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Why is it important to be grateful?

The Lord wants us to have a spirit of gratitude in all we do and say. When we are grateful, we will have greater happiness and satisfaction in our lives. We will recognize the influence and blessings of the Lord.

Prepare yourself spiritually

What scriptures and other resources will help the young women understand the importance of being thankful and the blessings that come from living with gratitude?

Psalm 92:1; 100; Alma 26:8 (Expressions of praise and thanksgiving)

Luke 17:11–19 (The ten lepers)

Alma 37:37; D&C 46:32 (We are commanded to give thanks)

D&C 59:15–21 (Ingratitude offends God)

D&C 78:19 (Blessings of gratitude)

Thomas S. Monson, “The Divine Gift of Gratitude,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 87–90

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Grateful in Any Circumstances,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014

Russell M. Nelson, “Thanks Be to God,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 77–79; see also the video “Give Thanks”

Gratitude,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 18

“How Great Thou Art,” Hymns, no. 86; “Count Your Blessings,” Hymns, no. 241

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Assign each young woman a letter of the alphabet, and give the class one minute to list all the blessings they can think of that begin with their letters. Why do we sometimes overlook the seemingly small blessings the Lord has given us? Ask a class member to read Doctrine and Covenants 46:32 or 59:21. How can we show more gratitude for “whatsoever blessing [we] are blessed with”?
  • Write on the board, “Our degree of __________ is a measure of our love for Him.” Encourage the young women to listen for the word that completes the sentence as they watch the short video “Give Thanks.” Invite the young women to share examples of people in their lives who exhibit love for the Savior through gratitude.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women understand the importance of gratitude. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite each young woman to read Luke 17:11–19 and share why they think nine of the ten lepers did not give thanks to the Savior. What are some things that might keep us from expressing gratitude? Invite the young women to think about a blessing they have received for which they may not have expressed appropriate gratitude. Why is it important to express thanks? What will they do to show gratitude?
  • As a class, read scripture passages and sing hymns of praise and thanksgiving, such as those listed in this outline. Invite the young women to look for phrases about things for which they also feel gratitude or praise. Invite them to share the phrases they chose, explain why they chose them, and express their own feelings of gratitude.
  • Tell or read the story of the fish from Elder Russell M. Nelson’s talk “Thanks Be to God.” Ask the young women if they have ever helped others (like the caretaker in this story) without being thanked. Divide the rest of the talk by the section headings, and assign each young woman to read a section. Ask the young women to write down something they learn about gratitude and a scripture related to what they learned (they could use the Topical Guide). Allow the young women to share what they wrote down and to tell of a time when they have felt grateful for one of God’s gifts.
  • Read or tell the story about Gordon Green’s family from President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “The Divine Gift of Gratitude.” Ask the young women to listen for things that made the family feel grateful. Why did the family’s attitude change throughout the story? Invite the young women to ponder questions like the following: “Have I ever been guilty of having an unthankful attitude?” “Are there any blessings I have that I am not noticing?” “How would having a grateful attitude be a blessing to me?” Invite a few of them to share some of their thoughts.
  • Assign each young woman to study a section of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Grateful in Any Circumstances,” without giving them the titles of their sections. Ask them to write their own titles—phrases or sentences that they feel summarize what they have studied. Invite them to share their titles and anything they learn from President Uchtdorf’s counsel about gratitude. What can they do to develop the attitude of gratitude President Uchtdorf describes?

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand the importance of gratitude? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this topic?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Offer a prayer of gratitude only, thanking Heavenly Father for blessings and asking for nothing.
  • Look for opportunities to express gratitude throughout the week.