2 And it came to pass that the Lord did say unto me: Cry unto this people—Repent ye, and come unto me, and be ye baptized, and build up again my church, and ye shall be spared.
3 And I did cry unto this people, but it was in vain; and they did not realize that it was the Lord that had spared them, and granted unto them a chance for repentance. And behold they did harden their hearts against the Lord their God.
Is gratitude a prerequisite for receiving messages from God?
Mormon loved his people and had served as the commander of their armies from the time that he was fifteen years old. He had not been able to preach the gospel to them because of their unwillingness to listen (Mormon 1:16). But after several military victories and a treaty with their enemies, they had entered a period of relative stability, and the Lord commanded him to preach. His message was simple: their lives would be spared if they would repent, be baptized, and begin to build up the church of God.
Unfortunately, the people did not take seriously Mormon’s warning or his promise. Why not? Mormon tells us that it was because “they did not realize that it was the Lord that had spared them, and granted unto them a chance for repentance.” They took for granted the blessings they had received, and they were complacent. The promise of rescue was irrelevant to them because they weren’t aware of the danger they faced.
It’s easy to take for granted our blessings or to take too much credit for them. But as we recognize the Lord’s hand in our lives, we recognize our ongoing need for His help, and we are therefore willing to hear His warnings and His promises.
Today, I will be grateful for the blessings I have received from my Heavenly Father. I will turn to Him in an attitude of gratitude and with a willingness to hear His counsel and to follow His guidance. I will remember that “[confessing] his hand in all things” (D&C 59:21) may be a prerequisite to receiving revelation from Him because it puts me in a state where I am actually willing to listen.