At church I teach the FHE (family home evening) lessons in our singles ward on Monday nights, and my turn to teach is coming up. So in the back of my head while at church on Sunday I knew I needed to decide what I was going to give my lesson on. During the first hour of church (sacrament) as I was reading from Isiah I came across something near and dear to me that I keep in my scriptures, a copy of my cousin Jason's testimony, and I decided to pull it out and read it. (I've talked about my cousin before on here, he passed away from cancer when I was young, and I've always looked up to him in so many ways.) Several times Jason mentioned how blessed his life was, and how full of joy and happiness his life has been. He talked about how grateful he was to be a tool in the Lord's hands and how grateful he was to have had opportunities to share the gospel to others. This really stuck with me as I went through the next 2 hours of church. Every time I read through it I found myself amazed at how someone who had been battling cancer for years and knew they were at the end of their life could be so full of happiness and joy, and could recognize all the countless blessings that were in his life. As I thought more about this I began to think how much joy do I find filling up my days? Can I see all the blessings I have in my life, even through all the trials that may be clouding my path? I realized that I don't take nearly enough time to express my gratitude and not enough time is spend focusing on the happiness and joy in life. Every problem and trial in our life is placed before for a reason. Our trials help shape us into stronger people. They teach us those things we need to know and learn before it's our time to leave this earth. In a world full of problems why not focus on the positive?!
By the end of church I knew what I was going to be teaching in my next class. Finding the blessings in our life and in our trials... having an attitude of gratitude! I found a beautiful Mormon Message called "In the Spirit of Thanksgiving" that fit perfect with this topic that I posted just below this. I also came across a talk given by President Monson's from a recent general conference about gratitude.
In the talk by President Monson he said:
"This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways. We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others"
Life is to short to dwell on everything that is going wrong in life. Some days it may be easy to see all the blessings, while others days it may seem impossible! President Eyring encouraged us to kneel down in prayer and ask for help in seeing those blessings clearly when trials and hardships make them hard to see. I know that as we focus on the beauty in life and all the we've been given, our problems won't seems quit as heavy. Of course it won't be easy, but nothing in life is really easy... well except maybe sitting on the couch watching your favorite tv show, but that's besides the point (: