Good Morning brothers and sisters. Today I was asked to give a talk and I had the opportunity to choose my own topic. Grateful that I was ale to take about whatever I wanted. I decided to write about gratitude. For the past few years of my life, Ive noticed a connection between gratitude and taking things for granted. The things we are grateful for, we don't take for granted, but the things we aren't grateful for, we do take for granted. For example, having an Iphone or computer is a huge blessing for everyone who owns one. However, I am not grateful for it until it's gone, and then I realize how much I took it for granted. But once I get it back, I forget that I once cared for it.
Recently I went on a cruise to Mexico over spring break. I had really been looking forward to this trip and was excited just to take a break from school and spend time with my family. Waking up Saturday morning after already packing and getting ready to go, I had a really bad headache and I felt cold even though it was hot outside. Knowing that I was sick, I ignored it and waited until we were able to go the boarding terminal for the boat. Once on the boat, I had no energy and didn't want to do anything at all and just layed in my bed. After a few hours, I decided to meet up with the rest of my family to have dinner and take a tour of the cruise. This whole time, I felt horrible and just wanted to go to sleep. But I didn't tell anyone, and waited until I could go to bed when everyone else did. When it was finally time to go to bed, I was fully ready to sleep until like noon the next morning. But around one in the morning, I woke up feeling terrible. I went to the bathroom and sat on the floor with the lights on and the door closed so I didn't bother everyone else sleeping. I was sitting on the floor and decided to say a prayer to my Heavenly Father. I didn't ask him why this was happening to me, I just asked him to help me feel better so that I could enjoy my time away from school. Twenty minutes pass and Im still sitting on the floor thinking about checking out there and calling it a night. But I just started to think. I thought, "what if I didn't believe in God, or Jesus, or didnt have a testimony of the church?" And I had never really thought like this before, but it opened my eyes. Who would I talk to on the bathroom floor if I didn't know my Heavenly Father was watching over me from above and protecting me? This is when I really started to realize that I take a lot of things for granted.
Obviously being a kid and living four miles away from the beach is a huge blessing that I take for granted everyday, but this was different. I thought about all of the people without a God to believe in, and thought about what they'd do in my position. Just suffer through it alone, and not tell anybody just like I was doing previously to being on the bathroom floor? Yes, probably. After a couple more minutes, I built up the strength to get up and walk back to my bed, where I fell asleep and felt a little better about my situation knowing I had someone to talk to and look over me. But sadly, my fever and headache didn't go away until like four days later. But that's okay, because what I gained from this experience was that I should take Heavenly Father for granted. Out of all the churches, I always wonder why I was born into a family who believes in the church that Im currently in. I picture my life without my beliefs and think about how terrible of a person I would be. Im forever grateful for this church and my family because of the things that they've brought me.
I am able to relate my experience back to a scripture in Luke. The story of the ten lepers. As it goes, ten lepers are healed by Jesus and all leave right after being healed without saying thank you. But one comes back, falls on his face and gives his thanks. Jesus responds in Luke chapter 17 verse 17 and says, "were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Everyone healed received the same blessings and were all equally excited, but only one returned to Jesus. He questioned where the rest of them were, but wasn't angry or sad and allowed them to keep the blessings which he gave them. I think the ten lepers represent me. Each of the lepers represent one of the times I was blessed and didn't return to Christ to give thanks with a prayer or by action. But the one leper who returns to Jesus represents the time where I realized I took it all for granted. I need to be like the one leper who was grateful, and need to be grateful for everything that Jesus offers me. Im grateful for the church, my family, my friends, and everyone in the church who are there to listen to me talk. And Im grateful for my testimony, that I know the church is true, and that Jesus died for us on the cross, and I will forever be grateful for that, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.