Why are we commanded to be grateful? Besides the obvious answers, it's a commandment, we should appreciate what's around us, etc. , something much deeper and long lasting should be considered. Being grateful keeps us safe. What does it keep us protected from? One day as I was studying about gratitude I came across this verse in D & C 46:7 which suggests that being thankful keeps us safe from being "seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines or devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men and others of devils." All of a sudden the reason to be grateful made sense, it had a purpose. As we observe what's around us and the many influences that crowd our thinking and actions, it is apparent that gratitude is far down on the list of things we contemplate each day because we give place to those "doctrines" of which the scripture mentions. So how does being thankful keep us safe? Gratitude helps us to be less self-centered. It helps us see our surroundings with perspective. It helps our thinking patterns. We are less apt to judge or find fault or dwell on the negative. Our appreciation for God and one another is magnified. We are able to see past the foibles that each of us carry as well as readily offer forgiveness, with compassion, tenderness, and charity.
Gratitude is a choice. Elder Uchtdorf in the last General Relief Society Conference talked about a flower, the tiny forget-me-not. He likened it to happiness that is often forgotten in our quest for the big and flashy, like a rose. "...if we spend our days waiting for the fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us...The happiest people I know...are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy."
So last of all cultivating this quality, and yes character trait, helps us to be happy.
I like to know why I need to be grateful and now I do. It keeps me safe from the evil influences of the world. It helps me to truly see. I think better. It helps me to be less judgemental and more charitable. It helps me to be happy.