01 December 2008

Growing through Gratitude

I thought a lot about concerning gratitude. I understand the necessity that thankfulness can bring into our lives, but defining it was something I feel is beyond my ability. I hope this is only the root and not the stem of what I have learned about gratitude. I’ve been submissive, I’ve been humbled, I have developed faith, I repented, and I washed, rinsed and repeated principles in my life. I have gratitude for LESSONS LEARNED.

Talks and discussions about gratitude should attempt to bring all people closer together, not drive them apart. They should create unifying bridges that emphasize how we are all children of God who should be uniting to help one another through our various struggles and successes.
I hope to emulate a greater more urgent NEED FOR GRATITUDE.
The experiences we all have gives us an opportunity to grow in and through gratitude. Amongst these experiences, things don’t always panned out the way we expect or agree with, but In the pre mortal realm spirit sons and daughter knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children you and I could obtain a physical body (he didn’t tell us to what measure we would be able to perform with that body) and gain earthy experience to progress towards perfection and ultimately realize his or her, or yours and mine divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. Wow, Can you really expect to realize your divine destiny as an heir of eternal life without passing through pain, anguish and even sorrow.
It happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden far after the presence of the Lord left, in the lone and dreary world, it was revealed to them as their own son murdered his brother, everyone gains earthy experience differently. It was revealed to the Savior as he bled from every pore as he suffered the Atonement for you and I.
Elder Hales taught:
"Gratitude is also the foundation upon which repentance is built. The Atonement brought mercy through repentance to balance justice Repentance is essential to salvation. We are mortal—we are not perfect—we will make mistakes. When we make mistakes and do not repent, we suffer."
So it is with gratitude, we can only progress by using it. As I studied this principle a connection came that related to repentance.
Repentance and Gratitude both require us to have a fresh view of God, a fresh view of Others and A fresh View of oneself. Ingratitude seperates us from Our Father in Heaven, so does sin. However Sin Distants us and even after Repentance, that is why it’s better to have never of sinned.
Ingratitude is noticing what is missing. Questioning the Lord concerning His Will for us.
Being willing to submit to all things is one of our best ways to show our gratitude.

Growing in Gratitude is needing the Lord, more and more each day.
In the same regard when we are grateful we are connected to Our Loving Heavenly Father. In 2000 President Hinckley counseled us with the Six B’s with the first being grateful. Quote: Walk with gratitude in your hearts. No matter what life presents itself with, In our wilderness we all have the choice to gratify our situations with Gratitude in learning about the Lord. Because it really isn’t about us.
So imagine yourself and the things you are dealing with right now in your life as I share this thought process what we might be asking of the Lord. I know that we will always be thirsty and hungry but how do we turn to the Lord.
Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade

Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?

Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down

Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid

But maybe not,
not today

Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .
We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude

For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face

If You never send us rain
Daily bread, give us daily bread

Bless our bodies, keep our children fed

Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight

Wrap us up and warm us through

Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs

Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time

Or maybe not, not today

Maybe You'll provide in other ways

And if that's the case . . .
We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude 
A lesson learned to hunger after You

That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread
Oh, the differences that often are between

Everything we want and what we really need
So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace

Move our hearts to hear a single beat

Between alibis and enemies tonight

Or maybe not, not today

Peace might be another world away

And if that's the case . . .
We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You

That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream

In abundance or in need

And if You never grant us peace
But Jesus, would You please . . .
We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned.

Just as the Lord exhorts us to make decisions based off of good, better, best. He knows what is good for us, He knows what is better for His and Brothers and Sisters, he definitely knows what is best for us, we need to grow our gratitude to know the Lord through His ways.
As a Art major, I had the great opportunity to take the photo classes.For me the basic courses is where I learned the vast amount of my photograph knowledge. I got to make a pin hole camera. I got to use a manual camera and when my assignments were due, The negatives were just as important as the actual print I produced. For the Print was a product of my negative. The way I saw things their my viewfinder would eventually be blown up 16x 24 for the entire class to see or even fellow students on campus.
I don’t always think about that as I shot my film, but as it was displayed for others to view it become more apparent to me how important my perception was and my perspective to the world. I have often thought about the digitalize world and convinces of cropping photos these days.
We just crop out the parts we don’t like. Our ability to know Gratitude will be appanrent when we stand before our Loving Heavenly Father, the negatives prints will be there with us as well. How did we view the world? How did we record our life. Was it through the lense of Gratitude. Did we choose the best light in our photos or did we need to crop it out to make it look better. Gratitude for me couldn’t be a thankful list. It had to be a pattern on living for myself. I don’t like to crop but It happens. I know when I have taken more thought about my surroundings and what I was trying to produce something good, I didn’t need to worry about cropping. Because my eyes was conditioned to my viewfinder. It wasn’t a spontaneous emotion, often it was always a matter of choice. Now It is a decision I make early and often, the conditioning got out the bad habits but has saved me so much heartache. It became a perspective of appreciation, Now it doesn’t make my college art courses easier but it has always made it better. I testify that Choosing to be grateful will lead to a stronger commitment, a desire to try harder to be a better person. This will in turn lead to much fully keeping God’s commandments, which allows us to be blessed to receive All that our Father has, even Eternal life, the greatest of all gifts. True Gratitude is trying to do the best you can with what you’ve got.


carmar76 said...

Very good points on Gratitude!