Speaking to the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce during its installation banquet Jan. 20, President Gordon B. Hinckley recounted the legacy of the area and urged his listeners to "cultivate the great spirit of voluntarism which has characterized this community from its pioneer beginnings."
"The people of that long-ago season believed in one another," he said. "They worked together to create beauty in this once inhospitable land. There are no better examples of their effort than the St. George Temple and the St. George Tabernacle."Faith in one another - belief in their common cause - became as bedrock beneath their feet, as they worked unitedly to lay the foundation of that which we enjoy today."
President Hinckley said then, as now, what each does and accomplishes "is the fruit of our individual beliefs and our own personal standards." He then enumerated 10 of his own standards of belief.
- "I believe in the wonders of the human body and the miracle of the human mind."
He told how he recently listened in the quiet of his home to Beethoven's Concerto for the Violin and marveled that such beauty could come of the human mind.
"Out of the genius of that mind came a tremendous blending to create rare and magnificent masterpieces of music," he observed.
- "I believe in beauty.
"The earth in its pristine beauty is an expression of the nature of its Creator," he said. "I believe in the beauty of nature. . . . I believe in the beauty of art. . . . I believe in the beauty of people, of common, garden-variety people."
He shared some of his feelings for his wife, Marjorie, who was unable to attend.
"Now, for more than six decades we have walked together through much of storm as well as sunshine. Neither of us stands as tall today as we once did. As I looked at her across the table the other evening, tears came into my eyes. I noted the wrinkles. . . . Those wrinkles have a beauty of their own, and inherent in their very presence is something that speaks reassuringly of strength and integrity, and a love than runs more deeply and quietly than ever before," he said.
- "I believe in the necessity of work.
"There is no substitute under the heavens for productive labor. It is the process by which dreams become realities. It is the process by which idle visions become dynamic achievements.
"It is work that spells the difference in life. It is stretching our minds and utilizing the skills of our hands that lift us from mediocrity," he said.
- "I believe that honesty is still the best policy.
"What a destructive thing is a little dishonesty. It has become a cankering disease in society."
President Hinckley emphasized the destructive power of dishonesty by telling how one man apologized for his wrongdoing by sending a check to reimburse the Hotel Utah for an ashtray he had taken in 1965. "I can imagine that during those 26 years, each time he tapped his cigarette on the rim of that ashtray he suffered a twinge of conscience. I do not know that the hotel ever missed the ashtray, but the man who took it missed his peace of mind for more than a quarter century, and finally ended up paying far more for the stolen tray than it was worth."
- "I believe in the obligation and blessing of service.
"Most of the troubles of the world come because of human greed," he said. "What a therapeutic and wonderful thing it is for a man or woman to set aside all consideration of personal gain and reach out with strength and energy and purpose to help . . . to improve . . . to clean up . . . and beautify."
- "I believe the family to be the basic and most important unit of society."
President Hinckley observed how the greatest joys are experienced in happy family relationships, and the most poignant of sorrows come in unhappy family life.
"I have learned that the real essence of happiness in marriage lies not so much in romance as in an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one's companion."
- "I believe in the principle of thrift.
"Our pioneer forebears," he said, "lived by the adage, `Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.' "
- "I believe in myself."
"I do not mean to say this with egotism. But I believe in my capacity and in your capacity to do good, to make some contribution to the society of which we are a part, to grow and develop, and to do the things that we may not think impossible. I believe in the principle that I can make a difference in this world, be it ever so small," he said.
9 and 10. "I believe in God, my Eternal Father, and in Jesus Christ, my Lord."
President Hinckley told his listeners that he recognized that not all present were of his faith.
"I respect you in your diversity. But I hope that this diversity includes a belief in the majesty and wonder of the Almighty."
After referring to several scriptures, President Hinckley finished his address by reciting Psalm 8:9, . . . "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"