Friday, December 22, 2017

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on being gracious receivers of gifts

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"Every gift that is offered to us—especially a gift that comes from the heart—is an opportunity to build or strengthen a bond of love. When we are good and grateful receivers, we open a door to deepen our relationship with the giver of the gift. But when we fail to appreciate or even reject a gift, we not only hurt those who extend themselves to us, but in some way we harm ourselves as well.
"The Savior taught that unless we 'become as little children, [we] shall not enter... the kingdom of heaven' (Matthew 18:3).
"As we watch the excitement and wonder of children at this time of the year, perhaps we can remind ourselves to rediscover and reclaim a precious and glorious attribute of children—the ability to receive graciously and with gratitude."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Good and Grateful Receiver," First Presidency Christmas Devotional, December 2012
Click here to read the full talk

While we often talk about the giving of gifts, we don't focus as much on the act of receiving a gift. President Uchtdorf shared some great insights and suggestions about that part of the process. Learning how to receive with graciousness and real gratitude will help to bless those who are learning to give:

The act of giving and the act of receiving work together to "build or strengthen a bond of love." That's a wonderful part of being a group of believers. I love the scriptural description of having "hearts ... knit together in love" (Colossians 2:2Mosiah 18:21). Those kinds of bonds are created as we serve and give, as well as when we receive the service or gift.

Children are often great receivers of gifts, as they are filled with wonder and excitement. President Uchtdorf suggests that we can learn from them "the ability to receive graciously and with gratitude."

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

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