Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Gratitude seems to be an old fashioned human characteristic, like patience, frugality, and meekness. Thanksgiving day is a good reminder for me to take time regularly to reflect on the many wonderful things I have in my life that I so consistently take for granted.
My list of things I am grateful for includes hot showers, our warm and comfortable home, a reliable car, wholesome food and clean water, my amazing family, and my husband who works hard to provide for us, along with intangibles like the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the freedom provided by our inspired founding documents.
I have been thinking lately about how much of my time and efforts--my resources, are consumed with things that are temporary, things of limited importance. I believe that the abundance we enjoy is a double edged sword, it brings comfort and convenience, but it can also cloud our vision and be a great distraction from things that matter most and last forever.
I have realized that if I focus on the things in my life, my principles and values could be at risk. If I value my comfort, ease and physical well being above all else, then it’s conceivable that I would keep them at the cost of my principles.
It’s not hard to see difficult times ahead for our country, circumstances we would not choose but may be thrust upon us. Those circumstances may place us in a position to make some very telling choices. Will we choose comfort and safety over liberty and the freedom to make our own choices? Will we give up our principles for things?
It’s been said that materialism is what holds our society together, that if our things go away we will turn on each other. Does my love for my fellow man depend on how much stuff I have, how comfortable I am; or have I learned to love as our Savior loves--even when I am inconvenienced, hurt, or suffering?
The more I learn about history, the more I realize that abundance and freedom are the product of correct principles. We cannot have these things if we abandon the principles they are dependent upon.
I will always be grateful for a hot shower and a safe home, but I hope if I ever have to choose between comforts and principles that I will be strong enough to forgo things in favor of eternal truth and freedom.