As the seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, we all remind ourselves to focus a little more on the things that we are blessed with in our lives, instead of complaining. Though not all of these men were president of the Church at the time they said these quotes, their words still ring true as prophetic reminders of how important it is to fill our lives and hearts with gratitude.
Let us be thankful that it is as well with us as it is, and we are yet alive and peradventure, God hath laid up in store great good for us in this generation, and may grant that we may yet glorify His name.
Quote found in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith
The Lord is more merciful than we are; but there may be a termination to His gifts, if we do not receive them with gratitude and take good care of them when we have them in our possession.
Quote found in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young
If we have life, or health, or possessions; if we have children, and friends and homes, if we have the light of truth, the blessings of the everlasting gospel, the revelations of God, the holy priesthood, with all its blessings and government and rule, all these and every true enjoyment that we possess come from God. We do not always realize this, but it is nevertheless true that to God we are indebted for every good and perfect gift.
Quote found in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor
I thank God that I live in this day and age of the world, when my ears have heard the sound of the fulness of the gospel of Christ.
Quote found in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff
If a person wants to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord, let him, when something of a very disagreeable nature comes along, think how worse the circumstance might be. . . . Always cultivate a spirit of gratitude. It is actually the duty of every Latter-day Saint to cultivate a spirit of gratitude.
Quote found on byu.edu
Joseph F. Smith
...the spirit of gratitude is always pleasant and satisfying because it carries with it a sense of helpfulness to others; it begets love and friendship, and engenders divine influence. Gratitude is said to be the memory of the heart.
Quoted in October 2001 general conference
Heber J. Grant
There is no feeling that is more Godlike than that feeling of intense gratitude and thanksgiving to God that comes when we realize and feel that God has blessed us.
Quote found in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant
George Albert Smith
The best evidence of gratitude at this time is to do all we can to bring happiness to this sad world, for we are all our Father’s children, and we are all under the obligation of making this world a happier place for our having lived in it.
Quote given after World War II, recorded in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith
David O. McKay
The young man who closes the door behind him, who draws the curtains, and there in silence pleads with God for help, should first pour out his soul in gratitude for health, for friends, for loved ones, for the gospel, for the manifestations of God's existence. He should first count his many blessings and name them one by one.
Quote from his April 1961 conference talk
Joseph Fielding Smith
One of the greatest sins, both in magnitude and extent … is the sin of ingratitude. When we violate a commandment, no matter how small and insignificant we may think it to be, we show our ingratitude to our Redeemer.
Quote found in the June 2007 Ensign
Harold B. Lee
Today I could desire with all my heart that all within the sound of this broadcast would likewise thank God for one more day! For what? For the opportunity to take care of some unfinished business. To repent; to right some wrongs; to influence for good some wayward child; to reach out to someone who cries for help—in short, to thank God for one more day to prepare to meet God.
Quote found in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee
Spencer W. Kimball
Thus, my brothers and sisters, there is so much to be grateful for...This partial inventory of our collective blessings should help us to be ever more grateful and ever more determined. Please do the same within your families. Count your blessings, and express your gratitude to your eternal partners, to your children, and to your parents for all that they do.
Quote found in the December 1977 Liahona
Ezra Taft Benson
There is great safety in a nation on its knees.
What assurance it would give of the much-needed blessings of the Lord if the American people, and people everywhere, could all be found daily—night and morning—on their knees expressing gratitude for blessings already received, acknowledging our dependence upon God, and seeking his divine guidance.
Quote from his April 1973 conference talk
Howard W. Hunter
...find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees—alone or with loved ones—give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that his spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve him and keep his commandments. He will take you by the hand and his promises will be kept.
Quote found on byu.edu
Gordon B. Hinckley
Be prayerful. Don’t be ashamed to get on your knees, morning and night, and thank the Lord for His blessings. Pray for His inspiration and direction and help in all that you undertake to do in righteousness.
Quote found on lds.org
Thomas S. Monson
We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.
Quote found in A Future as Bright as Your Faith
Russell M. Nelson
Spiritual self-esteem begins with the realization that each new morning is a gift from God. Even the air we breathe is a loving loan from Him. He preserves us from day to day and supports us from one moment to another (see Mosiah 2:21).
Therefore, our first noble deed of the morning should be a humble prayer of gratitude. Scripture so counsels: “Pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto [you]: and [you] shall see his face with joy” (Job 33:26; see also Alma 34:21; 37:37).
Quote found in Teachings of Russell M. Nelson