Worship | Gratitude is the best attitude
Last updated 11/27/2019 at 1:36pm
"Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” --Aphonse Karr
In today’s world, where there is so much conflict, it is easy to become jaded and disheartened. Anxiety and worries about the future can obfuscate a person’s sense of happiness and well-being. Depression and discouragement assault our mental and emotional health. True, it is difficult to see the beauty of a rose when our fingers keep getting pricked by the thorns. Is there a way to find happiness while yet dealing with life stresses?
Sarah Kopelovich, Ph.D. at the University of Washington School of Medicine writes, “Gratitude won’t take the place of treatment from a mental health professional for clinical anxiety and depression. But gratitude is a practice that anybody can do on their own and see at least some in-the-moment benefits to feelings of anxiety and depression.” The professor continues, “That’s profound in terms of affecting one’s day-to-day experience, and it could have longer-lasting implications for our relationship with stress.”
In 1939, President Joseph F. Smith, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints said, “The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. . . pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!”
Of gratitude, Luke, the apostle, shared an experience, “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 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 17:12-19)
So, we might ask are ourselves, are we like the nine lepers who never thought to give thanks? Have we forgotten that gratitude is one key to making us whole and providing lasting happiness?
President Smith continues, “A grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort—at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude. Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it. . . those things which provide deep and lasting happiness and gratitude are the things which money cannot buy: our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our abilities, the love we receive from those around us.”
Being grateful for the beautiful roses among the thorns can help us to have happiness and peace; it’s like seeing God’s blessings, even with life’s tumult. To have a happy life, may we all remember to express gratitude to Him and to those we love.