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Standing For Something, Gordon B. Hinckley

Updated on September 18, 2012

New York Times Bestseller

In the year 2000, a book was written and published that soared to the top of the charts and even made it to the New York Times Bestseller list, it was titled, Standing for Something; 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal our Hearts and Homes. Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the author of this masterful discourse, which was written just before he reached his ninetieth birthday. His self description as written is as follows:


Gordon B. Hinckley, a man of God.

"In fact, I still feel young, with a love for life and its challenges and pleasures. My life has been rich because it has been filled with problems to solve and associations to savor. I have wrestled with dilemmas large and small. I have known something of discouragement and, on a few occasions, have felt the exhilaration of achievement. I feel a great sense of gratitude of the marvelous and generous blessings of the Almighty."

Gordon B. Hinckley was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was awarded to him on June 23, 2004 at the White House.

The Time Has Come to Stand A Littler Taller.

Standing For Something

Gordon B. Hinckley
Gordon B. Hinckley

The Secularization of America, the downfall of a nation.

In the book we are shown that because of his position in a church that is a worldwide organization, President Hinckley has had an opportunity to extensively travel throughout the world; he states that he loves all people everywhere regardless of nationality, sex, creed, or color. With that being said, he expresses his love for his own home, that of the United States of America, and reiterates his love for the founding fathers and the constitution of this nation. After professing his love for his country, in the introduction of his book, which he calls, The Secularization of America, he also gives a profound warning:

"We are forgetting God, whose commandments we have neglected and in some cases forgotten, and which we seem reluctant- or too undisciplined- to obey. In too many ways, we have substituted human sophistry for the wisdom of the Almighty.

America is still strong, but destructive forces have been and are at work. There is a serious unsteadiness in our country's stance in terms of morality, ethics, principles, and behavior. We as a people and a nation have increasingly neglected and abandoned time-honored virtues that have been proven through the centuries to keep human beings individually, and therefore collectively, strong."

Remedy of Hope

After outlining many of the ills that face our nation today, President Hinckley gives a remedy of hope.

"Healing in our hearts and in our homes, and subsequently throughout society, will begin to occur when we individually and collectively return to the code of ethics and the canons of divine truth that our honored forefathers lived by."

He outlines in his book, this code of ethics, by way of the following ten virtues:

1) Love: The Lodestar of Life

Love is the only force that can erase the differences between people or bridge the chasms of bitterness.

2) Honesty: Where There Is Honesty, Other Virtues Will Follow

In our day, those found in dishonesty aren't put to death, but something within them dies. Conscience chokes, character withers, self-respect vanishes, integrity dies. How cheaply some men and women sell their good names!

3) Making a Case for 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.

4) Our Fading Civility

Civility carries with it the essence of courtesy, politeness, and consideration of others. All of the education and accomplishments in the world will not count for much unless they are accompanied by marks of gentility, of respect for others, of going the extra mile.

5) Learning: "With All Thy Getting Get Understanding"

No matter how old we become, we can acquire knowledge and use it. We can gather wisdom and profit from it. We can grow and progress and improve- and, in the process, strengthen the lives of those within our circle of influence.

6) The Twin Virtues of Forgiveness and Mercy

Hatred always fails and bitterness always destroys. Are there virtues more in need of application in our day, a time marked by litigious proceedings and heated exchanges, than those of forgiving, forgetting, and extending mercy to those who may have wronged us or let us down?

7) Thrift and Industry: Getting Our Houses in Order

I commend to all the virtues of industry and thift, which I believe go hand in hand. The Labor and thrift of the people make a nation, a community, or a family strong. Work and thrift make the family independent.

8) Gratitude: A Sign of Maturity

Gratitude is the beginning of civility, of decency and goodness, of a recognition that we cannot afford to be arrogant. We should walk with the knowledge that we will need help every step of the way.

9) Optimism in the Face of Cynicism

My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we "accentuate the positive." I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort.

10) Faith: Our Only Hope

Great buildings were never constructed on uncertain foundations. Great causes were never brought to success by vacillating leaders. Faith has always been , and always must be, at the root of any meaningful practice and endeavor.

The Guardians of Virtue, marriage and the family.

Gordon B. Hinckley then concludes his book by talking about the two institutions which he calls, "The Guardians of Virtue." These are commonly known as marriage, and the family. With the sanctity of both of these at stake, he warns adamantly that if these are not preserved it will be the downfall of our nation.

The Loneliness of Moral Leadership

In leadership, in standing for principle, there is loneliness.  But men and women of integrity must live with their convictions.  Unless they do so, they are miserable.
In leadership, in standing for principle, there is loneliness. But men and women of integrity must live with their convictions. Unless they do so, they are miserable.

In Remembrance

In memory of this great man, and prophet of God, Gordon B. Hinckley, I could find no better way to pay tribute to him than to publish the ideals that made him so incredible. For myself, the manner in which I apply his teachings will be my personal tribute to show the vast amount of respect for I have for him, and the position he holds, as a prophet of the Lord. He will be missed, but not forgotten. His teachings and his words will live forever.

Glenn Beck Tribute to Gordon B. Hinckley


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      ramie hontiveros 6 years ago

      I really missed Pres. Gordon b. Hinckley one of the great and righteous person ever live in this troubled times

    • profile image

      Clara 8 years ago

      When i was a little girl, i used to think his name was Gordon Behinckley!!! my parents laughed every time they heard that...

      I love President Hinckley and always will

    • profile image

      angeL 9 years ago

      i just love prophet hinckley...

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California


      Thank you for visiting this HUB and sharing your testimony about this wonderful prophet.

    • profile image

      Dr. Dre 9 years ago

      President Hinkley was the man, i know he is a much happier man up in heaven rejoicing with his wife and heavenly father and jesus christ. He will always be remembered in the hearts of the people and will be loved forever. I know he will in mine.

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      SueAnn 9 years ago

      Thanks for your efforts to publish this great hubpage. President Hinckley will be greatly missed. His influence for good in the world has touched so many. He truly walked his talk and lived a life worth emulating. He is very precious to me and my family. I met he and his sweet wife Margery at special opening of a Museum at the University of Utah. He and Margery were so pleasant, not seeking the lime light but so kind, cordial and comfortable to be around. I'm so thankful for the many ways he influenced my life and know I am better for his example. He was a true and chosen vessel trained and sent to the earth to spend his entire life in the service of all of us. A true Prophet of God.

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      jnate 9 years ago from Utah


      Great review and tribute to President Hinckley. Thanks for including the video of Glen Beck.


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      Lisa 9 years ago

      nice job. I think MEgan has this book. I'll have to borrow it. Thanks for a wonderful blog. I loved the Glenn Beck video. Keep up the good work! Love ya!

    • profile image

      JDM :) 9 years ago

      This is an awesome book. Whether you are an LDS church member or fo another faith, you can apply this book to your own life. It is a very simple read and one that will leave you feeling motivated to go and be better, help others and help everything in your life to be better!

    • LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

      Kathryn Skaggs 9 years ago from Southern California

      Doghouse -

      Very nice book review. I give it a thumbs up!



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      onebusyprincess 9 years ago

      What a great man president Hinkley was and will continue to be in my heart. What a great example he was to not only those of us that are latter-day saints but also to the world. He was the greatest example of kindness and love I have known. He taught tolerance in a world that is so critical of one another. President Hinkley taught us by example how to love and respect our spouse. He taught obedience, endurance, and faith.

      President Hinkley loved the youth and spoke very highly of them. They felt his love. My daughter talked about it being sad that he was gone and how she would miss him. Its funny how much a part of our lives the prophets become without us realizing. I remember when president Kimball died, I remember crying with all my friends at seminary. What better thing than to realize how much of an example the prophet is in our childrens life.

      The great thing about our prophets is that we know they are called of God and that they are the instrument through which our Heavenly Father gives us instruction in these latter-days.

      I am gratetful for all the years that he has been a prophet and for the great standards he has set for us. He has asked us to raise the bar and I hope that by my actions I will be an example of those qualities that he has taught throughout his leadership.