This blog shares my ongoing study of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my studies draw from the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, as well as teachings of LDS Church leaders past and present, many of which are prophets and apostles. This site is not an official representation of Latter-day Saint doctrine and practice. For official sites, please visit or

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Quick Fix to Misery

I don't think anyone will be surprised by what I find to be a quick fix to misery - exercising gratitude.

President Thomas S. Monson taught, "We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues" ("An Attitude of Gratitude," April 1992 General Conference).

President Monson asks us in this talk to exercise gratitude for six things:

1. First, there is gratitude for our mothers.
2. Second, let us reflect gratitude for our fathers.
3. Third, all of us remember with gratitude our teachers.
4. Fourth, let us have gratitude for our friends. 
5. Fifth, may we acknowledge gratitude for our country—the land of our birth.
6. Sixth and finally—even supremely—let us reflect gratitude for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Each time I have made a conscious effort to reflect on all that I have to be grateful for I have felt better. There is a real power that comes when we exercise gratitude. It sounds cliche but gratitude journals can be very effective. I remember starting one in a summer in Arizona when I was in graduate school. I was in an area far from my close friends and family and found myself entertaining a lot of negative thought. I decided to begin jotting down three things each day that I was grateful for - my favorite moments of the day. Soon I could not keep myself to only writing three things. I found myself writing 10, 12, or 15, and realized that each day was full of blessings.

Just this last week I began teaching math for the first time in six years. When my AP Statistics students found out it was my first time teaching the subject they said, "well you're doing a good job!" A teacher whose classroom is just behind mine listened in on my class from her room during her prep period and said it sounded like I was doing a great job and that the students were understanding the material. These compliments meant the world to me. How grateful I am for those words of encouragement - just one small thing I am grateful for this week, among many.

Our Father in Heaven loves us and shows us His love all throughout the day by "small and simple things." I have found that if I make a conscious effort to recognize these blessings I can feel of His love on a regular basis, and that is truly our heart's greatest desire.


  1. I have been getting this message from a lot of different sources lately, but I needed one more nudge. Thanks for sharing this Nate. I am going to start my gratitude journal today. :)

  2. Azure, that's awesome. Ha ha. Funny how that happens.