As a continuing assignment for my Book of Mormon class, I have been working to develop the Christlike attribute of gratitude. I thought I was a fairly grateful person, but I felt the prompting to work on gratitude after much prayer and pondering. This is the second month I have been working on developing gratitude. I decided to do so by doing the following things: (1) I will continue to offer at least one prayer of gratitude daily. (2) I will continue to keep a journal of at least three examples of gratitude each day. (3) I will give at least one genuine compliment every day. (4) I will look for something positive in every negative situation. (5) I will take time each day to “smell the roses.”
The longer I work on developing the Christlike attribute of gratitude, the more I realize how much I need to work on it. I thought I was showing gratitude previous to this project, but now I realize I was not. I worked daily on all my goals for this time period but struggled with some more than others.
I was pleased when I realized that my thoughts about other people are more positive than negative. I think about complimenting people more than I actually say the nice words. This is sometimes caused by the circumstances of needing to be silent and then forgetting when that need is past. I know that I made several people feel better by simply saying something nice. A couple of weeks ago I walked into the instruction room of the temple and sat down behind a younger woman with pretty hair. I leaned over and gave her the compliment. It surprised but pleased her. This past Sunday the Young Women were singing in sacrament meeting, and I noticed that one of them looked particularly beautiful. I caught her as soon as possible after the meeting was over to tell her of my thoughts, and she beamed. I have surprised complete strangers with compliments and saw appreciation in their faces.
I improved my experience of teaching Primary by looking for the positive in dealing with the young children and by making the effort to appreciate their sweet spirits. One day I mentioned that my cell phone is old, and one little girl said that I had an old telephone because I am old. I assured her that my phone is not as old as I am, but I smile every time I think of her words.
I now have greater appreciation for my prayers of gratitude. These prayers were a struggle for me when I first started the project, but they have become blessings. When I am having a bad day, I can improve it immensely simply by offering a prayer of gratitude. I was awake early one morning and wondered what I could do to get back to sleep quickly. I decided to offer a prayer of gratitude and was soon asleep. I have repeated that practice several times. Expressing gratitude is a great way to find peace and comfort for myself and to spread joy to other people.