Recently I was reading about a direct “revelation” that a person claimed to receive.
In the revelation, God said,
“I am grateful for all your efforts..”
The minute I read that my mind was filled with confusion.
I found myself quickly cataloguing all of the scriptures I had read to find that exact wording or similar wording, or even a sentiment that might coincide with this verbiage.
In this claimed revelation, God was speaking in terms I had never encountered.
The use of this term “grateful” seemed to displace and re-characterize that nature of God differently than he characterizes himself in scripture.
Gratitude and thankfulness are important human attributes that we need to have, there is no question about that. But is it truly an attribute of deity?
The term grateful is almost synonymous with the term thankful, in fact it is the first descriptive used in the definition.
THANK’FUL, a. Grateful; impressed with a sense of kindness received, and ready to acknowledge it. The Lord’s supper is to be celebrated with a thankful remembrance of his sufferings and death.
Be thankful to him, and bless his name. Ps.100 (1828 Websters Dictionary)
God commands us to be thankful in all things (D&C 59:7,21 ; 62:7)
But are gratitude and thankfulness attributes that God declares himself to have?
Is God grateful to humans or any other intelligent entity for anything?
I am unaware of any passage in the standard works that suggests that God is ever grateful for anything, let alone, grateful for anything that humans accomplish.
In my mind, gratitude is subordinate response.
SUBOR’DINATE, a. [L. sub and ordinatus, from ordo, order.]
1. Inferior in order,in nature, in dignity, in power, importance, &c.; as subordinate officers.
It was subordinate, not enslaved, to the understanding.
2. Descending in a regular series.
The several kinds and subordinate species of each, are easily distinguished.
SUBOR’DINATE, v.t. To place in order or rank below something else; to make or consider as of less value or importance; as, to subordinate one creature to another; to subordinate temporal to spiritual things.
1. To make subject; as, to subordinate the passions to reason
In my mind, being grateful to somebody is a response someone has to someone in a position of greater control in at least one respect.
It seems to me that if God is subordinate to humans in any way, he is not omnipotent
I believe this is why God has never said in scripture that he is grateful to humans.
Additionally, in my own experience, gratitude takes place when the outcome of something is not previously known. Yet God has all time continually before his face. He has infinite foreknowledge. He is never surprised at a given outcome.
I am aware of God telling someone that He is “pleased” with something they did, but not “grateful“. Telling someone that you are pleased with their actions could simply be an act of giving feedback to one of His creatures so that they know they are on the right track.
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth. Doctrine and Covenants 124:1,12,84
Interestingly, I think that the term “pleased” is probably a component of the definition of grateful, yet not the same.
PLE’ASED, pp. Gratified; affected with agreeable sensations or emotions.
Strangely, “grateful” is not used in the definition of “gratified”
GRAT’IFIED, pp. Pleased; indulged according to desire.
Again, if gratitude is such an important attribute for humans to have, why wouldn’t it be one of the attributes that God has?
If I view God through the lens of the King Follett Sermon, I guess I can see God being grateful to humans since he was once human and simply evolved into a God.
On the other hand, if I view God through the lens provided by Lectures on Faith, believing that there have been no other Gods before him, and that God the Father has always been all powerful and all-knowing, and is the creator of all things and all other creatures (creating all things through His Son Jesus Christ), it seems somewhat disrespectful if not blasphemous to characterize God as having the human attribute of being grateful to human beings for anything.
If God created us and provided the plan of salvation and suffered for our sins, and gives us the gift of faith and all good gifts, does he not get the credit for anything of value that we have done?
Does not the act of being grateful imply that we did something God could not do for us?
I did a keyword search for the word “grateful” to see how the scriptures use the word.
Nothing came up except in Official Declaration 2.
I did a keyword search for the word “gratitude” to see how the scriptures use the word.
The only thing that came up in the LDS online search was how Oliver Cowdery used it as a descriptive for how he felt as he witnessed the revelatory process as Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon-
Joseph Smith—History 1
Oliver Cowdery describes these events thus: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated with the Urim and Thummim, or, as the Nephites would have said, ‘Interpreters,’ the history or record called ‘The Book of Mormon.’
It is fascinating to me that those two words are NEVER used in conjunction with God’s attributes and seldom used at all in scripture.
I continued trying to understand why I am having a brainfart with how the claimed revelation reads.
I think the answer is contained deep within the definition of the word
Grateful 1. Having a due sense of benefits; kindly disposed towards one from whom a favor has been received; willing to acknowledge and repay benefits; as a grateful heart.2. Agreeable; pleasing; acceptable; gratifying; as a grateful present; a grateful offering.3. Pleasing to the taste; delicious; affording pleasure; as food or drink grateful offering. Now golden fruits on loaded branches shine, And grateful clusters swell with floods of wine.
Do mortals provide God with benefits? Does God receive favors from mortals?
I guess I can see how an argument can be made in favor of God being grateful to mortals, depending on how a person views the nature and character of God, but somehow, as I think upon the attributes of the Father of all lights with regard to his creations, it just doesn’t seem appropriate that God would say he is “grateful” to humans for anything.
Well Pleased, yes
I am sure there are readers of this blog that see this differently than me. Particularly those that have leanings towards the New Age Movement philosophies or a belief in the King Follett Discourse.
I am interested in understanding how I might be wrong on this issue.
In a sense it probably isn’t all that important. On the other hand, it has to do with the true nature and character of God. It has to do with how we perceive him and ultimately, how we honor and worship and glorify him.
I suppose it is also important in discerning the truthfulness of the claimed revelation from God that I was reading about.
Please provide your strong reasons and help me see what I am missing.
I could be wrong in this issue
Help me see the light.
onewhoiswatching [at] gmail [dot] com