If Latter-day Saints hear about "six B's," they identify the phrase with counsel given by President Gordon B. Hinckley: Be grateful, Be smart, Be clean, Be true, Be humble, Be prayerful.
The counsel was given to youth and young single adult members of the Church in a special meeting Nov. 12, 2000, in the Conference Center and broadcast widely over the Church's satellite system. (See January 2002 Ensign, pp. 2-11.)
Now his counsel is being distributed more widely, in a book published by Simon & Schuster. The book titled, Way to Be! adds three more B's, giving rise to the book's subtitle: "9 Ways To Be Happy and Make Something of Your Life." The additional B's are Be involved, Be positive and Be still.
Published by Simon & Schuster, this is President Hinckley's second book by a national publisher. The first, Standing for Something, published by Random House, was a best-seller.
The new book, aimed at a smaller audience, is labeled as "a book of virtues for teenagers and their parents."
In the introduction, President Hinckley expresses confidence in what he refers to as "a chosen generation.
"In so many ways, you are remarkable!" he writes. "You are exceptional! I believe that as a group, you are the finest this world has ever seen."
He expressed hope that they are studying diligently and that their great ambition is to get A grades in their various courses. Then he adds: "I am going to be content to let your instructors give you the A's that I hope you will earn. I wish to give you some B's, or perhaps more correctly, some 'Ways to Be!' You keep working for the A's and in these pages I will give you the B's."
The B's then turn into Be's. "They are Be's that I believe will make your life better, fuller, and more satisfying. They are the Be's that I have come to believe through all these years, form a template for success for anyone's success. They are nine Be's, nine suggestions gleaned from more than nine decades of living, that will help you achieve happiness and success."
In the book's foreword, former professional football player Steve Young writes: "Way to Be!" is more important than any playbook I ever had in the NFL, because it will help you avoid life's fumbles and interceptions. And that is because it is counsel from someone who is wise, someone who has your best interests at heart, someone who wants only for you to be happy and find true joy. It is like getting plays called in from the sidelines by an exceptional coach who knows which plays to call when the going gets tough and the game is on the line.
"Gordon B. Hinckley is not just a wise and just man, though he is certainly that. He is a respected world religious leader and for me the ultimate earthly coach, whose counsel emphasizes the fundamentals that will help us all win the game of life."
Way to Be! is now in bookstores throughout the United States. The publisher is Simon & Schuster, Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.