Monday, November 22, 2021

President Dallin H. Oaks on thanking God always, even in adversity

President Dallin H. Oaks (born August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and also 1st Counselor in the First Presidency in January 2018.
"In one of the times of spiritual and temporal adversity recorded in the Book of Mormon, when the people of God were 'suffering all manner of afflictions,' the Lord commanded them to 'give thanks in all things' (Mosiah 26:38-39). I wish to apply that teaching to our time....
"We have so much for which to give thanks. First and foremost, we are thankful for our Savior Jesus Christ. Under the plan of the Father, He created the world. Through His prophets, He revealed the plan of salvation with its accompanying commandments and ordinances. He came into mortality to teach and show us the way. He suffered and paid the price for our sins if we would repent. He gave up His life, and He conquered death and rose from the grave that we all will live again. He is the Light and Life of the World. As King Benjamin taught, if we 'should render all the thanks and praise which [our] whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created [us], and has kept and preserved [us], and... should serve him with all [our] whole souls yet [we] would be unprofitable servants' (Mosiah 2:20-21)....
"When we give thanks in all things, we see hardships and adversities in the context of the purpose of life. We are sent here to be tested. There must be opposition in all things. We are meant to learn and grow through that opposition, through meeting our challenges, and through teaching others to do the same....
"When we understand this principle, that God offers us opportunities for blessings and blesses us through our own adversities and the adversities of others, we can understand why He has commanded us again and again to 'thank the Lord thy God in all things' (D&C 59:7)."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Give Thanks in All Things," Ensign, May 2003, pp. 95-98
Click here to read the full talk

"We have so much for which to give thanks." That message applies to every person, at ever time, in every situation. The primary and most important of all, is for the Savior and His acts of service and love on our behalf, that can never be earned or repaid.

If we truly understand that one thing, we can never stop being grateful, regardless of any circumstances of life. Any "hardships and adversities" that befall us, seen in the context of that eternal gift, fall into place in the eternal plan.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
November 18, 2015

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