"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
February 4, 2014
I Believe in Good People
by Vickey Pahnke Taylor

I'm not a spring chicken. In fact, I'm on the south side of being an autumn one. I'm not bragging or complaining. Well -- sometimes I complain, but then I remember that old saying, "Why complain? There's no market for it."

For sure, everyone has enough of their own problems, so why whine about mine? Anyway, I've already digressed. Maybe that's because of the season I'm currently experiencing.

I believe in good people. Having lived six whole decades, a lot has changed. Society now seems on the brink of insanity. Morals have shifted downward.

Although we live in a "free"' society where people may think and feel however they deem appropriate, it seems that if you're a Christian; if you are conservative; if you disagree with any of the current stuff of TV, government, or trends -- well then, you may not feel so free.

Friends of mine have been caught in hurricanes, scary snowstorms, floods, or in situations that are dark and sad. It is distressing to my soul.

Distressing, also, to see the harshness of natural disasters and vanishing moral fiber in many circles. Yet, strangely it is a bit comforting… only because we're warned, over and over, in scripture. With all this stuff going on in the wide world, God is over all.

Miracles happen every day. Beautiful acts of service are offered. The LDS Church -- on a large scale -- steps in to help whenever it seems needed after a flood, typhoon, earthquake, or major storm.

The amazing thing is that, despite the corroding societal threads, so many good people show up. Real heroes -- not just the ones that "save the day," who make the paper, or circulate around the internet. Not simply the ones that many folks hail for their lovely act of charity. 

I mean all the other ones -- the ones no one ever hears about. The ones who call a friend because the Spirit prompted them to do so. The one who goes out of his way to make a neighbor more comfortable. The tired woman who, despite working and tending her own family, finds time to take some food or flowers or any ol' thing to someone sick, or sick at heart.

One thing I've noted on Facebook. Some love to tell us every time they sneeze, go to the bathroom, or have a scratchy throat. Not so awesome, in my opinion. Others use it as a forum to stay connected with the ones to whom they are closest. Awesome. 

Still others find a way to bring a laugh, share a sweet story, or send private messages to folks who may be down on their luck, needing some strength, or hoping for a bit of loving kindness. That is awesome, too.

I check out Huffington Post pretty often. In their Good News section, there are positive, lovely stories about people doing good things.

I have learned to pay attention to the quiet ones at church. Sometimes they're the Golden members. Without drawing attention to themselves or saying much of anything, they listen. They pray. They care. They make a difference for good in the lives of other people.

"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me," is the way Christ said it in Matthew 25:40.

I need to express my gratitude and deep, humble thanks for the many who have been the "good ones" to me and my family. For most of this last year, Kathy Kidd and I were kind of like the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of ill health. (I guess it's okay, Kathy, to share this?) I know how many people love this wonderful woman Kathy. I trust she had lots of good folks sharing the love with her. I know, in my bones, she did.

So did I. Wishing that I was still thirty, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (so I thought when I was thirty), I could do so much more good if only the physical body would let me! But then... I am coming to learn the sweet goodness of serving and growing in other ways. I'm getting to know more and more good people who do what they can -- in what measure they can.

There's the important point! Just as the widow's mite was so pleasingly accepted by our Savior, the little portion of good kindness is more appreciated by this autumn follower of Christ. My vision -- while not physically so strong anymore -- is much more able to see the good. Feel the good. Appreciate the good.

Yes. There is much good in this world. Many good people. Many who love God and want to be an extension of Him and His Only Begotten. That's beautifully good.

And goodness matters.

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About Vickey Pahnke Taylor

Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, grandmother, teacher, author, and songwriter. Her undergraduate study at BYU was musical theater. She has a Masters degree in interpersonal communications.

A Billboard award-winning songwriter with hundreds of songs to her credit, she uses music as a teaching tool. But her favorite way to use music has been to sing to her children. You should hear the family's rousing versions of "Happy Birthday"!

In addition to three solo albums in the LDS market, she co-wrote "Women at the Well" with Kenneth Cope and "My Beloved Christ: with Randy Kartchner. She is co-writer of the theme song for Utah's Make-A-Wish foundation, the song for the Special Olympics program, and EFY's theme song.

She writes for several online magazines and columns, and has authored several books. Her website, www.goodnessmatters.com, is her way of continuing to grow goodness in the world, pointing people gently toward Christ and eternal principles of truth.

She has spoken for the Church's various Youth and Family programs for 25 years. She and her husband Dean have eight children and four grandchildren. She adores being a wife, mom and grandmother. She loves flowers, brownies, cooking Italian and Southern foods, the ocean, and laughing every chance she gets.

Vickey was baptized a member of the Church as a teenager in Virginia. She serves as gospel doctrine teacher in her ward, and Dean serves on their stake high council.

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