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The source & stories of President Hinckley’s six B’s

We all remember the legendary counsel given by President Hinckley in 2000 entitled, “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” which is known by the whole world as “The six B’s.” But the original talk and origins are just as inspirational. Have a look…

In 1972 Gordon B. Hinckley spoke to the world in a sermon called, “watch the switches in your life.” In it, he spoke of the B’s and relayed a three very instructive stories that helps them stick.

“I believe that God has chosen each of you for something of consequence in his grand design… he loves you and he has a work for each of you to do.

How great, then, is your responsibility so to live that the Spirit of the Lord may dwell in you and that the Holy Ghost may speak through you.

I would that I had the capacity, the gift of the Spirit, to speak with such power that your hearts would burn with a resolution so to live as to grow in favor with both God and man.
The wonderful thing is that this is not beyond your capacity.

The course of our lives is not determined by great, awesome decisions. Our direction is set by the little day-to-day choices which chart the track on which we run.”

Comparison 1972 to 2000

In his talk from 1972 “watch the switches in your life,” President Hinckley mentions the three Be’s and in 2000 elaborated on six of them. For a summary of the 6 B’s, click here.

1972 2000
Be Clean Be Clean
Be Prayerful Be Prayerful
Be Obedient Be True
Be Smart
Be Humble
Be Grateful

Watch the Switches in your Life

Here is a true story President Hinckley experienced while working for the rail road. “Many years ago I worked in the head office of one of our railroads. One day I received a telephone call from my counterpart in Newark, New Jersey, who said that a passenger train had arrived without its baggage car. The patrons were angry.

We discovered that the train had been properly made up in Oakland, California, and properly delivered to St. Louis, from which station it was to be carried to its destination on the east coast. But in the St. Louis yards, a thoughtless switchman had moved a piece of steel just three inches.

That piece of steel was a switch point, and the car that should have been in Newark, New Jersey, was in New Orleans, Louisiana, thirteen hundred miles away.

So it is with our lives—a cigarette smoked, a can of beer drunk at a party, a shot of Speed taken on a dare, a careless giving in to an impulse on a date. Each has thrown a switch in the life of a boy that put him on a track that carried him far away from what might have been a great and foreordained calling. And as Nephi said, “… thus the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” (2 Ne. 28:21)

watch the switches in your life, the small but important day-to-day decisions. Be smart, my dear young friends. Be clean. Be obedient. Be prayerful. To do so will require a measure of discipline, the exercise of which will bring strength and capacity for great and demanding tasks that lie ahead of you in building the kingdom of God and in filling places of useful service in the work of the world. Your lives will be satisfying and your joy will be eternal.

Read the whole sermon here.

From seeds to grown souls

“This is a package of Edelweiss seed. The seeds are tiny, like small dry flecks of pepper. But on the face of the package is pictured what they might become—the mature plant, the flower that grows high in the Swiss and Austrian Alps, that weathers the storms that rage through those mountains, that blooms beneath the snow, that gives beauty to Alpine slopes and meadows. These tiny seeds have within them the potential for vigorous and beautiful life. They have become the symbol of a sturdy people—“small and white, clean and bright,” blessing a great land forever.

There lies within you an incalculable potential for good. The small day-to-day decisions will determine the course of your lives.”

Why follow the 6 B’s to have the spirit?

“More than sixty years ago, a small boy on an Idaho farm went with his father to the field. While the father worked through the day, the boy amused himself with one thing and another. Over the fence were some old farm buildings derelict and tumbled down. The boy with imagination saw in them castles to be entered. He climbed through the fence and approached the buildings to begin his exploration. As he drew near, a voice was heard to say, “Harold, don’t go over there.” He looked to see if his father was around. He was not. But the boy heeded the warning. He turned and ran. He never knew what danger might have been lurking there, nor did he question. Having listened and heard, he obeyed.

That boy today presides over The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Through the years he has listened, and the Lord has magnified and protected and guided him by the whisperings of his Holy Spirit.”

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