Tuesday, November 25, 2014
A Grateful Heart Is A Happy Heart~Thanksgiving Blessings For All!
I do believe that a grateful heart is a happy heart. I have so much to be thankful for. The picture above shows only a few of my many blessings. I live in a comfortable home, I have a wonderful eternal companion, a large and wonderful posterity, the scriptures, our Prophet and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Then there are countless extended family and friends.
I wishing for you all to have a sweet Thanksgiving Day with family and friends. May you all have thankful hearts.
Here is a very endearing Thanksgiving story of an experience our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson had as a youth. Perhaps share it with your family this Thanksgiving day.
"Occasionally, I ponder an experience from my boyhood. I grew up during the Depression. These were difficult times. My Father was a craftsman, a printer and he always had employment. Although others were not so fortunate.
I remember the boys whom I went to school. Many had clothing bought at rummage sales. The same size jacket was to fit four boys in one family. The father did not support the family. The mother worked nights as a telephone operator in Salt Lake City. The thing I remember most about this family was that when I would call upon the boys to go to school, they would be having breakfast - cornflakes with water. There was no milk, there was no cream, there was no sugar - only cornflakes and water.
One particular Thanksgiving Day there was, as usual, turkey dinner for our family, along with all the trimmings. As I waited for the feast to begin, I heard my name being called by one of my friends, Charlie. In those days we never knocked on the door; we would just stand outside in the back and yell. I heard Charlie call, "Tommy!" I went outside, and he said, "It sure smells good in there. What are you eating?"
I said, "We're eating turkey."
He said, "I've never eaten turkey. What does it taste like?"
I said, "Oh, something like chicken."
"I've never eaten chicken," he said. "What does that taste like?"
I told him to wait a minute, and I went in the house and got a piece of turkey for him to sample. He chewed it for a minute and then said, "Boy, that's good."
I said, "Charlie, what are you having for your Thanksgiving dinner?"
There was a silence, and then he said, "Nothing."
I remembered at that moment my mother, who always fed the transients who came through, riding the rails from east to west. When Mother would welcome them, she'd open the back door and have them sit at the table. Then she'd make them boiled ham sandwiches, give them potato chips and glasses of milk, and ask what they were doing riding the rails and why they didn't go home and settle down somewhere. She was quite a philosopher and had absolutely no fear whatsoever. I thought of her when my friend Charlie said he was not having Thanksgiving dinner.
At that moment I remembered I had something. I had no money, but I had two white rabbits. They were the pride of my life, beautiful New Zealand whites. I said, "Charlie, you come with me, because I've got something for your Thanksgiving dinner." We went into the backyard, and with tears in my eyes I opened the rabbit hutch, took a gunnysack, and put first one rabbit and then the other into the gunnysack. I said, "You take these home, and your mother will know what to do with them. They taste a whole lot like chicken."
Charlie was up on the fence and over the back yard to his home as quick as a flash. He later said they had the best Thanksgiving dinner they had ever had.
I loved the rabbits, but the feeling that came into my heart on that occasion, when I had given all that I had, when I had followed the counsel and the training of my mother, was superior to any love for those rabbits. I thought of the poet's expression: "The smile of God's approval is the greatest of all gifts."
("Consider The Blessings - True Accounts of God's Hand in Our Lives". - Thomas S. Monson. "The Best Thanksgiving Ever" Pg. 67.")
There is nothing sweeter than to have an opportunity to care for another person who is in need. Give the gift of your selfless service this Season and feel the true spirit of Thanksgiving. A favorite hymn is "Count Your Blessings" One of the lines is "Count Your Blessings Name Them One By One". Take the challenge to count your blessings on Thanksgiving day and then remember them always.