My friend Harriet gave this talk in church yesterday.
On His way to Jerusalem, the Saviour passed through a “certain village” and there met ten lepers. They cried out as they saw and recognised Him, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us”. Doing as He commanded, to show themselves to the priests, Christ cleansed each of the lepers as they went. Interestingly, and perhaps surprisingly, only one of the ten turned back to glorify God and give thanks. The words of the Saviour to this man are: “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” As I read about this miracle that the Saviour so mercifully performed, I cannot help but feel joy for those that were cleansed, and I can only imagine their joy must have been even greater! At the same time I am reminded of a question asked by a President Monson: “Do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive?”
Every week when we partake of the sacrament, we covenant to “always remember Him, and keep His commandments” (Moroni 4:3). In always remembering Him, I truly believe that we need to have our hearts full of gratitude and express our thanks to our loving Heavenly Father for the blessings He gives us. In Moroni 10:3 we are also told to “remember the mercy of the Lord and to “ponder it in our hearts”. I know that as we remember and ponder these things that we will feel the love God has for us and see His goodness. We will see His great mercy and have a heart full of gratitude.
More often than not, the Lord is found in the little details of our lives. He does not give us huge, great blessings all the time, for we would not recognise them if this were the case. Most blessings we receive are small; however, that does not mean they are no longer great! In addition to this, gratitude does not only apply to things. President Uchtdorf says: “Most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggests an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude.” He suggests, “instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances – whatever they may be.” I have thought a lot about this quote and certainly know I have not been very grateful in my circumstances. I have experienced a lot of changes in my life recently, changes that were unexpected and tricky to deal with. A lot of trials have come with them, but looking back I know there were so many things that I could, and should have been thankful for. If I had done this I know I would have felt much happier despite everything that was happening.
President James E. Faust has warned us of ingratitude:
“One of the evils of our time is taking for granted so many of the things we enjoy. … The Apostle Paul described our day to Timothy when he wrote that in the last days “men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemes, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” (2 Timothy 3:2). These sins are fellow travellers, and ingratitude makes one susceptible to all of them.”
When I was assigned this talk last week, I read in True to the Faith about gratitude. We are told: “Gratitude is an uplifting, exalting attitude. You can probably say from experience that you are happier when you have gratitude in your heart. You cannot be bitter, resentful, or mean-spirited when you are grateful. … Work at being grateful. You will find it yields wonderful results.” This made a great impression on me last week. It made such an impression that I committed to experiment, to place a seed in my heart and see what results came. I can promise you that the results it yields truly are wonderful! I have seen myself happier and seeing many blessings that would normally have gone past me unnoticed. I’ve seen the Lord in those little details and seen Him helping me through the challenges I face. I was reminded of a quote that I found on my mission that I would like to end with. It says:
“The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy.”
I testify of the power of gratitude, and testify that it brings true happiness to our lives. Gratitude is a light, and makes any trial, pain or change that little bit easier. I know Jesus Christ is our Saviour. He walks with us on this journey and brings a light that can brighten any darkness! I hope that I can have a grateful heart, but not only that; I hope I can be grateful in any, and all circumstances.