An attitude of gratitude will see the good before the bad,
an attitude of gratitude is finding reasons to be glad.
President Thomas S. Monson
In our last church-wide meeting, President Monson gave a wonderful talk on finding “Joy in the Journey.” It was a talk centered on finding happiness wherever you are in life. Whether it’s the friends, family, naps, turkey, or pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving always leaves me in an exceptionally good mood for days to follow.
Today I bring you an inspirational story, bible story, and what I view as the ultimate reason to express our gratitude, as quoted from a talk given by President Thomas S. Monson.
His stories always make me tear up a little. 🙂
Many years ago I was touched by the story of Borghild Dahl. She was born in Minnesota in 1890 of Norwegian parents and from her early years suffered severely impaired vision. She had a tremendous desire to participate in everyday life despite her handicap and, through sheer determination, succeeded in nearly everything she undertook. Against the advice of educators, who felt her handicap was too great, she attended college, receiving her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota. She later studied at Columbia University and the University of Oslo. She eventually became the principal of eight schools in western Minnesota and North Dakota.
She wrote the following in one of the 17 books she authored: “I had only one eye, and it was so covered with dense scars that I had to do all my seeing through one small opening in the left of the eye. I could see a book only by holding it up close to my face and by straining my one eye as hard as I could to the left.”7
Miraculously, in 1943—when she was over 50 years old—a revolutionary procedure was developed which finally restored to her much of the sight she had been without for so long. A new and exciting world opened up before her. She took great pleasure in the small things most of us take for granted, such as watching a bird in flight, noticing the light reflected in the bubbles of her dishwater, or observing the phases of the moon each night. She closed one of her books with these words: “Dear … Father in heaven, I thank Thee. I thank Thee.”8
Borghild Dahl, both before and after her sight was restored, was filled with gratitude for her blessings.
In 1982, two years before she died, at the age of 92 her last book was published. Its title: Happy All My Life. Her attitude of thankfulness enabled her to appreciate her blessings and to live a full and rich life despite her challenges.
One of my favorite pictures that I have hanging in my childhood bedroom relates to this story.
In 1 Thessalonians in the New Testament, chapter 5, verse 18, we are told by the Apostle Paul, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God.”
Recall with me the account of the 10 lepers:
“And as [Jesus] entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
“And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
“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.
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
“And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
“And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
“There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.”9
This is my favorite part:
Said the Lord in a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, “In nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things.”10 May we be found among those who give our thanks to our Heavenly Father. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.
Despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days—as much as we can—with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in deed.
If you’ve been reading either of my blogs for some time, you might wonder what makes me so happy. My life isn’t perfect, but I still try to stay positive and reflect that in my writing. Finding Joy in the Journey is the key to all of this. I believe we make life what it is, and I want to make life wonderful.