Friday, June 18, 2021

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on being grateful during any circumstances

President Uchtdorf (1940- ) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He served as second counselor in the First Presidency from 2008 until 2018.
"We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. 
"This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer. 
"When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ's Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven's embrace. 
"We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain? 
"Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges. 
"This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind." 
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Grateful in Any Circumstances," General Conference April 2014
Click here to read the full address

I think the trait President Uchtdorf describes is one of the hardest things for many people to do. It's the "no matter what" that is so challenging.

How do you truly transcend anything that is happening, surpassing "disappointment, discouragement, and despair" in order to find "gentle peace" amid tribulation?

But here is the key: learning to see, "through the eyes of faith", what lies "beyond" the current difficulty. This kind of deep, faith-filled gratitude is what will sustain us, even heal us, through all those difficulties of life.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
February 18, 2015

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