Sunday, September 15, 2013


As I have been plunged deeply into that time of life when sunsets follow quickly on the heels of sunrises, I find that I hear more and more quips about aging:

You must be as old as dirt! (I was even given a hat with this bright note on it)
Was Nephi your first missionary companion?
Were your missionary scriptures written on papyrus?
If you were a dog you would have been dead long ago!
Aging isn't for sissies!
You have to be tough to grow old!
Age is just a number!
Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative!
Age is a high price to pay for maturity!
I am still on this side of the grass!
It is important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle!

Since many of you have already heard these and many more and all of you will hear them sooner or later, let this small sampling of quips suffice and I will get on with my own personal thoughts about aging.

Let me begin with a few thoughts on some misconceptions I have harbored about aging over the years.

Adding candles on top of a cake will add to maturation.
Loss of sight will increase insights.
Loss of hearing will be replaced by an increased sensitivity to the whisperings of the spirit.
Loss of nimbleness will hasten kindness and goodness.
Difficulty in remembering will make you a curmudgeon.
Many years of golfing will help your score.
Repentance will be an automatic result of getting older.
There will come a time when you are able to do exactly what you want to do.
All relationships will grow stronger.
You can work your way past all obstacles.
With wrinkles comes wisdom.

I will finish these thoughts on aging with some things I have found to bring great joy as gray replaces brown on each of our crowns.

Even eyes which have dimmed seem to see more things which are beautiful surrounding them.
Even though some ranges of sounds are lost as mortality fades, an appreciation for those melodies which remain deepens.
As the pace of our steps slow the destination when arrived at is more gratefully greeted.
Peacefulness becomes more pleasant and desired than the anxiousness of adventure.
Home, however humble, brings greater happiness than castles abroad.
The relationships which are of most importance will add to your strength.
You gain comfort in the realization that some mountains do not need to be climbed, that some valleys do not need to be crossed.
You understand that the applause of the crowd was far from the purpose of life.
Commandments become hurdles bringing happiness rather than barricades bringing restrictiveness to my life.
Remembrances of veiled times return as your closeness to Heavenly Parents increases.
Wrinkles become a badge of honor.

As sunsets roll more quickly behind sunrises I am grateful that my joy continues to increase with the same rapidity.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Presidente Riley,
    Siempre estamos y estaremos agradecidos porque nos manda y sigue mandando sus pensamientos para compartir, llegan cuando estamos necesitando o cuando confirman también muchas de las cosas que pensamos,

    con aprecio.

    Familia Hernández Héctor y Constanza.

  3. Your well never runs dry! You express such profound thoughts in such beautiful ways. I look forward each week as do many many others. Thank you so much for this weekly inspiration!

    This week's is especially poignant...but then I can say that many times.
    I've thought a lot about this lately as I face aging alone. Bill got out just in time! I realize I have so much to learn and need the time here to do it. I'm actually being sustained as second counselor in YW tomorrow and my first reaction was: "but I'm old!!" It didn't seem to release me so I guess it's all part of the learning I have still to finish. So I shall continue the "aging" process!

    With my love to you both!

    Katie Brooks

  4. I really, really enjoyed this one. Thank you.

    Sarah Peterson

  5. adorei. You remain "a step ahead of me" and I continue to enjoy your wisdom!

    Debi Woffinden

  6. Bill,

    I always enjoy your written words. Well done once more.

    Each one of these lines provides a spring-board upon which one can transverse through thought and mediation life’s events consuming many hours! I just hope I remember to make it to church. O well it’s the thought that counts.

    Michael Byrne

  7. love it. Lifted my day. Reminds me of Pres. Packer's poem .

    Patricia Proffit

  8. Thanks for the delightful blend of humor and keen insights. Aging isn't so bad when we have wonderful sidekicks to share it with.

    Have a wonderful day.

    Bonnie Lynn

  9. Thank you for your Thoughts on Aging… yes I have heard them all J…the quips.


    One day I was holding one of my three year old twins (Masen).

    He was touching my face with his sweet little hand.

    As he felt around on my face he asked “Grandma do those hurt?”

    He was of course referring to the wrinkles on my face.

    I chuckled and said..

    “No they don’t hurt, they come from all the times I have smiled and laughed.”

    He looked up at me with his wonderment and said,

    “Boy you must have laughed a lot grandma”. J

    With love,


    Ps Masen is now 20 and serving a Mission in Ft Lauderdale FL J.

    Pss… And yes “the wrinkles” have multiplied J

  10. I am. 93 and got a laugh when I read the things I have heard through the years. I love life, my little dog , my great family and my precious memories. I need to say I love my iPad what a great addition to my life.

    Doodie kennedy

  11. Thank you, always it is really pleasant to read and learn a little more. Thank you very much!

    Jenny Henao

  12. "Como te ves ME VÍ, como me ves TE VERÁS ... solo es cuestión de tiempo... y eso si llegas a mi edad... y en mi estado .... entonces ya sabrás... cuando fui joven disfrute mi juventud; ahora que soy abuela lo disfruto... también que me den el asiento en todas partes; que me ayuden a cargar cosas pesadas y que me sedan el paso; y que me consulten sobre temas de los 70's . . . "

    Cristina Muñoz

  13. Apreciado hermano mil gracias siempre por edificarnos, un abrazo infinito!!


  14. Thank you, & Amen!


    Patricia Walters

  15. That was so cleverly put. Thank you for those thoughts

    Kim Smith Gardner

  16. I agree and know that I find more peace in my life now. I may not have the energy of youth, but I have the complete knowledge of knowing I Am A Child of God

    Barbara Phelps

  17. Esto de envejecer y todas sus consecuencias .... Debimos haberlas analizado mas profundamente en el concilio .... Bueno lo hecho hecho esta

    Justo Sanchez

  18. La gran sabiduría de las personas viene de envejecer con honor!!!

    Santiago Adaro Elgueda

  19. William,gracias por ayudarme a preparar a lo inevitable...con dignidad, sabiduria, humor y un corazón lleno de amor y gratitud por las personas y experiencias maravillosas con las que nuestro Padre celestial nos ha...y seguira bendiciendo en esta tierra.

    Maryi Cuellar

  20. Bill

    This is Jeff Kiser, and I am the Stake Public Affairs Director. We appreciate the words you share with us and would like to place them on our Stake website.

    If this is ok with you please email us and let know, your earlier works and thoughts are great and we would like to use them too.

    Thanks for the inspiration. If we have your permission we can begin sharing soon.


    Jeff Kiser

  21. Gracias Hermano por tan bonito de valientes afrontar la vida siempre con dignidad...y saber que ese dai llega....el de ser mayores....pero con sus ventajas

    clarita torres gonzales

  22. So poignant. Thank you, Brother Riley.

    I always enjoy and marvel and think about your posts, though I don’t always tell you!

    Sherri Bewsey