What an incredible month this has been! When I decided to turn November into 30 days of gratitude, I could scarcely have imagined the sweet stirrings I would feel. And what enhanced those feelings even more was when President Russell M. Nelson invited us all to flood the earth with expressions of gratitude on our social media for 7 days. I had been posting inspiring quotes and writing in my gratitude journal every day for nearly three weeks, but this challenge from our prophet changed me and deepened my feelings of gratitude in unimaginable ways. I felt greater happiness, stronger love, and increased peace. This is not surprising though because President Nelson knew that is how we would all feel. We are always blessed when we follow the prophet!
Another prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, once said, “Walk with gratitude before Him who is the giver of life and every good gift.”1 I hope November was just the beginning for each of us and not the end. Our lives will truly be richer if every day we walk with gratitude in our hearts for a loving Heavenly Father and for every good gift He gives us.
As we now turn to the Christmas season, I hope our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for God’s greatest gift to us—the gift of His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
Earlier this year, Elder Dale G. Renlund taught, “Each of us has received gifts that we could not provide for ourselves, gifts from our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, including redemption through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We have received life in this world; we will receive physical life in the hereafter, and eternal salvation and exaltation—if we choose it—all because of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Every time we use, benefit from, or even think of these gifts, we ought to consider the sacrifice, generosity, and compassion of the givers. Reverence for the givers does more than just make us grateful. Reflecting on Their gifts can and should transform us.”2
President Nelson’s 7-day challenge indeed was transformative. Elder Renlund also gave us an invitation, though his seems to be more of a lifelong challenge. He said, “I invite you to remember each day the greatness of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and what They have done for you. Let your consideration of Their goodness more firmly bind your wandering heart to Them. Ponder Their compassion, and you will be blessed with added spiritual sensitivity and become more Christlike.”2
I gladly accept this challenge and hope you will too! And as we remember Their goodness and Their compassion, may we express our gratitude to Them by offering that same kind of love and compassion to others. Imagine how wonderful this Christmas season will be if we all will do that!
1. With all Thy Getting Get Understanding – Gordon B. Hinckley
2. Consider the Goodness and Greatness of God – Dale G. Renlund