A beloved children’s book from decades ago contains this keen observation: “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sun beams, and you will always look lovely.”
Good thoughts, positive thinking, optimism, hopefulness—no matter what we call it, it’s powerful. And that power goes far beyond making a person look more lovely. Good thoughts change the way we look at life, which in turn affects the choices we make. So, it probably isn’t an overstatement to say that good thoughts can change the very course of our lives.
This principle is illustrated in a folktale about two employees of a shoemaker. Both were assigned to travel to a remote region and sell shoes to the people living there. After several days of hard work, both employees reported back to the shoemaker. One was discouraged, declaring, “What a waste of time. None of these people wear shoes.” But the second saw things differently, exclaiming, “What a great opportunity! None of these people wear shoes!” Both had the same task and the same challenges; the difference was in the way they thought about it all. A positive outlook produces positive results.
That doesn’t mean people with good thoughts never experience bad times. Good thoughts don’t shield us from trouble, but they can keep us going when troubles present themselves. Good thoughts give us a sense of hope and peace, of strength and resolution. Good thoughts give meaning and direction to our day-to-day pursuits. Good thoughts empower us to build and bless the lives of others—something that is so needed in a world full of anger and negativity.
Best of all, good thoughts can bring us to God, the Creator of this beautiful world and the giver of every good thing—including, of course, good thoughts, for all that is good comes from God.
October 17, 2021
Broadcast Number 4,805
The Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Morning Has Broken
Gaelic melody; arr. Mack Wilberg
Press Forward, Saints
Vanja Y. Watkins; arr. Mack Wilberg
Awake the Harp, from The Creation
Franz Josef Haydn
For the Beauty of the Earth
Conrad Kocher; setting by Michael Burkhardt
There is Sunshine in My Soul Today
John R. Sweney; arr. Mack Wilberg
It’s a Grand Night for Singing, from State Fair
Richard Rodgers; arr. Arthur Harris
It is Well with My Soul
Philip P. Bliss; arr. Mack Wilberg