In April 1992, President Monson gave a talk called "An Attitude of Gratitude." He first summarized the story from Luke 17 of the 10 lepers who begged to be healed. Jesus told them to go to the priests and it recounts that when they did, their disease was taken away. One of the lepers, a Samaritan, was so grateful that he fell down and glorified God. Jesus wondered what happened to the other nine.
Pres. Monson states, "Through divine intervention, those who were lepers were spared from a cruel, lingering death and given a new lease on life. The expressed gratitude by one merited the Master’s blessing, the ingratitude shown by the nine, His disappointment. Like the leprosy of yesteryear are the plagues of today. They linger; they debilitate; they destroy. They are to be found everywhere. Their pervasiveness knows no boundaries. We know them as selfishness, greed, indulgence, cruelty, and crime, to identify but a few. Surfeited with their poison, we tend to criticize, to complain, to blame, and, slowly but surely, to abandon the positives and adopt the negatives of life."
He further encourages us; "We can lift ourselves and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. He reminds us of that "favourite hymn (which) always lifts
our spirits, kindles our faith, and inspires our thoughts:
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done... So amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged; God is over all. Count your many blessings; angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end."
President Monson highlights 6 things for which we should especially be grateful: mothers, fathers, teachers, friends, our country, and most importantly, our Saviour. He concludes by advising us; "Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude. My sincere prayer is that we may, in our individual lives, reflect that marvellous virtue: an attitude of gratitude."
During this Thanksgiving season, we encourage all of our 9th Ward sisters to think about and contemplate this message. Each of us can ask ourselves: When we are blessed are we like the one; or, like the nine? May we always be ever grateful for ALL of our many blessings!!
We are most thankful for how you, the sisters, bless and sustain us!
Love, Margaret, Tara, Kristin and Marie