Growing a Garden of Gratitude

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Developing gratitude is like planting a garden.  It takes effort, patience, more effort, and more patience.
But we know that the Lord loves effort and will bless us for it.
Plant the Seeds

Gratitude is the basis of all other virtues. President Thomas S. Monson taught, “Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful, if we but pause and contemplate our blessings.” 

Making time in our day to pause and be grateful creates more space in our minds and hearts for us to feel God’s love. Practicing gratitude changes our perspective.  It shifts our focus to God.  It helps us be centered on Him. 

Nourish your garden

By increasing gratitude, we can increase our joy.  President Russel M. Nelson taught, “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.”  As we practice pausing and being grateful, our focus begins to change. We begin to see God’s blessings more clearly, feel his constant love more fully, and experience a change of heart. 

President Monson taught, “A grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort—at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude. Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it.”

Let’s make gratitude a daily practice by expressing our thankfulness to Him.  Find a time each day when you can do this regularly – you can connect this to something you do regularly, like brushing your teeth, changing into pajamas or driving to work.  When you can do this regularly, it becomes part of who you are, and helps you become more like the Savior. 

Protect it from weeds

President Joseph F. Smith, said: “The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place.” 

Often we can lose our focus on what matters. Either we see the physical world and the problems at hand or we begin to take for granted our blessings.  These are the times we need to ask for God’s help to remember how much we have to be grateful for. He can help us remember. Just ask Him!  

Then we need to mindfully protect our gratitude! Guard it, because the adversary wants us to forget about our blessings. He wants us to focus on what we can’t control (our fears and problems) or to nourish self-entitlement.  We must be on the lookout.  As we make time to pause and be grateful each day, we will keep our more focused on our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

President Smith concluded, “How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!” 

Reflect in your garden

Practicing gratitude changes our perspective.  It shifts our focus to God.  It helps us be centered on Him. And being centered on Christ will increase our joy, our love, and our peace, leading us to a more fulfilling life. 

“May we ever reflect our gratitude for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” President Monson said. “He taught us how to pray. He taught us how to live. He taught us how to die. His life is a legacy of love. Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His words. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude.”

We pray that this spring you will grow your gratitude garden and you will be able to feel God’s love for you! 

join us! 40-day GRatitude Challenge

Join us in our 40-day Gratitude Challenge which ends on Easter morning.  See what pausing and being grateful can do for you and your family.  See if it creates more joy, and a deeper connection to our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.  Print our Gratitude Chart here.

See the talk: The Divine Gift of Gratitude, by President Thomas S. Monson

Leave us a comment!

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Gratitude!  You can share ways you cultivate gratitude in your life and with your family or share your testimony of the power of gratitude.  Leave a comment below!

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