When Should I Express Gratitude?

The Book of Mormon clearly teaches that we should always be grateful:

  • Alma taught his people at the waters of Mormon that they should observe the sabbath day once a week, but that “every day they should give thanks to the Lord their God” (Alma 18:23).
  • Amulek urged the Zoramites to “live in thanksgiving daily” (Alma 34:38).

As Elders Kevin W. Pearson or Peter M. Johnson might say, we should express gratitude to God “every day, every day, every day” (“Stay by the Tree,” General Conference, April 2015 and “Power to Overcome the Adversary,” General Conference, October 2019).

But the obvious follow-up question is this: “How can I remind myself to express gratitude more frequently?” Again, the Book of Mormon has answers—not a single formula which will work for all of us, but multiple strategies which can help us achieve the goal of consistent thanksgiving. Here are a few:

  • Alma told the people in the city of Gideon that they should ask God for the things they need, and that they should “always [return] thanks unto God for whatsoever things [they] do receive” (Alma 7:23). Taking time to express gratitude immediately after you receive a blessing is a good way to make sure you don’t forget.
  • Jacob taught his people to “pray…continually by day, and give thanks…by night” (2 Nephi 9:52). When you kneel to offer your evening prayer, reviewing the blessings you have received that day is a good way to ensure that you never let a day go by without expressing gratitude.
  • Alma taught his son Shiblon a different pattern. When you go to bed at night, he said, pray that God will watch over you. When you arise in the morning, “let thy heart be full of thanks unto God” (Alma 37:37). Taking a moment to express gratitude first thing in the morning seems like a good way to set an uplifting tone for the day.

Today, I will consider my patterns of thanksgiving. I will recommit to thank Heavenly Father every time I receive a blessing from Him. I will also take time each evening to express my gratitude for the blessings of the day, and I will strive to arise in the morning with a grateful heart as well. I will remember the importance of living in thanksgiving every day.

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