“Thank and Praise the Lord” – Ether 6:9

While the Jaredites sat in enclosed barges for nearly a year, with all the food and animals they could carry, and with furious storms battering them, sometimes sinking them deep in the water, what did they do? How did they spend their time? Here is Moroni’s description:

And they did sing praises unto the Lord;

yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord,

and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long;

and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.

Ether 6:9

After arriving safely in the promised land, they “did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them” (Ether 6:12).

Subsequent generations were successful and happy to the degree that they remembered and acknowledged God’s blessings. For example:

  • Their first king, Orihah, “did walk humbly before the Lord, and did remember how great things the Lord had done for his father, and he also taught his people how great things the Lord had done for their fathers” (Ether 6:30).
  • Orihah’s grandson, Shule, “remembered the great things that the Lord had done for his fathers in bringing them across the great deep into the promised land; wherefore he did execute judgment in righteousness all his days” (Ether 7:27).
  • Six generations later, after significant political upheaval and violence, a descendant of Shule named Shez “began to build up again a broken people…. And he did build up a righteous kingdom; for he remembered what the Lord had done in bringing Jared and his brother across the deep; and he did walk in the ways of the Lord” (Ether 10:1-2).

Notice how, in all three of these cases, gratitude led to better decisions and more joy.

Yesterday, President Russell M. Nelson released a message to the world called “The Healing Power of Gratitude.” In the video, he encouraged us to be more grateful. He said, “Over my nine and a half decades of life, I have concluded that counting our blessings is far better than recounting our problems. No matter our situation, showing gratitude for our privileges is a fast-acting and long-lasting spiritual prescription.” President Nelson invited us to do the following:

  1. “Turn social media into your own personal gratitude journal. Post every day about what you are grateful for, who you are grateful for, and why you are grateful. At the end of the seven days, see if you feel happier and more at peace. Use the hashtag #givethanks.”
  2. “Let us unite in thanking God through daily prayer. Jesus Christ taught His disciples to pray by first expressing gratitude to God and then petitioning Him for the things we need. Prayer brings forth miracles.”

Today, I will accept these two invitations from a prophet. I will begin my seven days of expressing gratitude on social media. I will also follow the example of the first generation of Jaredites, thanking and praising God in prayer for the tender mercies I have received from Him.

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