“Editorial: On Being Thankful,” Ensign, Nov. 1971, 81
As each year draws to a close, there is a timely season for reflecting upon the things for which we may be thankful. Not everyone is blessed in the same way; each individual fashions his own desires and in some measure receives fulfillment. But every one of God’s children receives so many bounteous blessings that he may be prone not to recognize them or the source from which they come.
As individuals we experience the pure joy of living and of finding expression in prayer, in music, in words of appreciation born of warm understanding for the opportunity of serving our Heavenly Father, for contributing to the development of his kingdom on earth, for being able to associate with the kinds of people who share these joys. As individuals we participate in the activities of the Church, in activities that have immediate results in improving the stewardship of our families, in expanding our knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in confirming our belief in the eternal worth of man.
There are those whose righteous desires seem to be dreams yet unfulfilled, whose aspirations are at times blocked for one reason or another, but who are still thankful for the high hopes and beliefs that have inspired and steadied Latter-day Saints for generations.
Gratitude is an attribute that requires constant cultivation. It encompasses the concerns of others, words of solace, hope, and cheer for the disconsolate. For it is in these expressions of love for our brothers and sisters that thankfulness comes alive, is productive and meaningful. It is this kind of gratitude that is recognized on high, because as it is exercised, chaos gives way to order and symmetry, discord to harmony, perplexity to understanding.
As Latter-day Saints, we are thankful for the tremendous expansion of the kingdom throughout the world, for the warmth, comfort, and security it is bringing into an ever-increasing number of lives.
We are thankful for our faith in a kind, just, personal God who is directing the affairs of the universe. We are thankful for the Church and its leaders who proffer counsel that increases our joy. We are grateful for a gospel that makes us feel that in all humility life is a wonderful experience and that each individual deserves—indeed, is promised—a measure of happiness in living, in serving, and in learning, guided by everlasting principles and ordinances presented for his benefit.
“And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle, full of patience and long suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal, always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.” (Alma 7:23.)