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Monday, July 2, 2012

Motivational Monday: "The Choice to Be Grateful"

Our Father in Heaven commands us to be thankful in all things (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18), and He requires that we give thanks for the blessings we receive (see D and C 46:32). We know that all of His commandments are intended to make us happy, and we also know that to break commandments leads to misery.

So to be happy and to avoid misery, we must have a grateful heart. We have seen in our lives the connection between gratitude and happiness. All of us would like to feel gratitude, yet it is not easy to be consistently grateful in all things in the trials of life. Sickness, disappointment, and the loss of people we love come at times in our lives. Our sorrows can make it hard to see our blessings and to appreciate the blessings God has in store for us in the future.
It is a challenge to count our blessings because we have a tendency to take good things for granted. When we lose a roof over our heads, food to eat, or the warmth of friends and family, we realize how grateful we should have been when we had them.
Most of all, sometimes it is hard for us to be sufficiently grateful for the greatest gifts we receive: the birth of Jesus Christ, His Atonement, the promise of resurrection, the opportunity to enjoy eternal life with our families, the Restoration of the gospel with the priesthood and its keys. Only with the help of the Holy Ghost can we begin to feel what those blessings mean for us and for those we love. And only then can we hope to be thankful in all things and avoid the offense to God of ingratitude.

With our Father’s help, all of us can choose to feel more gratitude. We can ask Him to help us see our blessings more clearly, whatever our circumstances.

Giving thanks in prayer can allow us to see the magnitude of these blessings and all of our other blessings and so receive the gift of a more grateful heart.
Take a Gratitude Challenge
By John Hilton III and Anthony Sweat

Let’s not just talk about counting our blessings—let’s do it! Write a list of 100 things you are thankful for. If that sounds like it is too many, try this:

1. Write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for.
2. Write 10 material possessions you are grateful for.
3. Write 10 living people you are grateful for.
4. Write 10 deceased people you are grateful for.
5. Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for.
6. Write 10 things about today you are grateful for.
7. Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for.
8. Write 10 modern inventions you are grateful for.
9. Write 10 foods you are grateful for.
10. Write 10 things about the gospel you are grateful for.

When we make a list like this, we discover that a list of 100 doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the things God has given us.

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