Saturday, November 21, 2009
The Apostle Paul wrote, "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This message was repeated by the Prophet Joseph Smith when he wrote, "In nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all thing" (Doctrine and Covenants 59:21). The late Gordon B. Hinckley, while President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote, "The habit of saying thank you is the mark of an educated man or woman. Express appreciation to everyone who does you a favor or assists you in any way. Thank the Lord for His goodness to you. Thank the Almighty for His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who has done for you what none other in all this world could do. Thank Him for His great example, for His tremendous teachings, for His outreaching hand to lift and help. Thank Him for His marvelous atonement. Confess His hand in all things" (Stand A Little Taller, p 338). An attitude of gratitude can make a great difference in our lives. We can choose to focus on the abundance of blessings that are ours - love, health, family, friends, freedom, the ability to work, the beauties of nature - rather than what is missing in our lives. What we focus on will determine whether we find joy in living or disillusionment. Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, taught, "Our realization of what is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings" (Ensign, Nov. 2009, p 87). As part of your Thanksgiving celebration this year, please take the time to write down as many of your blessings as you can remember.. I think that you will be surprised by the abundance in your life. I suggest that you also try to offer at least one prayer this week simply expressing gratitude to Heavenly Father for all that He gives to you. I remember a time when my youngest daughter wanted me to buy something for her. I don't remember how old she was or even what the item was, but I remember that she kept coming back time after time over a period of several days to tell me "thank you." There was no doubt in my mind that she really appreciated what I had given to her. I am positive that Heavenly Father also appreciates hearing "thank you" for the many blessings that He bestows on us, especially when we sincerely return to thank him again. We are told that the lack of gratitude is one of the worst sins of mankind. Surely, showing gratitude to God and to those around us is very important.