There is an account in the Book of Mormon that amazes me every time I read it. It is found in Alma 24 and begins with verse 7. The newly called Anti-Nephi-Lehies have trouble in the form of armed soldiers marching toward them. What is their act of defense? A long list of gratitude and a refusal to take up arms. The fact that when faced with certain death this group of people chose to lift up their voices in gratitude sets an example for me of how to be grateful even under the worst circumstances. There is always something to be grateful about.
I tried to follow their example in my life. It’s not that easy. After going through a severe trial of my faith, more severe than anything I had passed through before, I decided to say a gratitude only prayer until my heart softened. After a month of prayers I was unsure if my experiment was working. But since I am still here, I will say they must have had some effect even if I was too stubborn to feel it at the time.
In my opinion, we can all agree it is much easier to give to a cheerful and thankful receiver. A sincere appreciation for our gift actually strengthens bonds while ingratitude has the opposite result. So, why should the gifts we receive from Heavenly Father be any different?
- Have I said a gratitude only prayer recently?
- Do I say thank you sincerely?
- Have I counted my blessings recently?
- Have I shared my gratitude for the Atonement of Christ with someone?
- How can I show my appreciation for scriptures and living prophets?
- Did I thank Heavenly Father for another day during my morning prayer?
- Have I thanked my heroes?
- Did I find beauty in the day?
- Did I show appreciation to the teacher leading this discussion for the preparation put into it and for helping me feel the Spirit?
Consider the Goodness and Greatness of God by Elder Dale G. Renlund