Joseph F. Smith once said, “One of the greatest sins of which the inhabitants of the earth are guilty today, is the sin of ingratitude” (in Journal of Discourses, 25:52). Lehi taught that there can not be a sin unless there is first a commandment. Based on the statements of these two prophets, we should conclude that it is a commandment to be thankful.
D&C 130: 20-21 states, “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven, before the foundation of the world, upon which all blessings are predicated–And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated”.
The Lord is very clear, every commandment we obey, we receive a blessing for our obedience. So what do you think is the blessing for being thankful? The Lord tells us exactly the blessing we will receive. The promised blessing is found in D&C 78:19, “And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more”.
So how do we obtain such a blessing? Can we simply write a list of all the things we are thankful for? Is it enough to ‘count our many blessings, name them one by one’? I doubt it. The Lord always expects more from us then just a passing thought, a good intention, or a rehearsed prayer of gratitude. The Lord has always expected action out of us. The hymn, ‘I am a Child of God’, was originally written as ‘Teach me all that I must know…” President Kimball had it changed to “Teach me all that I must DO”. We read that it is by grace that we are saved after all that we can DO. Faith without WORKS is dead. The Savior asked, “COME, FOLLOW me.
He has always expected us to show our obedience through action. What actions can we take during this time of thanksgiving to show the Lord just how thankful we really are?Tom Pettit