Each morning is time for gratitude

Spiritual self-esteem begins with the realization that each new morning is a gift from God," said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve in an address at the October 1986 general conference.

"Even the air we breathe is a loving loan from Him," Elder Nelson said. "He preserves us from day to day and supports us from one moment to another. (See Mosiah 2:21.)"Therefore, our first noble deed of the morning should be a humble prayer of gratitude. Scripture so counsels: `Pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto [you]: and [you] shall see his face with joy.' " (Job 33:26; see also Alma 34:21, 37:37.)

Elder Nelson said that he did not fully appreciate the significance of prayerful greetings until he became a father himself. "I am so grateful that our children never gave their mother or dad the silent treatment. Now I sense how our Heavenly Father may appreciate our prayers, morning and night. But I can imagine the pangs of His sorrow because of silence from any of His children. To me, such ingratitude seems comparable to sullen goldfish oblivious to kind providers who sprinkle food in their bowl. Indeed, those who pray can `worship God with exceedingly great joy.' (Alma 45:1.)

"I learned long ago that a period of uninterrupted scriptural study in the morning brings enduring enrichment. I feel as did Jeremiah: Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.' (Jer. 15:16.) Sacred scriptures have been repeatedly described asglad tidings of great joy.' (Helaman 16:14, Mosiah 3:3, Alma 13:22; see also Luke 2:10.) As we learn and abide their teachings, that joy becomes part of our lives.

"Joy cometh in the morning when personal talents are developed. Each of us is blessed with different potential. I don't think I could get up early enough to become a portrait painter. But I have appreciated teachings since my earliest childhood from parents who knew the joy that good music brings. And some of the sweetest sounds in our home have been those from songs and instruments of children improving their talents.

"Even in Old Testament days, `David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, . . . sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.' (1 Chron. 15:16.)

"Confidence to begin each morning ready to meet the challenges of the day comes from spiritual self-esteem."

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