An important but often overlooked scripture on gratitude is Doctrine and Covenants 59:21:
And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.
To confess the hand of the Lord in all things, to me, means to recognize His doings and be grateful. Even in adversity, He is there, helping us to learn and to grow. He intervenes more than we recognize. He helps more than we acknowledge. We must learn to walk closer to Him and as we look for His doings and thank Him, I suspect that He will bless us and guide us even more.
There is so much that He has done for me that I can be grateful for. How blessed I am to see, for example, and to behold the majesty of His creations. Since obtaining a digital camera last year and going a bit crazy with photography, still a total novice, my awareness of light and color and beauty has noticeably increased, and I marvel and just how beautiful this planet is, at just how marvelous a human being can be, and how precious the gift of sight is. But eye hath not seen the marvelous things that await for us in the kingdom of heaven, when we can see as we are seen (Doctrine and Covenants 76:94) and behold God’s creations with immortal eyes. For those who are not blessed with the gift of sight at the moment, rejoice in the blessings that await you and all of us in the resurrection. The mortal gift only scratches the surface of what wonders we will then behold.
How blessed I am to taste, to witness the symphonies of flavor that He has created. When I peel a banana or pomegranate, for example, I wonder if He once contemplated the fruit salads or other marvelous concoctions that we children would one day make from these small but stunning creations. Strawberries – what a miracle they are. They are far too delicious and intricate to be explained by chance evolution. Don’t insult me with such theories. They are exquisite art by a master artist and master chef. Much better to tell the Iron Chefs that their creations are the results of blind chance that to say that strawberries were not designed by the hand of a loving genius with exquisite skill.
How blessed I am to have had the parents God gave me, parents who taught me to love life and dare to grow and learn and who taught me as a child to pray and trust my Heavenly Father. I owe so much to them.
How blessed I am to have the wife and family that I do. To be surrounded with such fine and noble people who inspire me to be better and cause me to marvel at their goodness and talents. Nothing I ever did or could do merits the family I have been blessed with. But it is this way with so many of the Lord’s blessings. They are grace in action.
How grateful I am to live in a time when the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth, with the gifts and blessings that were in the primitive Church. How grateful I am for the scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, another witness of Christ. It has blessed my life and given me hope and guidance in so many ways, as has the Bible.
How grateful I am to know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ, and that God will have all men come unto Him and be saved (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9), if only we will let Him rescue us, His children.
There is much real evil that we must work to oppose, and much true suffering that we must work to relieve. But wherever we are, in whatever state, there are great blessings from God available to us for which we can thank Him. May we always recognize and confess His hand in all things.