Forty-five years earlier, people without understanding had asked what they saw in each other. I thought of that as I returned to my seat. Their friends of those days saw only a farm boy from the country and a smiling girl with freckles on her nose. But these two found in each other love and loyalty, peace and faith in the future. There was a flowering in them of something divine, planted there by that Father who is our God. In their school days, they had lived worthy of that flowering of love. They had lived with virtue and faith, with appreciation and respect for self and one another. In the years of their difficult professional and economic struggles, they had found their greatest earthly strength in their companionship. Now, in mature age, they were finding peace and quiet satisfaction together.
There is nothing as energizing, as confidence-building, as sustaining as the power of love. How substantial is its influence on the human mind and heart! How great and magnificent is its power in overcoming fear and doubt, worry and discouragement!
|Introduction: The Secularization of America||xi|
|Part 1||The Ten Virtues|
|1||Love: The Lodestar of Life||3|
|2||Where There Is Honesty, Other Virtues Will Follow||15|
|3||Making a Case for Morality||35|
|4||Our Fading Civility||53|
|5||Learning: "With All Thy Getting Get Understanding"||69|
|6||The Twin Virtues of Forgiveness and Mercy||81|
|7||Thrift and Industry: Getting Our Houses in Order||93|
|8||Gratitude: A Sign of Maturity||105|
|9||Optimism in the Face of Cynicism||115|
|10||Faith: Our Only Hope||127|
|Part 2||The Guardians of Virtue|
|Marriage: What God Hath Joined Together||147|
|The Family: We Can Save Our Nation by Saving Our Homes||167|
|Epilogue: The Loneliness of Moral Leadership||197|
Posted March 14, 2008
Posted October 10, 2007
Posted September 3, 2003
Gordon B. HInckley is inspired. His proposed virtues comes alive. His experience comes from years of wisdom that have been cultivated from respect,love for his family and unshaken beliefs. You will find it of great value in years to come. Of all books written, it is the best solution for the disintegration of families and secularism today. Read it once and read it again. You will come to know the real values of what America needs.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 6, 2001
This book is so inspiring, and inspired. I learned so many things just about myself while reading this book, and got so many insights into who I am and who I am becoming. This will change lives, and for the better. If people would only read and follow President Hinckley's advice, America, and the world, would become the wonderful place we all want it to be.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 18, 2000
This is an outstanding book! My wife and I have read it several times. We also use it in our Sunday School class on Marriage & Family Relations. I also use it in my counseling practice to help heal the hearts and homes of others in distress. I highly recommend this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 25, 2000
Every one who has, or is ever planning to have, a family should read these beautiful words. Gordon B. Hinckley is a true reminder of what it is to be a patriotic, optimistic and virtuous human. I love Hinckley's book because it makes me want to be a better person with every word he writes. He is full of so much wisdom and optimism. You know he is inspired by God.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2000
I am only 13 years old but that did not stop me from reading and thoroughly enjoying this amazing book. I am currently reading it and loving every bit of of it. I would recommend this to everyone and that includes you. I have changed some since starting this wonderful book and I hope that others will read it as well. This is a book that will help everyone. If only teenagers would read this and follow what Pres. Hinckley has to advise, we would soon see a change in society for the better.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 11, 2000
Surprisingly more interesting than I thought. I finally opened up mind to some of his thoughts and saw more clearly what I might be missing in order to achieve TRUE balance and comfort. Don't judge this book by its cover. Take it seriously!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 21, 2000
This book appeals to all people and spans across all religions. The ideas and thoughts contained in this book are moral truths--truths that are absolute and unchanging. Though society continues to preach relativism and tear down virtuous living and morality, the fact remains that the virtues described in this book are inspired and true. I believe Gordon Hinckley is an inspired and godly man. Imagine how much greater America would be if more people adhered to and lived by these principles!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2000
As I read this book, I kept pondering on how I could better teach these simple virtues to my three children. This book, along with William Bennett's 'Book of Virtues' will be a great help in teaching my children (and in reminding me) of why it is so important to strive to be better than our natures. True peace and happiness comes from such a struggle.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2000
Posted May 21, 2000
Well written book that draws from life experience and biblical guidlines to reaffirm the foundations of our society. Not bound up in mystical wonder--simply stated principles.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 26, 2000
Gordon B. Hinckley's book is one that can be appreciated by any one with an interest in changing the disturbing trends in our society today. Gordon Hinckley outlines simple things we can do in our personal lives, our families, as well as publicly to better the society we live in. I believe that Gordon Hinckley makes an extremely strong case for the need to embrace the truths and the moral conduct that made this country great--and most certainly will make it great in the future. I would love for every parent to embrace the truths taught by Gordon B. Hinckley so as to turn back the tide of amoral and spiritually apathetic sentiment.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2000
I am reminded of that song about being proud to be an American, and the mere fact that I can't remember its title just proves how American I am!-HAHA This is a book for the ages, a book that every home in America should contain. I feel that Mr. Hinckley does an outstanding job representing his Church and what its virtues are. I know some dont think Mormons to be Christians, yet judging from this book, I think they are.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2000
All across America today we see an increase in violence, teen pregnacy, single-parent families, weaking morals in our leaders, and AIDS. Gordon B. Hinckley addresses these issues and much more, challenging the way we view our society's standards. Maybe it is time for Americans to put aside their differences and Stand For Something....together.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2000
This book kept my attention all the way through it. I was just spell-bound. I loved it, everyword in it. It applied right to us, our country and what we should be doing if we want the freedoms to continue.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 26, 2000
I immensely enjoyed this book. It is so fundamental yet precise and accurate that one is given cause to reflect on whether or not we are assets or liabilities to society. Every point he has made was right on. I will certainly change a few things about my life as a result. I could give no greater review than that!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 25, 2000
This book is refreshingly honest. I haven't seen a word yet of anything except the virtues that teach us to be completely honest and loving. He very lovingly pulls no punches. It has awaken in me a need to improve my life and try much harder to be a blessing to others. I could give no greater review to a book than this!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 21, 2000
'Standing for Something' bears the features that have made so many of the Classics, Classics. Namely a simple, beautiful, yet powerful writing style with a profoundly personal message for all. Volumes could be both written about and summarized by one-liners found on nearly every page. There are levels of understanding there for everyone from the child to the far advanced in years. In this masterpiece, Hinckley prescribes the antidotes to many of the problems faced today by individuals, families, communities, and society at large. They are cures that anyone can apply with proven results. This is a 'must read' for all who wish their lives to make a positive difference and to be something pleasing to look back upon.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 15, 2000
The book is timely and necessary. So many of the things that Mr. Hinckley said are so true; for example and in particular that our leaders need to be above reproach: he states (p. 170) that 'by its very nature, true leadership carries with it the burden of being an example.' This should mean in our own families as well as the working/corporate world AND in government. Too many of us, unfortunately, know the consequence of leaders/bosses with no integrity! This would also be an excellent gift to couples starting a family. These virtues are basic foundations upon which families USED to be based. What has happened over the years? I say, 'Let's get back to basics' and let's start by paying strict heed to the values laid out for us all in this incredible book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.