Webster tells us that with the exception of one operative word, grateful and thankful are synonymous.
Thankful – conscious of benefits received.
Grateful – appreciative of benefits received.
Great leaders clearly understand the difference between the two and teach it in their writings.
Let’s start with God, “from whom all blessings flow.”
Please note, however, that the Lord does not distinguish between gratitude and thankfulness. In fact, I have yet to stumble upon either grateful or gratitude in the scriptures.
“Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High … “
“Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people.”
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.”
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
“I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving.”
“Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God …”
“If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.”
“If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.”
“And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord, offer it at your own will.”
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
Here are what a handful of thoughts written by scientists, entrepreneur, authors, and successful entertainers about thankfulness and gratitude:
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” — Zig Ziglar
“Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” — Jim Rohn
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” — Oprah Winfrey
“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” — Alice Walker
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” — Henri Frederic Amiel
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” — Willie Nelson
“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” — Dalai Lama
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein
I pray we all bask in gratitude during our season of Thanksgiving.
Charlie Roberts previously served as a bishop of the Tooele 6th Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.