Morning Thanks

Last week I sat in the temple with my husband and my son. It was my son’s first time performing baptisms for the dead, and it was a rich, spirit-filled evening. As I waited for them to finish, I picked up the scriptures and they fell open to Alma 37–one of my very favorite chapters.

I read the verses slowly, savoring each word and then I came to verse 37:

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

There are many ways to begin and end one’s day, and a simple Google search reveals hundreds if not thousands of ideas. But I believe the very best way to begin and end a day is to follow the method prescribed by God Himself in His holy word.

Can we counsel with the Lord and then cast our cares upon Him each night before we sleep? Can we lay our worries at His feet and place our lives in His tender, able hands? He will watch over us if we commit ourselves to His care.

Can we rise each morning with a heart full of thanks–whether the day dawns bright or cloudy? Whether a day of hopeful anticipation awaits us or we are greeted with looming tasks?

It was January 6th, 2003–my sophomore year of high school–when I opened up a brand-new journal. I determined to wake up just a few minutes earlier each morning to jot down a few sentences of gratitude.

I don’t remember why I had this overwhelming desire to start this practice, but by the end of the school year, half of the journal was filled and I felt changed.

I’ve always looked back on those few months of my life as some of my happiest. And while there were other things that greatly contributed to my joy during this time, I know that these morning thoughts of thanksgiving played a great part. I have penned lines of gratitude off and on since then, but I have never been able to consistently maintain the habit I once held.

But I started again two days ago. And this time, I will persist. Would you care to join me?

This simple 2-minute practice could be like a key unlocking the door of our hearts to more wonder in our everyday lives.

By noticing the beauty of the small blessings that surround us, it could be a welcome invitation for our Lord to come and abide with us.

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