I’m not sure how I’ve been a member of my church for 8 years and only asked to speak once, but a few weeks ago I had the chance to speak again. My talk was on living with thanksgiving daily and since the Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner, I decided to share my talk with you…
LIVING WITH THANKSGIVING DAILY
I like to think that I am a thankful person and that I live with gratitude, but I know that I don’t always say it or show it in a way that others would understand. If I were to make a list of things I am grateful for, I know it would vary from your lists. I realize my list has changed through the seasons of our lives. At one time I prayed often for the nurses and doctors keeping my children alive. Now, I find my prayers focusing on their therapists and those who are helping them grow. It doesn’t mean that I am no longer thankful for those that helped in the past, my point is, our lists change with time.
We often take things for granted, especially here in the States where it seems we have all these opportunities without having to do much ourselves. It’s easy to say “Thank God school is starting soon” when we have little ones at home during the Summer driving us up a wall, but how grateful are we truly for that blessing that is education?
Thomas S. Monson in a conference talk in 2010 said “A grateful heart comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives.” Have we prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for the everyday things in our life often taken for granted? Have we shown appreciation for those around us who give so much to serve us?
Pathway of Gratitude
We can begin showing gratitude today. God gave us just a few basic needs, but in today’s world we are overcome with so many wants and desires. Are we even showing thanksgiving daily for all of those things we already have?
Imagine your life now as a path through the woods. You know right where this path is, right where it leads, and you always take it. It’s well worn, familiar, and easily traveled. Now, imagine that this is a path of living with very little gratitude.
How can we change that? It’s simple. We start by taking a new path – one that we must create. At first, you may try to go down that old pathway. Somedays you may make it through to the very end of it without realizing you traveled the old path, but then you begin making that new path your main course of travel. As you travel down it, it starts to resemble the old pathway; It becomes well worn and easy to navigate, but this time you are traveling with gratitude in your heart. Overtime it becomes natural to use this path.
Just recently I sat in on Aloshua’s physical therapy session. He works multiple times a week with a physical therapist who helps him with gross motor functions like transferring from his wheelchair, working on upper body strength and even walking. I was able to capture a picture of him standing without supporting himself with his hands. I teared up thinking of the progress he has made. Because Aloshua lives with me, I am sometimes blind to the progress he is making. When I got home that day, I realized that I have been slacking on thanking his therapists for those everyday blessings.
In that moment, I was able to humble myself. I am not to credit for Aloshua’s progress. There is an entire team of people who deserve that credit, but at the top is Heavenly Father. I know that without Him, Aloshua wouldn’t be where he is now.
In Mosiah 26:39 It says “… being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.” – God commanded them to give thanks in all things.
What happens when we follow God’s commandments? Simple. We are blessed. Also in a 2010 conference talk President Monson says “My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”
Alma 34:18-26 says “Yea, cry unto him for mercy for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. Yea, cry unto him against the devil who is an enemy to all righteousness. Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields that they may increase. But this is not all, ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.”
If we replace “cry” with “give thanks” we can see that Heavenly Father wants us to humble ourselves and thank him for those blessings sincerely.
Words And Deeds
It’s important that we recognize those we are thankful for by telling them “Thank you”. It’s equally important that we recognize that thanksgiving isn’t always spoken words. We can show appreciation by our actions – small actions even. Give a hug to show appreciation. Send flowers. After a meal, clean off the table.
How you act will lead people to being thankful for you.
I know that as you live with thanksgiving daily that you will be blessed. You will see an uplifting in your mood and blessings from Heavenly Father will appear that you didn’t see before. It is my hope that all of you can live with thanksgiving daily.