Monday, November 15, 2010

Grateful for Everything

Yesterday's Sacrament Meeting at church was filled with such a powerful spirit of the Lord. A woman in our ward spoke about her life. She was born in Russia and taken away from her parents due to neglect and abuse and put into an orphanage. Living in the orphanage, she had virtually nothing, but her brother and sister. She was once taught to pray by some visiting missionaries, but religion was not tolerated in the orphanage. She prayed in secrecy but got caught and punished very harshly. Her best friend started playing with some kids who offered her cigarettes, she tried them and didn't like them so they wouldn't be her friends anymore.

Through a miracle, she and her brother and sister were all adopted by a lady in Utah. This was a miracle because nobody was ever adopted while she was there. She came to Utah and was amazed at all of the abundance of things around her. She fell on her knees when she walked into Target, astonished by the size of the store and everything in it. She took an apple and started to eat it (she had to steal everything in Russia). Her new mother stopped her and told her they needed to pay for it first. When they got home from the store, her mother gave the three of them each an apple. She took two of the apples and hid them in their room so they would have food for later. Their mother saw them sharing only one apple and asked where the others were. They wouldn't tell her. She found them and insisted on them eating all of the apples, they would have more food later. They were amazed.

Her mother taught them many things. She taught them about love, family, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. This girl's life has been changed to much. She once had no shoes, now she has more than she needs. She has a nice home, a close family, and a loving husband. I have never listened to someone who had so much gratitude for every thing she has.

Her talk really made me think about the blessings we have in our lives. We are truly so blessed to live in America with so much abundance. I have a family who loves me. I have never been starving for food. I have had everything a person needs. The Lord has blessed my life with so many things.

Her talk reminds me of a book I also read early this month called 'The Silence of God.' It is a book about the first LDS family in Russia. They lived during the Russian Revolution. I don't want to share too much about the story because I think you should read it. It is an amazing story. It really made me think about the blessing of being American, the freedom of religion, and the safety we enjoy here.

This past General Conference, our living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson urged us all to be more grateful and have an attitude of gratitude. "This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways."

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to think about our blessings. We may not have the nicest home, the newest car, the latest gadgets, but we have so much to be grateful for.


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