Season of Thanksgiving

It is the season of thanksgiving. One popular hymn goes as such: “Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, and you’ll be singing as the days go by…..count your many blessings, see what God hath done.”

How do you show gratitude for the blessings, big and small, in your life? Do we recognize our blessings or do we feel that they are actually entitlements and question why we don’t have more?

Joseph B. Wirthlin explained why we sometimes don’t see all of our blessings. “…The more often we see the things around us- even the beautiful and wonderful things- the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world- the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds- even those we love… Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.”

Crazy, eh? The more often we actually enjoy something, the less we appreciate it.

Modern philosophies tend to tell us that with work and a little effort, we are entitled to a job, food, shelter, support. In truth though, we have no entitlements, but are given blessings… all the way down to the opportunity to live another day.

In Luke chapter 17:12-19 is the story of Christ cleansing the 10 lepers. Though he offered this cleansing to all ten, only one turned back to personally relay his thanks, his sincere gratitude to Christ. He immediately recognized and appreciated the miracle that Christ had given. The other nine may have had thankfulness in their hearts, but they failed to act upon it at the time.

Do we show our thanks immediately or do we wait for something to kick us into gear… like an annual holiday?

I am grateful for so many things, among them are: my family, my friends, opportunity for good education, laughter, memories, the church, my beautiful home, sunrises/sunsets, books (oh, there are so many good books), music (that which I listen to, and what I can play), and all the chances to serve.

One way that I show my gratitude to my family is by trying to be a contributing member of the family. I do this by babysitting my little brothers on the weekdays, keeping the house clean so we can enjoy more family time and have fewer chores when my parents get home, and developing my talents to share with my family. My gratitude does not only strengthen my family, but it strengthens me.

Did you know that showing gratitude is actually the sign of a well-educated person? Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Be grateful… The habit of saying thank you is the mark of an educated man or woman.” Why is this? Think of your meals… someone bought them. Think of your activities… someone organized them and facilitated them. Think of your freedom… someone fought for it. All we have is we have is partly because of someone else. When we recognize this, we exhibit a higher understanding.

There are many opportunities all around us to share our gratefulness. Sharing a sincere thank you takes only 1/86,400 part of your day, and it brightens another person’s day significantly.

So I ask again, how do we acknowledge these blessings? Do we name them ‘one by one’ or say ‘I want that one, and I want that one’.

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15 thoughts on “Season of Thanksgiving

  1. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?autoplay=true&index=1&locale=0&sourceId=ed771552004a5210VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=bd163ca6e9aa3210VgnVCM1000003a94610aRCRD

    This is one of my FAVORITE LDS videos. Seriously. I love how it shows what we’re thankful for depends on our life experiences and what we’re currently going through.

    I’m thankful for my friends and family who support me. I’m thankful for the gospel to guide me through everyday life. I’m thankful for being alive and healthy. I’m thankful for happiness. I’m thankful for a lot of things.

    Now what am i going to do about these things I’m thankful for? I’m going to share these things and tell those I’m thankful for. I’m going to share my expeirences I’ve gone through, good and bad, so others can go through it if they want to.

    I’m going to do all I can to share my thanksgiving.

  2. I’m thankful for all of the wonderful teachers in my life, the chance to get and education, my friends, my family, and the love given to me by so many. There are many other things that I’m thankful for but these are just a few and like you said I take most of it for granted. A big one I take for granted until reacently was being able to get an education. I have school everyday and though moist days I dread going I realized we are so gifted to be able to go to school. I just recently heard a story about a Pakistani girl named Malala who was fighting to be able to have an education and to be able to go to school. Most of our gifts we take for granted but I bet if they were to be taken away from us we would miss them dearly.
    We can show our gratitude for these wonderful gifts by doing our best in school, doing as we are told, following the commandments, living our life’s righteously, and basiclly just living our lives to the fullest. From now on I’m going to try to slow done and notice the tiny taken for granted things.

  3. I am thankful for many, many things, also. My life and my family’s lives are truly blessed. Honestly, and unfortunately, I can forget about a lot of my blessings when times are tough. I want the difficulty to end can get shortsighted wondering ‘why me’, ‘why can’t things work out the way I want them to’, etc. Fortunately, I am personally blessed with a loving (highly intelligent) wife, caring children, access to the scriptures and restored gospel, weekly church instruction, an awesome bishopric and home teachers, and especially prayer – the two way kind. All these things and more serve to remind me how good I have it. When you think about it, very few have all these blessings to help them remember and recognize blessings.

  4. We should not just wait for a national holiday or anniversary to be grateful. It should be something we do every day, just like the hymn says, “Name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” It should be something we do on a daily basis, it doesn’t have to be everything at once and it doesn’t have to be big. It can be a simple “I’m thankful the dog cleaned up that little spill I made this morning” it doesn’t matter. If it’s something you’re grateful for, it’s a blessing in your life.

    I’m thankful for my family, all of my friends, my talents, the experiences I’ve had these past few-and coming-months, and for having the gospel in my life.

    And I agree, it shouldn’t just be something we say. That’s like hearing/reading a conference talk and saying “That was a lovely talk. I really enjoyed that talk.” And then not doing anything about it. It’s a 2 part job–one part providing you with information and what you need to hear, the other part is you applying it in your life. It can’t be a one way deal.

    1. I totally agree with you Meghan. I like to record in my journal one thing I’m thankful for, one thing I’m wishing would happen, the best thing of the day, and service another person did for me every day.

  5. We had a lesson in Seminary (Early morning bible study) today that just so happened to be right after Thanksgiving. We learned about the difference between being thankful and being grateful. Being thankful is just being glad that something happened–i.e. A ride home. Being grateful is expressing your gratitude through actions, and my teacher used the story of the 10 Leppers. Not to mention that being grateful is more eternal–and D&C 59 tells us to be grateful. Being grateful is actually a commandment given to us by God.

    We should be celebrating Thanksgiving everyday-and I don’t mean by the food, but being thankful and telling others how grateful we are to have them in our lives,

  6. I’m alive, I have food, I have a great family, I have wonderful friends, I have a comfortable home, I have a dog, I have happiness, I have a loving Heavenly Father looking out for me, and will always be on my side. I’m thankful for all these things, and no matter how bad things get in the world, I know I will have (most) of these things for a very long time.

  7. I remember researching gratitude once and finding something that offered added perspective on the subject. President Thomas S. Monson stated: “The United States Post Office dead-letter department receives annually thousands and thousands of children’s pre-Christmas letters addressed to Santa Claus asking for things. After it was all over one year, a single, solitary letter thanking Santa Claus was received. Could this be one of the problems of this troubled world; that people think only of getting—not giving? Of receiving—and not even expressing their gratitude for that which they do receive?”

  8. I am amazed at how different I feel when I am counting my blessings then when I am counting the things I don’t have. When I am being grateful I feel happy and content. When I am counting what I don’t have I feel deprived, upset, and angry. I love the hymn you mentioned. When we look for what God has done for us it brings a great sense of humility and we can feel God’s love.

    1. Gratitude is an important eternal concept; when we show gratitude for blessings, we show humility towards our Heavenly Father, just like when the scriptures tell us to be “submissive as a child” towards Him. I am very grateful for God granting me my daily breath, I certainly can’t imagine my life without it!

  9. This is awesome autumn! I love the quote that you put by Joseph B. Wirthlin : “…The more often we see the things around us- even the beautiful and wonderful things- the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world- the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds- even those we love… Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.” I find that sometimes it can be hard to slow do and recognize our blessings, especially when our lives are so busy. But i find that when we do slow down and recognize our blessings it becomes easier to feel peace and love from our Heavenly Father, and his love for us.

  10. I know I might be a little late but I thought I should say somethin. To start with count your many blessings is one of my Favorites. Ok number one being thankful for what you Have also shows great character. Sometimes it night make yet feel a little down but it is always a good idea to think someone else isn’t a relationship good off as you are so be grateful and look for opportunities to express your gratitude.

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