You can read Part 1 here
You can read Part 2 here
I’m sure we are all familiar with the Great Oprah Winfrey. We may snicker and giggle about Oprah and her counsel for happy living, but her advice on Gratitude Journals was surely inspired. As we thank our Heavenly Father verbally for our many gifts, is it not also appropriate to write them down, to journal them for later reflection? There have been studies done on the effect of keeping gratitude lists or gratitude journals. Studies have shown that those who keep lists have
- A significant absence of stress and depression
- They make better progress toward important goals
- These people report high levels of energy and determination
- They feel closer in their relationships and build stronger relationships
- Feel an increase of happiness of more than 25% over those who do not list their gratitude's
In Luke Chapter 17 we read about Christ and the Ten Lepers. We all know the story…Christ healed ten, but only one returned and gave thanks to the Savior. What I find interesting is the Savior in verse 19 says “arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.” Hadn't the Savior already healed the Leper? I wonder if the Savior was referring to the healing balm of gratitude in this man’s heart. His heart was healed. Thomas S. Monson said of this, ”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 blessings; the ingratitude shown by the nine, His disappointment." End quote. I don't know about you, but I don't want to disappoint my Savior.
Joseph B. Wirthlin goes on to say in his article Living in Thanksgiving Daily, “Those who live in thanksgiving daily, however, have a way of opening their eyes and seeing the wonders and beauties of this world as though seeing them for the first time. I encourage you to look around you. Notice the people you care about. Notice the fragrance of the flowers and the song of the birds. Notice and give thanks for the blue sky, the color of the leaves, and the white of the clouds. Enjoy every sight, every smell, every taste, and every sound. When we open our eyes and give thanks for the bountiful beauty of this life, we live in thanksgiving daily.” End quote.
When the Lord went up to teach the people in what has been called the Sermon on the Mount. After realizing that the multitude was 5,000 strong and that there were only a few loaves and fishes to feed them, the disciples became concerned. But Christ, blessed the food and gave thanks, and it was enough. Brothers and sisters, it was enough. Thanksgiving precedes the miracle, and it will be enough!
I really love Psalms, in Psalms 69:30 & 32 it says “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving…The humble shall see this, and be glad; and your heart shall live that seek God.” A thankful heart is a heart filled with God. I’d like to close with the words of President Thomas S. Monson, “Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings but it also unlocks the doors of heaven.”