Saturday, November 19, 2016

President Spencer W. Kimball on the challenge of ingratitude

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"In many countries, the homes are barren and the cupboards bare—no books, no radios, no pictures, no furniture, no fire—while we are housed adequately, clothed warmly, fed extravagantly. Did we show our thanks by the proper devotion on our knees last night and this morning and tomorrow morning?
"Ingratitude, thou sinful habit!
"Around the world are millions groping in the dark, fettered through superstition and fear and insecurity. Here we live in the light with joy and love and abundance and hope.
"Behind... all the walls and all the curtains of oppression and dictatorship, behind the walls of force and slavery, live millions of our brothers and sisters in fear while we live in liberty and privilege. Do we appreciate that and do we express our gratitude in solemn thanksgiving?"
- Spencer W. Kimball, address to seminary and institute teachers, SLC, 9/12/75; see The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 120

I grew up in a typically sheltered and naĆ­ve youth. I was aware there was poverty in the world, and had a passing familiarity with what it might be like from TV reports and reading. But I really had no idea what it really meant to live in those kinds of desperate circumstances until I experienced the favelas (slums) in Brazil, and then later doing humanitarian work with my family in Mexico and Ecuador. It was eye-opening, and heart-opening. And yet, I know there are perhaps even greater challenges in areas of Africa and other places in the world. And also challenges right in our backyards that we are oblivious to. How much of our material comfort we take for granted!

President Kimball points out another significant insight: we also have rich blessings of understanding and knowledge, liberty and choice. Far too many in the world suffer with oppression, ignorance, and fear. Oh, how grateful we should be! How we should express that regularly in our communication with God, and how we should demonstrate it in our lives of service and compassion!

1 comment:

  1. I love that you have continued to faithfully share the words of the prophets to bless our lives and help me to remember my covenant to always remember...blessings to you. --we will read this to our guests this Thursday.


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