Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude

Hello Everyone!  Hope you're all having a great week.

This week I want to talk about a subject that has been pounded into my brain by my beloved mother.  This week I want to talk about gratitude and how being grateful to those around us and to the Lord can bring the love of Christ into our lives. 

I'd like to open by turning to the life of Christ for a perfect example of how gratitude is truly a godly virtue.  When Christ arrived in Bethany after hearing of Lazarus' illness, he was greeted with the news that Lazarus had died and had been laid in a tomb.  Christ, knowing of the power of the Father, went forth to raise him from the dead.  Before Christ spoke to Lazarus, he paused for a moment and what followed is recorded in John 11:41-44:

"41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

44 And he that was dead came forth"
Christ, he who had so much power given to him that he created the heavens and the earth, humbles himself before his Father to give thanks for his answered prayers.  Christ knows where his strength comes from, and knows how lost he would be without it.  In that similar manner, each of us should strive to be more aware of the strength that we receive from our loving Heavenly Father.  We may not raise the dead or part the Red Sea, but we will be given the strength and power to perform our own miracles in our times of need.  When we are given that strength, we should not hesitate to fall to our knees and thank our Heavenly Father for all of the tender mercies he has bestowed upon us. 
Now we'll turn to a bad example, because there are plenty of warnings we can find in the scriptures about having a lack of gratitude.  A prime example of a people that lacked gratitude, or love, for their God are the Nephites in the book of Helaman.  In verse 13 of chapter 4 we learn why the Spirit of the Lord stopped accompanying the Nephites in their hardships:
"And because of this their great wickedness, and their boastings in their own strength, they were left in their own strength"
These Nephites trusted in the flesh of their arms, rather than that God who had created them.  And so they were left with only the flesh.  The same thing is capable of happening to us if we lose our gratitude for the Lord's assistance in our lives.  

Having an attitude of gratitude is one of the most godlike attributes we can have.  Because if we have sincere gratitude for our God and our fellow-man, then our gratitude will be shown not just in word, but in deed.  I hope that each of you in the next coming days take notice of the tender mercies of the Lord, and of the kindness of others, and then act upon those blessings by praying in gratitude or giving thanks to people for their kindness.  I'm very grateful for the opportunity that I have each week to write to you and to share my feelings and testimony on a particular topic, it is truly one of the highlights of my week. 

I hope you all are safe and well, and that you enjoy the upcoming summer months!
Love, Elder Gailey  

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