Words and Phrasesvs 17 the Lord did turn away his anger - gratitude turns away anger. respect turns away anger. love for and appreciation for what others do for you turns away anger. service to others turns away anger. Remembering others turns away anger.vs 18 the people did rejoice and glorify God, - They were happy to be alive. Happy to not have perished as did the thousands. Happy to have made it through a great trial of faith. But still they believe ... not because of Nephi's words, but because of his signs and miracles. I wonder how many years will pass before they forget? I wonder how convicted they are to the God who has saved them?vs 18 they did esteem him as a great prophet - Look what he had to do for them before they would believe. I'm not so sure that Nephi should be happy with this, but he is and it is a good thing that they did not die by sword or famine. Finally he receives some respect and the people begin to see peace for the gratitude that is within their hearts.vs 19 not a whit - not any less, not any lower than Nephi, but this is Nephi's story not Lehi's.vs 20 began to prosper again - gratitude is a good thing... it brings blessings of esteem, respect, and honor to all people. Gratitude shares the wealth. Gratitude is about all people, not just one or one group. Gratitude teaches respect, honor, discipline, hope, love, communication, and understanding.vs 21 exceedingly great peace - prosperity, gratitude, blessings, hope, = peace... no greed, no need, no stealing, not robbery, ... just a balance of life's cycle and gratitude.vs 22 and also they had peace ... 3 years now they have known peace. 3 years of no grief, of no trial, of rebuilding their lives after the great destruction of famine. Three years? is that long enough? How do you keep the balance? Will they keep their gratitude? manners, respect, communication and love for one another.?
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Peace in the Land through Gratitude Helaman 11: 17-22
Seven o'clock, time to wake. Time to get the son out of bed. Time to eat breakfast. Time to shower and dress. Time to go to school. Time to ...... What makes it all bearable?
Our lives run in cycles. One clear message of the Book of Mormon is that there are many cycles in our lives. Cycles of nature and cycles of human nature. Unlike nature that lives a course bound to preprogramed cycles, we have within us the ability to recognize the cycles and correct them, but only if we will heed the lessons of history, the lessons of scripture.
When my son looks up at me and says, "Good Morning." When he reaches out for that one hug that he needs to energize his determination. When my husband gives me one last snuggle before charging into his day. When I feel appreciated for all that I do, I feel peace. Gratitude brings the "energy of peace" to my life.
Gratitude is not a cycle of nature. Gratitude comes to us as a virtue. To garner it we must purposefully reach deep inside and seek it out. We must identify it, label it and then share it. We share it through smile, attitude, gesture, manners, kindness, selflessness, words, prayer, body language, and communication. We find it by receiving gratitude as it passes like a spark of electricity from one human to another.
Gratitude is something that tends to be easily forgotten in the day to day trials and responsibilities of life. Gratitude tends to be wrung out from us in the cycles of life, but it need not be. We can learn to balance our lives and find the daily joy that gratitude can bring. When we find the balance, we find peace.
The people of Nephi's time had lost all sense of their gratitude towards God and towards their fellow man. They had allowed the cycles of their lives to put them into holding patterns of "greed and need." Only when God intervened and helped them remember the importance of the basics of life did they once again find peace. Only when their lives were reduced to a form of basic functionality and almost death, did they remember to show gratitude first to God and then to one another.