Thanksgiving

Reading: Gratitude Gospel Topic on LDS.org, Luke 17:11-19

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a holiday about gratitude.  The whole pilgrim thing is a nice story, but if you study the real history about the Thanksgiving holiday the real reason we keep practicing it is that throughout time leaders of our country have thought it would be good to take a day to be grateful.  Now, it is a precious holiday we practice every year.

Gratitude is a virtue that is important to our happiness.  The scriptures teach the value of gratitude, such as the story of the ten lepers who were healed.  The story, found in Luke 17:11-9, goes like this:

11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
One interesting thing in this story is that all the lepers were healed.  Yet, the Savior said to the one leper who turned back “thy faith hath made thee whole.”  Could it be that while the other lepers were healed of their physical illness, it is only the leper who showed gratitude who became whole in spirit as well?
On Thanksgiving, it is easy for me to be grateful.  The holiday gets me thinking about all the things I have to be grateful.  At other times, though, it is not so easy.  I get wrapped up in the problems I face and I sometimes think more about how hard things are than what I have to be grateful for.  It seems to me that gratitude is something that doesn’t just happen, but is a habit we cultivate over time.
Since it is so easy to be grateful today, tomorrow I am going to write in my journal at least 10 things I am grateful for.  I suspect once I get going I may come up with more than that.
On a side note, since Thanksgiving can also be stressful you may enjoy this meditation on gratitude from Meditation Oasis that it is good for both relaxing and cultivating gratitude.
What are you grateful for today?
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