The often-forgotten virtue of appreciation can transform your relationships with others and with God.
Think of all the people you’ve interacted with today. Regardless of whether you’re related to them, whether you’re friends with them, or whether you just met them, did you treat them with kindness? Did you say “thank you” and express heartfelt appreciation for them?
In a 1976 BYU Devotional address, Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–1994), who was then serving as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught that the ultimate maturity comes in expressing true appreciation. He encourages us to be appreciative for many things, particularly our families and our spiritual gifts.
“The most mature students, the most mature and successful people who participate in marriage, are those who understand appreciation,” Elder Ashton says. He explains that many marriages fail partly because spouses do not appreciate each other’s actions and love.
“I can’t overemphasize the fact today that one of the greatest virtues any person can have individually and on an eternal basis is the virtue of appreciation,” he says.
When we stop and ponder the spiritual gifts God has given us, God will show us that he has blessed us with more gifts than we realized. And as we express appreciation to God and to our spouses, parents, or roommates, we will see his hand more in our lives.
“Please, please learn and practice appreciation—in some quarters a forgotten virtue,” Elder Ashton says.
So take a few minutes today and text your parents, call your friend, or say a prayer of gratitude. You’ll feel closer to God if you do.
Read Elder Ashton’s full article, “Appreciation—Sign of Maturity.”
Source Publication: BYU Speeches
—Alissa Holm, Mormon Insights
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