Why I’m Thankful

It’s time to put aside my token devil’s advocate, negative, contrarian, apostate, [insert your own label here] self and tell what I’m thankful for in Mormonism, and why I love the Church.

I love so many Mormon doctrines. 1) Work for the dead. What a marvelous concept – everyone can be saved, everyone gets a fair shake. 2) We can actually be on the same level as God. It feels right, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t a perfect parent want their children to have access to the same things they have? 3) Eternal progression. The ability to always learn, always move forward. It’s far more interesting and impressive than angels worshipping an almighty God for all eternity. I’m never one to say “I know” about things in the Church, because I don’t know. But I sure believe, and the fruit of Mormonism tastes sweet – it tastes right.

I’m thankful for the Mormon emphasis on family. The Church’s teachings give people hope about families; it makes us want to hang on during the tough times. I think, by and large, the Church doesn’t portray marriage as a breeze or promise perfect happiness if you’re a Church member – they generally set real expectations. And part of those real expectations is that you shouldn’t throw in the towel on family. And besides, how great of a concept is it that we’re all linked as a family? When we “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children” it allows us to feel connected as human beings. If we looked at each other as children of God, brothers and sisters, wouldn’t the world be a much different place?

But most of all, I’m thankful for the Church as my own family. Given my keen ability to harp, whine, and moan about Mormonism, I’m occasionally challenged: what do you like about the Church, John? I love that it’s my family. If one asks, “What do you love about your family?” it might take a minute to answer. You might say, “Well, we love each other. We’re close, we talk, we share, and we live life together.” It would be all too easy to say, “So, isn’t that what most families are all about.” Families aren’t unique, but the fact that they’re yours makes them so. So even with my whining, even with the occasional dysfunction (and everyone knows I think Mormonism has them), it’s family, and there’s nothing like family.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, John!

    I am thankful for many of the things you are thankful for (minus the LDS theological ones, as I am not a Mormon). (Personally, the highest part of my being would joyiously run to sing Holy Holy Holy to an eternal God every “day” of my existence should I be admitted to Heaven. It is then when I am full and thankful towards eternal God that I feel the most content and humbled.) As far as the questions directed towards one’s faith, I admire your levity and the honest questions we all have towards the never ending question of whether we are in the “true” faith. Sometimes, we just have to say that we don’t know that in the scheme of all creation whether every doctrine of our faith tradition may be perfectly right, but it is what God has allowed to be given to us, and thereby it becomes our own. It becomes a part of us. Of our families and of us. I am thankful every Thanksgiving for a country that allows this free discussion of ideas without fear. All can be free to worship as he pleases or not at all. God bless America!
    God bless you, too.

  2. Sultan of Squirrels says:

    Good post. thanks.

  3. John – Thanks for expressing your feelings at this wonderful time of year. Certainly most of us who contribute to this blog have much to be thankful for and we don’t often enough express those thanks. And like Randal who followed, we all should give thanks for the freedons we have to express ourselves daily here and elsewhere in our lives.

    For a good portion of my life I was one who was reluctant to say “I know”. I stood to bear my testimony but would only say I believe and I had that testimony validated by the words of other mortals and by promptings of the Holy Ghost. Certainly our expressions should be no more than what they truly are. But in the past several years I have many experiences, some too personal to explain, that have allowed me to now state without hesitation that I know certain aspects of the gospel. Without turning this into a testimony let me just say that because I know those things, my life has changed and I am ever greatful for a loving Father in Heaven who has made all of this possible to all of us. Happy holidays to everyone and may we make the coming year the best one of our lives.

  4. Seth Rogers says:

    I know what you mean John. Sometimes it just feels like “my Church – right or wrong.” But relatively speaking, there is an awful lot that’s right about it.

  5. J. Stapley says:

    Thanks, John. This is a very moving post. I too, am very thankful for the Church.

  6. Great post. Thanks!

  7. John, well said. Thank you.

  8. Yup, good job. One thing I am thankful for is our church’s teachings about the spirit world and the afterlife. These teachings are unique among Christian religions.

  9. Paul Wright says:

    I don’t get ordinance work for the dead. Let the dead tend to the dead. Live, brothers and sisters, live in the moment!

    Also, out of all the talk regarding spirit world and afterlife, you will never find anything rising to the level of a usable bit of information. Who could possibly know?

  10. I’m thankful for the gospel too, it answers so many questions.

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