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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Talk - Being Thankful

This is a talk that was given by one of the Young Women in our ward this past Sunday. She did a great job and we enjoyed her fabulous talk.  I particularly like the "Land of Un" part.

When we pray we have a chance to thank Heavenly Father and to ask him for blessings. Many times we end up asking him for all the things we need and want and we may forget to really thank Heavenly Father for everything we have.

The definition of a blessing is: something promoting or contributing to happiness, wellbeing, or prosperity.

Perhaps this is not the case with you, but at times in my life Heavenly Father has blessed me; He has given me things that contribute to my happiness and wellbeing and I continue to ask for more without taking the time to add up all that I have been given.

The same might be said about our relationship with our earthly parents; our conversations become more about the things we need and want instead of about what we’ve been given. In a word, we usually end up talking to them about all the things we need and want, but not for all the things they have done for us. In a word, we aren’t as Thankful as we perhaps should be.

(Alma 7:23 reads “And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle, full of patience and long suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal, always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.”

Alma tells us it’s okay to ask for the things you need, but to always be thankful for what we have received.

The word thankful has many synonyms including grateful, indebted, overwhelmed, pleased, relieved, satisfied, comfortable, cheerful and glad.

For those of you who don’t have teenagers in your home you may not be able to relate to what I am about to say, but sometimes, just sometimes…, when I look at my reaction when I don’t get something I have asked for, I don’t see myself as someone who is very “pleased, cheerful or glad.” In fact, sometimes, just sometimes, it’s the opposite. I seem critical of my parents and I start my journey to the “Land of Un”… Unappreciative, Ungrateful, Unhappy, Unsatisfied and just plain old upset.

Once I’m upset and I’ve entered the “Land of Un” it’s tough to return back home. Sometimes the next flight home doesn’t leave for hours and so I have to sit there being Unappreciative, Ungrateful, Unhappy, Unsatisfied and just plain old upset.
Or do I?????

There is one thing that will always help me get back from the “Land of Un” and that’s counting my blessings. It’s seems like such an easy solution to bring you back from unhappy to happy. The only problem is that when you’re upset and need to count your blessings—the last thing you want to do is count your blessings. You would rather stay unhappy and upset; maybe you would even like to invite your parents to travel with you to the “Land of Un”, land where people are unkind, uncomplimentary and unbending.

One idea comes to mind, we could be a master list of the things for which we are thankful and before we buy our ticket to the “Land of Un” we can review the list. We may not feel like writing a list, but we might feel like looking at our list.

The hymn “Count Your Blessings” reinforces the need to take count of what you have been given, not what you didn’t receive.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Helaman 3: 25 reads “And so great was the prosperity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out upon the people, that even the high priests and the teachers were themselves astonished beyond measure.”

The truth is, if we spend our time searching for and writing down all the blessings we have been given it will leave very little time for us to be selfishly thinking of our own needs or time to be critical of our parents for our perceived lack of their giving. If we focus on our blessings we too can be astonished or surprised at how much both our earthly parents and our Heavenly Father has given us.

Two great blessings in my life are the SUN and the SON. Take a look at the blessing of SUN, S. U. N, in our lives. It gives us warmth, it lights up the world so we can see during the day and reflects off the moon so we can see at night. It helps all plants and vegetation to grow. With solar panels the sunlight can be converted into energy or electricity. By watching the sun we can tell what time of day it is or even tell what direction we are traveling. The sun helps enables us to enjoy life, what a great blessing!

Now take a look at the blessing of the SON, S.O.N, in our lives. He has given us the perfect example or light to follow, he has given us the gift of resurrection—all mankind will be resurrected! Most important, he has given us his love. He loved us so much it compelled him to suffer and bleed to pay the price for our sins. “Which asuffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might bnot drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
19Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and afinished my preparations unto the children of men.” (D&C 19: 18-19)

I want to be happy, I want my family to be happy and the best way to be happy is to take time to count my blessings which include the gift of eternal life. I hope and pray that we can give more thanks for the blessings we have. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, I count it a blessing that Jesus died for me so I could return and live with God. I know that Jesus lives and loves us. I am thankful for my family and working to be more thankful for all the blessings I have.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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