37 And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ;
38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.
Behold, what shall these my brethren do, for they are despised of all men because of their poverty, yea, and more especially by our priests; for they have cast us out of our synagogues which we have labored abundantly to build with our own hands; and they have cast us out because of our exceeding poverty; and we have no place to worship our God; and behold, what shall we do? (Alma 32:5)
They were unhappy because they had been treated unfairly. They had experienced the fruits of ingratitude–they were not permitted to enter the sanctuaries which they had built with their own hands. They were oppressed by their wealthy neighbors, and they didn’t believe that they could worship God.
Alma and Amulek taught them about faith, about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and about prayer. At the end of their remarks, Amulek made his final plea to them. He urged them not to procrastinate their repentance (Alma 34:33-35). He challenged them to reach out to God and work out their salvation. He encouraged them to believe in Christ, to receive the Holy Ghost in their lives, and to worship God everywhere. Then, he told them to be grateful every day.
It might seem odd for Amulek to teach this oppressed group of people about gratitude, but as Dieter F. Uchtdorf has reminded us, gratitude is at least as important when we are experiencing adversity as it is when things are going well:
It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently “count our blessings”—and anyone who has tried this knows there are many—but I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. (“Grateful in Any Circumstance,” General Conference, April 2014).
Today, I will follow Amulek’s counsel. I will reach out to my Heavenly Father in prayer, in a spirit of humility and gratitude. I will allow the Holy Ghost to minister to me and allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to bless me. I will thank my Heavenly Father for the many mercies and blessings which He has given me and continues to give me. I will “live in thanksgiving.”