Monday, June 5, 2017

Elder Robert D. Hales on prayer and gratitude

Elder Robert D. Hales (born August 24, 1932) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1985, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
"Prayer is an essential part of conveying appreciation to our Heavenly Father. He awaits our expressions of gratefulness each morning and night in sincere, simple prayer from our hearts for our many blessings, gifts, and talents.
"Through expression of prayerful gratitude and thanksgiving, we show our dependence upon a higher source of wisdom and knowledge—God the Father and his Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are taught to 'live in thanksgiving daily.' (Alma 34:38.)
"'O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!' King Benjamin taught. (Mosiah 2:19.) ...
"Gratitude expressed to our Heavenly Father in prayer for what we have brings a calming peace—a peace which allows us to not canker our souls for what we don't have. Gratitude brings a peace that helps us overcome the pain of adversity and failure. Gratitude on a daily basis means we express appreciation for what we have now without qualification for what we had in the past or desire in the future. A recognition of and appreciation for our gifts and talents which have been given also allows us to acknowledge the need for help and assistance from the gifts and talents possessed by others."
- Robert D. Hales, "Gratitude for the Goodness of God," Ensign, May 1992, p. 63
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Does God really need our expressions of gratitude? Why are we so frequently commanded to express gratitude? Elder Hales helps us see that it is for our benefit, and not for God's. As we demonstrate our dependence on God's wisdom and knowledge through humble prayers, we are reminded of the blessings that relationship will provide to us.

Learning to acknowledge the source of all good in our lives brings perspective, helping us to not "canker our souls for what we don't have." Perhaps more importantly, it brings peace—a "calming peace" to help overcome "the pain of adversity and failure." That peace is a much-needed blessing in our sometimes troubled lives.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15