She talked about reasons to be grateful - it makes you happier AND healthier, it allows you to see more of your blessings that you may have overlooked, and the Lord is displeased by a spirit of ingratitude ("Really, children of Israel, you're complaining about the manna? I can make it stop.").
She talked about feeling gratitude for small, mundane, everyday things.
She pointed out that gratitude is completely under our control, and often it's just a matter of reframing your situation to see the good.
Remember the joy you felt the first time you rode a bike without training wheels? Do you still feel that kind of joy every time you ride now?
When was the last time you felt gratitude for the songbird that wakes you up at 5am, because you have the ability to hear it? Or for feeling the sunlight on your face, because you can go outside and you have the amazing gift of a sense of touch?
Or, when it rains, instead of grumbling that you're stuck inside all day or that you'll get stuck in traffic, thinking how great it is that you don't have to water your plants?
She issued a challenge to us: The Gratitude Challenge. It's simple: write down 100 things you're grateful for. But before you start feeling overwhelmed, break it down this way:
- List 10 people you're grateful for.
- List 10 people who have died you're grateful for.
- List 10 physical abilities you're grateful for.
- List 10 material possessions you're grateful for.
- List 10 things about nature you're grateful for.
- List 10 things just about today you're grateful for.
- List 10 places on earth you're grateful for.
- List 10 modern-day inventions you're grateful for.
- List 10 foods you're grateful for.
- List 10 things about the Gospel you're grateful for.
Then, if you're feeling motivated, you can come up with your own lists beyond that - 10 things about your home, your spouse, your parents, things Jesus did...imagine how much happier you'd be if you listed out 10 things and made the conscious decision to be grateful every day.
Pres. Monson has said,
It would be easy to become discouraged and cynical about the future-or even fearful of what might come-if we allowed ourselves to dwell only on that which is wrong in the world and in our lives. Today, however, I’d like us to turn our thoughts and our attitudes away from the troubles around us and to focus instead on our blessings as members of the Church. The Apostle Paul declared, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear [or complaint]; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”Happy Sunday.