I am thankful for the instruction that we receive in the scriptures. We are given specific instructions on how we are to become more worthy to obtain eternal life with our Father in Heaven, and Jesus Christ in the scriptures. I have always been a person who appreciates clear instruction and specific direction.
As I read in Alma 7 I was reminded that Alma's instructions are an echo of the Saviors teachings during the Sermon On the Mount that would take place later in history; yet the message was the same. Alma says we can walk blameless before God if we can be, " humble, submissive, and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks to God for whatsoever things ye do receive, and see that ye have faith, charity, and then ye will always abound in good works. And may the Lord bless you and keep your garments spotless, that ye may be brought down to sit with Abraham, Issac, Jacob and the Holy Prophets who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of Heaven to go no more out." (Alma 7:23-25)
The instruction that caught me was the phrase, " always returning thanks to God for whatsoever things ye do receive." (Alma 7:23 )
The importance of the particular virtue of gratitude was made known to us by a modern prophet of God; Thomas S. Monson.
In the October 2010 General Conference; Thomas S. Monson quoted that, " Someone has said that gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others."
To me this says that if I focus on being thankful I will also obtain these other virtues that have been mentioned.
I have a personal experience with gratitude being an antidote for sin when I found myself comparing myself to others and could have been led to the path of envy or jealousy. Instead, I decided to practice being thankful. We can always replace any negative thought with gratitude.
This is my personal example:
This past Sunday the lesson was on not comparing ourselves to others. My Relief Society President said that she felt specifically led to give a lesson on this principle. As she was asking us what helps us not compare ourselves to others my response to the class was " gratitude ". I essentially explained what it was to have an attitude of gratitude and how it has helped me not look down on myself, and as well it has helped me to not feel envious of others. I explained that I have felt inferior in my ward at times, as I thought to myself that so many women in my ward are extremely intelligent, highly spiritual and have very active and strong families, and I just didn't see how I would be of any use to the Lord in my wonderful ward; in serving Him among this group of faithful saints. Well, my antidote was gratitude. I decided that instead of comparing myself to these women, I should be thankful that my children are being taught in their classes by such incredible women. I decided instead of feeling like I had no value to the Lord, I would just be thankful that I had the opportunity to learn from very intelligent, and spiritually insightful people. As I was thankful to learn from them, and to have their help in teaching my children, I was no longer comparing myself to them anymore. I just felt happy, and blessed in my opportunities to learn from others.