Monday, August 27, 2007


The lesson in Relief Society yesterday was based on Sister Parkin's talk from last general conference titled "Gratitude: A Path to Happiness". She says in the talk, "Gratitude requires awareness and effort, not only to feel it but to express it." How many times do I feel gratitude toward someone but fail to express my thanks or appreciation for something they have said or done? More times than I would dare to guess!

Sister Parkin goes on to say, "We murmur, complain, resist, criticize; so often we are not grateful." I am the queen of complaining. Last night at our family dinner at mom and dad's house the adults were having a discussion on how we would react if something accidentally, but through our own fault, happened to our car or house because we weren't paying attention. Think dents, water damage, etc. Out of Andy and I, I would be the one to blow up or blame. I know it, because I do it all the time. I also murmur, resist and criticize. As a result, I am so often not grateful. My usual optimism has become pessimism, and I need to turn that around.

Sister Parkin continues with these thoughts:
"Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God's love...Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence."

Don't I want to be happier? Don't I want to be closer to my Savior and my Heavenly Father?

Several years ago I started a gratitude journal, but like so many things, writing in it has fallen by the wayside. Some days it was easier than others to come up with something different than the usual. Well, I am older now, and I think I have a little bit more of life under my belt, so I will begin again today.

1. I am grateful that I have a great Relief Society President who keeps me informed with what's going on and what lessons we are studying. I know that takes a lot of effort, and it is appreciated.

2. I am grateful for my family, my sisters and brothers who are struggling along through life as well, and that we are grown up enough to support each other, even if we don't understand each other!

3. I am grateful for my wonderful Mother-in-law. She is a dream, and so easy to get along with! When I hear In-Law horror stories from other people, I am so thankful that is one thing I don't have to worry about.

4. I am grateful for a husband who loves me despite my complaining and ungratefulness.

5. I am grateful that my children have started school again!

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