Throughout my study of the scriptures, I often find recurring themes. One of those is the use of gratitude to instill righteous desire.
One clear instance of this within the Book of Mormon is in the opening verses of 2 Nephi. It’s around 575 BC, and Lehi and his family had just arrived in the Promised Land.
In the preceding chapters, Nephi, who had found his two older and very rebellions brothers – Laman and Lemuel – uncharacteristically open minded, had therefore been teaching them from the Book of Moses, and expounding upon the doctrine of Isaiah.
Once he had finished, his father Lehi then wanted to speak to them. I find it interesting to see the approach of this prophet as he endeavored to instill upon his sons some righteous desire.
If you read the first several verses (here), you’ll find that he simply lists out all the multitude of blessings they’d received. He mentions how they were spared in spite of their rebellion on their trip over the sea, their obtaining a Promised Land, their being saved from the destruction of Jerusalem, etc. And then he goes on to prophesy great things about America.
Additionally, within the scriptures, we often see this principle in action with those who have recently had poignant experiences with the spirit, personal manifestations, visions, etc. and who are subsequently filled with gratitude which leads to profound desire to do the works of righteousness.
When you recognize the hand of the Lord in your life, and you realize how much you’ve been given, the natural response is loyalty and the desire to do better, to “pay back”. Corporations use this all the time to build employee loyalty. Good leaders in any organization know how to leverage this principle in macro and micro scales.
So what is the practical application of this principle?
First, it speaks of the importance of recommitting ourselves to acknowledging the Lord in our lives. If you want to ensure that you start each day with a healthy dose of righteous desire, try making a habit of counting your blessings. Just try it, it really works. Tomorrow on your drive to work, turn off the radio and just try thinking of all that you’ve been given. Let your mind sweep through all aspects of your life, large and small. You’ll find yourself amazed at what it does to you.
Secondly, this principle can be put to use by any leader, whether you lead a team, a corporation, or a family. There are those within your sphere of influence that you can have a legitimate impact on simply by helping them appreciate the hand of the Lord in their lives. Help them count their blessings.
Be the one to help them feel gratitude to the Lord, and you’ll be an instrument for righteousness in His hands, and you’ll find that all of you were enormously enriched by the endeavor.
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