Tuesday, May 12, 2015

D&C 59:15-19 -- On Being Thankful and Cheerful

"And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—
Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul."
D&C 59:15-19


I like this selection, and the lesson, which is basically "attitude matters."  Sometimes we don't like that lesson, because we want to be our little rebel selves, raging against "the man," whoever the man happens to be, and throwing out snark in order to deal with stress.  And, you know, as a stress release I think that works sometimes, but here I think that God makes it clear that *he* is not the man that we should be raging against.  To read the rest of the instructions and hear what God would like us to do to get all of these blessings, we can read the first part of this section.  Good stuff.  But I like the fact that after the list of commandments, it tells us that we need to be thankful and cheerful as well.  These are obviously things that can't be forced.  If someone holds a gun to your head and says "smile!" you might be able to do it, but unless you are a master actor, it is unlikely you will be able to feel it.  God isn't forcing us to be thankful and cheerful.  I think he is teaching us a really good lesson... that whatever we do, we need to really have our whole selves behind it, in terms of doing it because we want to do it, not because we feel like we "must."  It isn't bad to start out that way, but we have to convert our hearts as well as our actions if we are going to be able to be dedicated to anything as thoroughly as we need to be dedicated to God.  And, even though our happiness and thankfulness is already a reward of sorts, because we are happy doing what is right, the icing on the cake is that "the fulness of the earth" is ours.  God will bless us abundantly, if we are thankful and cheerful in our obedience, which again, is already inherently designed to make our lives better. :)
God plan is pretty cool, I have to say. :)  Today, let's remember that, and be thankful and cheerful as we follow it. :)

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