Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Gratitude, Mother's Day, and The Book of Mormon

Saturday was one of those days. I spent all morning diligently working and cleaning and the house was still a disaster. Loads of dishes, loads of laundry, loads of trash, and still I barely seemed to be scratching the surface. John was off studying for his exam this week, and I started to feel a little frustrated and sorry for myself on this Mother's Day weekend. Then the thought came, "I am going about this all wrong. This Mother's Day I really should focus on celebrating the three beautiful boys who gave and continue to give me the joy and privilege of motherhood."

I have been given a wonderful gift that not everyone has been able to have in mortality though they desired it with all their hearts and certainly merited the gift more than I. And I have been given that gift during an amazing era where those obnoxious daily chores are merely obnoxious and not all-encompassing daily efforts. I can read whatever I want online at my leisure. I have machines that wash my dishes and clothes. I am starting a career and everything I need I have at my fingertips in the comfort of my own home. All of this I have as a sit on a foundation laid by so many mothers before me who did so much with so much less than I have at my disposal.

Why is it that it is so easy to forget our blessings and to be ungrateful? My complaining to myself, viewed in light of all of my blessings and advantages, seems so selfish and petty, and yet I fall into that trap daily.

I think that one of the central themes of the Book of Mormon is gratitude and remembrance. We are reminded both in the introduction and closing remarks of the Book that this is part of its purpose:

Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever.  -Title Page

Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts
-Moroni 3:3

I can't begin right now to list all the times in the Book of Mormon where the prophets counsel the people to remember how the Lord has blessed them and to live accordingly. In the spirit of that Book which has had the greatest impact in my life, I will make a greater effort to be grateful daily for the amazing blessings which are mine, and to cheerfully do the duty that falls upon me as a recipient of those blessings.

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