Sunday, November 21, 2021

President Russell M. Nelson on feeling thankful for blessings

President Russell M. Nelson (born Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became president of that quorum on July 15, 2015. Following the death of President Monson, he was set apart as president of the Church on January 14, 2018.
"A correlation exists between hope and gratitude. To illustrate, let me share a personal experience. For Thanksgiving a few years ago, Sister Nelson and I hosted a memorable family gathering. All of our locally available daughters, sons, and grandchildren were there, among others. We counted 63 people at the feast. As part of our after-dinner program, Sister Nelson distributed to each individual a sheet of paper headed 'This year, I am thankful for _____.' The remainder of the page was blank. She asked each person to complete the thought, either in writing or by drawing a picture. The papers were then collected, redistributed, and read aloud. We were asked to guess who composed each reply, which, incidentally, was not very difficult.
"Meanwhile, I observed a pattern. Generally, the children were thankful for food, clothing, shelter, and family. Their pictures were precious, though not likely to be shown in an art gallery. Our youth broadened their expressions to include gratitude for their country, freedom, and church. The adults noted most of those items, but in addition mentioned the temple, their love of the Lord, and appreciation for his Atonement. Their hopes were combined with gratitude. Counting blessings is better than recounting problems."
- Russell M. Nelson, "A More Excellent Hope," BYU devotional, 8 January 1995; see Ensign February 1997, pp. 60-64
Click here to read the full talk

President Nelson is blessed with a large and wonderful posterity. He shared a Thanksgiving idea from his family's experience that would enhance any family gathering: identifying blessings that we recognize as we consider our past year. This was done in a way that even little children could participate.

The act of "counting our blessings" helps us to recognize God's ongoing hand in our lives, and thus to remind us that He will continue to bless us. Hope is the confidence that comes in knowing that we don't have to face challenges and difficulties alone, but that things will work out in the end.

President Nelson expanded his message in November 2020, inviting all members of the Church to be more aware of their blessings, and to express that gratitude in social media during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. The response was enormous. Review that invitation here:
The Story behind My Global Prayer of Gratitude

May we each take time today to be thankful for all we have!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)
November 22, 2018

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15