Gratitude Scripture List

“Gratitude.” Study by Topic. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for blessings or benefits we have received. As we cultivate a grateful attitude, we are more likely to be happy and spiritually strong. We should regularly express our gratitude to God for the blessings He gives us and to others for the kind acts they do for us.


“Thankful, Thanks, Thanksgiving.” The Guide to the Scriptures. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Expressing gratitude is pleasing to God, and true worship includes thanking him. We should give thanks to the Lord for all things.


Psalms 100:1-5.

1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

The psalmist invites all men and women to gladly serve the Lord and to show gratitude to him by singing. We can thank the Lord for the eternal goodness, mercy and truth that he extends to us. We can thank him for our earthly bodies and the mortal world he created for us. Those who enter into his kingdom will do it with thanksgiving and praise unto him.


Luke 17:11-19

11 ¶And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

14 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.

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

The Savior physically healed all ten lepers. However, the greater blessing of being made whole (spiritually cleansed from sin) was reserved for the leper that returned to thank him.


Colossians 3:15

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Paul connects thankfulness to peace.


Mosiah 2:19–22

19 And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!

20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—

21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

King Benjamin tells us, “O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!” No matter how much thanks and praise we render to God, we are always indebted to him for all he does for us. We thank him by keeping his commandments.


Alma 34:38

38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

Amulek connects gratitude to God with receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, with taking upon us the name of Christ, with being humble and with worshiping God.[1] He teaches us to live in thanksgiving daily, i.e. that gratitude should be our long-term daily approach to life.


Alma 37:37

37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Alma teaches us to express gratitude to God in our prayers, with the promise that by doing these things we will be “lifted up at the last day,” i.e. that we will receive eternal life with God after this life.


Doctrine and Covenants 46:7

7 But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.

This revelation received by Joseph Smith teaches that we may avoid being led away by false doctrines if we are prayerful and grateful.


Doctrine and Covenants 59:7

7 Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.

In this revelation received by Joseph Smith, we receive the clear, direct commandment to thank the Lord in all things.


Doctrine and Covenants 59:15–21

15 And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—

16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;

17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;

18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

This revelation received by Joseph Smith teaches that those who are grateful are happy. They have cheerful hearts and pleasant appearances. Those who are filled with gratitude receive “the fulness of the earth.” I believe this means that only those who are grateful will be able to appreciate, recognize and derive full benefit from all the good things of the earth. God loves to give all these good things to his children. However, if we do not acknowledge that all these things come from him, and if we do not obey his commandments, we displease God and will suffer the consequences of his wrath. The wrath of God carries many consequences with it, but I believe that spiritual separation from him is the principal one.


Doctrine and Covenants 78:19

19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

This revelation received by Joseph Smith affirms again that those who qualify for eternal life with God are those who receive with gratitude all that he gives them.


Notes

[1] “To worship God is to give Him our love, reverence, service, and devotion” (“Worship.” Study by Topic. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

tagged: gratitude, humility, worship

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Seeing Things That Were Not Seen Before

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf tells a story in the First Presidency message for December 2010.[1]

One night a grandfather was reading a story to his four-year-old granddaughter when she looked up and said, “Grandpa, look at the stars!” The older man smiled kindly and said, “We’re indoors, honey. There are no stars here.” But the child insisted, “You have stars in your room! Look!”

The grandfather looked up and, to his surprise, noticed that the ceiling was peppered with a metallic glitter. It was invisible most of the time, but when the light struck the glitter a certain way, it did indeed look like a field of stars. It took the eyes of a child to see them, but there they were. And from that moment on, when the grandfather walked into this room and looked up, he could see what he had not been able to see before.[2]

Despite the simplicity of this story, it touches on many powerful themes.

  • Creativity: The child looks at an ordinary object, the ceiling, in a new way, and is able to see the stars.
  • Grace: The grandfather would not have seen the stars without the child’s help.
  • Conversion: After she teaches him, he is always able to see the stars.
  • Revelation: The words of the child are like the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
  • Obedience and Humility: The grandfather looks up at the insistence of the child even though he does not believe her at first.

Notes

[1] Uchtdorf, Dieter F. “Can We See the Christ?” Liahona, December 2010.

[2] President Uchtdorf does not reveal the identity of the grandfather. Could it be him?

tagged: conversion, creativity, grace, humility, obedience, revelation

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Give the Lord Equal Time

Elder M. Russell Ballard shared a personal experience in the CES Fireside talk that was broadcast to young adults on 7 November 2010.[1]

Some years ago one of my missionaries came to see me. He said: “President, I am losing my testimony.[2] I have some questions that no one will answer for me. My bishop and stake president just told me to forget them, and they had no answers.”

I asked for his questions in writing and then suggested he come to see me in 10 days, and I would answer every one of his questions.

As he was leaving my office, I was prompted to ask him, “Elder, how long has it been since you have read from the scriptures?”

He acknowledged that it had been a long time.

I said: “You have given me an assignment; it’s only fair that I give you one. You read at least one hour from the scriptures each day until you come back for your answers.”

He agreed to do this.

When he came back, I was ready. He said: “President, I don’t need the answers. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet. I’m OK now.”

I replied: “You will get your answers anyway. I worked hard on them!” …

After our discussion I asked him, “Elder, what have you learned from all of this?”

And he gave me a very significant response: “I’ve learned to give the Lord equal time!”


Notes

[1] Ballard, M. Russell. “Follow the Doctrine and Gospel of Christ.” CES Fireside for Young Adults. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 November 2010.

[2] In the culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, someone who once was a faithful member but has since become a non-practitioner or a non-believer in the fundamental doctrines of the church is said to have lost his or her testimony. (See “Testimony.” Study by Topic. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

tagged: agency, apostasy, conversion, gospel study, revelation, testimony

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“The Oak Tree” Poem

Elder M. Russell Ballard shared a poem about enduring the tests of life in the CES Fireside talk that was broadcast to young adults on 7 November 2010.[1] It is entitled “The Oak Tree” and is attributed to Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.[2]

A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away,
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
“How can you still be standing, Oak?”
The oak tree said, “I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth.
You’ll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever knew.


Notes

[1] Ballard, M. Russell. “Follow the Doctrine and Gospel of Christ.” CES Fireside for Young Adults. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 November 2010.

[2] I found many websites that quote this poem but I was not able to find any information about Johnny Ray Ryder Jr., who is purported to be its author.

tagged: adversity, humility, peace, physical death, poems, testimony

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