19 November 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude

"On that very night, the night of the greatest suffering that has ever taken place in the world or that ever will take place, the Savior said, "peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lords merciful heart." 
-Elder Holland

There are two reasons why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Partly, because I have an intense liking for pumpkin pie... but mostly because we are required for 24 whole hours to count our many blessings. It's a shame Thanksgiving only comes once a year. Strangely enough, this year I feel like my blessings have been magnified times ten hundred. Blessings feel like they are just falling from every hole from the sky.

As generous as heaven has been, there is one particular blessing I seem to have become more aware of and more grateful for than ever before.

The single greatest act in the history of the world, as Elder Holland said, was the night the Lord spent in the Garden of Gethsamane. We often times correlate the Atonement with the crucifixtion on the hill of Golgotha - and although the crucifixtion was massively significant - it was the night the Lord experienced in the Garden of Gethsamane that changed the world forever. As important as it is to recognize the small tender mercies we are blessed with every day, it is essential to never forget why we are here, where we can go, and Who made it possible.

Of course, as descendents of Adam and Eve, we inherited a mortal, 'fallen' condition. Because and only because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our sins (due to the transgression of Adam and Eve), were justly paid for. The Lord knew what had to be done, and He loved us so perfectly He willingly suffered all of our mortal sins, our sorrows, and our sadness, to ensure that one day, we could live with Him and His Father again. He made everything right according to His Fathers will.

I feel so small when I look at myself and my life, and am reminded of the Lords great Atonement. How trivial my difficulties are. What the Lord experienced in Gethsamane is something our mortal minds could never comprehend. I feel a little uncomfortable even saying that, because the sacredness of the Atonement is something I truly feel so inadequate to be the beneficiary of. I don't feel that it is appropriate to think about, because that single act is so great and so perfect, that a human mind like mine shouldn't ever try to diminish its greatness by trying to understand. 

So this week, it is impossible to stay ungrateful when I remember all that I have been given. I have been blessed with the knowledge of this gospel in these latter days. I have divinity within me. I have a perfect Father in heaven and a perfect Savior. I have a constant friend and companion - the Holy Ghost. I am blessed with a loving family. Good people surround me every way I look. I have a Savior who loves me and trusts me enough to throw some unexpected curve balls along the way, because He wants me to succeed. In fact He won't let me fail. If I remain worthy, and endure righteously to the end, I can live with my Heavenly Father and Savior again. I can see my Grandpa again. I can feel the safety and security of knowing my family can do the same, and I can be sealed to them for the eternities to come. I have been blessed with every resource to learn what I need to learn, to accomplish what I need to accomplish, and to assure my place in the Lords kingdom one day. 

So, today, count your many blessings. 
And tomorrow?
Count them again.