Sunday, June 24, 2012

GRATITUDE

Relief Society Lesson "GRATITUDE" June 3, 2012 taught by Belinda Jo Jackson

Gratitude is the thankful appreciation for favors received (dictionary definition) and also the acknowledging and confessing with joy and gladness of the benefits and mercies which God bestows upon his children (Mormon Doctrine).

After passing out paper and pencils she asked us to write done five things that we are gratiful for.

Elder Oaks in his conference talk "Give Thanks in All Things" lists twelve things that we should be thankful for (see May 2003 Ensign page 95) -
1- Knowing we are Children of God
2 - The Savior Jesus Christ
3 - The true Gospel of Christ
4 - Commandments
5 - Revelation
6 - Trails and Afflictions
7 - All Things
8 - Priesthood
9 - Family
10 - The Gift of the Holy Ghost
11 - Freedom
12 - Prosperity

President Eyring is his conference talk "O Remember, Remember" gives the following story about starting to write in his gratitute journal -

When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. Let me tell you how that got started. I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property.
He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.”
I went inside. I didn’t go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn’t have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.
I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.
More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened. (November 2007 Ensign page 66)

A Gratitude Journal is a way to consciously call attention to the things for which we are thankful for each day.  By focusing on gratitutde, we become aware of those things and thus create a shift in our thinking to the positive.

Did God send a message that was just for you?  Did you see His hand in your life and the lives of your children?  Preserve that memory in a Gratitude Journal for that day that you or those that you love will need to remember how much God loves us and how much we need him.

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