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Music and the Spoken Word: A basket of blessings

POSTED: November 20, 2017 8:10 a.m.
Deseret Connect/

We all have a “basket of blessings,” though we don’t always remember to look inside it. There are blessings — large and small — all around us, even when it seems that blessings are hard to come by.

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Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.

Some time ago, a family was going through a challenging time. Their world seemed to crumble around them, and all of their attention and energy was consumed in their problems. Recognizing that this was not how they wanted to live their lives, they decided to turn to heaven for help.

That’s when a miracle happened. No, their problems didn’t disappear. Rather, a good friend of the family helped them see that they had what she called a “basket” of blessings — and it was “overflowing.” The mother of the family said: “We realized that we were surrounded by goodness and were being cheered on from every side. We began as a family to express our gratitude to each other as well as to the Lord daily.”

So each night the family would gather to talk about the blessings that they noticed had been added to their basket that day. “The more we expressed gratitude,” the mother observed, “the more there was to be grateful for.” Challenges became more manageable as they recognized that God had been close by all along (“Gratitude: A Path to Happiness,” by Sister Bonnie D. Parkin, Ensign, May 2007).

We all have a “basket of blessings,” though we don’t always remember to look inside it. There are blessings — large and small — all around us, even when it seems that blessings are hard to come by. Very often, our basket fills most quickly with small and simple blessings: a beautiful day, a kind word, a good friend, a loving family, a smile or something that makes us smile.

This season of Thanksgiving might be a good time to notice these blessings. Doing so could inspire us to be more intentional about expressing gratitude to the Lord and to countless others who bless our lives. And it might lead us to share our abundance with others, especially with those whose basket may not be quite as full.

As we “live in thanksgiving daily” (see Alma 34:38), we will find that our basket of blessings truly is overflowing, and our outlook on life will improve in all of the most important ways.
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