I love this time of year. I love the colors of the leaves on the trees. I love to close my eyes and feel and listen to the crunch of leaves beneath my feet. When I was younger I thought that stepping on dry fall leaves sounded and felt like I was crunching potato chips underneath my feet. I remember that each Fall and enjoy it. I also really love the smell of the leaves. I love to take a few leaves in my hands and put them up to my nose and take a good, long, deep breath. I am grateful for all of these wonderful things that this time of year brings.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching we all tend to think about how blessed we are and how grateful we are to have all that we have. We think of our families and friends. We think of our homes, our clothing, and our food. We think of the Gospel, our testimonies, and of the Savior. We recognize that we have been given so much. I love how this time of year causes us to reflect on these things and notice how abundantly we are blessed.
As I was thinking about how we are led to relect and recognition our blessings I thought about how we can truly show our appreciation, our love, and our gratitude. My thoughts turned me to this question: Do we just merely recognize that we are blessed or do we take it a step further and actively show our gratitude to our Savior and our Heavenly Father?
I researched a little bit about how we can truly show gratitude and acknowledge God's hand in all things. The quotes below are excerpts from Gospel Topics: Gratitude or True to the Faith and are only a few of the many wonderful ways we can express our gratitude.
TITHING - By paying tithing, Church members show their gratitude to God for their blessings and their resolve to trust in the Lord rather than in material things.
FASTING - Fasting is one way of worshiping God and expressing gratitude to Him (see Luke 2:37; Alma 45:1).
PRAYER - We can silently express gratitude to our Father and ask Him to strengthen us in our responsibilities. Every morning and every evening, we should kneel together in humility, giving each family member frequent opportunities to say the prayer and uniting in gratitude for the blessings Heavenly Father has given us.
SACRAMENT and TEMPLE WORSHIP - As we reverently partake of the sacrament and attend the temple , we remember and worship our Heavenly Father and express our gratitude for His Son, Jesus Christ.
REVERENCE - As people show reverence for God, they also show reverence and gratitude for His blessings, His commandments, His prophets , His Church, His ordinances , His priesthood , and His plan for His children.
HYMNS - Through the hymns, we can express gratitude and praise, learn the Savior’s restored gospel, remember His Atonement, and commit to follow Him.
WORD OF WISDOM - You are a spirit child of God, and your body is created in His image. To show your gratitude for these blessings, you can care for your body by obeying the Word of Wisdom.
Thank your Heavenly Father for His goodness to you. You can express your gratitude to God by acknowledging His hand in all things, thanking Him for all that He gives you, keeping His commandments, and serving others. Thank Him for His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Express thanks for the Savior’s great example, for His teachings, for His outreaching hand to lift and help, for His infinite Atonement. Thank the Lord for His restored Church. Thank Him for all that it offers you. Thank Him for friends and family. Let a spirit of thanksgiving guide and bless your days and nights. Work at being grateful. You will find that it yields wonderful results.
I really enjoyed the line above..."Work at being grateful." Being grateful is something that takes work. We must strive to recognize our blessings and to actively live in such a way to express that gratitude. My challenge to us all this Thanksgiving season is to not just simply recognize how blessed we are but to find some way that we can better express our gratitude through the way we live our lives.