As we approach this new semester, I am continually impressed by how much we at BYU are blessed. Sometimes, given the stresses of school, the demands of living on our own, and all the other multifaceted challenges we face, finding time to show gratitude to our Heavenly Father gets lost in the rush of life. President Monson, in the October 2010 General Conference told how showing gratitude is not only our duty to the Lord, but a blessing to ourselves: “Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”
Just think of everything we have to give thanks for! We all have shelter, food, clothes—the basic needs of life. More than that, we enjoy the incredible opportunity of attending BYU; we live in a country of freedom, one that lets us worship as we will; and finally, more important than all these, we have the truth of the restored gospel to light our way in life, and bring us back to our Father in Heaven. We are further promised in the Doctrine and Covenants, that “he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious.” Oh how we “ought to thank [our] Heavenly King!” I pray that as this New Year and new semester begin, we may be filled with humble thanks for the blessings we enjoy, especially those that come through the gospel. I testify that Lord loves each one of us, which love surpasses our ability to understand it. Because of this he sent his only begotten son to redeem us and lead us back to him. For all this may we give thanks.