Music & the Spoken Word: A virtue for every season of life

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This will be given Nov. 21, 2021.

Isn’t it interesting that sometimes those who have the least are the most grateful, and yet there are others who seem to have everything — except gratitude? As religious leader President Henry B. Eyring, the second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, observed: “We so easily forget that we came into life with nothing. Whatever we get soon seems our natural right, not a gift. And we forget the giver. Then our gaze shifts from what we have been given to what we don’t have yet” (see “Remembrance and Gratitude,” Ensign, November 1989).

Gratitude — for life, for blessings, for the Giver of this beautiful world and everything in it — is a timeless and timely virtue. People like to be around grateful people. They like to help grateful people. They don’t soon forget grateful people.

One woman fondly remembers an elderly friend named Dorothy, whom she visited to help her with some tasks that age had made difficult. After each little act of service, Dorothy would say, “Do you know how grateful I am?” During the visit, the power went out, and when Dorothy looked out the window and saw the workers restoring her power, she said, “I hope they know how grateful I am.” When it was time for Dorothy’s friend to leave, she whispered the prayer she learned from Dorothy: “Do you know how grateful I am?” (see “Do You Know How Grateful I Am?” by Sherri Heider Wright, Liahona, October 2021).

It’s worth pondering — do others know how grateful you are? Better yet, do you know? Many express their thanks in gratitude journals, counting their blessings as they respond to the prompt “How did God bless me today?”

“If you do that long enough and with faith,” President Eyring taught, “you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes, you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God’s hand in your life.” And think of the joy your family will someday feel as they look at this record of thankfulness.

So many other virtues we seek flow from gratitude. Without gratitude, we become self-focused and insecure, wondering if someone somewhere has more or better. Gratitude, on the other hand, opens our hearts to God and to others. It blesses us in seasons of scarcity and seasons of plenty. Indeed, gratitude is a virtue for every season of life.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, ksl.com, BYtUv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoiratTempleSquare and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.com/viewers-listeners/airing-schedules.

See the Church News’ archive of ‘Spoken Word’ messages