7 days of Gratitude: Day 1 – Family

Hello good people of the bloggernacle. I just got done watching President Nelson’s video on the “healing power of gratitude” and, what the heck, I’m going to take up his challenge. If you want to join me, name something that you are grateful for in the comments below. It can be anything, seriously.

The first thing that I am grateful for is family. I’ve got a loving, doting, interfering, know-it-all Mother whom I love with all my heart. She is a Southern Lady and she taught me most of what I know about how to be around people, even when you disagree on some fundamental things. I had a gregarious, open, non-member father who passed away earlier this year (not from COVID, I think, but actually maybe). He was quick-witted, a card shark, a people person, and I hope one day to be a 100th of the man he was. I have a brother and sister, both of whom are great people who’ve gone through difficult times. I admire and respect them both, even though I don’t call them nearly enough. I have two amazing children, who are smarter, prettier, and tougher than me. I count myself lucky daily for being in the family I’m in. There are plenty of people out there who have terrible family members, abusive physically, emotionally, and mentally. Some people simply don’t get along with parents, siblings, or children; but I’m lucky in that we’ve never had those rivalries (I assume because they all agree that I’m the best).

Our church is guilty of exalting the family structure in a manner that can be painful for people who don’t fit that structure. It is easy to be ignored in church if you are unmarried, divorced, a single parent, a widowed man. There are expectations of members that, for whatever reason, some people walk away from and some never achieve. But, at the same time, our habit is to call one another Brother and Sister when we meet. We can and should extend our notion of family to include those to whom we are not related by blood or marriage. Joseph Smith imagined the whole world bound together by love; should we be striving for some sort of less accepting Zion?

So today, the first day of seven, I’m grateful for family: flaws, inconveniences, ditherings over where to go for dinner, and all. If I were now the person I’d like to be, I’d invite everyone reading this to consider themselves my siblings. So I’ll do that; we’ll see how long I can fake it.



  1. I know this will sound political, but it is not meant to be. I am grateful that Joe Biden won the election. I do not believe I could have tolerated four more years of Donald Trump’s insane tweets. I suffered too much at the hands of a mentally Ill family member and am just hanging on emotionally and spiritually. President Trump’s behavior regularly made me crazy. As did the constant excuses of his supporters justifying his behavior. So I am grateful that the news reporters, who must cover the words and actions of the US president, will not need to publish his words once he leaves office.
    And I grateful to live in a country where the vote of the people will be upheld. Tradition will require that of even the most die hard partisan.

  2. I am grateful that the message was short.

  3. I am grateful that FB has a 30 day snooze button so that my feed is no longer overwhelmed by Mormon humble-brags about how great their lives are (accompanied by photo-edited pictures of their perfect families and such). 🙂

  4. I am grateful that i have a warm home and enough food to eat every day.

  5. I am grateful that I have the sense not to express gratitude for my wonderful family to my neighbour whose husband of 20 years died last month and is completely alone due to travel bans in this area due to high covid prevalence. We are currently uanble even to meet face to face. I am grateful to be able to speak to her by phone and not mention my family at all.

  6. I am grateful that my house has functioning sewage.

  7. I’m grateful for people who write books with the sole aim of entertaining readers. Fun matters, even if there’s only time for a few pages at a time.


  8. Dionne Jamieson says:

    jader3rd beat me to it, because indoor plumbing was my first post on Facebook. And it wasn’t a tongue-in-cheek post either. I’m married to a sanitation engineer so I’ve had occasion to think about the amazing luxury of safe drinking water and toilets. Cholera and dysentery and typhus were no joke.

    LIke others have pointed out, I think we need to be really careful how we express gratitude right now. My family has dealt with long unemployment before so I know how wrenching it is, so even though I’m very, very grateful for current employment, that’s something more appropriate for prayers than social media at the moment.

    My gratitude posts are going to be for things like anaesthesia and firefighters and the fact I get to vote as a woman.

  9. SisterStacey says:

    I’m grateful I didn’t watch it. I tried to read it, but his talk seemed like a humble brag about how awesome he is. It just… isn’t enough. Like, hey yet another unarmed black man was killed by police this week, more people in America are dying from Covid, our current president is trying to undermine democracy, and your answer is “But what are you grateful for?”

  10. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.

  11. I’m grateful for my cat. She made my house a home and brought healing on her furry shoulders for every last person in my family. Jesus may be proof that God so loves the world. My kitty is proof that the world is worth loving. Soft, purring, dispatching hapless socks and sock puppets in the dead of night. There are people who were so. very. sure. they hated cats. These same people snuggle the kitty every night like she’s a furry baby and are now more content, relaxed, and happy for it. Our cat is a beloved member of our family. She does a tons of emotional labor daily. She’s adorable. She’s fun. I’m so grateful she’s our kitty. I’m never living life without a cat. They, like a heated toilet seat, are essential. Essential. And it’s only after you’ve found one and can relax that you realize how deprived you were to try to manage without.

  12. In the middle of the terrible pandemic, when 50% of members believe Trump won the election he lost, and presumably that the virus is a hoax. The only person those members might listen to, chooses to look the other way, and not accept his responsibility.

    By his silence Pres Nelson has joined the trump enablers. Can this really be what a prophet does? Is this what book of mormon prophets did? Credibility? No.

    Yes what he said was nice, but does not address reality? Irrelavent. Not sure it is even nice to spend time telling others how noble/thankful we are?

    How many of these special messages from the Lords Prophet, that are promoted for weeks, and then turn out to be fizzers? Credibility again?

    I am gratefull I live in Australia, where the virus is under control, and both sides of politics believe in democracy.

  13. And the church which congratulated obama, and trump by 9th November, still can’t congratulat biden. Thankfull for democracy?

  14. I am grateful for John C.

  15. I am thankful President Nelson asked us to turn out attention to positive things in our lives. The problems and heartaches do not cease to exist, but they are pushed aside, as we do on a true Sabbath day to focus our minds on what is right and true in our lives.
    This has been such a depressing year. I believe he was inspired to try to get us to focus on the hopeful, to see the promises that still lie before us and to recognize all we do have.
    So I am thankful for many things, great and small. For electricity that brings light and heat instantly to my home. For running water. For the fact covid 19 has greatly slowed the wars in the world as dictators are hesitant to move their military forces. For great medical workers. For vaccines and their promise of a bright 2021. For the fact the people in my family who got covid 19 survived without lasting problems. For friends who I could call on when we needed fasting and prayers. For the temple rolls. For truck drivers and people who worked extra hours in our local toilet paper plant. For our welfare farms and all the people who have kept so many fed during these uncertain times. For the advice to store food and supplies. For paid employment. For the great progress we are making on familysearch in accounting for all God’s children. For all the new temples we are constructing that will bring these people home.
    And most of all, for the Atonement.

  16. As I grow older a I feel grumpier and grumpier and I hate the image of myself as a grumpy old woman, but I’m grateful I am not yet as grumpy as lehcarjt and SisterStacey. I have found all the #givethanks comments refreshingly positive and uplifting, and I didn’t think I would when it started.

  17. Amen Amy! Animals are the only place you really see unconditional love.

  18. Jane Francine says:

    I am grateful for the prophet and those who devote their lives to building the LDS Church and hopefully, someday, a Zion people. I am grateful for the gifts of the Spirit. I am grateful to live in the time of computers. I spent decades trying to complete my genealogy and now get more done in three hours than I once did in a year. May I invite you to join me this year. Five hundred names per Church member would add every person currently in familysearch source records to the familysearch tree. Very doable. I do about 3,000 a year alone. Please join me. How nice it would be to see one task done in our endless gospel list of things to do.

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