A bright spirit emanates from President Russell M. Nelson’s challenge to flood our lives with a sense of thankfulness. One of the benefits of this challenge is that we get to understand a bit more about how powerful gratitude is and how to incorporate it even more in our daily lives. Most importantly, we have an opportunity to use the feelings we experience to influence our actions.
Here’s a great quote from President David O. McKay that illustrates this principle: Thankfulness is measured by the number of words; gratitude is measured by the nature of our actions.
Right now, we get to bask in the peace and joy that comes from thankfulness. We share words and read the words of others. Disciples of Jesus Christ have faith to take this experience and turn it into meaningful actions that affect change.
Reach Out to Those In The Opposite Situation
Each time you decide what you will give thanks for, take a minute to ponder those who lack the things you have. Grateful for your spouse? Remember those who are single or part of the LGBTQ community. Grateful for the scriptures? Remember those who live without the opportunity to hear the word of God. Grateful for your healthy body? Remember those who are homebound or hospitalized, especially during this devastating pandemic. Whatever it is, you can begin to change other people’s lives by simply remembering them. As you remember them, the Lord will inspire you on how to help those who lack what you have in abundance.
Write Thank You Notes
It takes a bit of courage to show your gratitude through actions. Build it up by writing physical thank you notes and sending them out. Not only is it more long-lasting than a social media post, but it will allow you to share more personally how someone has impacted your life. This can be a great activity to culminate your Thanksgiving festivities. We suggest writing to teachers, ministering friends, and those you may not have been in touch with recently.
Support a Worthy Cause
Actively donating and supporting worthy causes is a direct way to help those who are in need. This year for Light the World, the Church is providing information on their global charity partners so you can give back. Find a cause that is dear to your heart and something you feel passionate about. Unable to give monetarily? Consider giving your time by volunteering.
We hope these three ideas help get you started on ways to give back this holiday season. The best way to take your feelings of gratitude and expand upon them is to ask Heavenly Father specifically what you can do to make a difference in your community.