L. Tom Perry, “Let Him Do it With Simplicity”
Henry B. Eyring, “Remembrance and Gratitude”
In Relief Society this Sunday we covered two talks from the most recent General Conference, only one of which I’ll mention here. It was Elder Perry’s talk about simplifying our lives. He discussed Thoreau’s time spent at Walden Pond and subsequent conclusion that we have only four basic needs: food, clothing, shelter, and fuel. Elder Perry pointed out that by focusing on these four needs we can relieve stress in our lives, since they are so basic and many of us are abundantly blessed with them.
I wanted to tie that in with part of Elder Eyring’s talk from 1989, where he stated that learning “how to control our wants” will in turn “increase our gratitude and generosity.” He gave the example of the small town of Orderville, Utah, which was established mainly by refugees from a nearby town that was destroyed. The refugees had nothing when they came to Orderville, so any prosperity they experienced ought to be enormous in comparison with their humble beginnings – yet the town members seldom seemed satisfied with what they had, even during times of great wealth. Elder Eyring said, “We so easily forget that we came into life with nothing.”
Very true – we came with nothing, and we require so little, but most of us have material and spiritual blessings far beyond what we really need (or maybe deserve). Instead of complaining about what we lack, this week in particular we should realize that we’ve been given infinitely more than the basic necessities. It really does seem like a time to give thanks.