This post isn’t going to have too much to do with technology. However, I hope that we do take full advantage of technology to send expressions of sincere gratitude when a face-to-face isn’t possible. I hope that you will not let distance be an excuse for not sending that expression of thanks you’ve been meaning to send. I also hope that we realize that some expressions of gratitude need no technology whatsoever. Instead, all that is needed is a soft heart and a bended knee.

Jesus Christ MormonDuring the Thanksgiving season, Mormons as well as most everyone else in this country pause to remember the many blessings that we enjoy. It is natural during this season for all of us to reflect on the many things that we are grateful for. Gratitude can be described as a “feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for blessings or benefits we have received. A feeling of gratitude helps us to be happy and spiritually strong. We should always express our gratitude to God for the blessings He gives us and to others for the kind acts they do for us.”

President James E. Faust taught that gratitude is “an expression of faith and as a saving principle.”
In D&C 59:7 & 21 we read: “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things. …And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things.”

Expressions of gratitude starts with a grateful heart.

A grateful heart is one that recognizes the hand of God in begins and ends his day on his knees thanking the Lord for life. A grateful heart rejoices in the Lord’s grace and love even in the midst of life’s storms and winds that we are faced with from time to time. The words of a familiar hymn reads:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

A grateful heart remembers those who’ve sacrificed so much for us. A grateful heart pauses often to remember the love of our Savior who died for us. The atoning sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ is the greatest gift we have, the greatest reason for us to feel gratitude in our hearts. He is our Redeemer!

A grateful heart remembers the faith of the Prophet Joseph Smith who stood by his testimony even when he was ridiculed, beaten, tarred and feathered, thrown in jail and eventually murdered.

A grateful heart remembers the sacrifices of the pioneers who gave up everything they held dear to follow the Lord. We know of their sufferings and their sorrows. We know of the many trials and tribulations they endured. I am grateful for their faith and perseverance.

There are also many other Pioneers that we don’t normally hear about. I’m referring to those who are the first in their families to accept the gospel in this country as well as in every other country of the world. Many times even these pioneers have given up much. They may have given up families, friendships, and other things that were dear to them to have the blessing of the gospel in their lives. I am grateful for the example and the legacy of all pioneers.

A grateful heart remembers those men and women in our military both today and in the past who have given up so much for our freedom. We have the freedom to worship as we want, the freedom to go to school, to speak our mind and not be persecuted for it, the freedom to live our lives the way we want to. A grateful heart remembers that these freedoms and many more are not “free.” Someone else has paid the price so that we can enjoy these freedoms.

A grateful heart remembers the small daily acts of love. Clean clothes, food to eat, a place to call Home, a kind word, a smile, a hug when we’re feeling low, a bowl of hot soup when we’re sick, a second, third, or fourth chance even when we don’t deserve it. These and many more are the kinds of daily acts of love that we experience in our lives.

A grateful heart thanks those who support, nurture, and stand by him through everything; a loving parent, a true friend, a forgiving spouse, a loyal sister or brother, a courageous son or daughter. A grateful heart recognizes how blessed he is and desires to give back what he can. A grateful heart desires to help others as he has been helped. A grateful heart doesn’t take what he is blessed with for granted. We are commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5: 18; “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

In the next couple of days let us all make a conscious effort to make this Thanksgiving season more “gratitude centered.” Reach out to your families and loved ones and express sincere appreciation for the difference they’ve made in our lives. Find ways to serve someone else. Find ways to make someone else’s life a little better. Write a letter or send a care package to a missionary or to a soldier serving overseas. Most importantly, let us all kneel and give thanks to our Heavenly Father for our many blessings and for the atoning sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ.

About Moira T

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