Friday, November 26, 2021

Elder Neal A. Maxwell on feeling and expressing gratitude to God

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926-2004) served as a Seventy from 1976-1981, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve until his death from cancer in 2004.
"'Where are the nine?' inquired Jesus concerning the healed lepers who did not return with thanksgiving. (Luke 17:17) How often are we like the nine? To receive God's blessings without acknowledging their Source is to be unrealistic as well as ungrateful.
"We offend God not only by our ingratitude, brothers and sisters, but also by not confessing His competent hand in bringing to pass His transcending purposes on the earth. (See D&C 59:21.) Too many actually doubt God's plans will finally prevail. Not only in the years ahead, but even now, mortal self-sufficiency will be confounded. Profound fear will eventually pervade this perplexed planet. (See D&C 63:33; D&C 88:91.) Would that mankind could live in faith, not fear—and with gratitude, not forgetfulness.
"Besides, we are all beggars anyway (see Mosiah 4:19), beggars rescued by the Creator of the universe who lived humbly as a person 'of no reputation.' (Philip. 2:7.) In contrast, we are sometimes so anxious about our personal images, when it is His image we should have in our countenances. (See Alma 5:14.)"
- Neal A. Maxwell, "Answer Me," Ensign, November 1988, p. 32
Click here to read the full talk

One of the great dangers of mortality is to forget to acknowledge the source of so much in our lives that comes as gifts from God. Like the nine lepers of Jesus' parable, we are so joyful in a blessing that we move on blithely, sometimes with a perfunctory prayer or expression of thanks. And sometimes we don't even do that—never acknowledging the source. We may even think we've "earned" the blessings that come.

I appreciated Elder Maxwell's reminder that remembering to thank God for direct blessings to us is just the beginning. We also should recognize the great blessing of His plan for the happiness of all His children. Faith and gratitude are as linked as are fear and forgetfulness.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
November 21, 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment

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