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Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes Hardcover – February 22, 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 157 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

"Virtue is too often neglected, if not scorned or ridiculed as old-fashioned, confining, unenlightened," laments author Gordon Hinckley, a 90-year-old ordained leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Even as he enumerates all of America's social ills (including $482 billion a year spent on gambling, rampant child neglect and abuse, school massacres, a pervasive deterioration of values) Hinckley believes there is a remedy. Chapter by chapter Hinckley presents 10 old-fashioned virtues that will return America to the glory envisioned by its founding fathers. These virtues include Love, Honesty, Morality, Civility, Learning, Forgiveness, Thrift and Industry, Gratitude, Optimism, and Faith.

Hinckley makes a compelling case for every one of these virtues, quoting extensively from the Bible but mostly using convincing personal anecdotes (after all, he is an elder with 90 years worth of stories and wisdom). In his glowing foreword, Mike Wallace (of 60 Minutes fame) writes that Gordon Hinckley is an "optimistic leader of the Mormon Church who fully deserves the almost universal admiration that he gets." Clearly, Hinkley has struck a resounding chord with the American populace, including dyed-in-the-wool New York cynics such as Wallace. Word of this book is rapidly spreading across America as simple folk clamor to steer their lives and country with a more virtuous compass.

From Publishers Weekly

Ordained in 1995 as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hinckley projects a warm, good-humored and tolerant persona, qualities that have been showcased in national media appearances and have served the church well in its efforts to grow internationally. (Fellow octogenarian Mike Wallace, who interviewed Hinckley for 60 Minutes in 1996, provides the foreword.) Yet this book, the first that Hinckley has published with a secular house, is less a Mormon work than a manifesto of traditional values. Hinckley expresses concern that the "secularization of America" has led to moral decay. A belief in God and the power of prayer inform his inspirational essays--on honesty, forgiveness, gratitude, thrift and civility--which are peppered with personal anecdotes and examples from religious history. Few will take issue with such moderate and compassionate statements as "helping hands can lift someone out of the mire of difficulty" or "because we live in a world where there is much harshness, hostility and meanness, there is also much need for all of us to be more merciful." However, Hinckley's rigid stance against divorce, abortion, extramarital sex and homosexuality may alienate those who disagree with his conservative vision of morality. Married for 60 years himself, the author believes that marriages between men and women, with the male partner at the head of the family, will ensure the health of society. 20-market TV satellite tour. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1 edition (February 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812933176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812933178
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I finished reading this book yesterday.
After 25 years in law enforcement, I have seen the "dark side" of America. Any person, Christian, Jew, Athiest, Buddist or of whatever belief or non-belief, could do well in living the principles presented in this book.
I had thousands of negative contacts while working the streets of Phoenix as a police officer. Every one of those negative contacts can be attributed to a violation of one or more of these principles. The prisons are full of people who have not been taught, or, who have failed to live, the principles in this book.
What would the world be like if starting here in America, we could live these virtues.
I read the previous reviews and it seems many are hung up on the messenger. Why should it matter who delivers the truth. Either we would be better off being honest or not. Either we would be better off being morally clean or not. Either we would be better of being civil to each other or not.
Is it possible to live these principles every day. I don't think so. Would we all be better off trying to live them every day. Yes. If we fail to live them today, we can try again tomorrow. After all, forgiveness and mercy are virtues. If we forgive ourselves for our shortcomings today, we can try again.
Will Rogers once spoke about money and getting interest for money placed in a bank. He said "Them that gets it, gets it, and them that don't, don't."
This book is that way.
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By A Customer on April 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure about this book, so I read all the reviews. Some folks liked the message (from the readership profile, mostly in Mormon strongholds), others appeared to object to the message because the author is a Mormon leader. I found the message to be simple and direct, sincere and uplifting.
It wasn't particularly original, but I'm not sure that's really a fault...the principles were already ancient when Jesus was quoting them during his time, and they are shared by most religions. There's a great hunger for this kind of message (even presented as chicken soup for the soul). Why fight about the messenger? Besides, it seems to me that any 90 year old guy who has been in the public eye for a long time but hasn't been attached to a major scandal and is still going strong might have something to say. I think he says it alright. Reminds me of what my grandfather used to tell me. I'm approaching grandfather status myself, and I'll probably say the same things to my grandkids. Seems right to me.
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By A Customer on June 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As someone who is politically left of center, I must admit I felt uneasy when I started reading Hinckley's book. His expressed belief that divine inspiration led at least in part to the founding of the United States and some of his other statements made me fear that this book would sound like something from the religious right.
But, fortunately, Hinckley isn't like some of this country's outspoken religious leaders. Hinckley didn't use this book to condemn those he disagrees with, nor to advocate forcing his views of morality on others, but to inspire readers to follow their consciences, to do the best they can with what they have and what they know.
And that's what I ended up appreciating about this book. Most of us (at least everyone I know) are imperfect, and there are those around who try to make us to better by seeking to make us feel guilty. But not Hinckley. Instead he seeks to rekindle in us a vision to live a good life filled with virtues including love, forgiveness, commitment, and service.
I've had the privilege of hearing Hinckley speak (once in person, several times on TV), and (for what it's worth) I have no doubt he wrote this book himself. He comes across in the book just like the person he is -- genuine and caring.
This book isn't perfect. Like I said, I struggled with the beginning, and there are times that Hinckley seems to upbeat, so positive, that his ideas almost seem unrealistic.
But overall, I found the book, even though it's a fairly light read, to be inspiring. I finished reading the book wanting to live in the best way possible.
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Format: Hardcover
"Standing for Something" is a masterpiece. Hinckley not only writes amazingly well, but what he has to say is truly amazing. While others focus pessimistically on many of the problems of society, Hinckley shares proven solutions that anyone can implement. A must read for all those willing to make a difference in the world.
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Format: Hardcover
I have had my problems with the church over the years, and with my feelings about it, but the truth is the truth. I have been on both sides of the issue, and what Hinckley espouses is the only true course to happiness in this life. I have been a member for most of my life, and yes about a year ago I had considered having my name removed by what I considered to be the errors of this man made church, but looking around the world, I truly didn't see anything else that could bring me anymore peace in my life. Despite what your feelings are about the church, or how simplistic you may feel the book is, it is truth. I know because I have trampled the majority of the virtues for a good part of my life, and not finding happiness that is lasting, I have found that happiness is found by living these principles. It may be simplistic, but weren't Jesus's parables? He was not writing for a university audience, or to impress you with grand language, but was writing so that a majority of people could understand his message. A prophet of God doesn't need to write in complex language when he is trying to be understood. The truth is simple, I just wish I had known it before I almost lost my marriage and family over it.
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