Fred Rogers was the heart and soul of the groundbreaking children's program Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, an Emmy Award-winning show that includes 912 episodes. Since the 1960s, Mr. Rogers has helped teach generations of children what it means to be kind, loving, and accepting of our neighbors and ourselves. Here are a few quotes from Mr. Rogers that echo meaningful gospel lessons.
1. “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” —Fred Rogers
As President Gordon B. Hinckley taught, "Each of us can do a little better than we have been doing. We can be a little more kind. We can be a little more merciful. We can be a little more forgiving. We can put behind us our weaknesses of the past, and go forth with new energy and increased resolution to improve the world about us, in our homes, in our places of employment, in our social activities."
2. “In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” —Fred Rogers
President Henry B. Eyring noted, “If you listen with the Spirit, you will find your heart softened, your faith strengthened, and your capacity to love the Lord increased.”
3. “To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” —Fred Rogers
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf revealed that God "is not waiting to love you until after you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles."
4. “You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully, your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.” —Fred Rogers
As President Dallin H. Oaks said, "We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families."
5. “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” —Fred Rogers
Remember, “In His plan, there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings," Elder Uchtdorf taught.
6. “Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.” —Fred Rogers
Jesus Christ told His disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you" (John 13:34).
7. “I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else.” —Fred Rogers
President Thomas S. Monson always encouraged Latter-day Saints to "ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."
8. “It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have.” —Fred Rogers
As Elder Dale G. Renlund has observed, “God cares a lot more about who we are, and who we are becoming, than about who we once were.”
9. "Our society is much more interested in information than wonder, in noise rather than silence. . . . And I feel that we need a lot more wonder and a lot more silence in our lives."—Fred Rogers
Elder Dieter F. Utchdorf noted, "If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most."
10. “The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.” —Fred Rogers
As President Gordon B. Hinckley said, "It is not enough to give toys and baubles. It is not enough to give alms to those in need. That is important, yes. But it is also important that we give of ourselves with our alms."
11. “Try your best to make goodness attractive. That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given.” —Fred Rogers
President M. Russell Ballard shared, "It may not always be easy, convenient, or politically correct to stand for truth and right, but it is always the right thing to do. Always."
12. “The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” —Fred Rogers
As Doctrine and Covenants instructs us, we are "to succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees," and in doing so we can be like our Savior, who binds "up the broken-hearted" (D&C 81:5; D&C 138:42).
13. "All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we're giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That's one of the things that connects us as neighbors—in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver."—Fred Rogers
During a Christmas devotional, Elder Uchtdorf shared, "I pray that in addition to giving good gifts, we will strive to become good and grateful receivers. As we do so, the spirit of this season will enlarge our hearts and expand our joy beyond measure."
14. "Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love."—Fred Rogers
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught, "I testify that forgiving and forsaking offenses, old or new, is central to the grandeur of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I testify that ultimately such spiritual repair can come only from our divine Redeemer, He who rushes to our aid 'with healing in his wings.'"
15. "How many times have you noticed that it's the little quiet moments in the midst of life that seem to give the rest extra-special meaning?"—Fred Rogers
"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
16. "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."—Fred Rogers
Remember, "God never loses sight of our eternal potential, even when we do," as Sister Carole M. Stephens so beautifully taught.
17. "It's really easy to fall into the trap of believing that what we do is more important than what we are. Of course, it's the opposite that's true: What we are ultimately determines what we do!"—Fred Rogers
As President Thomas S. Monson said, "The choices we make determine our destiny."
18. "Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors."—Fred Rogers
"Listen with love." —President Henry B. Eyring
19. "Love and success, always in that order. It's that simple and that difficult."—Fred Rogers
As President David O. McKay wisely noted, "True happiness comes only by making others happy."
20. "Love is like infinity: You can't have more or less infinity, and you can't compare two things to see if they're 'equally infinite.' Infinity just is, and that's the way I think love is, too."—Fred Rogers
Remember, “We should remember that saying ‘I love you’ is only a beginning. We need to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to show it" as Elder David A. Bednar taught.
21. "Real strength has to do with helping others."—Fred Rogers
"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17).
22. "The connections we make in the course of a life—maybe that's what heaven is."—Fred Rogers
As President Russell M. Nelson taught, "Salvation is an individual matter; exaltation is a family matter."
23. "The kingdom of God is for the brokenhearted."—Fred Rogers
Elder Bruce D. Porter noted, "Those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit are willing to do anything and everything that God asks of them."
24. "The only thing evil can't stand is forgiveness."—Fred Rogers
President James E. Faust explains that "If we can find forgiveness in our hearts for those who have caused us hurt and injury, we will rise to a higher level of self-esteem and well-being."
25. "There is no normal life that is free of pain. It's the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth."—Fred Rogers
Elder Orson F. Whitney poetically said, “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”
26. "There's a part of all of us that longs to know that even what's weakest about us is still redeemable and can ultimately count for something good."—Fred Rogers
"I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them" (Ether 12:27).
27. "We get so wrapped up in numbers in our society. The most important thing is that we are able to be one-to-one, you and I with each other at the moment. If we can be present to the moment with the person that we happen to be with, that's what's important."—Fred Rogers
Elder David A. Bednar powerfully taught, "Significantly, the first word spoken by God the Eternal Father to man in the first vision in this latter-day dispensation was 'Joseph.' The Father and the Son knew Joseph Smith as a one. Any call to serve the Savior in any capacity is an invitation to learn about the principle of one by one, because that was the pattern of His service."
28. "Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person."—Fred Rogers
President Thomas S. Monson noted, "Love is expressed in many recognizable ways: a smile, a wave, a kind comment, a compliment. Other expressions may be more subtle, such as showing interest in another’s activities, teaching a principle with kindness and patience, visiting one who is ill or homebound. These words and actions and many others can communicate love."