"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
January 8, 2014
Time for Some Good News
by Kathryn Grant

Over the holidays, while visiting my parents, I did something I normally don’t do: I watched a couple of news shows on TV. I don’t normally watch them because I haven’t owned a TV or subscribed to cable for more than six years now. There’s a story behind that, but suffice it to say that I’ve been pretty far removed from the whole TV culture for quite a while.

So it was interesting to see these news shows with fresh eyes, and without having my sensibilities dulled by constant exposure. I was reminded of how carefully the media controls the picture they paint of the world for us.

For example, minor offenses are blown out of proportion. Contentious interactions are the norm as participants constantly interrupt each other and disagree disagreeably. Entitlement is encouraged and blaming others is expected. “How could he? How dare she?”

In fact, many news stories are temporarily engaging largely because of the blame factor and would fall rather flat without it. Our attention is constantly directed toward the worst of human nature, even while plenty of good is ignored.

After sitting through several news segments, I noticed that my peaceful, grateful holiday mood was moving toward discouragement and disheartenment. The whole world seemed somehow uglier. News. Who needs it?

Then I remembered a different kind of news: the message of the scriptures, which is the gospel. The word gospel literally means “good news.” (See the second paragraph of “Gospels” in The Guide to the Scriptures.)

Why is the gospel the “good news”? The gospel certainly doesn’t sugar-coat things: the wickedness in our fallen world, the consequences of sin, or the severe trials of the last days.

The good news of the gospel — and the difference between most news programs and the scriptures — is the theme of redemption. Ever and always, the scriptures share the good news that no matter how bad things get, there is hope and redemption through Jesus Christ.

This fallen world will ultimately be made new (Revelation 21:1), and through Christ’s atonement the ashes in our lives are turned to beauty (Isaiah 61:1-3) as we come unto Him.

Often it takes time, and we may pass through some painfully tight places. But Christ’s redemption always triumphs.

The view offered by most worldly news programs is only part of the story, even though it might look like the whole story. And it’s important to remember that. I think that’s one reason the Lord and his prophets remind us constantly to read the scriptures daily. We need that perspective; we need something that counteracts the incomplete and even false worldly perspective we otherwise get.

We need the truth of the good news.

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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