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Count Your Many Blessings

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Thanksgiving is just a few days away in the United States and it’s all about counting blessings.  Now seems like an especially good time for this exercise.  The recent LDS Church policy changes and the ensuing conflict and debate within families and the LDS/Mormon world have left some feeling downtrodden, despaired, and wanting.  Counting our blessings may be our greatest medicine and balm for the pain and heartache we may feel.

The morning after the original announcement I went for a run.  I was feeling so many different emotions I could hardly sort them all out.  Yet, after a long dark night of the soul, being in nature opened my eyes again to the beautiful world out there that is ours to explore and enjoy.  I thanked God for the blue sky, the fresh air, the trees swaying in the breeze, and the smells and sounds of city and nature all around me.  I stopped in a quiet place, centered myself, and in my heart and mind I offered a prayer of gratitude.

I was grateful that deep down inside my happiness in this life is not dependent on policies and the dictates of others, but on my personal connection with the Divine and the manifestations of God’s love through the spiritual and physical creations all around me.  Then came the well-known hymn to my mind:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

 

 

I hope and pray that you may find the peace and comfort you are searching for and that if this means new paths, new boundaries, and new relationships, that you will have the courage to forge them.  Or, if it means strengthening your resolve for what you already have, that you may do so.

During this Thanksgiving season, may you count your many blessings and also bless yourself with a strong affirmation of your infinite worth and divine nature and the will to move forward to live the life of your dreams!

Randall Thacker
Affirmation President

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