Nine Lepers and a Thank-you Note


(Based on a true story)

During Primary sharing time, Sister Keddington held up a picture of Jesus with the ten lepers.

Shaun knew the story. It was one of his mother’s favorites, and she told it often in family home evening.

“Who can tell us this story?” Sister Keddington asked.

Shaun raised his hand. “Jesus healed ten men who had leprosy. But only one remembered to thank Jesus for curing him. The other nine walked away without saying anything.”

“How do you think that made Jesus feel?” Sister Keddington asked.

“Sad,” Shaun said.

Sister Keddington nodded. “I think Jesus felt very sad when the other nine men walked away without thanking Him.”

Shaun thought about last Sunday when his mother had asked him to write a thank-you note to his grandparents for the birthday gift they had sent him. Shaun had been too busy playing with his new game to take time to write them.

Then he thought about Jesus’s disappointment with the men who didn’t show their gratitude to Him. Was that how his grandparents felt because he hadn’t bothered to thank them for their gift?

His grandparents lived almost 2,000 miles away. Shaun didn’t get to see them very often, but he knew that they loved him, just as he loved them. His grandma wrote him every week, and his grandpa always had a new joke to tell Shaun when they phoned each Sunday night.

After Shaun’s family got home from church, he didn’t stop in the kitchen for a snack as he usually did. He hurried to his room and pulled out a notebook of lined paper.

Shaun spent a long time writing the note to his grandparents, making his letters in neat cursive. He thanked them for the gift and told them how much he loved them.

When he finished, he read the letter again. Satisfied with it, he ran downstairs and found his mother. “Mom, do you have an envelope and stamp I can use? I wrote the thank-you note to Grandma and Grandpa.”

His mother smiled. “I know they’ll be glad to get it.”

With her help, Shaun addressed the envelope and slipped the letter inside.

“There’s someone else who deserves our gratitude as well,” his mother said.

Shaun knew she meant Heavenly Father. Before Shaun went to sleep that night, he knelt by his bed and thanked Heavenly Father for the many blessings He gave Shaun and his family every day.

[Attitude of Gratitude]

President Thomas S. Monson

“I urge that you exemplify [show] … an attitude of gratitude.” President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “Pathways to Perfection,” Ensign, May 2002, 99.

[illustrations] Illustrations by Matt Smith