I read a scripture in the Book of Mormon that says, “… being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.” (Mosiah 26:39).
God wants us to pray. I've been thinking a lot about that for a while, and will post something about it soon. Right now, I kind of wanted to talk about the second part of that line.
I’ve always understood that it’s important to show gratitude for blessings and to say thank you when someone does something kind. But this scripture says to “give thanks in all things.” Not “give thanks in things that make you happy” or “give thanks for beautiful, lovely, wonderful, hmm-that-smells-good things”. Give thanks in ALL things. That does include good, wonderful, hmm-that-smells-good things, but it also includes the bad, hard, cold, lonely times, too. This has made me think a lot about my attitude towards trials. We all have things that push us to our limits, but I’ve never thought about giving thanks for those times. I just want them to end. However, I believe that there is something important in this concept, of being grateful for everything. I’ve been trying to implement this in my life, and it’s not a natural reaction, let me tell you! It takes a LOT of effort to be grateful for something that hurts, more than I would have ever guessed. But I think that this is worth a shot, because this process can change us to become people more like our God. That’s why He gives us commandments. They are His path to become like Him. I challenge you to resist the urge to complain when something unpleasant comes up, and instead say a prayer of gratitude that God has a plan for each of us and He lets things happen that help us grow.