Donna Leigh (Courtesy Photo)

Donna Leigh (Courtesy Photo)

Living & Growing: Let us choose to be grateful

May our spring be full of gratitude.

By Donna Leigh

The world has, and is, experiencing the challenges of a worldwide pandemic. Mental and physical health, loneliness, employment, family relations, and education are just a few of the challenges many have faced. As we are each individual, our challenges have been individual. Like many of you I have been looking forward to spring. The calendar says it is spring, but the snow that still appears most mornings is still calling for winter. Waking to yet another morning of snow on the ground and the windshield as I drove to work, I decided I needed an attitude adjustment. Psychology research shows that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Positive emotions, improvement of health, ability to deal with adversity and opportunity for strong relationships are related to gratitude, according to Harvard Medical School.

Our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, holds semi-annual conferences in April and October. These General Conferences are an opportunity to rejuvenate our spirits and souls and make goals for our next six months when we meet again. This year General Conference was also Easter weekend. Easter is a time of renewal as well, so it was a wonderful experience to contemplate both the conference gospel messages and the Easter messages. President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Russell M. Nelson gave this quote during April 2021 General Conference: “His gospel provides an invitation to keep changing, growing and becoming more pure. It is a gospel of hope, of healing and of progress. Thus, the gospel is a message of joy! Our spirits rejoice with every small step forward we take.”

I found President Nelson’s message inspiring and consistent with my goal for an attitude adjustment. This past year could be looked at as an opportunity to be grateful. Spring will come. Birds will arrive, Buds will sprout. Covid challenges will decline. The opportunities for loneliness can be looked at as opportunities to have quiet time to reflect and renew my soul, and time to work on goals and progress. I can be grateful and look forward to the time when I will get to see my family after Covid restrictions ease. I can be grateful that I have had time to process what is important and what I can do without. An attitude of gratitude will come from looking for hope, healing and progress in our lives.

Let us choose to look at this past year and the year ahead as times to be grateful, a time to have hope for future, a time of healing and healing to come, and a time to progress as better individuals and a better and stronger community. May our spring be full of gratitude.

• Donna Leigh is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Juneau Alaska Stake.“Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

More in Neighbors

teaser
Living & Growing: Acting and reacting

We can turn the tide of conflict and division into relationships that are built on kindness.

Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist.
Slack Tide: Nobody moves to Alaska to write comedy — except me

Everyone has a “what I’m doing in Alaska” story.

Women of the Moose volunteers pose with the Easter Baskets that they put together for the children at the AWARE shelter. Each basket was made specific to each child’s age, said Jaime Isaak in an email. “A lot of happy children,” Isaak said. (Courtesy Photo / Jaime Isaak)
Women of the Moose hop to it

Volunteers made Easter baskets for children at local shelter.

Donna Leigh (Courtesy Photo)
Living & Growing: Let us choose to be grateful

May our spring be full of gratitude.

Thx
Thank you letters for the week of April 4

Thank you, merci, danke, gracias, gunalchéesh.

teaser
Living & Growing: Wondering about resurrection

By Dan Wiese It seems incredulous to us that the disciples were… Continue reading

Mary E. Becker and James D. Becker were married at the Log Chapel of Chapel by the Lake in Juneau on March 27, 1971.
Beckers celebrate 50th anniversary

They were married at the Log Chapel of Chapel by the Lake in Juneau on March 27, 1971.

Teaser
Slack Tide: The perils of protaxination

I’ve got tax problems—specifically, filing them in a timely manner.

Department of Veterans Affairs nurse Dale Cotton administers a dose of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Gimme A Smile: Top 10 reasons to get the vaccine

Stickers, a conversation starter and preventing potentially deadly illness all crack the top 10.

Leaf
Living & Growing: May their memory be a blessing

A leaf drops to the ground, where it nourishes the soil…

Thx
Thank you letters for the week of March 21, 2021

Thank you, merci, danke, gracias, gunalchéesh.

teaser image
Living & Growing: Treating the temple of God right

Doctrine teaches us to protect and care for our bodies, for they are the temple of God