Gratitude is a divine principle
'He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even a hundred fold, yea, more.' (D & C 78:19)
This is God's promise that if we live with a spirit of thanksgiving we will have greater happiness and satisfaction in life. Gratitude will turn our heart to the Lord and help us recognize His influence and blessings in our life.
Even in our most difficult times, we can find many things to be grateful for. When we express thankfulness for the good things in life as well as the opposition and challenges, we add to our experience and our faith is strengthened. We put our lives in God's hands, realizing that all that transpires will be for our good.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is a state of appreciation, an act of thanksgiving that causes us to be humble because we recognize an act of kindness, service, or caring from someone else. This, in turn, lifts us and strengthens us. The expression of gratitude has a wonderful cleansing or healing nature. It brings warmth to the giver and the receiver alike.
In church, we are commanded to love and serve one another. Those who serve feel grateful to Heavenly Father because they have the opportunity to help others and obey the commandment. Those who received the service are thankful to Heavenly Father for the blessings received.
The two components of gratitude.
Gratitude has two components. The first is the affirmation that there is goodness in the world as manifested in the tangible and non-tangible things in the world - love, gifts and benefits that we received. The second component is figuring out where that goodness comes from. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It doesn't stem from anything we do ourselves in which we might take pride. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others.
The benefits of gratitude
Gratitude blocks toxic, negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, and regret – emotions that can destroy our happiness. You cannot feel envious and grateful at the same time. If you are grateful, you cannot resent someone for having something that you don't have.
Gratitude expressed to our Heavenly Father in prayers brings a calming peace – the kind of peace that helps us overcome the pain of adversity and failure. Daily gratitude means we express appreciation for what we now have without qualification for what we had in the past or desire in the future.
Other benefits of gratitude include the physical, psychological and social aspects of our lives.
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of one's health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.
Testimony of gratitude
I am very grateful that I joined the Church in my early years and that I could embrace gratitude in my life. The principles that I learned from the gospel have enriched my family greatly. I am very grateful to my dear wife for all the services and sacrifices that she had made to strengthen and uplift our family. In our prayers, we always commence with gratitude before we seek for guidance or blessings. Hence prayers are the best sources to inculcate gratitude.
The Lord wants us to have a spirit of gratitude in all we do and say. Living with a spirit of thanksgiving and give us greater happiness and satisfaction in life. Gratitude will turn our heart to the Lord and help us recognize His influence and blessings in our life.