I have seen many blogs of late where people describe the things they are grateful for! I hadn't really thought about doing that, and I just don't have the time each day to do so. However, I have been thinking about it a little more this week.
We are in Utah visiting my in-laws this week - on Saturday evening, we asked Mark's sister what time her church meetings were. She suggested that we go into Salt Lake City to see the broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. It was an AWESOME suggestion.
We had to get up fairly early and brave the cold (it was in the 20's and 30's that morning), and drove into SLC and parked near the Conference Center. We were seated in the Tabernacle by about 9:00 and the choir and orchestar were finishing their rehearsal. It was the Thanksgiving program by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square. The songs they were doing were ones that am familiar with after years of singing in church and in choirs.
For the Beauty of the Earth arranged by John Rutter is one of my favorites, and also Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, arranged by Mack Wilberg. The latter was the last number - Just WOW! It was incredible and brought me to tears. I don't recall ever seeing/hearing the Choir in person as a child, but after checking with my dad, he said we'd probably gone at some point in our Utah years.
Most amazing of all - after the broadcast was finished, Lloyd Newell came to the front of the Tabernacle and spoke for a moment. Afterwards, he, the Choir, the Orchestra members, and all technicians sang God Be With You Til We Meet Again - acapella. That was amazing!!
I am thankful for the sound of music... I'm thankful for the influence it has had in my life, and for the opportunity I have had to share it with others, including my family. (Of course there are MANY other things I am thankful for, but this is an important one for me this week.)
Here is the message that was presented in the broadcast on Sunday (and others).
Daily Gratitude and Thanksgiving
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell
A few years ago, two researchers conducted what they called the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness. They found through science what most of us know intuitively: gratitude makes people happy.
For the study, several hundred people were divided into three groups and asked to keep diaries. The first group listed the day’s events in their diaries, the second group recorded any unpleasant experiences they had during the day, and the last group made a daily list of things they were grateful for.
The researchers found that the simple act of taking time each day to count your blessings makes a person more enthusiastic, determined, optimistic, and energetic. Those who expressed gratitude experienced less depression and stress, exercised more regularly, and made more progress toward personal goals. Researchers even noted a relationship between feeling grateful and feeling loved, and they observed how gratitude inspires acts of kindness and compassion.1
Remarkable, isn’t it? All this from daily gratitude and thanksgiving.
Of course, the best way to discover the benefits of gratitude is not by observing them in an academic study but by experiencing the miracle for ourselves: When we daily count our blessings, we feel better about life, even in the midst of adversity; we garner a strength of character and largeness of soul that will help us through hard times; and we see life as basically good, despite its challenges and heartaches.
Gratitude does not need to be reserved for holidays and special events. Every day is filled with miracles and blessings. If we open our hearts and look, we’ll find reasons for gratitude and thanksgiving each day, all around us.
1 See Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough, “Highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness,” http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/labs/emmons; see also “Gratitude Theory,” http://www.acfnewsource.org/religion/gratitude_theory.html.