Monday, April 8, 2013
Gratitude and General Conference: Blogging from A to Z Challenge
G is for Gratitude. Several years ago at my work's annual departmental retreat, we were given a list of words and were asked to choose one word to represent us or our goals or what we would like to achieve. The word that popped out to me immediately was the word Gratitude. Materials were provided for me to make this plaque which now hangs above our family portrait above the living room mantle as a daily reminder to me to be more grateful.
One of my favorite bloggers, Shawni at 71 Toes has the annual tradition to designate one word to be her motto for the year, and this year she has chosen the word Peace. In January I decided that my own motto for the year 2013, and maybe for a long time to come, will be Gratitude.
In general I tend to be a rather pessimistic person. I tend to see that the glass is half empty. It takes effort for me to look for the good things in life and in those around me, but I am trying to be better at recognizing my blessings and the good things in life, and to compliment others. When I started blogging, I really had no idea what I was trying to accomplish, but over the years my blogging has evolved into two main blogs. Here at Creation and Compassion, I mostly blog about my efforts to be more creative and share examples of compassion that I would like to emulate. Over at Random Thoughts and Tender Mercies I have a bit more personal blog where I record the things that I am grateful for. I have actually done fairly well at finding things to be grateful for every day so far this year, and it makes me happy!
G is also for General Conference. This past weekend I have been very grateful to watch on TV the proceedings of the 183rd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There have been many wonderful messages shared by living Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. These messages are available now to watch or listen to and will soon be available in written form. I invite you to check them out for yourself.
Sunday morning, the Lord's living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, presented his main address to the church and to the world with his usual love and humor. His main message was that life is simpler if we always obey. He illustrated his thoughts with a personal experience from his own childhood when he did not obey, and started a fire that could have had devastating consequences if not for the efforts of many adults who valiantly fought that fire. Obedience brings knowledge, happiness, peace, progress, prosperity and eternal salvation.
Other speakers shared similar messages emphasized that obedience to all of the Lord's commandments is essential. We are not entitled to pick and choose which of God's commandments we should obey. Faith in God and personal prayer and study of the scriptures will bring us direction and peace in our lives in this troubled world. Obedience to God's laws brings us blessings and happiness. Sanctity in marriage, families and devotion to our children are of prime importance in enjoying peace and happiness in our lives and in the world as a whole.
I am grateful for prophets and apostles who have accepted the calling and responsibility to share the messages that God, our loving Heavenly Father wants us all to hear and know today. This weekend I have taken copious notes of the things that were mentioned and marked those things that I feel I need to do or improve on, and I plan to review my notes often. I don't feel shamed or guilty or discouraged by the things that I have heard this weekend. Instead I feel loved, accepted and encouraged. Life can be good, it can be better, and I believe that I can become a better person too.