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In this national bestseller, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. 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 much-admired life of faith and service, as well as examples from American culture today, he examines ten virtues that have always illuminated the path to a better world: love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness and mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism, and faith. He then shows how the two guardians of virtue--marriage and the family--can keep us on that path, even in difficult times. Standing for Something is an inspiring blueprint for what we all can do--as individuals, as a nation, and as a world community--to rediscover the values and virtues that have historically made us strong and that will lead us to a brighter future.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"We live in an age in which traditional beliefs have been attenuated, ridiculed, and mocked. We desperately need leaders who will defend them -- and just as important, we need leaders who can explain why they are worth defending. Which is why Gordon Hinckley's book is so valuable. Timely, intelligent, practical, and readable, Standing for Something is an important contribution to the national discussion." -William J. Bennett, editor, The Book of Virtues
"I absolutely love this book! Every chapter breathes profound wisdom, insight, and optimism. Articulated by one of the inspired leaders of our day, these ten timeless values, if lived, will literally heal our hearts, our homes, our country, our world." -Stephen R. Covey, author, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
"President Gordon B. Hinckley has written a wise and inspiring book. He looks at all that ails our society today and offers the most powerful cure: faith in God and the virtues that emanate from it. His voice in this book is prophetic and full of love. People of all religions will benefit from reading Standing for Something, and society will gain too, because this book should lead its readers to stand for something." -Senator Joseph I. Leiberman
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 to make 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....