Mission Driven Stories: Benjamin Franklin

Now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to his divine providence, which led me to the means I used and gave them success.” ~Benjamin Franklin

This podcast is different from other our other Mission Driven Stories podcasts. We usually focus on how proper preparation in childhood leads to the virtues and successes of great men and women. Today’s podcast, however,  focuses on the foibles of a youth, Benjamin Franklin, who, despite his early mistakes, eventually gained self-mastery and became a remarkable man.

This podcast gives hope to every parent–demonstrating that despite their own poor choices, your child can still embrace principles, praise God and become a wise and successful human being.  

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

1:40       Why This Podcast is Different
5:30       His autobiography-The Central message
7:48       His Father

10:43     The Printing Trade
15:29     The Silence Dogood Letters
18:41      Independence in Philadelphia
20:47     The Folly of youth

30:56     England and More Poor Choices
38:56     Religion

40:29     Moral virtues

Quotes from this episode:

Now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to his divine providence, which led me to the means I used and gave them success.” ~Benjamin Franklin

My early readiness in learning to read (which must have been very early, as I do not remember when I could not read), and the opinion of all his friends that I should certainly make a good scholar, encouraged him in this purpose of his.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“I remember well his [my father] being frequently visited by leading men who consulted him for his opinion in affairs of the town or of the church he belonged to, and who showed a good deal of respect for his judgment and advice. He was also much consulted by private persons about their affairs when any difficulty occurred, and frequently chose an arbitrator between contending parties. At his table, he liked to have, as often as he could some sensible friend or neighbor to converse with, and always took care to start some ingenious or useful topic for discourse which might tend to improve the minds of his children. By this means, he turned our attention to what was good, just, and prudent in the conduct of life.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“Often I sat in my room reading the greatest part of the night when the book borrowed in the evening had to be returned early in the morning, lest it should be found missing or wanted.” ~Benjamin Franklin

His prayer: ‘O powerful Goodness, bountiful Father, merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interests; strengthen my resolutions to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to thy other children, as the only return in my power for thy continual favors to me.’ ~Benjamin Franklin

“Fundamental religious creed:

  1. That there is one God who made all things.
  2. That he governs the world by his providence.
  3. That he ought to be worshipped by adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving.
  4. But that the most acceptable service to God is doing good to man.
  5. That the soul is immortal.
  6. And that God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice, either here or hereafter.”

~Benjamin Franklin

Franklin’s morning question:What good shall I do this day?    

Franklin’s evening question: “What good have I done today?”

Franklin’s 13 Moral Virtues:

  1. Temperance – “Eat not to dullness. Drink not to elevation.” 
  2. Silence – “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.”
  3. Order – “Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time. ” 
  4. Resolution – “Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.” 
  5. Frugality – “Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. Waste nothing.” 
  6. Industry – “Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary action.” 
  7. Sincerity – “Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly and if you speak, speak accordingly.” 
  8. Justice – “Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.” 
  9. Moderation – “Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.” 
  10. Cleanliness – “Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes, or habitation.” 
  11. Tranquility –  “Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
  12. Chastity – “Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.” 
  13. Humility – “Imitate Jesus and Socrates.” 

Books from this episode:



Links from this episode: