Gratitude and the Book of Mormon

As I've been thinking about gratitude this month it's really struck me how much perspective and attitude are related to gratitude. 

It seems hard to be thankful when things around us are hard, and if we start to feel discouraged of angry because of the trials we are faced with it is hard to keep the eternal perspective.  I took these two pictures while we were camping in the desert last month to remind me of this.

As I looked down around me, I saw weeds, thorns, dirt, and prickly branches, there didn't really seem to be anything worth rejoicing over.
But then I looked up, and I saw plenty of beauty.
These two pictures were taken from the exact same spot, and the difference is entirely in my perspective.  When we are looking up to the Lord, He can show us the beauty and the blessings right where we are.  Right in the pile of laundry, and dirty dishes, right in the hard time at work, right in the rough patch with our family.  As we thank Him, He will show us how blessed we really are to have the clothes and dishes that need to be washed, to have the job that allows us to provide for our family.

One of my favorite scriptures is 1Nephi 18:16.  Now before I share the scripture with you, let me give you a little background.  At this point Nephi and his family have left Jerusalem leaving all of their wealth there, traveled back to try get the scriptures, then took another trip back to find wives, and finally they've built a boat to travel to the new land, all while living in tents in the wilderness.

"Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions." 

I learn so much from that scripture.  First, I learn to praise the Lord, or give him thanks, at all times and in all things.  I also learn that I shouldn't complain because of my hardships, because if Nephi didn't complain, I've got no reason to.  Nephi was so full of thankfulness that there was no room or time to complain, I think he had the bigger picture in mind, the eternal picture.  He knew to look up.

As I've tried to focus more on my blessings this month, I've been amazed at the ways He has shown me that everything is in His hands.  Every time I try to thank Him for my blessings, He shows me more, and I know that even if I "praise him all the day long" I can never thoroughly thank Him for all that He has given me.  I LOVE looking up!!!

In case you want a little more inspiration to look up, you can read this amazing talk given at the last General Conference.

I think I forgot to mention that the Book of Mormon Forum was going to continue once  a month with a blog hop.  Today is the day!  

Anonymous –   – (November 15, 2011 at 12:18 AM)  

Love this post! I love the pictures you posted to illustrate your point. It really is better to look up. I had an experience just like this last week while running. I had my eyes down on the pavement, when I realized I was running past this really pretty meadow. It is better to look up!

It is not a "natural" desire to be grateful for blessings - especially in the midst of trial. Yet, as we yield to the Spirit, give up the natural man, and express gratitude for what we have, our happiness increases. That's a pretty sweet blessing we get - just for saying thanks!

Thanks for the great post.

Christy  – (November 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM)  

Thanks for an awesome post on perspective! We are always so blessed when we keep looking up. =)

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