Choir Notes

Accumulate Knowledge and Move Forward
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4309

A little bit of living teaches us that we often learn more from our setbacks than we do from our successes. Not long ago, Dr. Benjamin Carson, noted professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, encouraged university students to learn from the past. He pointed out that heart transplants, kidney transplants, and other such surgeries, in the early years, often failed. 

"By continuing to accumulate knowledge from those failures,” he explained, "we are able to do those things quite routinely today. And that’s a general principle about life. Learning from mistakes, learning from things that didn’t work, not only on an individual basis but on a national basis, there have been things we’ve done that have been wrong . . . , but we have learned from those things and made progress.”1 

 a moment, ponder your own life or the lives of those you know. In many cases, you will find that we learn just as much from our trials as we do from our triumphs—perhaps more. We learn how to persevere, how to get up, "dust ourselves off,” and try again. Think of all the growth, achievement, and learning that can come by continuing to "accumulate knowledge,” by sustained effort, by a willingness to stay the course of life. 

Sometimes success is right around the corner; we need only stay on the path a little longer, turn the corners that present themselves, and persist. If success doesn’t always come, then learning and growth can. And that in itself is great success. 

Strong nations, vibrant communities, and wise individuals very often share one common trait: they are resilient. They learn from the past, grow from their setbacks and mistakes, and move forward with a resolve to make things better. 

1 In "Live by Godly Principles, Author of ‘America the Beautiful’ Tells BYU Audience,” news release, Feb. 28, 2012, http://news.byu.edu/archive12-feb-carsontalk.aspx.

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