Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Profound Power of Gratitude

As this Christmas season concludes, the stores are filled with people returning gifts. Regardless of whether the gifts we received fit us and our desires, we all have reason to be grateful. We have need to be grateful to the givers of the gifts, especially those gifts that were given at much sacrifice or with much thought and love. We have need to be grateful for our friends and family that surrounded us during all of our Christmas festivities, that we have warm places to be and food to eat. We have need to be grateful to all those who influence our lives for good, co-workers, teachers, kids, parents and relatives, good friends. We have need to be grateful to our Heavenly Father for the gift of His Only Begotten Son and His atoning sacrifice. Indeed, there is much for which we can express gratitude and many to whom our gratitude can and should be directed.

This week's article comes from the September 2005 issue of the Ensign. The article, entitled "The Profound Power of Gratitude," was written by President Thomas S. Monson, the current prophet and president of the Church while he was serving as counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley, then prophet and president of the Church.

In this article, President Monson explained about the importance of gratitude as pertaining to various aspects of our lives. Of the simple phrase "thank you" he said, “'thank you' frequently expressed will cheer your spirit, broaden your friendships, and lift your lives to a higher pathway as you journey toward perfection. There is a simplicity—even a sincerity—when 'thank you' is spoken." He continued, "I believe a sincere 'thank you' could lift a heavy heart, inspire a good deed, and bring heaven’s blessings closer to the challenges of our day."

Of course, gratitude is more than simply saying thank you, gratitude is reflected in our actions and attitudes. On a later occasion President Monson said, "We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. . . . Send that note to the friend you’ve been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parents a hug; say 'I love you' more; always express your thanks" (“Finding Joy in the Journey,” Ensign, Nov 2008, 86).

We can all work on being more grateful and considering the time of year, we shouldn't have a hard time finding those to whom we can express our gratitude. Identify one way in which you can show gratitude better, a way that will lift a heavy heart and cheer someone's spirit. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I am grateful that God loves us enough to call prophets in our day who lead and guide us as in days of old.