When you look around, what do you see? What do you focus on? I can’t think of a time when there was a greater need to focus on our blessings than there is right now. You may recall in general conference a few weeks ago, President Russell M. Nelson warned against near-sightedness. Life is full of challenges and changes. When we focus only on hardships, it is easy to become discouraged. He reminds us that to find peace, we need to keep an eternal perspective and “let God prevail in your lives.”1 Last week Elder Dale G. Renlund cautioned that being far-sighted can be equally troublesome. While near-sightedness blurs the big picture, far-sightedness blurs “important things that are close to us.”2 If we are far-sighted, “we sometimes fail to appreciate that which is closest to us.”2
So, in this crazy year of 2020, how can we make our vision 20/20? I think we can find the answer in the hymn, “Count Your Blessings.” Think about verses 1 and 3. “When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessings; name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. … So amid the conflict, whether great or small, do not be discouraged; God is over all. Count your many blessings; angels will attend, help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.”3 If our near-sightedness makes us only see the tossing tempest, we may not be able to see God’s countless blessings in our lives. If we are too far-sighted, we may not see the angels, both earthly and heavenly, who are near us and help us along our journey.
We really do have so much to be grateful for! And a grateful heart and a positive attitude can certainly help us see better. As we count our many blessings, I am convinced we will see those we love and the world around us with new eyes. We will have greater courage to face our challenges today as we “look to God and live,”4 knowing there is a glorious future ahead.
I hope you will join me in making November a month of gratitude. Every day I am going to choose to see through grateful eyes. To help me do that, I am going to keep a gratitude journal. I will also be posting gratitude quotes on Instagram. Look for a new one every day of November! I truly believe that looking at life through a lens of gratitude can improve our vision, allowing us to clearly see and then count our many blessings.
Imagine if we all choose to be more grateful! And we can always be more grateful!
1. Let God Prevail – Russell M. Nelson
2. October 25, 2020 Instagram Post – Dale G. Renlund
3. Count Your Blessings – Hymn 241
4. Alma 37:47