Thanks To God For Each Day Of My Life
31 Meaningful Things I Do Each Day That Makes My Life Better
I recently received a question from a reader about how I seem to get so much done in a day and stay confident and motivated. Want to know the truth? I don’t always wake up happy, but I learned a long time ago that my day goes much better when I try to start the day on the right foot. So I’ve established my daily things to do list that makes my life better.
For me, that also includes cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Sometimes just glancing out the window and watching the sunrise is enough to make me happy to be alive and grateful to capture the beauty of nature. Believe me, if you’re ever feeling low when you wake up just go outside and revel in nature. You’ll be amazed how it can change your mood.
What else do I do that keeps me happy and sane?
Here’s My Personal Wake Up and Make My Life Better List
1. Wake Up Early – I get up early every day without exception (of course, if I’m sick that’s a different story, but I’m hardly ever sick). For me, I love to get up early when the house is quite and start my day. It puts me in a great frame of mind, and I find I am more productive than if I chose to sleep in a bit more.
2. Make My Bed – Making your bed is a great way to start the day off right. You’ve immediately done something positive that will last all day. My room instantly looks neat and tidy.
3. Drink A Glass of Lemon Water – It is easy to get dehydrated at night, so when I get up, I drink a big glass of lemon water so that I can get myself rehydrated. I find if I just jump to coffee, I don’t feel hydrated, and the coffee doesn’t sit well in my tummy.
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4. Make Coffee – Need I say more? I have people in and my house daily caring for my mom, so I get the coffee pot going first thing so I can enjoy a cup and they can too.
5. Step Outside and Take A Deep Breath – I love the smell of the morning air. So almost without fail, I step outside on my deck and take a few deep breaths of the morning air. It gets my heart pumping and my brain awake. If it’s snowing or raining, I stand at the door and do the same thing.
6. Light A Candle – I love candles. I have a stockpile of candles, so I never run out. I have candles for every season too. I’m just finishing up my winter candles, and with the start of spring, I will be burning the florals soon.
7. Say My Prayers – Starting out the day thanking my God for all the blessings He’s bestowed upon my family and me, reinforces the tone of the day. It’s also an opportunity for me to ask him for the things I need in my life and to seek His guidance on problems that are troubling me.
8. Put Music On – Depending on my mood depends on the type of music I listen to. Lately, because my mother is nearing the end of her life, we’ve been listening to a cd from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They are so gifted and talented, and their music is spiritually uplifting. I could just as easily put on disco on Pandora too.
9. Sit With My Mother and Hold Her Hand – I to be able to sit with my mom before the girls show up and just hold her hand. She doesn’t usually respond to me or even look at me, but I do believe she knows someone who loves her is there with her.
10. Make My To Do List – I have a notebook that I write everything down. In the morning, while sipping on my coffee, I write down all the things in my head that I need to do or that I thought of since the day before. It’s great to get it my head and onto paper where I can see it and reflect and expand on it.
11. Schedule My Time – I plan what needs to happen in blocks of time. I also give myself some extra time just in case a project or post takes longer than anticipated.
12. Delete and Delegate – I have more on my plate both professionally and personally than most and so my day is always a juggling act of what I can get done and what’s getting passed off to someone else to do. The caretakers help with household tasks, and I have folks that support me in my businesses.
13. Go To My Mail and Clean Out My Inbox – I to end the business of my day with going through the countless emails I get and either responding, deleting, delegating or filing them away. This is a critical task that I do consistently, so I don’t miss important deadlines, information or emails from readers.
14. Respond To Readers – I get a lot, and I do mean a lot of emails from readers asking for advice or sharing a concern.
I started my blog so I could provide useful information to people who needed help getting debt, keeping their homes orderly or find themselves in a similar situation as myself as a full-time caretaker.
I take my role as a blog owner seriously, and as such, feel I must respond to people who took the time to reach out to me. If I can provide them any encouragement or point them to a resource that might solve a problem, it uplifts me greatly.
15. Call My Daughter – Nothing makes my day more than getting to spend a few minutes on the phone talking with my daughter. Sometimes we facetime, so I can see my precious grandson Lucas, but mostly we chat on the phone. I wouldn’t want to start the day any other way!
16. Write – I love to write in the morning when my mind is clear and fresh. It’s my most creative time of the day, so I make sure I get some good writing time in each day. I hardly ever take a day off. Some days I write for hours and other days I might only get in an hour total.
17. Take a Shower – It’s easy working from home to let yourself go and slack off on even the most basic of self-care. So I make it a point to take a nice long and invigorating shower each morning.
18. Dress for the Day – When I first started working from home, it was easy to want to stay in PJ’s all day. But that doesn’t help your outlook, productivity or energy level. Now, I make sure I’m dressed in something comfortable but also cute. I might slip on a piece of jewelry, a beautiful headband, or a warm sweater that I love.
19. Surround Myself With Beautiful Flowers – I have fresh flowers in the house year round. It’s a must for me.
20. Hug My Cats – My cats need love and affection too, so I make it a point to go to each one and hug them and speak to them lovingly. They lift my spirits too!
21. Do Laundry – I to keep on top of the laundry and believe in the one load a day rule. I don’t want to be drowning in the laundry on the weekend.
22. Make Another Pot of Coffee – I to make sure the girls have as much coffee as they want or need. Caretaking my mother can be exhausting, and I want them to feel at home to come downstairs, sit and sip a cup of coffee anytime they need a break.
23. Go For A Walk – Around the middle of the day I to step away from the computer and get moving. I to go for a walk or do a spinning video. Anything that gets my heart pumping and me sweating. It’s a great stress reliever too!
24. Eat Healthily – I try my best to eat healthy foods. I don’t always succeed, but when I make a conscious effort in this area of my life, I do well. I have to learn not to let the stressors of the day affect what I put in my mouth. I’m getting better all the time.
25. Drink Plenty of Water – If I don’t drink enough water, I don’t feel right. I try to drink water all day long. I don’t drink milk or juice, and I never consume soda, so getting the proper amount of water would seem easy, right?
26. Do Something For Someone Else – I think it’s so important not to get so caught up in your life that you forget there are others out there who are struggling.
I try to find someone to help each day, whether it be a reader with a problem, a friend who needs a shoulder, my daughter who needs me to watch Lucas or just a stranger I meet along the way.
It’s important to be of service to others any way we can.
27. Call My Friend Who’s In Rehab – My best friend Janet had a stroke last year. She’s had her ups and downs, and I have been her shoulder to cry on many times, but I realize how important it is to maintain our daily contact so that life can seem it used to. It helps her, and it helps me to be able to talk every day. It’s a blessing for us both.
28. Tidy Up The House Before Bed – When I come downstairs to start my day, I want the house to be tidy and ready for the beginning of a new day.The only way to accomplish this is to tidy up the house before I go to bed at night.
I clean up the kitchen, run the Swiffer vacuum, pick up and put away what’s been left out before I shut the lights off downstairs and head to bed.
29. Read – Night time is my reading time. I love to read and only wish I could keep my eyes open longer to get more reading time in each day. I to focus on books that will improve my life or get me to think about an issue in a different way. I’m not one for reading romance novels.
30. Daily Reflection or Meditation – Before bed, I reflect on the day, evaluate where I could have been a better person and vow to make the next day the best day it can be.
31. Go To Bed Early – Finally, I go to bed early and get a good nights sleep (which is often difficult since menopause). That way I’m well rested and ready for another day!
What do you do to make your life better each day?
10 of the Best Ways to Thank God – Counting My Blessings
You and I know God wants us to thank and praise Him but I sometimes wonder if I’m thanking Him the ways He wants.
I start my prayers with thank you and praise Him for who He is and what He does but are words enough.
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Psalm 50:14
Honestly, words don’t feel much of a sacrifice. I can say “thank you” so easily and then just as easily go back to living in ways that don’t seem very thankful.
What does thankful living look ? Thankfulness that is sacrificial? Thankfulness that is God’s will and pleases Him.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:20
How are you with the “all circumstances” part? Not so good? Yeah, me too.
I wonder (you know I do that a lot) . . . maybe there are ways to thank God that go beyond simply speaking words. Ways to live with gratitude even when I don’t feel thankful for my circumstances.
If you add together the verses with the word “obey” and those reminding us to “listen” it’s close to a thousand. Faith leads to obedience as we thank God for the amazing gift of life in Jesus.
Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus. Colossians 3:17
Remember worship is…
Taking your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. (Romans 12:1)
We were made to worship – to thank and praise God, the One who loves us and gives us all we need for today and for always.
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. Hebrews 12:28
Thank Him with music
Make music. Sing praise. Music gives our thanks and praise emotion. So, make that “joyful noise” at home, in the car, at church . . . anywhere. Turn up the tunes and give thanks.
And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to Him. 1 Chronicles 23:30
Pray to Him
You pray and begin your prayers with words of thanks and praise. But let’s go beyond “thank you for all You do for me.” Let’s be specific. Naming God’s past provision and help not only thanks Him it can help prevent worry and fear.
Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. Philippians 4:6
Love and Care for Others
This is stewardship. Using what God has given us to bless others. God’s love is unfailing. His care is personal. You and I have all we need to love and care for the people around us.
Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace. Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10–11
Surrender Everything to Him
It’s hard to offer everything, isn’t it? It needs an eternal perspective and I so easily get caught up in what’s right in front of my face. Trusting God and surrendering everything to Him . . . that’s thanksgiving with faith.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Romans 12:1
Tell People about Who He Is and What He Does
Tell your story. You’re a changed life, tell people about it. Tell them about forgiveness and freedom from fear . . . about love, hope, and joy. Thank God by telling others about His awesome blessings.
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. Psalm 9:1
Trust His Will
Trust is reliance and confident expectation. Thank God for past blessings by trusting Him with your future. Follow where He leads. He has a plan and that plan includes you. Trust His love and follow where He leads.
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm 28:7
Joy is contentment and satisfaction. Finding joy in God says that He is enough, that you and I are content and satisfied in Him.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians 4:4,6
Make Everything You Do and Say an Offering of Thankfulness
God loves you. His goodness and mercy cover you. Pay attention. Count your blessings. Live with gratitude. Make your life an offering of thanks in response to all God has done for you.
May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light. For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:11–14
Oh, how I wish I didn’t get so caught up in myself. Maybe you wish that too.
I want my life to show that my is heart full of thanks.
I want to join David and say…
I trust God’s love forever and ever. God, I will thank You forever for what You have done. With those who worship you, I will trust You because You are good. Psalm 52:8–9
And with God’s help I will.
Will you pray with me?
Father, Thank you for your countless blessings. Because of Jesus, Your grace and mercy cover me every day. Your love surrounds me. May my life be an offering of thanks for who You are and all You do. I love you, Lord. I trust You. Help me obey and follow wherever You lead. In Jesus name. O pray. Amen.
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and stop to pray one or two of the requests listed.
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Grateful to God for Making You my Dad | Birthday Prayers for my Father
Last modified: March 2, 2019
A father who will always stand by you is a truly important support in one’s life. That’s why, when it’s his special day, you want to find a way to express your gratitude through a birthday message.
Our collection of original birthday prayers for your dad will help you tell him how blessed you feel for having him. Receiving a prayer from you can really be one of the warmest gifts he will get on his birthday.
Thanking God for a good Father
- I wake up each day, able to face the world with the love in which you nurtured me. I am grateful to God for His wisdom in assigning you as my earthly father. Happy birthday, beloved father.
- Dad, you are such a great father. On this day, as we celebrate you, I seize the opportunity to say thank you to God the almighty for blessing me with you. May God’s grace continue to guide you in light and health. May He turn his ears toward you and grant all your heart’s desires. Happy birthday.
Dad, you are such a great father. On this day, as we celebrate you, I seize the opportunity to say thank you to God the almighty for blessing me with you. May God’s grace continue to guide you in light and health.
May He turn his ears toward you and grant all your heart’s desires. Happy Birthday.
- Today, I am able to send out love because you gave me firsthand experience on how love should be and what it should mean. You are my first hero, my champion, my role model and my everything. Today, I want to thank God from the bottom of my heart for blessing me with a father that is as wonderful as you. May you never see sadness in your life. May you live a long, healthy, prosperous and happy life. Happy birthday, dear father.
- How can I forget the love and affection you constantly dish out to me without condition? You are always ready to sacrifice your happiness just to make sure that a smile brightens my face. I will forever be grateful to the Almighty God for making you my dad. May all the days of your life be as beautiful as a combination of the sun and rainbow. May happiness and joy forever reign in your heart of gold.
- I have been blessed with so many things in this life, but none of my blessings can be compared to the blessing of having you as my father. I can never stop thanking God for your presence in my life. You gave me everything I ever needed in life and formed me into the man/woman that I am today. May God never stop pouring His amazing love, kindness and blessings on you. Have a wonderful birthday.
- When God made you my father, He blessed me much more than I deserved. I shall therefore be forever grateful to the Almighty.To me, you will always be the greatest father this world will ever see. So on this day, as I celebrate you, this heart of mine has nothing but immense gratitude to God for having blessed me with the best father ever. I wish you a very happy birthday, Dad, and I pray to God for yet more fruitful and happy years to spend with you.
Blessings on your Birthday.
- On your Big Day, dear Dad, I just wanted to let you know that you have no rival. I assure you that all the love you gave was felt and still is. Not a drop was wasted. I will continue thanking God for your life until the end of time. Happy birthday.If one ever had a reason to be grateful to God for a good father, that person is me. I am truly blessed because of you, Dad. May you age in grace and wisdom and may the goodness of the Lord be with you all the days of your life. Happy birthday.
Asking God for Help
- These are trying times for you, Dad. I can feel your pain and I empathize with you. However, I take courage in the fact that if anybody can stand this predicament, only one person is up to the mark, and that is you, my dear father. You have always been the epitome of strength and I have never known you to lose any challenge life threw at you. Your phenomenal strength, coupled with the prayers I constantly say for you, I am confident that you will triumph over this sickness and be happy again. On your birthday, may God never abandon you. May He restore your health and free you from your burdens.
- I know that God answers all prayers, so today, Dad, in your time of need, I ask God to bless you and take away all the financial burdens that you are currently facing. Don’t give up the fight please. I know that if God has brought you to this, He will surely see you through it.
I know that God answers all prayers, so today, I ask God to bless you and take away all the burdens that you are facing. Don’t give up the fight, please. I know that if God has brought you to this, He will surely see you through it. Happy Birthday, Dad!
- From this day onwards, I pray that you begin to receive your financial breakthrough, Dad. You are such a wonderful man and you deserve nothing but happiness in life. May God open all the doors of prosperity and fortune that have been shut before you. Happy birthday.
- I pray for God to be with you every moment and every second of this financial crisis you are facing. May He give you the strength to carry on courageously, so you can emerge victoriously at the end of the day. I am confident that as I pray for your financial breakthrough today, the good Lord is already answering. Happy birthday, dad.
- Dad, as you celebrate your birthday today, I thank God for your life and pray that he will rescue from this disease and fill your body with strength and your heart with happiness. Happy birthday.
- I pray the almighty God intervene and give you the courage to stand. I pray for soothing and healing from God for you. I ask His loving kindness to overshadow you and His healing mercies to fall on you and heal you completely. May you receive your healing and happiness today, Dad. Happy birthday.
- Sending healing prayers your way, Dad. I pray that God, who is the greatest healer, will cast out every sickness from your body with His mighty and powerful hands. May your healing be permanent.
- Dad, I know that you are going through difficult times, but please remain still and know that God is in control. I pray that God will bless you with wealth and prosperity. I won’t stop praying until you have received your financial miracles. And I am confident you’ll receive them soon. Happy birthday.
- To my wonderful father, I pray that God will place His healing hands on you and drive away any sickness and pain from your body so that you can be as fit as a fiddle in the twinkle of an eye. This, I ask in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
God bless you, Dad! Happy Birthday. You are always ready to sacrifice your happiness just to put a smile on my face. May happiness and joy forever reign in your heart of gold.
Asking for Inner Peace and Happiness for Father
- My dear father, I commend you to Almighty God. May He let his light shine upon you. May He grant you joy and peace as that of a tranquil river. And may this peace and joy follow you until the end of time. Happy birthday.
- May you never feel discouraged or empty in life. May you enjoy a wonderful life filled with happiness, peace and prosperity. Happy birthday, sweet father.
- May the goodness of the good Lord rest upon you and may He constantly turn evil away from your door. the fresh and gentle dew of the morning, may God shower you with love and peace that you may know no trouble in life. May He bless you with everlasting happiness. Happy birthday, dad.
- May all the days of your life be accompanied with happiness, serenity and tranquility. May the peace of God be upon you now and ever more. God bless you.
- Dad, you are the most loving and caring person I have ever known, and I am so proud and blessed to be your son/daughter. May God bless you with happiness, contentment, prosperity, peace and abundance on your birthday and always. Have a joyful day, Dad.
- As you continue in your steady progress through life, may the Almighty instruct his angels to constantly watch over you. Let God stretch forth His hands and encompass you in true happiness and serenity all the days of your life. Happy birthday.
- On your birthday, may peace always be your lot. May your heart never long for happiness.May your lips always have a reason to smile, and may your heart always have a reason to overflow with happiness. God bless you, Dad.
- The most precious things in life are inner peace and happiness, and these are the things that I pray for you as you celebrate your birthday, dear father. Have a beautiful day.
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Thanking God for protecting Father’s Life
- Dad, the 86,400 seconds that God has blessed me with today, I just one to use one to thank Him from the bottom of my heart for protecting you and keeping you healthy and strong. Happy birthday, dear Dad.
- Dearest father, this very dayhap has come as most do with warm memories of you. Every time I place my knees on the floor to say a prayer, I do not fail to thank the good Lord for giving me the greatest gift in my life, you. Today, more than ever, I wish to remember you again before the ever benevolent Creator. I extend my gratitude to God for covering and shielding you. I thank God for your life, and I pray that He will never stop blessing you.
- As you mark this new chapter in your life, I want to use the opportunity to thank God for always being with you and keeping you safe from the eyes and plans of the wicked. May God continue to be with you until the end of time. Happy birthday.
- I thank God and His angels for protecting you and keeping you safe and healthy. May God keep on commanding His amazing angels to protect you wherever you may go. Happy birthday.
- Dad, as you turn a new age today, I thank the Almighty for your life, and I thank Him for constantly keeping close watch over you and protecting you from the hands of your enemies. Be forever blessed, Dad. Happy birthday.
- Today, I acknowledge the goodness of the almighty God for his gift of life to you and ask that His favor upon you will not grant just long life to you but health and happiness too.
- Dad, your life is so precious to me. It is the most priceless gift in my life, and that is why on your Big Day, all I want to do is thank God for your life. May God continue to bless and protect you every blessed day of your life. Happy birthday, Dad.
- Dad, in addition to celebrating you today, I also want to thank God for always being with you and protecting you. May you continue to receive God’s divine protection, guidance and love all the days of your life. Enjoy your day.
Happy Birthday, Dad! On your Big Day, I wanted to tell you that all the love you gave us was felt and still is. I will never stop thanking God for you.
Blessings from the Heart | Happy Birthday Prayers
Birthday Prayers for Myself
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Birthday Prayers for my Sister
Birthday Prayers for Brothers | A Blessed Celebration
Click here for our best birthday wishes. If you d what you read, please share it. It really helps us a lot.
Thanks Be to God
My dear brothers and sisters. I am very grateful for the privilege accorded me to address you on the eve of the important Thanksgiving recognition we give to this Thursday’s holiday.
I am confident that I am the most blessed of you all, as I have been privileged to be a member of the administrative staff of BYU for the past thirty years. It has brought important and special responsibilities to me and my family. In carrying them through, we have been blessed in many ways.
To be closely associated with President Ernest L. Wilkinson, President Dallin Oaks, and now President Jeffrey R. Holland has enriched our lives.
I have watched these great men work to build this university to a pinnacle of size, quality, and strength that makes possible your presence on this campus this very day. I salute them and express a deep gratitude for their excellent achievements.
Gratitude a Way of Life
I wish to share with you an awareness that thanksgiving should be in our hearts and expressed in our actions every day of the year, not just on 25 November 1982.
Stanley Dixon penned these most thoughtful words that were set to beautiful music that we are hearing this hour:
Thanks be to God for roses rare,
For skies of blue and sunshine fair.
For every gift I raise a prayer,
Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to God for lovely night,
For mystic fields with stars bedight,
For hours of dream and deep delight,
Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to God for love divine,
The hopes that ’round my heart entwine,
For all the joy that now is mine,
Thanks be to God.
[Stanley Dixon (New York: Associated Music Publishers)]
President N. Eldon Tanner has said, “Thanksgiving Day gives each and every one of us an invitation and a wonderful opportunity to pause and count our many blessings and to give thanks to God and praise him from whom all blessings flow” (“Thanksgiving 1968,” Church News, 23 November 1968, p. 9).President Marion G. Romney, in his address in the past general conference, made us deeply aware of the principle of gratitude and thanksgiving, and I quote:
The virtues of gratitude have been widely extolled and the sinfulness of ingratitude has been just as widely condemned.
It has been said that “an ungrateful man is a hog under a tree eating acorns, but never looking up to see where they come from” (Timothy Dexter, The New Dictionary of Thoughts [Garden City, NY: Standard Book, 1961], p. 308).
Jesus revealed his feeling about ingratitude when only one of ten lepers whom he had healed turned back and gave thanks. [“Gratitude and Thanksgiving,” Ensign, November 1982, p. 49]
We can read this account in Luke 17:11–18.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie has said: “True worship includes thanksgiving to God—the acknowledging and confessing with joy and gladness of the benefits and mercies which he bestows upon his children” (MD, p. 788).
I submit that the thanksgiving we should acknowledge should be an everyday occurrence directed to him who created us all.
It seems appropriate to share with you the statement the First Presidency gave to the Church this past Saturday in the Church News:
As the season of Thanksgiving approaches, it brings with it the reminder that this cherished holiday had its birth in religious faith and still finds its best expression in prayers of gratitude and repentance.
For this Thanksgiving and the joyful Christmas season to follow, our counsel to all men and women everywhere is, remember the scripture injunction, “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” (D&C 59:7.
Ingratitude is one of the woeful failings of our society. The failure to acknowledge the sovereignty and the beneficence of God, the refusal to bend our will to His, are at the very root of the major problems in our society.
Prayer, family prayer in the homes of people in all lands, is one of the simple medicines that would check the dread disease that robs men and women of honesty, character and integrity.
In generations past, individual and family prayers, in the homes of people throughout the world were as much a part of the day’s activity as was eating.
As the practice of prayer has diminished, moral decay has increased.
The inclination to be holy, to be thankful, is increased as family members kneel together and thank the Lord for life and peace and all that they may become under His guidance.
In remembering together before the Lord the poor, the needy, the oppressed, there is developed, unconsciously but realistically, a love for others above self, a respect for others, a desire to serve the needs of others.
One cannot ask God to help a neighbor in distress without being motivated to do something toward helping that neighbor.
What miracles would be evident if, beginning now, beginning this Thanksgiving season, we all would lay aside our own selfishness and lose ourselves in the service of others.Our prayers of Thanksgiving, this season and daily all through the year, will bring comfort to our hearts, knit us together in love, and open to us the treasures of wisdom, knowledge, gratitude and forgiveness.
[“Express thanks in prayers and service, say Church leaders,” Church News, 20 November 1982, p. 3]
Expression of Gratitude Important
In positive reflection I turn to doctrinal references which place special responsibilities on us all to express our gratitude to our Creator. “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.
” This important commandment, found in section 59, verse 7, of the Doctrine and Covenants, is as binding upon us as any other law of God.
We are commanded to do “all things with prayer and thanksgiving,” and “Ye must give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with” (D&C 46:7, 32).
Now, Thanksgiving Day 1982 is soon upon us. What will we do with it? This year will it merely be a day of feasting, watching TV, or seeking pleasure?
When the day was first instituted, it was regarded as a religious observance completely in line with the commandments I just stated. The Pilgrims, it will be remembered, were grateful for their very lives; and whom did they thank? Almighty God.
They knew the source of their blessings. They knew they had been preserved by a divine hand.
Most of you in this assembly have been blessed with pioneer ancestors who would testify that they were preserved to arrive in these valleys because of divine intervention in their behalf.
So now, what about ourselves? Are we willing to recognize that our daily blessings are provided by other efforts than our own? The arrogance of much of mankind today merely states, “I’ve done it myself.”I submit that our blessings flow from many, many others and through divine approbation. As an example, one of the most important things on earth, essential to our welfare, is plain, ordinary water.
Did we make it? Did we pipe it into our homes? Did we make the pipe? Did we sterilize it so that it would be bacteria free? And, who provided the streams from which water comes? Who caused the rains to fall, the earth to be fertile? Who first gave us seeds to plant? Who placed cows and sheep and birds and trees on the earth?
Are we not dependent upon him and his creations? No one can measure the gratitude we owe to the Almighty as the Great Provider. No one can measure the appreciation we owe to our fellowmen, those who plant and harvest, and those who provide services on every hand.
In this complex world there is a network of interdependency among us all. So many others are involved in providing for us the things which we ourselves could not provide, it is folly to ignore them.
We ride in cars and planes, but did we make them? We use oil and gasoline, but from where did they come? We eat bread and drink milk for our health, but did we produce them?
When Paul wrote to Timothy about the latter days, he gave as one of the signs of the times the fact that people would become “unthankful, unholy” (2 Timothy 3:2).
This is an interesting combination of words—that one with ungrateful attitudes can be unholy, their roots being in the same evil source. Ingratitude, of course, is unholy from every standpoint. It is evil in itself.
Let’s turn to appreciation, gratitude, and thanks.
So, on this special Thanksgiving 1982, what will be your list of “gratitudes”?
Three Reasons for Gratitude
I desire to share just three of my own. Hundreds of blessings are found in each of these three for which I daily thank my Father in Heaven:
1. My citizenship in this great United States of America.
2. My membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
3. My wife and family.
Now, just a brief reference to each:
1. I love my country. It has been good to me. I have been pleased to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve for thirty-four years. While I was a guest in the home of Admiral Emmet L. Tidd, in Washington, D.C., not too long ago, he shared this experience. He had just returned to Washington, D.C.
, following an extended trip to several major powers in the world to assess their strengths for the Chief of Naval Operations.
He observed on his return that our country, with all its political, social, and economic problems, is still so far ahead of whichever country might be second, he would have no second thoughts about his love for America and his faith in this great country and where he would want to reside. I feel the same way.Some outsider has said, “Your country may not be a rose garden, but it also is not a patch of weeds.” I am blessed every day because of being a citizen in this land. Having just returned from the Mideast on university business, I can’t figure out why I was so blessed as to be assigned to be raised up and to live in this special land rather than where I have just visited, or in some other part of the world.
I am grateful for a student body expression twice each day that permits students to stand in reverence and thought each morning as the Star Spangled Banner is played, and the flag is raised, and then again lowered the same way in the late afternoon. Visitors to our campus stand in awe as this is done. Some say it is old-fashioned. If so, I will take the old-fashioned way.
Where do you stand on the appreciation of this land of liberty? President David O. McKay once stated: “We are grateful for this land of America, ‘choice above all other lands.
’ The freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees to every man the right to worship . . .
in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience, made possible the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (“Thanksgiving 1968,” Church News, 23 November 1968, p. 9). I am thankful for this event.
2. I value and treasure my membership in the Church: I was privileged to be born in New Zealand while my parents were serving together on their first mission. How blessed I’ve been to have parents so wonderful that they have given me a royal heritage of membership in the Church.
They themselves have been living examples for us to follow. They are here today. I wish them to know how much I love and appreciate them. How fortunate for me to fill a mission and thereby fortify my testimony of the Church and all it means in our lives.
I will be eternally grateful for the training and leadership opportunities I have experienced through my Church assignments. What a blessing to you and to me to recognize our church’s commitment to education. We are the recipients of the privilege of this great campus.
Let’s not fall short of measuring up to expectations of our respected Church and university leaders.Yes, we are blessed through our membership in the Church. If we are faithful, these blessings have eternal application. Let’s not forget that. Is your Church membership worthy of a special thanksgiving expression?
3. I love my wife, Nonie, and my family very much. I’ve been blessed with a beautiful eternal companion, together completing forty-two years last week.
Busy with Church and school life these forty-two years, she jokes about having to marry me to get rid of me; but we have a relationship I would wish for all of you young marriage prospects. It isn’t easy living with a fellow me, but we are planning on many, many more years together.
Nonie is as beautiful inside as you see her on the outside. So, with three wonderful children, eleven grandchildren, and a few adopted ones, life is very sweet and worthwhile.
How does one best express thanks for all of this? I must thank a very compassionate Father in Heaven. Do you have a special reason this holiday season to feel as I do about my family?
Now, I recognize that my Thanksgiving expressions for country, church, and family blessings must be directed to my Father in Heaven. You have heard three of my gratitudes. What will be the gratitudes you may express to your Father in Heaven this Thanksgiving season?
Some years ago I read a simple Thanksgiving prayer:
O, heavenly Father:
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service
That Thy gifts may be used for others.
[Abigail Van Buren, “Dear Abby,” Deseret News, 25 November 1976, p. 4C]
Said in another way by Wilfred A. Peterson:
The art of thanksgiving is thanks living. It is gratitude in action. It is applying Albert Schweitzer’s philosophy: “In gratitude for your own good fortune you must render in return some sacrifice of your life or other life.”
It is thanking God for each new day by living it to the fullest.[“The Art of Thanksgiving,” The Art of Living (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961), pp. 44–45]
My prayer for each of us is that during this Thanksgiving season we can all count our blessings in a way that truthfully says, “Thanks be to God,” in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Fred A. Schwendiman was the Support Services vice-president of BYU when this devotional address was given on 23 November 1982.
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