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Monday, April 7, 2014

April 2014 Conference - "Gratitude" by Dieter F Uchtdorf

 There are always SO many good reminders during General Conference, but there was one talk in particular that stood out to me.  It was by President Uchtdorf during the Sunday morning session and he talked about being grateful.  Something we all know about, but he suggested taking a different view on it.  He said:
"We CAN be Grateful.  It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world 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 .

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 that there are MANY.  But I don't believe that the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. 

We need to seek gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation.  Instead of being thankful FOR things, be thankful IN our current situation, whatever that may be.

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 gratefulness 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 blessed warmth of summer."

"We sometimes think that being grateful is something we do AFTER our problems are solved.  But how terribly shortsided that is.  How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain.

Being grateful in times of distress does NOT mean we are pleased with our circumstances.
It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present day challenges.  This is not a gratitude of the lips, but of the soul.  It heals the heart and expands the mind.  Being grateful IN our circumstances is an act of faith in God. 
Gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony.  It comes from acknowledgeing that we do not always understand the trials of life, but trusting that one day we will."
I actually didn't mean to quote so much, but he just says it so well! ;)
I'm not the best at being grateful in times of trial, but I think I've come to attempt it in my own way.  I'm stuck in a pretty crappy situation...not being able to fully move on while 'the other woman' is still living behind me and in my ward.  It's hard to go to church when I'm reminded of all the pain and hurt that I've suffered. 
There are many days I wish I could just curl up in a ball in my room and never leave. 
But instead of doing that, I try to find happiness in other places. 
 I try to plan things with my family that we can have fun with, whether we are exploring new places, playing games, visiting family, etc
I try to find happiness in my work, in the things I need to get done around the house, in taking care of my family or serving others. 
My hope is that this will carry me through until circumstances change.
Right now, it's the best that I can do.

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