Grateful in Any Circumstances
by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This was a great talk for me and all others who are naturally born pessimists. Sometimes we need a little reminding that life really isn't all that bad, and that there is much to be grateful for.
Like President Uchtdorf said, "Sooner or later, . . .all of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated, and adrift. It can happen to anyone. No one is immune. "
We all have things to deal with that we haven't wanted to experience. It might be grief, loneliness, depression, anxiety, or anger.
"Everyone's situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious."
"WE CAN BE GRATEFUL!"
". .. Those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding."
I recently read an article where the author shared the following:
"It is almost impossible to be sad, angry, depressed, or worried when you are being thankful. We recently hosted a young missionary who had just returned from a two-year mission trip to Ghana. He talked about how the Christians in Ghana thank God for things most American Christians never do—things like the air we breath, the sun shining, or the bed they sleep on. He challenged us to do something he had begun doing if he felt discouraged and that was to thank the Lord for five things he had never before thanked the Lord for."
"When the challenge was presented, I thought it would be tough to come up with five things for which I hadn't already thanked the Lord. The very next day I had the opportunity to try it out. [My husband], Steve and I were both seeing a chiropractor, and I looked forward to our rides to and from the chiropractor together. On this day, Steve had a dental appointment before the chiropractic appointment so we met at the office and drove home separately. On the way home, I was feeling sorry for myself because I was alone without Steve's company. So I thought, “Okay, Lord, what are five things I can thank You for that I never thanked You for before? Thank You for this street I am driving on right now. Thank You for those who made the road, and thank You for those who maintain it.” Wow, driving home was developing a thankfulness theme in my mind. “Thank You, Lord, for the engineers who designed this car that I can use to move around. Thank You, Lord, for the speed with which a car allows me to accomplish what I need to do away from home. Thank You, Lord, that we have gasoline to power this car.”
I love this idea and have tried it several times. It works!
"Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness."
If gratitude brings us happiness and joy, we should strive to develop a GRATITUDE ATTITUDE!
"Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I'm suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances--whatever they may be."
Have you ever read the book or watched the movie Pollyanna? Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game", an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because "we didn't need to use them!"
Like Pollyanna, we can choose to always see the good side of things. There is always something to be thankful for - ALWAYS. We just have to train ourselves to remember to look for it.
"My dear brothers and sisters, the choice is ours. We can choose to limit our gratitude, based on the blessings we feel we lack. Or. . . we can choose to be grateful, no matter what."
"Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true. . .It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will."
"Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances."
"We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. HOW MUCH OF LIFE DO WE MISS BY WAITING TO SEE THE RAINBOW BEFORE THANKING GOD THAT THERE IS RAIN?"
Count Your Blessings-
in the good times and the bad.
There is always something to be thankful for.
"The Lord has given us His promise that those 'who [receive] all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and all things of this earth shall be added unto [them], even an hundred fold, yea, more'." (D&C 78:19)
"The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for." -Zig Ziglar