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During our service at Brigham Young University–Idaho, Sister Bednar and I frequently hosted General Authorities in our home. Our family learned an important lesson about meaningful prayer as we knelt to pray one evening with a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Earlier in the day Sister Bednar and I had been informed about the unexpected death of a dear friend, and our immediate desire was to pray for the surviving spouse and children. As I invited my wife to offer the prayer, the member of the Twelve, unaware of the tragedy, graciously suggested that in the prayer Sister Bednar express only appreciation for blessings received and ask for nothing. His counsel was similar to Alma’s instruction to the members of the ancient Church “to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things” (). Given the unexpected tragedy, requesting blessings for our friends initially seemed to us more urgent than expressing thanks.
Sister Bednar responded in faith to the direction she received. She thanked Heavenly Father for meaningful and memorable experiences with this dear friend. She communicated sincere gratitude for the Holy Ghost as the Comforter and for the gifts of the Spirit that enable us to face adversity and to serve others. Most importantly, she expressed appreciation for the plan of salvation, for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, for His Resurrection, and for the ordinances and covenants of the restored gospel which make it possible for families to be together forever.
When I received the phone call from our dear Bishop Nunn, Monday morning to ask us to speak on gratitude the following Sunday, he had no idea that just hours before we had received a text. Stating the passing of Jesse’s grandmother Jean Roberts. How grateful I am of the inspiration of a newly called Bishop. What a gift it has been to me to be able to approach an extremely busy week fraught with emotion through the eyes of Gratitude.
Be patience with me as I recount my week through the eyes of gratitude.
As Jesse and I prepared for a tough but important FHE lesson and announcement of Great Grandma’s passing to our children we were surprised by my visiting teacher with delicious chocolate cupcakes for our FHE treat made especially without milk so the whole family could enjoy them. And I was grateful for the Visiting Teaching program and for special cousin/friends who think of us in hard times.
During that FHE lesson the spirit was present and strong as we sat on the floor and pieced together the plan of Salvation with our children so they could better understand where they came from, why we are here, and where we go when our spirits leave our bodies. And I was grateful for the knowledge of the gospel, I was grateful that we had the tradition in our home of FHE.
Tuesday brought on meetings. As things didn’t go the way I wanted them to go in those meetings. I was grateful for the Holy Ghost the great comforter. Who whispered soothing things to my soul one of which was to let it go, it will work out, and you did the best you could.
I was grateful for family and friends who picked up kids from dance and babysat them while I was still in meetings, and for parents who usual help out but happened to be away this week.
I was grateful for hardworking and inspired youth leaders who played with my teenagers Tuesday night who boost their self-confidence and make them feel welcome in a church setting.
Tuesday also received a phone call from Utah as Brother Jacobs asked Jesse and I to teach his Sunday School lesson to the 15-16 year olds. And I was grateful for the astounding youth in our ward. I am grateful for the inspired youth curriculum of Sunday School. I was grateful for the ability to serve in this capacity.
Wednesday I was grateful that we live so close to the temple, and for personal revelation we can receive by attending there. I was also grateful for the many members of our ward who serve at the temple.
I was grateful for a friend, who listened, and reassured me.
I was grateful for special neighbor friends and how we can serve and help each other out in times of need.
I was grateful for Heavenly Father’s hand in all things as miraculously a ride appeared for Sara to get to and from a Stake Choir practice while I was working at the library.
Wednesday night I was grateful for technology, inspired leaders, and the Relief Society. I was grateful for associations with the sisters in our ward who love and support each other as we ever strive to become more Christ like in this world.
Thursday I was grateful for established routines of scripture study as this scripture soothed my soul.
Isaiah25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tearsfrom off all faces;
I was grateful for supportive children who do things they really don’t want to do so we can have time together as a family.
I was grateful that my children where able to have a relationship with their great grandmother and that they where able to say goodbye to here in a private very intimate way.
Friday I was grateful for gospel doctrine. That I have a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that families can be together FOREVER.
Friday night I was grateful for a beautiful bride and a handsome groom. For the remembrance of the convents Jesse and I have made with our Heavenly Father.
Saturday I was grateful for waking up next to the love of my life. I could go on and on about the greatness of my eternal partner. But since he gets to speak last I’ll just say he is awesome.
I was also grateful for beautiful Blue Mountains, crunchy colorful leaves, and the ability to associate with incredible people in nature.
Brother and sisters I do not believe that it is a coincidence that we prayer in the manner of
We thank the Heavenly Father for (fill in the blank)
Before we ask Him for anything.
I do believe that as we cultivate an attitude of gratitude that we will be blessed like the scripture in Matthew 13:16 says
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears for they hear.
For over 12 years now I have kept of daily record of 5 things I am grateful for. I can testify that it has changed my life. It has fortified me through difficult times it has fulfill the scripture in D&C 136:32 that says
Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God that his eyes maybe opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear;
It has enabled me testify of the Savior Jesus Christ as in Job 29:11
When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:
Now don’t get the wrong idea that not all of those 5 things that I was grateful for where spiritual moments. You might be surprised how often my dishwasher made the list
or my ability to forgive my husband
and that I was able to walk away instead of saying what I wanted to say in the moment.
But knowing that I needed to write my 5 things I was grateful for opened my eyes to see my many blessings that the Lord has poured out upon me.
I can testify of the principal of gratitude and the important part it plays in our ability to find joy, and peace in our sojourn here on earth.
I am grateful for Atonement of Jesus Christ that all can be saved through Him.
I am grateful for my Country Canada and the rights, privileges and freedoms we so often take for granted here.
I am grateful for previous and new bishoprics and for the inspiration they receive.
I am grateful for all of you.