Saturday, November 27, 2021

President Gordon B. Hinckley on recognizing our magnificent blessings

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1961. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1981-1995, then as Church President until his death in 2008.
"Our society is afflicted by a spirit of thoughtless arrogance unbecoming those who have been so magnificently blessed. How grateful we should be for the bounties we enjoy. Absence of gratitude is the mark of the narrow, uneducated mind. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge and the ignorance of self-sufficiency. It expresses itself in ugly egotism and frequently in wanton mischief....
"Where there is appreciation, there is courtesy, there is concern for the rights and property of others. Without appreciation, there is arrogance and evil.
"Where there is gratitude, there is humility, as opposed to pride.
"How magnificently we are blessed! How thankful we ought to be! ...
"Cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving for the blessing of life and for the marvelous gifts and privileges each of us enjoy. The Lord has said that the meek shall inherit the earth. (See Matt. 5:5.) I cannot escape the interpretation that meekness implies a spirit of gratitude as opposed to an attitude of self-sufficiency, an acknowledgment of a greater power beyond oneself, a recognition of God, and an acceptance of his commandments. This is the beginning of wisdom. Walk with gratitude before him who is the giver of life and every good gift."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "With All Thy Getting Get Understanding," Ensign, Aug. 1988, 2
Click here to read the full talk

There is so often a contrast between society at large, and those who strive to follow the Lord's way. President Hinckley identifies one important root case of that contrast: the "spirit of thoughtless arrogance" that comes when we fail to acknowledge the source of our blessings in life. When we fail to recognize how "magnificently" we are blessed by God, thinking that we are self-sufficient and not dependent on God, we develop instead arrogance, ugly egotism, and pride.

President Hinckley's warning and counsel is to "walk with gratitude" before God in all we do! His advice echoes Amulek's beautiful counsel to "live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which [God] doth bestow upon you." (Alma 34:38)

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
November 23, 2016

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