Two people praying together.

Should We Think About Gratitude in a Different Way?

Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach.

Have you ever tried counting your blessings? Counting your blessings can be uplifting, but what if you lose some blessings on your list? Perhaps you lose a prized possession or a loved one.  Life changes quickly, and we may not always have the things we’re grateful for. Should we be less grateful when our circumstances change?

“When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation.” —Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Photo by Petr Ganaj

The Lord expects us to always be grateful. However, rather than always focusing on what we’re thankful for, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf suggests in his address “Grateful in Any Circumstances” that we “focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be.” This approach changes the way we think about gratitude: not as some kind of exercise or checklist of what we’re grateful for but rather as a way of life of who we are.

President Uchtdorf teaches that we can be grateful even in the most difficult times when we embody this kind of gratitude. “When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation.” We can give thanks to God and express gratitude to loved ones, even in our most difficult trials.  This kind of gratitude will be unchanging, regardless of the circumstances in our lives.

Read more about how you can make gratitude your way of life from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s full talk “Grateful in Any Circumstances.”


—Skyler Garrett, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Discover how you can view future unhappy circumstances with optimism by reading Elizabeth James’s Latter-day Saint Insights article “Gratitude is Key: How to be Happy in Hard Times.”

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