Grateful In Any Circumstances

Thanks for joining me in studying and applying the inspired counsel of living prophets from this most recent general conference. I look forward to learning and sharing together as we each “resolve to do a little better” in our guided climb to come closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Review and study the entire talk: “Grateful In Any Circumstances” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April 2014.

Here are some of my favorite points and questions to ponder. Please share your insights and applications in the comment section:

1. “Everyone’s situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious. We can be grateful! It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.”

Think of a time when being grateful in your circumstance took away the bitterness and brought peace or understanding?

2.  “As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to ‘thank the Lord [our] God in all things,’1 to ‘sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,’2 and to ‘let [our] heart be full of thanks unto God.’3

“All of His commandments are given to make blessings available to us. Commandments are opportunities to exercise our agency and to receive blessings. Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness.”

Why does God command us to be grateful? How have you been blessed by keeping this commandment?

3. “…some might say, ‘What do I have to be grateful for when my world is falling apart?’ Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently ‘count our blessings’—and anyone who has tried this knows there are many—but I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. In fact, most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggest an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude.”

What are you grateful for right now?

4. “Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be….My dear brothers and sisters, the choice is ours. We can choose to limit our gratitude, based on the blessings we feel we lack. Or….We can choose to be grateful, no matter what.

“This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer….We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?…This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind.”

How has being grateful in a particular circumstance blessed you?

5. “Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges….Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true.By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, ‘Not my will, but thine, be done.’9

“True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will. In any circumstance, our sense of gratitude is nourished by the many and sacred truths we do know.”

What sacred truths do you know that will enable you to press forward with faith and gratitude?

6. “How blessed we are if we recognize God’s handiwork in the marvelous tapestry of life. Gratitude to our Father in Heaven broadens our perception and clears our vision. It inspires humility and fosters empathy toward our fellowmen and all of God’s creation. Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attributes! A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues….May we allow our souls to expand in thankfulness toward our merciful Heavenly Father. May we ever and constantly raise our voices and show by word and deed our gratitude to our Father in Heaven and to His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.”

How can you consistently raise your voice in gratitude? How can you show by word and deed that you have “great reason to rejoice?”15

Review and study additional “Guided Climbs.”

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