With Thanksgiving later this week our hearts and minds are naturally turned to the subject of gratitude. Some of us have been posting daily the things we are thankful for since the beginning of November. Gratitude is a powerful emotion and we are commanded to be thankful in all things. The Lord gives us commandments to bring us happiness and the commandment to be thankful is no exception. As President Monson said, "Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of Heaven. "
15 And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—
16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.
21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.
If you are like me, everyday you pray and thank Heavenly Father for the safety, success and happiness of your missionary. I feel so much gratitude for the opportunity my daughter has to be a missionary for the Lord. I am so thankful for the peace He gives me that she is watched over and protected. I am thankful for the important life lessons our entire family is learning because of her service.
As missionaries, they are learning to recognize God's hand in all things and to "do these things with thanksgiving". Last week my daughter's companion was very ill, and unable to work for an entire week. After days of watching over her sick companion and not being able to go out and work, this is what she had to say -
"All you able bodied people out there don't complain because you're tired from your jobs or your callings. Be thankful that God gave you the energy and the ability to do what you need to do. Work is a blessing. Also, a special note for my missionary friends, be thankful for every moment that the Lord has give us to be out in the mission field. Be thankful for the blessing of two legs, two arms, two hands, two eyes, a heart, a mind, and everything else you need to be out there sharing the gospel. "
This week is the perfect time to reflect on all of our many blessings, to stop and recognize all the small and tender mercies that our Heavenly Father bestows on us daily. His hand is in all things, great and small. He loves you enough to bless you with the Gospel in your life and He cares that you get the email you've been waiting for all week. He sends the flowers to make us smile, and pumpkin pie to please our tongues and tummies. There is always something to be grateful for!
God is good and the Church is True!