Living In Thanksgiving Daily (Even When I Don’t Feel Like It)

It’s hospital Day 18 for Daughter-A. She will be spending tomorrow’s Thanksgiving holiday in her wheelchair looking at the same walls and halls of the Neuro Rehab unit she’s looked at for the past two weeks. It’s been exactly 3 weeks today that she suddenly lost the use of her legs. Since Monday of this week she has also lost the use of one arm. If I were a perfect saint I’d probably feel perfectly at peace with this situation. However, being a regular [very flawed and often spoiled bratty] human being, I’m finding it pretty hard to feel either festive or grateful today. I know things could be so much worse. I still have so much to be thankful for. I’ve been spending a lot of time on my knees talking to God about this, trying to reconcile myself to His will.

“…humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.” – Alma 34:38


Daughter-A, on the other hand, is about as close to being a saint as someone can get. So, she keeps a remarkably positive perspective. She’s accepted that this is her trial and that God is [literally and symbolically] walking with her through it. She continually points out all of her blessings – thankful for a good book she is enjoying reading, her favorite nurse being on shift for the holiday, a new PT she really likes, her view of the beautiful mountains out her window, friends texting & visiting, her Aunt CJ going out of her way to stop by to chat and bring her a stuffed toy panda bear (“because you’re never too old for a bear to keep you company!”)…and on her gratitude list goes. She is prayerful and humble, kind and patient. When people come to cheer her up, they leave realizing she has cheered them up more.

“Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” (D&C 59:7)

Elder Robert D Hales Mormon
Elder Robert D Hales Mormon (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

On April 2, 1994 Elder Robert D. Hales was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today I am sharing a video of Elder Hales speaking to us about ‘Living in Thanksgiving daily’ from a talk he gave in 1992 while then serving as Presiding Bishop of the Church. His sermon feels particularly meaningful for me right now. I hope it may also bring comfort and enlightenment to you.

“Gratitude brings warmth to the giver and the receiver alike. Gratitude expressed to our Heavenly Father in prayer for what we have brings a calming peace. A peace which allows us not to canker our souls for what we don’t have. Gratitude brings a peace that helps us overcome the pain of adversity and failure. Gratitude on a daily basis means we express appreciation for what we have now without qualification for what we had in the past, or desire in the future.”

– Elder Hales, Gratitude for the Goodness of God, 1992


  1. I’m so sorry to read of the setbacks daughter A has experienced. I would think that must be more difficult than our granddaughter’s very minimal progress. I sincerely hope the progress returns to her and shell have a complete recovery. I continue to remind myself that Heavenly Father is in control, and all will be restored on His timetable, which may not be until the next life. I can’t give up hoping, though. We have so much to be grateful for! I hope by Christmas your daughter can be home and you can gather and just enjoy being together. Continuing to pray for your family and ours, and so many others dealing with difficult times.


  2. Dearest MoSop,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your daughter’s continuing trial. She really sounds like a wonderful young woman. It’s so hard to understand why these things happen to good people. I don’t pretend to have the answers. I’ve had my own share of trials in this life. At age 72, I’ve known good times and bad times, but God was always there to see me through, and I know He’s there for you too. I hate to keep sending you poems, but this one just seems to speak to the situation. Hope you don’t mind.

    Love, Lynne

    Father Knows Best

    There are times in this life I don’t understand,
    when things seem so cruel and unfair,
    I look for a reason or someone to blame,
    but the answers I seek just aren’t there,
    I want things to be the way they should be,
    with no sorrow or illness or care,
    But life isn’t like that, I’m starting to see,
    and sometimes I’m filled with despair,
    Dear God, don’t you hear when we cry out to you,
    and ask you for help or for healing,
    I know that you’re there, you have to be,
    though at times I feel like I’m reeling,
    And the prayers and petitions I’ve sent up to you,
    with the desperation I’m feeling,
    Just don’t get through and deep down I fear,
    go no farther than up to the ceiling,
    Then, just as I’m starting to give it all up,
    there’s a little warm feeling inside,
    With a voice in my heart that keeps telling me,
    to have faith and to always abide,
    In His loving care, for I know He is there,
    and this life is only a test,
    That we must go through before we are done,
    but in God’s perfect timing we’ll rest,
    Though for now we see things, as if through a veil,
    one day we will see face to face,
    We’ll have no more questions, we’ll understand all,
    when we get to that heavenly place,
    There God will be waiting to welcome us home,
    and we’ll know that we’ve passed the test,
    For then we will see, this was all meant to be,
    and our Heavenly Father knows best.


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