Monday, November 17, 2008

Christina's talk in church...

Christina gave a great talk in church yesterday about, "Gratitude, Humility, and Thanksgiving." It was such a good talk that one of the return missionaries asked for a copy and permission to read it next week in a singles ward. (church for local singles) Please feel free to copy and use this talk if you want! I am attaching a copy below!

My talk is on Gratitude, Humility, and Thanksgiving.

In thinking about my talk, I thought about the definitions of all these words.

To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous.

The Savior has given us a model for developing humility. When His disciples approached Him and inquired, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He responded by placing a little child in their midst and stating, “Whosoever … shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Thanksgiving is the act of giving thanks by grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors, especially to God. There was a day set apart for the giving of thanks to God, which is known as Thanksgiving, and dates back to 1632. The 1st one in America was held October 1621 by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims in appreciation of assistance from members of the Massasoit tribe and celebration of the first harvest.

Even though Thanksgiving is 1 time a year, we should give thanks to God every day, by kneeling in daily prayer. Through our prayers to him, we can express our gratitude for our many blessings in our lives. By living in thanksgiving daily, that habit will enrich our lives and the lives of those we love.
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.
Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable.
You might be surprised to know that gratitude is a commandment of the Father. “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things” (D&C 59:7), the Lord has commanded in these latter days. Even further, He has admonished that “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” (D&C 59:21).
In the Book of Mormon, Alma 34:38, we learn that we should “live in thanksgiving daily.” Isn’t that a wonderful thought to live in thanksgiving daily? Can you imagine how your life would improve if you lived in thanksgiving daily? Can you imagine how your life would improve if others did the same? Do you think the world would be a happier place? less stressful? less angry? more spiritual?
President Joseph F. Smith proclaimed: “The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!”
President Gordon B. Hinckley has said:
“Absence of gratitude is the mark of the narrow, uneducated mind. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge and the ignorance of self-sufficiency. It expresses itself in ugly egotism and frequently in wanton mischief. …
“Where there is appreciation, there is courtesy, there is concern for the rights and property of others. Without it there is arrogance and evil” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1964, 117).
I believe that many people are unhappy because they have not learned to be grateful. Some carry the burden of bitterness and resentfulness for many years. Some pass their days as though suffering a deep sadness they cannot name. Others are unhappy because life didn’t turn out the way they thought it would.
Elder Joseph B. Withlin gave a talk awhile back and said that there were 3 things that we can do to live in thanksgiving daily.
1st, we must open our eyes: He says, “I agree with Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote, “The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life” (Quotationary, electronic quotation dictionary). Unfortunately, because the beauties of life are so abundant, sometimes we take them for granted.”
2nd thing we can do is open our hearts; We must let go of the negative emotions that bind our hearts and instead fill our souls with love, faith, and thanksgiving. Anger, resentment, and bitterness stunt our spiritual growth.
3rd thing we can do to live in thanksgiving daily is open our arms; One of the best ways we show our gratitude is by blessing the lives of those around us. The great King Benjamin taught his people:“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. … “… If ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants” (Mosiah 2:20–21).
And how do we render thanks unto God? King Benjamin told us that as well: “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
Choice blessings await those who live in thanksgiving daily. “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness,” the Lord has promised, “shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more” (D&C 78:19).
I would like to bear my testimony that I am full of gratitude, humility and thanksgiving for my many blessings that I have in my life! I am thankful for the great example that my parents set for me and our family. Through them I have learned to be thankful and have gratitude for what we do have. I have also learned to humble myself and call upon my Heavenly Father many times that I have needed him to help me get through my health issues this last year. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me a wonderful family that I love very much! I know that this church is true! I am thankful that we have a Prophet on this Earth today to lead and guide us! I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I say this in the name of Jesus Christ…..AMEN


Our Family said...


You did a WONDERFUL job on your talk. I am so proud of you!

-Sister Coffin

Emily said...

wow Christina- great talk! can i use it?! =)

barkerfamily2000 said...

Yes you can use the talk if you like. One of the missionaries there asked her for a copy of it so that he could give it the following week in another ward. LOL