Live in Thanksgiving Daily
This past week was Thanksgiving here in the U.S. This is the first thanksgiving holiday we have been away from our family in the 43 years of our marriage. Though it was tough to not be able to celebrate our favorite holiday with our family, we did have the blessing of spending it with the Jensen family here in Fishers, Indiana and with the other office missionary couples in our mission.
|Thanksgiving in Indiana|
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the many blessings that we have received and to give thanks to the Lord for those blessings.
While teaching the Zoramites, Amulek taught that we should “live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you” (Alma 34:38). What does it mean to live in thanksgiving daily? Elder Joseph B. Worthlin speaking about this scripture said:
“In the Book of Mormon we learn that we should “live in thanksgiving daily”. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? To live in thanksgiving daily? Can you imagine how your life would improve if you lived in thanksgiving daily? Can you imagine how your life would improve if others did the same? Do you think the world would be a happier place? Less stressful? Less angry? More spiritual? Those who live in thanksgiving daily, are usually among the world’s happiest people. And they make others happy as well.” (Live in Thanksgiving Daily)
I think that what Elder Worthlin is saying is if we follow the principle to live in thanksgiving daily, we will be happy. Happiness is not dependent on things always going the way we want or getting everything we want. Nephi said that they lived after the manner of happiness and this was just after they had to flee from their homes because the Lamanites were trying to destroy them. The people of Nephi found happiness even during their trials.
In his talk, Elder Worthlin gave three suggestions that can help us live in thanksgiving daily:
1. Open our eyes – “I encourage you to look around you. Notice the people you care about. Notice the beauties of this campus. Notice the fragrance of the flowers and the song of the birds. Notice and give thanks for the blue of the sky, the red of the leaves, and the white of the clouds. Enjoy every sight, every smell, every taste, every sound. When we open our eyes and give thanks for the bountiful beauty of this life, we live in thanksgiving daily.”
2. Open our hearts – “We must let go of the negative emotions that bind our hearts and instead fill our souls with love, faith, and thanksgiving. Anger, resentment, and bitterness stunt our spiritual growth. Would you bathe in impure water? Then why do we bathe our spirits with negative and bitter thoughts and feelings? You can cleanse your heart. You don’t have to harbor thoughts and feelings that drag you down and destroy your spirit.”
3. Open our arms – “We can live in thanksgiving daily by opening our arms to those around us. When was the last time you told someone you love how much they mean to you? When was the last time you expressed your gratitude to someone who has always been there for you, someone who has sacrificed for you, someone whose heart has always been filled with hopes and dreams for you?” (Live in Thanksgiving Daily)
Some of the things that I am grateful for as we celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday include:
My wife who has been my rock, my love, and my best friend for 43 years
Our four children and ten grandchildren
The wonderful daughters-in-laws that my sons married
My parents, my five brothers, my sister, and their spouses
Those who took a chance and hired me and provided a living that provided for my family
My neighbors who put up with our crazy family
The raging storms that remind us of beauty of the earth when things are calm
Serving as missionaries in the Indiana Indianapolis Mission
The other office couples in our mission office
The 261 full-time missionaries serving in our mission
Our mission president and his wife
The restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith
The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ
Living prophets and apostles today
All who serve in their callings
The Savior Jesus Christ and his Atonement
Repentance and forgiveness
The plan of salvation
A loving Heavenly Father that made all this possible
The list can go on and on, but you get the idea. If you have not tried to make a list of the things you are grateful for, I challenge you to take the time to do it today.
One of the best ways for us to live in thanksgiving daily is to express our gratitude to Heavenly Father when we pray. When was the last time you offered a prayer of gratitude and did not ask for anything? Try it sometime and I promise you that you will be filled with thanksgiving and gratitude and you will find happiness in all you do.
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