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Music & the Spoken Word: ‘Our first noble deed of the morning’

What could happen if instead people saw prayer as a chance to express thanks? Lloyd Newell asks

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. 20, 2022.

Even during difficult times, perhaps especially during difficult times, we need the blessing of gratitude. Consider this invitation from President Russell M. Nelson: “Our first noble deed of the morning should be a humble prayer of gratitude” (see “Joy Cometh in the Morning,” Ensign, November 1986, page 68).

Can you imagine a day that begins that way? How might we approach a day that we consider a gift from God? After all, this glorious world and everything good in it come from Him, including our very lives. We can never finish counting our blessings, but we can start, and we can “live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which [God] ... bestow[s] upon [us]” (see Alma 34:38).

So how can we more fully live in thanksgiving daily? [Below are responses included in the broadcast]

“I don’t think gratitude means pretending that everything in my life has been easy. Of course, I’ve had my difficult times. But deep in my heart I’ve always tried to thank God for the little blessings that come along. I’ve found that as I look for reasons to be thankful, I always find them.”

“I used to get quite negative and down at times, but when I made the decision to be more grateful, I’ve just felt happier. I notice things like the beautiful world around us, my loving family — all kinds of good things and good people around me. Deciding to be thankful has totally changed my perspective. In fact, I would say it’s changed my life.”

“To me, prayer is the key to gratitude. I pray every morning and express my thanks to God for His many blessings. There’s something about saying it out loud that drives the gratitude deeper into my heart.”

“It’s great to have a day or a season to set aside for thanksgiving. But God’s blessings are always there, so my heart can be full of thanks to God and my loved ones during all seasons, every day.”

It’s easy for our prayers to become a list of requests, like we’re putting in an order at “a cosmic vending machine” (see “Our Relationship with God,” by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Liahona, May 2022, page 78). What could happen if instead we saw prayer as a chance to express thanks? Of course, the great God of the universe wants to bless us, and He invites us to ask, seek and knock (see Matthew 7:7). But it’s also true that one of the greatest blessings He offers is the peace and perspective that fill our souls when we live in thanksgiving each day.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, KSL.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoir 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.

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