I was in a meeting at work the other day listening to a man I had never met. When he began to speak he said he was grateful for the opportunity to talk with us.
My first thought was, “This guy said ‘grateful.’ He has to be a Mormon.”
By the end of his remarks, when he closed with how grateful he was for something or other, I was sure of it.
Turns out, he is active LDS.
Why would the use of just one simple word be an excellent indicator of whether someone is Mormon?
It’s because we use it – All. The. Time.
Think of the last time you prayed, kneeling at the side of your bed. You said grateful, didn’t you?
You said it when you prayed to bless the food.
You said it when you prayed with your family.
You will hear it Sunday in the sacrament meeting opening prayer, then again during the closing prayer. And it’s not limited to prayer – in between you will hear it at the beginning and/or end of most if not all of the talks. Sunday School, you will hear grateful. Again, third hour, grateful. On fast and testimony meeting you will hear it expressed numerous times. There may be a variation or two, like “so very thankful” or “our hearts are filled with gratitude.” But still, it’s all pretty much the same thing.
As an exercise, catch yourself when you say it. Then in an LDS setting, count how many times you hear the word when others say it.
I will go so far as to suggest that we as a people use “grateful” more than we thank Heavenly Father “for this day.” And that’s saying something.
Last week, David wrote about a possible Dan Reynolds crisis of faith. After listening to Reynolds’s new Imagine Dragons album several times, I would think so, too, until I read a blog post Reynolds wrote about the album “Smoke and Mirrors.” Reynolds uses the word “grateful” twice. Twice! That seals the deal for me: he’s totally active.
There are some who aren’t happy with church history/doctrine/practice but who can’t seem to shake the grateful habit, which gives me hope that they will someday rejoin the fold. Recently excommunicated Kate Kelly and John Dehlin are both great examples. If you search their names plus the word “grateful,” you will find they still use the word all the time.
Some post-Mormon kindness from Sterling Brown. So grateful for the support during a hard time. http://t.co/6VE2EUrgMF
— johndehlin (@johndehlin) January 24, 2015
Then there are those who aren’t Mormon who use the word “grateful.” My bet is when you hear the word used in an outside-the-faith setting, you will be able to trace it back to Mormons.
For instance, I’m starting to wonder if the late Jerry Garcia with Grateful Dead was Mormon. Was the band name derived from the influence of LSD…or LDS?
Our influence is spreading. Take last night’s Oscars, for example. One of the featured performances was Rita Ora singing a song from the film Beyond the Lights called….you’ll never believe this…”Grateful.” While most wouldn’t see an LDS connection, songwriter Diane Warren tweeted the following around the time the film went into production:
Mormonism was obviously on her mind when she wrote a song all about the most Mormon word on the planet: “Grateful.”
I know you’re good at Google, so take it a step further by searching the words “grateful” and “Mormon” and you just might shut down the glorious Internet.
Through my own personal research and your own, it is easy to conclude that Mormons, former Mormons, and non-Mormons-influenced-by-Mormons are all amazingly grateful people.
Basically, we own the word.
I’m so grateful for the word grateful. It’s the perfect way to express a much fuller version of thanks than by simply saying “thanks.”
Which is why I’m convinced that being merely appreciative is telestial. That’s why you don’t hear “appreciate” too often in a church or prayer setting. “I appreciate thee for this day” doesn’t sound right. If that does sound right to you, it may be a sign that true conversion hasn’t yet taken place.
Thankful is definitely terrestrial.
Grateful, then, must be the celestial, gold-star standard.
And if you ask me, that’s pretty grate.