It’s November. A time for thanksgiving and gratitude. A time when we focus on things we are grateful for. I think it should be this way every month, but for some reason around the holidays we are all brought to a place of more gratitude. One phrase I hear a lot around Thanksgiving is, “I’m grateful for my health.” That’s a wonderful thing to be grateful for and recognize. But WHY are you grateful for your health? What does being healthy allow you to do? And how do you show your Heavenly Father and those around you, that you are grateful for this gift? What if you do not have ‘health’? How then, can you still be grateful for your body? I answered all of these questions in the class that I taught at the Time To Blossom Conference this summer.

Our bodies were all apart of “the big plan”. Our loving Father in Heaven gave our bodies to us, to house our spirits. Our body and spirit together, is our soul. They are a GIFT, but they are imperfect. They are subject to pain, illness, disability, and more. Even still, before we were born, all of us were EAGER to accept this gift.

We are taught that when we receive a gift, we are to show gratitude. This is the same for the gift of our bodies! We should show gratitude for this amazing gift we have all received. Here are 4 ways we each can show gratitude for our bodies.

1. Exercise

Using our body is a great way to show gratitude for your bodies and the amazing things they can do. You’ve heard the term “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”. Thank rings true for our bodies. What if an injury or a disabilty prevents us from moving our body in the way we would like? There is always something we can do. Four years ago, I broke my back. I was jumping, and the lowest level of my vertabrae in my spine broke! I was in tremendous pain. the doctor recommended a spinal fusion surgery. I wasn’t able to use my body the way I would have liked for a whole year, before I decided to do the surgery. I go the surgery and I wasn’t ale to bend, lift or twist for 6 months, in order for the spine to fuse. I found ways to so push-ups, lunges and planks. I stayed strong and ate healthy and by a miracle, my spine was able to fuse before the normal time of 6 months. When we show gratitude for our bodies, by using them we will be blessed with health.

2. Healthy Eating

One day while at the zoo with my kids, we noticed that the flamingos were not a beautiful, pink color that we’d hoped they be. They were all a very pale pink, almost white color. We asked a zoo keeper nearby why that was case. He told us that flamingos who eat nutrition food like shrimp and brine that most flamingos in the wild get, they get a beautiful pink coat of feathers. And flamingos who eat “processed zoo food” get a pale looking coat of feathers. I was so intrigued by the parallels in those flamingos coats and our own bodies. The food we use as fuel for our body, always manifests itself on our outward appearance. Our skin is clearer and more  bright when we are eating whole foods. We sleep better when we eat healthy foods. We have more energy and we are happier when we are taking care of ourselves by eating enough protein, veggies, and fruits!

photo source

3. Modesty

When I think of modesty, I think of how one dresses. There are different types of modesty though. Modesty in speech and action is also important. The things that come out of one’s mouth is as important and the things that go in ones mouth!

Susan Tanner said one of my all-time favorite quotes. She said, “Joseph Smith taught: “We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the Celestial Kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The Devil has no body, and herein is his punishment” (The Words of Joseph Smith, ed. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook [1980], 60).

Satan learned these same eternal truths about the body, and yet his punishment is that he does not have one. Therefore he tries to do everything he can to get us to abuse or misuse this precious gift. He has filled the world with lies and deceptions about the body. He tempts many to defile this great gift of the body through unchastity, immodesty, self-indulgence, and addictions. He seduces some to despise their bodies; others he tempts to worship their bodies. In either case, he entices the world to regard the body merely as an object. In the face of so many satanic falsehoods about the body, I want to raise my voice today in support of the sanctity of the body. I testify that the body is a gift to be treated with gratitude and respect.”

Satan may makes feel like we need to dress in the latest trends, even if they don’t make us feel comfortable or show too much of our body. This is simply not true. When we are modest in dress, action and speech, we show gratitude for our sacred bodies.

4. Changing Your Mindset

A word about social media: I unfollowed anyone who made me feel badly about myself or made me wish I looked like them, had a house like them, or dressed like them. I realize that comes from my own thoughts, but if someone’s posts are not uplifting to me, I simple unfollow them! I have a lady that I love to follow, She is uplifting, real and positive. The other day, I stopped dead in my tracks when I read this, attached to one of her photos: “Next time Satan whispers to you that you’re fat, ugly, too tall or too short…just whisper back, ‘at least I have a body.” I love that. And it’s so true. Satan wants to tell us we aren’t good enough. He wants us, more than anything, to be unhappy and look away from our Savior. He does tis by making us believe untrue things about ourselves. As women and girls, we need to block these thoughts out and replace them with empowering, uplifting and TRUE thoughts about ourselves. Our bodies are a gift and I can’t think of a better way to show gratitude to our Heavenly Father for them, than by loving them.

During this month of gratitude, my prayer is that we will be grateful for our bodies. No matter what your trials are, we can show gratitude.

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