"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.)
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