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Gratitude - The Power in Being Thankful!

Updated on November 15, 2016
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Kathryn Skaggs is the founder of Latter-day Saint Women Stand, a community of over 50K faithful Latter-day Saint women who love their faith!

Gratitude - The Power By Which We Are Saved

Gratitude - Why a Thankful Heart is So Important To Our Happiness

Just recently I have been giving a lot of thought about personally needing to develop a deeper gratitude for those things which I am truly thankful for - and the power which comes into our lives when we choose to live with such consciousness. Gratitude is a powerful, saving principle with amazing personal results when practiced. Does this imply that gratitude is a skill?

Shouldn't gratitude come as a natural affection? Could it be that gratitude can be learned, thus taught?

If you happen to believe in God, then you might want to recall that to thank God is an actual commandment. Why would God require His children to "thank" Him? At first thought this might seem somewhat narcissistic. But thinking like that could be considered blasphemous... so we won't!

But, do you think that God really needs His children to say "thank you" in order to make Him feel better in some way? I'm not suggesting that God, who is the Parent of all parents - doesn't enjoy hearing and knowing that we are grateful, and not spoiled children -- but is He the one that needs our gratitude? I mean, after all, He created this wonderful world of which we all benefit from, gives us life and even the air we breath.

So, why would and does God command us to thank Him - if He does not have a need to hear it or even know it? Remember, God knows all things --- already.

Well, I believe that like all the commandments that God requires of those who love Him, commandments or laws - are meant to bless us. I believe that gratitude is perhaps the single most powerful commandment - which God has given His children.

Thankfulness, Evokes Deep Emotions of Gratitude...

Think Before You Weep

If your arteries have hardened

And arthritis slows your gait,

If your tired blood is stubborn,

Not inclined to circulate;

If your dancing days are over

And you cannot do the twist,

If your time is spent in brooding

O'er the many things you've missed.

If you're constantly complaining

On your rocker or your couch;

If you're ornery and cranky

And becoming quite a grouch;

Well, if this is your condition

And you get no sympathy,

Then it's time you started trying

A new kind of therapy.

Though you have your share of trouble,

Think of others with more pain,

Like the fellow in his wheelchair,

Who will never walk again.

Take time to write a letter.

And while pen is in your palm,

Thank the good Lord up above you,

For the use of that right arm.

Try relaxing in the sunshine,

Note each flower, bird and tree,

Then appreciate your eyesight;

There are many who can't see.

When you tune in television

And each sound is loud and clear,

Just think of those who'd give a lot,

If only they could hear.

Yes, I've practiced what I'm preaching,

And I've learned there's joy to reap;

If you stop and count your blessings

And just "think before you weep".

~~ Author Unknown ~~

The Benefits of Gratitude for a Spiritual Life...

James E. Faust, an Apostle of the Lord, who served as a member of the First Presidency in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints - had this to say, about gratitude:

James E. Faust, “Gratitude As a Saving Principle,” Ensign, Dec 1996,

"I desire to discuss gratitude as an expression of faith and as a saving principle. The Lord has said, “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” (D&C 59:21). It is clear to me from this scripture that to “thank the Lord thy God in all things” (D&C 59:7) is more than a social courtesy; it is a binding commandment."

What is a binding commandment? Well, I would submit to you - that we are talking about a covenant. Covenants are contracts with God, which are much different that man-made contracts. Covenants are never equal, as to who benefits. Man is always the one who makes out - when making and keeping a covenant with God.

When President Faust refers to gratitude - as an expression of faith and a saving principle, I believe that he has taught an eternal truth, in regards to the importance of this great commandment and our ability to receive needed blessings from God. Not only needed blessings, but blessings which God desires to bestow upon us... if, we will but keep His commandments.

I love the first commandment, which we know is the Greatest, and of course the second - is like unto it.... then - the added knowledge, that upon these two commandments, hang all the laws and the prophets!

Matthew Chapter 22: 37-40

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Gratitude Recognizes All Living Things and Cause Us to Be Grateful That We Are Alive!

To love, is to know that you are alive!
To love, is to know that you are alive!
Gratitude is to acknowledge the bounties of this earth... in all their variety!
Gratitude is to acknowledge the bounties of this earth... in all their variety!
Gratitude is in the details of our life.
Gratitude is in the details of our life.

Gratitude: Requirements and Blessings

That's big! God not only tells us, or rather commands us to love Him, above all else (the requirement) -- but, He is very specific in how we are to do so.

Is God just being demanding?

  1. Heart - that which we treasure above all else. (emotions)
  2. Might - with the determination and focus that we are capable. (desires)
  3. Mind - in every thought. (thoughts)
  4. Strength - by the physical doing of which we have abilities. (actions)

He even said - to give "all" of ourselves in doing so - in order to fulfill the keeping of this commandment.

President Faust goes on to say -

"One of the evils of our time is taking for granted so many of the things we enjoy. This was spoken of by the Lord: “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?” (D&C 88:33). The Apostle Paul described our day to Timothy when he wrote that in the last days “men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” (2 Tim. 3:2). These sins are fellow travelers, and ingratitude makes one susceptible to all of them."

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.

If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something,

for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.

During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,

because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,

because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.

They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary,

because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who

are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,

and they can become your blessings.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

Gratitude Brings Forth the Greatest of All the Blessings of God.

Can we now better see the blessings of keeping the commandment to love God, and specifically in the way He has set forth? And look at the blessings of acknowledging Him above all other things in our lives.

In my opinion, it would be impossible to keep the first commandment - without applying the powerful principle, of gratitude.

In fact, to have gratitude for what God has given us, is the act of loving Him - above all else.

When we acknowledge the magnificent blessings which life abundantly offers each of us, and in such very personal ways, this is to know without a doubt - that He is.

Adversity, which God allows - is meant to help us be thankful.

Many people find this principle difficult to comprehend. When we think about our own journey here upon the earth we will find that those things which we are most grateful for and about, are in direct contrast - to those same experiences, which have been most likely, also the most difficult in in our lives.

I like to refer to this as the law or doctrine of opposition. It is truly magnificient how this principle works.

I can't help but think of parenting, as one excellent example. Being a parent, has given me the most challenges of my life, as well as the most joy. Being a mother is one of the blessings, that I am most grateful to acknowledge. But what a ride! Need I say more.

Marriage. Being married to someone so different that myself has brought many challenges and difficulties, but working together to overcome these obstacles has caused me to treasure my marriage above all other earthly relationships. My marriage is the greatest blessing I have in this life. How grateful I am for a loving and patient partner.

When we come to understand God's plan for us, and how we are able to come to know Him through these kinds of experiences it then becomes more clear in recognizing just how adversity can bring forth deep gratitude for God. That which we experience in this life is meant to bring us to God.

Gratitude then, becomes very personal. In fact, it is the prayer of the faithful heart, the thoughts of the prayerful soul, the desires which one focuses on, until that life - is one of gratitude... or is godly.

Gratitude can bring the thankful heart, to the One - Who is The Source of all blessings... and thus becomes a truly powerful act of faith and a saving principle.

This, from a kind and loving Father in Heaven - who desires to bless us daily, as we acknowledge His Hand, in all things.

It is my personal belief, that gratitude is the very key to all spiritual, physical and emotional healing. Gratitude when exercised, can literally make us - Holy.

Gratitude. To Be grateful, is the highest form of worship, which is the keeping of all of God's commandments.

In God's First and Greatest commandment, He teaches us how to Be thankful and show gratitude. Apparently, this requires our best efforts - and His tender loving Grace and Mercy -- by which He teaches us how to acquire Gratitude and obtain His Greatest Blessings!



Kathryn Skaggs

To Be Grateful, Is To Know That You Have Lived Your Life To The Fullest!

LdsNana-AskMormon Acknowledgements and Requests...

If you enjoyed this hub, please give it a thumbs-up:-) Thanks.

I would like to acknowledge "Creative Sam" for the lovely photography that is provided here... which causes me personally - to experience deep feelings of gratitude - for the beauty of everything that surrounds us continually.

Thank you, for taking the time to read this hub...


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