By Megan/ Photo Credit: Christian Life
In eighth grade I ran for student body office. That was nerve-wracking, especially for a shy girl like me. I was put under a lot of stress in trying to create the best poster and video I could. As I began the process, I realized how blessed I really was. I remember being overcome with gratitude. I was grateful for my mom who helped make my posters and my dad who helped me put my video together. I was grateful for my uncle who filmed the video and my friends who took time to be in it. I was grateful for all the people that supported me and loved me. I suddenly realized in my crazy life just how lucky I was.
Through my experiences, my life has taught me many lessons– my favorite is gratitude. What is gratitude? To me, gratitude is when you feel overwhelmed with every blessing you’ve been given. You feel lucky and thankful for everything have. I know it’s not the dictionary’s definition, but does it always have to be?
Often times in life, we take our blessings for granted. We’ve all done it, because they seem like such small things. We may get an A on a test or we make it on time somewhere even if we left late. It may even be someone who left cookies at your door. These are all small things, but we should always be grateful for them. Especially the little blessings and tender mercies we receive from the Lord every day.
The biggest blessing and gift given to me in my life is the gift of the Atonement. It is also a gift I take advantage of every day. My beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, sacrificed His life for me. He loved me enough to take upon my sins, and to create a way to return to heaven. The Savior went through every pain imaginable, and yet we forget so easily just how much that means in our lives. Because my Savior died for me, I can repent of my sins and be clean again. If I can repent of my sins, then I can be clean. If I’m clean, I can enter the temple. If I can enter the temple, I can find peace and do what I have been commanded. The sacrifice of Christ created an on-going chain to help me get back, and I need to be grateful for it every single day.
My beloved prophet, the leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, President Thomas S. Monson said, “Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.” We must remember to be thankful and grateful every day. If we focus our lives more on gratitude than a stingy attitude, we will be able to feel the love of God surround us, and we will be happier. Being ungrateful can cause our mood to be unpleasant. Sometimes things do not work out the way we plan, but we should be grateful anyway. Things will always work out for the better. If we are grateful for every situation we are given, then we can have a more positive attitude. And a positive attitude gets us farther in life than a negative one.
Always be grateful. Sometimes we forget, and that’s only human nature. But don’t ever stop being grateful. Be grateful for your family and your friends. Be grateful for your home, job, money, experiences and trials. There are people around the world who may not be as lucky. Being grateful will open so many more doors. You can be happier and things will seem to go better. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives.” I add my testimony to his.