Today is Thanksgiving Day, our holiday celebrating the bounteous harvest of the Pilgrims. Since that time, we gather to celebrate and give thanks for the things we have been given. I am thankful this year for God, family, and country.

God

Since everything we have comes from God, I am thankful for all the things He has given me. While I try to thank Him by doing what He says, I know that will never be enough. King Benjamin explained it this way:

I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

Family

I love my family, both the one I was born into and the one I married into. The times of greatest joy and happiness in my life have come from being with my family. Nothing else I do in my life will be as important or ultimately as meaningful as the time I spend with my family. David O. McKay once summed this up with the statement, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”

Country

This is a land of freedom, and the twin freedoms of worshiping God and serving my family are cornerstones supporting the continued success and freedom of our country. “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” While this quote is often attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, it doesn’t appear anywhere in there. But whether or not the statement is his, the sentiment is true. No other country has done so much for so many others. While we may not always be popular with other nations, America has been successful in freeing over 50 million people from oppressive governments. Regardless of whether you love or loathe President Bush, he has been very successful in offering freedom to the world by seeking to destroy tyranny and terrorism wherever it lurks.

God, family, and country — three blessings that I am especially thankful for this November.

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