Editor’s note: “Matters of faith” is a column that provides local religious leaders a place to write about how their respective faiths provide hope, courage and strength in these modern times.
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?
Last week, as dozens of Tooele High seniors received nearly $250,000 in scholarships, two thoughts popped into my mind:
1.) Tooele’s education system produces more than its fair share of sharp, energetic, smart kids and,
2.) I hope they sincerely appreciate their scholarships and capitalize on these educational opportunities.
Toward the end of the program, one of the high school counselors turned to the scholars and strongly encouraged them to write thank-you letters to the businesses, foundations, and/or colleges that awarded them their scholarship.
As I left the auditorium, I was approached by a young lady who received a scholarship from the Barrick Mercur Mine Foundation.
I could tell from her eyes that her heart was full of gratitude toward our foundation for giving her an opportunity to attend college and chase her dreams.
Several feet through the crowd, her two parents visually expressed their appreciation for opening a door that provides their daughter a chance to further her education.
To a smaller degree, this young lady reminded me of the experience of Jesus cleansing 10 lepers.
At one point during his ministry, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.
As he entered a village. 10 men with leprosy approached him and from a distance shouted, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”
The Savior clearly directed them to visit the priests and miraculously He cleansed them of the dreaded disease
However, one of them returned to Jesus, glorified God, and expressed gratitude.
The Lord responded by teaching all of us this eternal lesson about gratitude: “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”
The Swedish philosopher and poet Henri Frederic Amiel wrote, “Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is completion of thankfulness.”
He added, “Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley perched “Be grateful” at the top of his now familiar “Be list” that he shared with youth of the LDS Church back in 2001.
He encouraged the youth to “Walk with gratitude in your hearts … Be thankful for the wonderful blessings which are yours. Be grateful for the tremendous opportunities that you have.”
All of us are better off when we follow this counsel.
Do we say “thank you” as a matter of habit rather than as an expression of sincere gratitude?
When we offer prayers at the dinner table, do the words habitually roll off our tongue with no thought of Him who provides our substance?
When prompted by the Spirit to take a specific course of action, do we later say to ourselves, “I am sure glad I thought of that.”
As the school year closes and spring brings forth her bounteous beauties, I believe it is a perfect time to reflect upon our blessings and remember the importance of expressing and showing gratitude to the One who gave us all.
Charlie Roberts is a former LDS bishop of the Tooele 6th Ward.