He Hath Done Excellent Things – 2 Nephi 22:4-6

4 And in that day shall ye say: Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.
6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
(2 Nephi 22:4-6, Isaiah 12:4-6)

In this passage, Isaiah describes a time in which God’s hand is so evident in people’s lives that they feel obligated to enthusiastically share what they are experiencing. He uses action verbs including “praise,” “call,” “sing,” and “shout” to describe the rightful response of the people to the “excellent things” the Lord has done for them, and he urges them to “declare his doings among the people.

For us, that time can be today.

Our minds naturally gravitate to the negative: the problem to be solved, the obstacle stopping us from achieving our goal, the irritation we are feeling. But what if we spent a little more time identifying happy events in our lives? Would we see the hand of the Lord in our lives more clearly?

Many years ago, President Henry B. Eyring adopted a routine which helped him to do just that. Every night before he went to bed, he took a few minutes to ponder the question, “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” Then, he would write down the experiences of the day. As he began to do this consistently, he began to recognize significant experiences in his daily life which had escaped his notice previously:

More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened….
Tonight, and tomorrow night, you might pray and ponder, asking the questions:… Did I see [God’s] hand in my life or the lives of my children? (“O Remember, Remember,” General Conference, October 2007).

I like President Eyring’s observation that, by pondering God’s influence in his life, he grew not only in gratitude but also in testimony. He became not only more appreciative of God’s hand in his life but more aware of it in the first place. Our perception of what is going on around us is limited. Taking time to slow down and ponder the experiences of the day can give the Holy Ghost space to bring things to our remembrance that we wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. (See John 14:26.)

Today, I will follow President Eyring’s advice. I will think about the ways I and my family have been blessed by the Lord today, and I will find a way to communicate to others the blessings we have received. I will pay attention to the “excellent things” that God has done for us, and I will find more ways to “declare his doings” to others.

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