Developing a grateful attitude

The Thanksgiving Holiday is a great time to express to our Heavenly Father our gratitude for all our blessings.

The experience of the Savior with the 10 lepers highlights the importance of an attitude of gratitude. “And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”

(Luke 17: 11-19 in the Bible)

Through divine intervention, those who were lepers were spared from a cruel, lingering death and given a new lease on life. The expressed gratitude by one merited the Master’s blessing, the ingratitude shown by the nine, His disappointment.

Wonderful time to live on the Earth

Our opportunities are limitless. While there are many things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help. We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate gratitude in our hearts. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. There are many things we can be grateful for. I will mention a few.

Gratitude for our mothers

Mother, who willingly made that personal journey into the valley of the shadow of death to take us by the hand and introduce us to mortal life deserves our undying gratitude. I remember my dear mother and the constant sacrifice, love and support she gave to me. I always felt special to her.

Gratitude for Our fathers

My father worked hard all his life, starting with nothing during the depression, and built a comfortable living for my mother and their children. During his life he helped his extended family especially some of his nephews that were struggling in life during their teenage years. He gave them jobs working on our ranch in Montana and encouraged them to make the right decisions for their future.

Gratitude for a teacher

The teacher can shape the expectations and ambitions of pupils; the teacher also influences their attitudes toward themselves and their future. If the teacher loves the students and has high expectations of them, their self-confidence grows. I remember two important teachers in my life. One was my 6th grade teacher who showed a special interest in me and continually encouraged me to stretch myself to meet my potential. Another important teacher in my life was a Sunday school teacher who helped the scriptures come alive to me and encouraged me to do my very best to keep the commandments of God.

Gratitude for friends

Our most cherished friend should be our partner in marriage. The world would be so much better off today if kindness and deference were a daily reflection of our gratitude for wife, for husband.

The Lord spoke the word friend almost with a reverence. He said, “Ye are my friends…” (John 15: 14 in the Bible) True friends put up with our idiosyncrasies. They can have a profound influence over us and can bring joy and happiness to our lives. To have the positive influence of friends in our lives we need to be a good friend to others.

Gratitude for our savior Jesus Christ

His glorious gospel provides answers to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where does my spirit go when I die? His commandments guide us through the “landmines” of knowing right from wrong and guide us how to experience joy and happiness in this life and the life to come.

Dallas Jones is the local leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of the article was taken from remarks by Thomas S. Monson, April 1992 General Conference. For a more detailed discussion call (231) 383-8359 or send an email to [email protected]