Thursday, November 24, 2011


I love all holidays.  I like wearing green in March, I enjoy eating May Day cookies, the Provo 4th of July parade is the best, I love the Easter hymns and Christmas carols, I even like learning about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington on President's Day.  I am a holiday kind of guy.

And so it is with joy, anticipation, and gratitude that I welcome and commemorate Thanksgiving 2011 with a blog post.

Contrary to how I make it sound, I live an amazing life.  It has its ups and downs, but through it all, I have been blessed. Every tear shed was counted by a loving Heavenly Father who has sent His angels to be with me, both when I asked for them and when I've turned away.  I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I am so grateful for a family who loves, supports, identifies with, and prays for me.  I have two amazing brothers that never let me forget to have fun and eat dessert first, and yet show incredible maturity and compassion when the situation calls for it.  I have a fun and loving older sister who is willing to listen to me vent, but also excitedly calls me whenever one of my adorable nieces or nephews does something cute.  I have three siblings-in-law who each have added a unique and invariably positive dynamic to the clan.  I have a father who has taught me frugality, service to others, and how to camp, throw a baseball, and replace a car's brakes.  And I have a mother who wakes up before me every morning to make sure I leave the house with a full lunchbox and a hot breakfast.  I have grandparents who have filled my life with treasured memories and who have encoded my gene pool with any number of characteristics that are mine if I choose to live up to them.  I have aunts, uncles, and cousins who show me by example how a person can succeed in spite of just about any circumstance, and be happier for it.

I have similarly been blessed with friends who lighten my load, whether it be by sharing a joke, playing music with me, offering a listening ear, or inviting me to the night's adventures.  There are also countless spiritual leaders and teachers who have offered a wealth of advice, insight, and empathy, no matter where I stand spiritually. And I'm blessed with professors, bosses, and study partners who provide training and education for a bright future.

I have a great car, a decent snowboard, and all the toys a guy could ever want.  I live in the electronic age, when uplifting messages, practical information, and social interaction are just a mouseclick away. I have a job, more money than I need, and a good start to an education.  I have talents and skills that have aided me and provided me with praise and a good self-image, while still encouraging me to constantly improve and refine them.  I am incredibly blessed.

And yet, even if I had none of those things, I suspect it wouldn't matter much, because I have been given something that has been given to everyone, regardless of their other blessings.  The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden and died on the Cross, and then rose again from the Tomb, for me.  He intimately knows me and is with me every step of the way.  He stretches out His scarred hand when I fail and begs me to return when I turn away.  He takes me under His shoulder when I am weak. And he rejoices and celebrates in my happiness.

He offers you and me His grace every day, grace that we can use to pick ourselves up when we fail, comfort our souls when we despair, and continually move forward in a path that will bring us the utmost happiness and joy.  He has offered us all He has and if we truly show gratitude for this gift, He will not let us down.

I bear unequivocal testimony, with every ounce of strength I have, that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. I will go to my grave telling of His love. No matter what happens, no matter what changes, Jesus Christ suffered, died, and rose again for all of His brothers and sisters.  He loves us and will always be there, stretching out a scarred hand towards us.  He will never fail us.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Here's to your health, happiness, and bounty for one more year!

1 comment:

Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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