Monday, August 19, 2013

This I Believe.

Shortly after I retired from the Board of Regents Office in 2005, I took a few days and drafted a statement of my personal beliefs. Since serving these missions, I have thought more about my beliefs and modified them somewhat. At the Visitors' Centre, we have sponsored a series of Sunday night "Why I Believe" firesides, featuring members of the Church in this area.  These firesides have prompted me to share my revised statement of beliefs on our family blog.

Each of us is largely the product of his or her beliefs  Our behavior is largely governed by these. They become our standards of conduct.                --  President Gordon B. Hinckley

President Gordon B. Hinckley

I have pondered this statement of President Hinckley and believe it to be true.  I have therefore decided to put into writing my own heartfelt beliefs.  I hope that my children, posterity, and friends will know my beliefs by the way I live. By writing them down, I won't leave it to chance and can at least let them know how I feel, what I believe, and how I have tried to conduct my life. I do not claim to be perfect in living these beliefs, but my resolve to do so has increased with time and experience. The beliefs that follow are indeed my standards of conduct. They have guided and enriched my life. They are not necessarily set in order of importance.

Pat and I at the beginning of our mission.

1.  I Believe in God as our Father and in his Son as my Savior 
     and the Savior of the World
       I believe in the sacred writings of past prophets that testify of God 
            and Jesus Christ and contain divinely given teachings, principles, 
            and commandments to guide our lives and bring lasting happiness. 
        I have faith in living prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of 
            Latter-day Saints, and I endeavor to follow their teachings 
            and counsel.
        I worship the living Christ and have faith in the power of his 
        I believe that the best way to know Jesus Christ is to serve Him.  
        My faith is not blind; it is bound by sacred covenants and 
            personal experience.

2.  I Believe in Seeking for Truth and Wisdom, and I Enjoy 
     Reading Good Books
        I seek truth through study, faith, prayer, and the application of true 
        I believe there is a heirarchy of knowledge -- that knowledge is not 
            mere information, and that some truths are more important to 
            learn and master than others. 
        I seek for understanding and wisdom -- the application of 
            knowledge that leads toward development of Christ-like behavior 
            and character.

3.  I Believe in the Power of Prayer
       I try to maintain a close relationship with God through regular 
            communication with Him.
        I feel God's love and know He has answered my prayers in my best 
        I love God, listen to his counsel, and try to follow his promptings.
        I have come to trust God's timing and believe He knows me and 
            my needs better than I do.

4.  I Believe in Obedience -- in Living What I Know
       I strive to show my love for the Savior by keeping his 
        My creed is the 10 Commandments and the Articles of Faith, not the 
             Nicene Creed.
        I try to honor my covenants, pay a full tithe, and sustain the law of 
            the land.
        I know that obedience always strengthens faith and disobedience 
            weakens it.
        I also know that knowledge without faith and obedience is 
            insufficient and can be empty.

5.  I Believe in Repentance -- I Must Repent of My Mistakes, 
     Forgive Myself, and Others
       I know that Christ's atonement is real and that it works for me and 
            for everyone else. 
        Jesus Christ is our Savior -- we need his atonement and grace 
            because we all make mistakes.
        I allow myself to make mistakes, but I try to repent and learn from 
        I forgive others easily and allow room for second chances.
        I know that true repentance always leads to greater faith and 

6.  I  Believe that Honesty is Always the Best Policy
      I seek to cultivate integrity and honor in my life.
        I believe honesty produces a clear conscience, inner peace, 
            self-respect, and makes prayer more powerful in our lives.  Like 
            Huck Finn discovered, I believe "you cannot pray a lie."     
        I know that honesty is essential for good family and interpersonal 

7.  I Believe in the Strength of Family
       I believe the family is central to God's plan for his children and that 
            marriage between a man and a woman fulfills his purposes.
        I believe the greatest joys of life are found in happy family 
            relationships, based on teachings of the Savior and principles of 
            love, trust, forgiveness and respect.  
        I seek to show consistent love, respect, and support for my wife, 
            children, grandchildren, and extended family.  

8.  I Believe in the Healing Power of Music, Laughter, 
     Good Humor, Healthy Recreation, and Sports  
        I enjoy a variety of good music -- it soothes my spirit and warms 
            my soul.
       I like a good joke and believe that good humor enriches life. 
         I believe healthy recreation is essential, and I enjoy the excitement
            of competitive sports.
       I have a passion for life and try to keep a positive outlook and 
         I seek to make others smile, be comfortable, find joy, and be happy.

9.  I Believe in Being Grateful 
       I deeply appreciate the many positive things in my life, including life 
        I am thankful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and its impact 
             on my life.
        I appreciate my heritage and the example and teachings of goodly
        I am grateful for a beautiful and faithful wife, and view my decision 
            to marry her as pure inspiration, good fortune, and the best 
            decision I ever made.
        I am grateful for five terrific daughters, and I feel honored to be their 
        I also appreciate five awesome sons-in-law, and each one of my 
        I am very thankful for the influence of wonderful friends, family, 
            and associates.
        I appreciate my good health, opportunities, freedoms, blessings, and 

10.  I Believe that People from all Nations, Races, and Faiths are 
       Basically Good 
         I look for the best in people, I can learn from them, and I love to 
            serve them.
         I concentrate on the good traits of others and appreciate their 
            unique qualities.
       I think people will soon forget what we say or do but they may not 
             forget how we make them feel, especially if they feel our love. 
        I have concluded that God will assess my life not by possessions 
             acquired, or by the level of prominence achieved in career, 
             community, or church; rather, by the way I respect, honor, and 
             treat the people I meet.    

                                                      ~Don A. Carpenter~


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