* Everyone! John has just come out with a new book that he co-wrote with Brad Wilcox. That ALONE is a good enough reason to order it. Mine is on my way to my house right now – I can’t wait! John has written so many books that are some of my favorites in my personal library. This new one is called 52 Life-Changing Questions from the Book of Mormon. I was going to add it to my Christmas list – but I couldn’t wait that long!
Why is it important to be Grateful?
By John Hilton III
Counting Your Blessings = Better Health
Imagine you went to the doctor because you had a really bad headache. If he gave you some medicine to help you feel better, would you take it? Of course.
There is a medicine that cures many ills – that medicine is gratitude. Researchers had one group of students write for 20 minutes each day about things they were grateful for, a second about things they were angry about, and a third about random topics like the color of their shoes. Guess which group was happiest at the end of the experiment? The ones who wrote about things they were grateful for of course! For the Strength of Youth says, “Live with a spirit of thanksgiving and you will have greater happiness and satisfaction in life.”
Gratitude Helps You See the Good
What do you see in this picture?
Chances are you probably noticed the dark flowers first. That’s normal because, as Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said, “Our minds have a marvelous capacity to notice the unusual.” But there is a problem! Elder Wirthlin pointed out that unfortunately, “The opposite is true as well, the more often we see the things around us—even the beautiful and wonderful things—the more they become invisible to us. “That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world—the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds—even those we love. . . . Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.”
Did you notice the blue sky in the picture? The beautiful clouds? The mountains in the background? The dozens of flowers that weren’t discolored? There are so many beautiful things to be grateful for, and as we practice being grateful, we will notice them more and more.
How Can I Develop an “Attitude of Gratitude”?
One way to develop an attitude of gratitude is to think about all the things we do have. Have you students come up with a list of 100 things they are grateful for. At first, it sounds hard, but really it’s easy.
- • List 10 living people you are grateful for.
- • List 10 people who have died you are grateful for.
- • List 10 physical abilities you are grateful for.
- • List 10 material possessions you are grateful for.
- • List 10 things about nature you are grateful for.
- • List 10 things about today you are grateful for.
- • List 10 places on earth you are grateful for.
- • List 10 modern-day inventions you are grateful for.
- • List 10 foods you are grateful for.
- • List 10 things about the gospel you are grateful for.
Sometimes thinking about how little others have really can spark within me gratitude for what I do have. Everything is relative to our expectations. Consider this excerpt from the book Why?
There’s a video clip that is a little dated, but powerfully shows that we really have a lot to be grateful for. You might invite students to watch it before or after class; it’s called Teenage Affluenza.
You could also send a text message to students during the week asking them if they have acted on this lesson by having more grateful hearts.
Here is our teaching package of the Come Follow Me lesson “Why is it important to be Grateful?”
You can find this package HERE.
This has several things in the package, but a few of the highlights are:
– A page with every letter of the alphabet for each person to list a blessing that begins with each letter
– Study pages to study the story of the 10 Lepers. This study pages includes cultural tips so you can get the most out of the story.
Also, see HERE what we have available for the 2017 LDS mutual theme!