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Christian D. Larson was an outstanding and highly influential New Thought leader and teacher as well as a prolific writer of New Thought books who believed that people have tremendous latent powers, which could be harnessed for success with the proper attitude.

A one time honorary president of the International New Thought Alliance, along with such stalwarts as W.W. Atkinson, Horatio Dresser, Charles Brodie Patterson, and Annie Rix Militz, he was one who exercised considerable influence over Religious Science founder, Ernest Holmes, in his early career. Holmes had been studying the Christian Science textbook, Science & Health, but was particularly impressed with the New Thought writings of Larson. According to Fenwicke he abandoned the Christian Science textbook for Larson's works. Ernest and his brother Fenwicke took a correspondence course with Larson, and in his biography of his brother, Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times, Fenwicke Holmes elaborates on the influence of Larson's thought on that of his brother. Here he ranks Ralph Waldo Trine's In Tune with the Infinite with Larson's The Ideal Made Real as influential on Holmes.

The Optimist Creed was authored in 1912 by Christian D. Larson, appearing in his book Your Forces and How to Use Them. It was adopted as Optimist International's creed in 1922. Many have found inspiration in The Optimist Creed. In hospitals, the creed has been used to help patients recover from illness. In locker rooms, coaches have used it to motivate their players.

The following version, without the title "The Optimist Creed," is quoted from Science of Mind 71 (June 1998):

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.

To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of


To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

A somewhat different and shortened version of this is the one adopted by Optimist International, which publishes it on the web.

When Ernest Holmes' two-year-old magazine changed its name to Science of Mind in 1929, Ned L. Chapin became editor, and Christian D. Larson was associate editor and a frequent contributor.

In short, Christian D. Larson was an important New Thought leader in his own right and in influencing the founder of one of the major branches of New Thought, Religious Science, which also is known as Science of Mind. New Thought has influenced many, such as Norman Vincent Peale and numerous other inspirational, self-help writers far beyond the bounds of New Thought in its organizational forms.




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