Friday, January 11, 2013

Gratitude and Anti-Gratitude

I've been doing some more thinking today, and I think I've figured out a little more about the effect doubt/disbelief has on gratitude.

A few years back, I got my Amateur Radio Operator license.  One of the things that I learned about and have experienced in communicating over the air waves is the effect of interference and noise on the radio signal.  Noise is just something you have to learn how to deal with - there are many different types of sources from many different locations, and some days no matter how you may try to avoid it you just have to live with it.
Sometimes you can locate the source of the noise, sometimes you can find a location that isn't as effected by the noise, and when all else fails, crank the transmit power knob up to 11 and just wipe it out with excessive wattage.

I think doubt and disbelief are like noise and interference. They can block out and scramble the messages of the "still small voice", and are the opposite of the peace and stillness that we are seeking.  Like radio noise, there are some things that we can do to minimize the effect of the extraneous signals.  I think the most popular and most overused method is to overpower the noise with a stronger signal.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mechanics of Gratitude

I've been thinking about gratitude a lot lately, specifically the "mechanics" of gratitude.

Elder Kevin Pearson gave a Gen Conf talk in April 2009 that went into the "mechanics" of faith that I think can be applied to gratitude:
"Faith and fear cannot coexist. One gives way to the other. The simple fact is we all need to constantly build faith and overcome sources of destructive disbelief. The Savior’s teaching comparing faith to a grain of mustard seed recognizes this reality (see Matthew 13:31–32). Consider it this way: our net usable faith is what we have left to exercise after we subtract our sources of doubt and disbelief. You might ask yourself this question: 'Is my own net faith positive or negative?' If your faith exceeds your doubt and disbelief, the answer is likely positive. If you allow doubt and disbelief to control you, the answer might be negative."
I think we can do something with gratitude to understand the factors that affect and limit our gratitude. I think it can be expressed in terms of an equation, like Elder Pearson laid out.