Find the Good!

For the past couple of years, during General Conference, I’ve enjoyed scrolling through Twitter to see the various reactions to the talks and speakers (#GeneralConference). I find this helps expand my perspective on the talks and principles taught.


But sticking my head into the Twitterverse also opens me up to some negativity. Seeing others criticize something I hold dear is not easy, but I try to respect other's right to see things differently.


But, the one thing I struggle with is when someone will say something like: "Good talk, except..." Then they point out a single phrase or idea they don't like. It's obviously not my place to tell others how to feel, but this feels like an attempt to extract something bad within something overwhelmingly good.


If you want to find the “bad” in things, you ALWAYS will.


There is bad in your spouse.

There is bad in your children.

There is bad in your family.

There is bad in your friends.

There is bad in your neighbours.

There is bad in your community.

There is bad in your government.

There is bad in your job.

There is bad in your boss.

There is bad in your co-workers.

There is bad in religion.

There is bad in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There is bad in you.


If you want to find warts, you always will. But of course, the opposite of this is also true.

I’m not saying we should bury our heads in the sand. But finding the good in this world is a choice. I have found this especially true in my marriage. My wife is amazing. She is constantly putting my needs above her own, she endlessly loves our children, and works incredibly hard for our family. But, as in all marriages, there have been times I forgot these things. She'll do something that hurts my feelings and then magically I see all kinds of “bad” things in her. She of course didn’t suddenly become a terrible person, but I am seeing those things that confirm my hurt feelings. I’m working to find the 1% “bad” and ignoring the 99% amazing.


There is so much bad to be found in this world. And the church, its leaders, and its people are not exempt from this. Mistakes have been made in the past. Decisions have been and will continue to be made we don’t agree with. Leaders say seemingly insensitive things. People do things that hurt our feelings. These things are inevitable. But the good in this church and its people is exponentially greater. The decision each of us needs to make is whether we will allow the inevitable negatives to wipe out the good.

I believe there is infinitely more good than bad in this world. But we need to train ourselves to find and recognize it. We need to look for the good.


Here are some of my favourite quotes that help me remember to not dwell on the negative:


“There are occasionally hard days for each of us. Do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the sunlight through the clouds. Opportunities will eventually open to you. Do not let the prophets of gloom endanger your possibilities.” - Gordon B. Hinckley


“You have a choice. You can wring your hands and be consumed with concern for the future or choose to use the counsel the Lord has given to live with peace and happiness in a world awash with evil. If you choose to concentrate on the dark side, this is what you will see.” - Richard G. Scott


“If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” - Article of Faith 1:13


“We can fill our lives with good, leaving no room for anything else. … If we seek things that are virtuous and lovely, we surely will find them.”

- Joseph B. Wirthlin


“The gospel is a thing of joy. It provides us with a reason for gladness. Of course there are times of sorrow. Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety. We all worry. But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice. I see so many people … who seem never to see the sunshine, but who constantly walk with storms under cloudy skies. Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism.”

- Gordon B. Hinckley


“So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment. … We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.” - Thomas S. Monson


“I am not suggesting that you simply put on rose-colored glasses to make the world about you look rosy. I ask rather, that you look above and beyond the negative, the critical, the cynical, the doubtful, to the positive and affirmative” - Gordon B. Hinckley


A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth.” - Richard G. Scott


“I am asking 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 voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort. I am not asking that all criticism be silenced. Growth comes of correction. Strength comes of repentance. Wise is the man who can acknowledge mistakes pointed out by others and change his course. What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears.” - Gordon B. Hinckley


“Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” - John 16:33









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