Sunday, November 24, 2013

Live in Thanksgiving Daily

As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the U.S. I would like to spend some time today on the subject of gratitude. The scriptures tell us that expressing gratitude is important. In Psalms 92:1 it says:

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:”

And in the Doctrine & Covenants 59 we are told:

Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.

21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

The Prophet Alma tells us that we should:

"worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." (Alma 34:38)

Why is gratitude so important? President Thomas S. Monson helps us understand why when he said:

We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”  (“The Devine Gift of Gratitude”, Thomas S. Monson, General Conference, October 2010)

Here is a poem that expresses in a humorous way many of the things I am thankful for, the author is unknown, but I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do:

“The Things I am Thankful For”

I am thankful for my wife who hogs the covers every night, because she is not out with someone else.
I am thankful for the child who is not cleaning his room after being told to do so, but is watching TV because that means he is at home and not on the streets.
I am thankful for the taxes that I pay because it means that I am employed.
I am thankful for mess to clean up after a party because it means that I have been surrounded by friends.
I am thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means that I have enough to eat.
I am thankful for my shadow that watches me work because it means that I get to stand in the sunshine.
I am thankful for a lawn that need mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means that I have a home.
I am thankful for all the complaints I hear about the government because it means we have freedom of speech.
I am thankful for the parking spot I find at the far end of the lot because it means I am capable of walking and have been blessed with a car.
I am thankful for my huge heating bill because I am warm.
I am thankful for the Lady behind me in church who sings off key because that means I can hear.
I am thankful for the pile of laundry and ironing for it means I have clothes to wear.
I am thankful for weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day for it means that I have been capable of working hard.
I am thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning because it means I am alive.
I am thankful for too much email because it means I have friends that are thinking of me.

As we join our family and friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday, I hope that we will take the time to express our gratitude for the privilege of being part of a family, living in a free country where we can worship openly and where we can enjoy such wonderful food and friendship.

I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ who paid the price for my sins and has redeemed my soul. I am grateful to a Heavenly Father who provided us with the opportunity to come into mortality and to prove ourselves worthy to return to him and live with our families forever. I am grateful for those who continue to provide me with employment, in addition to providing a good living they give me a sense of purpose each day, an opportunity to serve my co-workers and help them fulfill their responsibilities.

I am grateful for my four children and nine grandchildren who have taught me the meaning of finding yourself as you lose yourself in service to others. And lastly I want to thank my eternal companion for standing with me for 38 years. Without her I would not have become the person that I am. Without her I would be lost in a world of selfishness and loneliness, but with her I have come to know what the Lord meant when he told Adam and Eve that they should be one flesh (Genesis 2:24)

Thanksgiving and gratitude are attributes that we need to have with us always, not just one day each year. It is more than gathering around a table that is heavy with food, it is a life filled with appreciation for all of God’s children and the beauties of this marvelous place we call our home. We need to show our gratitude for the rich diversity that surrounds us each day. We should live in thanksgiving daily.

Below is a video of President Monson’s conference talk “The Devine Gift of Gratitude”. I hope that you will take the time to watch it and learn from it.

Your questions and comments are always welcome.

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