Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are instructed "to give thanks in all things” (Mosiah 26:39), as was stressed by Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles during our last General Conference. As my wife and I emerge somewhat from a period of hardship, I feel it appropriate today to take some time to express my thanks for my blessings.

I am thankful for my wife, for the warmth, peace and joy she brings to our home. Emilee, I thank you for your support, your tender care, your patience, your love, your gentle touch. I thank you for the hard work you do to make our home a happy p
lace where the Spirit of God may dwell. I thank you for your guidance when I feel lost and your fun-loving spirit when I feel down. For this and so much more, I thank you.

I am thankful for my parents, for the support and teachings they have given me. Mom and Dad, I thank you for raising me in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for teaching me correct principles and helping me to explore my talents. I thank you for supporting me financially and emotionally as I complete my schooling. I thank you for praying for me every night for as long as I can remember, praying that I would meet those critical spirit
ual goals. For more than I can possibly express, I thank you.

I am thankful for my brother, for the example he has given me. Derrill, while we are very different from each other, you have always been a firm defense and support to me. You were always the first to extend a hand of friendship and forgiveness after our quarrels. Your quiet spiritual leadership has helped to shape me, to make those critical decisions that have made me who I am. For the music and the joy that we have shared, I thank you.

I am thankful for the gift of music, for its power in my life. I thank God for the talents with which he has blessed me, for ears to hear and a voice with which to sing. I thank Him for the talent of composition which has allowed me to more fully express my devotion, as well as my feelings. My thanks go to Impact Vocal Band, the Santa Barbara Channel City Chorus, the BYU Men's 
Wild Pitch, The Honor Chord, Sing For Your Sweetheart and various other choirs in which I have participated and which I have directed. For the sweet resonance of the heart, I thank God.

I am thankful for our friends who enrich our lives and help us to extend 
our focus beyond ourselves and our personal needs. Without our friends, life would be a lot more boring. For your generosity, your patience, your eagerness to share, for laughs and love over good eats and weekend sleepovers, for helping us smile through our problems and our pain, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I am thankful for my job, for the security it grants me. The power to pay my bills while maintaining my personal integrity is a tremendous gift, especially in this day and age where so much of business is based on trickery.

I am thankful for the opportunity I have to study at BYU. I am grateful for the chance to learn not only a vocation but also more of the doctrine of the gospel. The chance to associate with so many who are of my same faith and hold my same values is a priceless treasure.

I am thankful for Jesus Christ, for His love and His atoning sacrifice. I am thankful that He was willing to suffer and die so that I can be forgiven of my sins and live forever with my Heavenly Father. I am grateful for His gospel and the life with which I have been blessed through living according to His teachings. I am thankful to be a member of His church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Sants. I am thankful for the scriptures, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, written by ancient prophets who testify of Him. I am thankful for a modern prophet, Thomas S. Monson, for Apostles and other church leaders who lead God's church just as prohets did in ancient times. Within the framework of the restored gospel, I am especially thankful for the temple, for the opportunity to live with my family for all eternity. I am thankful for the power of the priesthood, through which I and my family may be blessed and eternally joined. I testify of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and I give my heartfelt thanks and devotion to Him for it.

Whenever I hear the song of a bird/
or look at the blue, blue sky/
Whenever I feel the rain on my face/
or the wind as it rushes by/
Whenever I touch a velvet rose/
or walk by a lilac tree/
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world/
Heavenly Father created for me.

He gave me my eyes that I might see/
the color of butterfly wings/
He gave me my ears that I might hear/
the magical sound of things/
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart/
and I thank him reverently/
for all His creations, of which I'm a part/
Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.

Thanks for reading.

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