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FHE Idea: Beginning the Attitude of Gratitude

source: Active Happiness
Sometimes it's hard to be grateful.  There are so many people struggling because of the economy, financial hardship, and personal loss.  When a person is on the losing end of life it's hard to say, "You should just be grateful for what you have!"  But I think that sometimes the loss can completely overshadow all the good things we have left, so it’s probably a idea to remind ourselves to look for things to be grateful for.  (This is a lesson for myself, can you tell?  Maybe if I get in the habit of looking for things to be grateful for, then it will become easier for me to see the good in life and not just the bad.)

FHE Theme: Beginning the Attitude of Gratitude

Scripture: D&C 78:19 and D&C 56:7

Songs: ”I Thank Thee Dear Father” Children’s Songbook and “Count Your Blessings” LDS Hymnbook

Activity: Get a new 8x10" frame - it doesn't have to be amazing (if you're like me, you'll probably get it at the dollar store).  Cut a piece of paper down to 8x10" size and grab a pen. 

Start the lesson by brainstorming, as a family, for all the little things that you can be grateful for.  Don't focus on something huge, just try to think of as many every day, normal, even slightly insignificant things that fall into the "good" column of your lives.  Write all the things down on your paper.  Fill as much of that paper as you can - don't stop until you run out of space.

If you need some help thinking of things to write down you can use this idea from the 2010 January Friend and go on a “thankful hunt”.  Divide your family into teams and give them a piece of paper with the words “see”, “hear”, “smell”, “touch”, and” taste” on it.  Have the teams hunt around the house for things that fall into those categories (stuff they can see that they are thankful for, things that they can hear that they are thankful for, and so on).  After the teams have had a few minutes to collect a few things, add them to your paper.

After you've covered every single centimeter of that paper (but not the back) set it aside and read the scriptures listed above.  Discuss them as a family and what they mean to you personally.  If your kids are young, you can read the story that goes along with the “thankful hunt” told by President Monson in the 2010 January Friend.  It’s a great example of someone who found things to be grateful for every day.

Once you've had a good family discussion on the topic of being grateful, pull out that paper again.   Tell your family something to the effect of, "Even when things seem to be going horribly and you think there's nothing left to be grateful for, look at this paper and see the many things that we have been blessed with."  Then put that paper in your new frame and put it somewhere in your house that each family member will see it often.

You can also hang this free gratitude printable right next to it:

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