In this month of thanksgiving, let us take a moment to express gratitude to the faithful Latter-day Saints serving in our wards, branches, and stakes. At times it feels like there’s a wave of criticism, from both outside and inside the Church, regarding our Church culture, how we fulfill our callings, and how we sometimes fall short. While it is good to consider how we all can improve, it is equally important to express heartfelt thanks to those who are doing their best to help the Lord in his work.
Let us follow the example of our dear apostles who stand in general conference and say “thank you” to us and our fellow Church members for leading, for teaching, and for being a helper in building up the Kingdom of God.
And if any of us are discouraged in our Church work right now, let us take heart and know that the Lord’s gentle correction is accompanied with a wave of gratitude for our current efforts and for all the good we’ve done in the past.
For the Master I extend thanks for your work to serve the children of our Heavenly Father. He knows you, and He sees your effort, diligence, and sacrifice. I pray that He will grant you the blessing of seeing the fruit of your labors in the happiness of those you have helped and with whom you have helped for the Lord. -President Henry B. Eyring, Opportunities to Do Good
Thank you to all the bishops and branch presidents
“I marvel at the work of our bishops and branch presidents. In my lifetime, our family has had many bishops. We have loved each of them and their counselors, and we have felt their love and assistance in our lives. Each of them was different in his personality, but each was a devoted servant of the Lord. I have seen the mantle of responsibility increase their stature, and I have rejoiced in their magnificent service to the people. God bless the bishops and bishoprics of this Church!” —Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Bishop, Help!”
“I invite every member of the Church to do all that he or she can to lift the burden under which our bishops and branch presidents labor. We must pray for them. They need help as they carry their heavy loads. We can be more supportive and less dependent upon them. We can assist them in every way possible. We can thank them for all that they do for us. We are wearing them out in a short time by the burdens which we impose upon them…
God bless the good bishops of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. … I thank the Lord for you. I thank the Lord for good bishops in this Church throughout the world. I pray for you” —President Gordon B. Hinckley, The Shepherds of Israel
Thank you teachers of the Church!
“Let us ever have an attitude of gratitude for our teachers.”—President Thomas S. Monson, An Attitude of Gratitude
“We are grateful beyond any measure of expression for teachers throughout the Church. We love you and have great confidence in you. You are one of the great miracles of the restored gospel.”—David M. McConkie, Teaching with the Power and Authority of God
“From all of us who have been taught to all of you who teach—we say thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. May we exalt the teaching experience within the home and within the Church and improve our every effort to edify and instruct. In all of our meetings and all of our messages may we nourish by the good word of God. And may our children and new converts, our neighbors and new friends, say of our honest efforts, ‘Thou art a teacher come from God’.”—Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “A Teacher Come from God”
“How grateful I am for those blessed with musical talents who are willing to share their talents with others. I am reminded of the scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants: ‘For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads’.”—President Thomas S. Monson, Until We Meet Again
“We are abundantly blessed in the Church by those who share their musical talents with us.”—President Thomas S. Monson, Abundantly Blessed
Those members working with the youth and in Primary, Thank you!
“We gratefully recognize the many efforts of those of you working with the youth. And we express great appreciation to our caring Primary leaders and teachers for your Christlike service. We consider each of your one-by-one ministries and say thank you and please, please continue.” —Elder Ronald A. Rasband, One by One
“We recognize how busy you are. Without a paid professional ministry, the responsibility for administering the Church depends on you consecrated members. We know it is common for members of bishoprics and stake presidencies and many others to render long hours of devoted service. Auxiliary and quorum presidencies are exemplary in their selfless sacrifice. This service and sacrifice extend through the entire membership, to those keeping clerical records, faithful home and visiting teachers, and those teaching classes. We are grateful to those who courageously serve as Scoutmasters and nursery leaders as well. You all have our love and appreciation for what you do and who you are!” —Elder Quentin L. Cook, In Tune with the Music of Faith
“I am grateful for Young Women leaders who go to girls camp and, without shampoo, showers, or mascara, turn smoky, campfire testimony meetings into some of the most riveting spiritual experiences those girls—or those leaders—will experience in their lifetime.” —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Because of Your Faith
May we join the Brethren in expressing gratitude for the missionaries—
“Wonderful full-time missionaries are among us. …We are grateful for each one of you! We thank you! We love you!” —President Russell M. Nelson, Be Thou an Example of the Believers
“A young returned missionary sister from Hong Kong told me recently that when she and her companion asked an investigator if she believed in God, the woman replied, ‘I didn’t until I met a member of your church and observed how she lived.’ What exemplary missionary work! Asking every member to be a missionary is not nearly as crucial as asking every member to be a member! Thank you for living the gospel.
“Thank you also for praying for the missionaries. Everyone prays for the missionaries. May it ever be so.”—Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Witnesses unto Me
“I express my thanks to you for your kindnesses to me wherever I go. I thank you for your prayers in my behalf. I have felt those prayers and am most grateful for them.” —President Thomas S. Monson, As We Gather Once Again
This next expression of gratitude was shared back in 1992 by our beloved Elder Robert D. Hales, who at the time was the Presiding Bishop. How blessed we are that we had him with us all those years between his health scare in 1991 and his recent passing.—
“As many of you know, I suffered a heart attack last August. I had the opportunity of knowing firsthand of the healing strength that comes through united prayer. For that I will always be grateful. Thank you for your prayers and for your concern. Your kindness to me lifted my spirits and aided in the healing process. I have been greatly blessed with improving health and strength.” —Elder Robert D. Hales, Gratitude for the Goodness of God
“It is a joy to meet and serve with Latter-day Saints anywhere, near or far, at home or abroad, and we thank you for your prayers and your interest in the work.” —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Called to Serve
“My brothers and sisters, I thank you for your prayers in my behalf. They strengthen me and lift me as I strive with all my heart and strength to do God’s will and to serve Him and to serve you.” —President Thomas S. Monson, Until We Meet Again
Let us be grateful for our faithful and courageous women of the Church—
“Thank you to all the women of the Church who are reaching out across age and cultural lines to bless and serve others. Young women are serving Primary children and the elderly. Single sisters of all ages spend countless hours watching out for the needs of those around them. We recognize the thousands of young women who are giving up 18 months of their lives to share the gospel with the world. All of these things are evidence that, as our beloved hymn states, ‘The errand of angels is given to women’.” —Bonnie L. Oscarson, Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other
“[D]ear women … thank you for being the kind of people you are and doing the things you do. May the blessings of heaven rest upon you. May your prayers be answered and your hopes and dreams become realities.
“You serve so well in the Church. You think it is so demanding. It is. But with every responsibility fulfilled, there comes a great reward.
“Many of you think you are failures. You feel you cannot do well, that with all of your effort it is not sufficient.
“We all feel that way. I feel that way as I speak to you tonight. I long for, I pray for the power and the capacity to lift you, to inspire you, to thank you, to praise you, and to bring a measure of gladness into your hearts.” —President Gordon B. Hinckley, To the Women of the Church
“Dear sisters, we love and admire you. We appreciate your service in the Lord’s kingdom. You are incredible!” —Elder Quentin L. Cook, LDS Women Are Incredible!
“Thank you for the steadfast love you extend to one another, for your example, for your service. Thank you for putting your arms around each other and drawing each other into the circle of sisters that is the heart and soul of a branch, a ward, or a stake.” —Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society:A Balm in Gilead
“You single young women face tremendous challenges, and we know it is not easy for you. I cannot say enough of appreciation for your determination to live by the standards of the Church, to walk with the strength of virtue, to keep your minds above the slough of filth which seems to be moving like a flood across the world. Thank you for knowing there is a better way. Thank you for the will to say no. Thank you for the strength to deny temptation and look beyond and above to the shining light of your eternal potential.” —President Gordon B. Hinckley, Stand Strong against the Wiles of the World
Let us be grateful for our faithful and courageous men of the Church—
“My dear brethren, I feel your strength and goodness as we assemble as the priesthood of God. I love you; I admire you. Thank you for your faith, your prayers, and your willingness to serve the Lord.” —President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, A Matter of a Few Degrees
“I thank you for your faith and devotion to the gospel. I thank you for the love and care you show one to another. I thank you for the service you provide in your wards and branches and in your stakes and districts. It is such service that enables the Lord to accomplish many of His purposes here upon the earth.
“I thank you for your prayers. I thank you for getting on your knees in recognition of the fact that you don’t have all the answers. You pray to the God of heaven to express your gratitude and to invoke His blessings upon your lives and your families. I thank you for your service to others and for the times you felt no need for acknowledgment of your service.” —President Henry B. Eyring, The Priesthood Man
“Brethren, we have work to do. Thank you for the sacrifices you make and the good you do. Keep going, and the Lord will help you. At times you may not know quite what to do or what to say—just move forward. … It is true that we are in many ways ordinary and imperfect, but we have a perfect Master who wrought a perfect Atonement, and we have call upon His grace and His priesthood.” —Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Brethren, We Have Work to Do
“My dear brethren of the great worldwide brotherhood of the priesthood, we commend you for your faithfulness and your dedication to the work of the Lord. We thank you for your commitment and your devoted service. You contribute much to the strength of the Church.” —President James E. Faust, Perseverance
“Thank you, brethren … wherever you may be, we thank you and commend you for your faith, for your loyalty to this the work of the Lord, for the efforts you make in your daily living to be worthy of the sacred priesthood which you bear.” —President Gordon B. Hinckley, This Work Is Concerned with People
May we always express thanks and love for the youth and children of the Church
“God bless the children of this Church. How I love you! How Heavenly Father loves you! And may we, as your parents, teachers, and leaders, be more childlike—more submissive, more meek, and more humble.” —President Ezra Taft Benson, To the Children of the Church
“We … thank the faithful youth of the Church for your willingness to live up to the Lord’s standard. May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you as you prepare to serve Him in this troubled world.” —Elder M. Russell Ballard, The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work
“Thank you for your prayers; thank you for your faith; thank you for what you are. Young women of the Church, thank you so much.” —President Gordon B. Hinckley, How Can I Become the Woman of Whom I Dream?
“I wish to speak initially to the younger men who are here tonight. Thank you for your presence, wherever you may be gathered. Thank you for attending seminary as well as your Sunday meetings. I honor you for your desire to learn of the gospel, to deepen your scholarship in studying the word of the Lord. I thank you for the desire you carry in your hearts to serve missions. I thank you for your dreams of marrying in the temple and rearing honorable families of your own.” —President Gordon B. Hinckley, To the Boys and to the Men
Let us be thankful for all of the members of the Church who are striving to live righteous lives and serve the Lord. May we sustain each other, and express gratitude when we are sustained—
“I thank you for all that you do in your wards and your branches. I express my gratitude for your willingness to serve in the positions to which you are called, whatever they may be. Each is important in furthering the work of the Lord.” —President Thomas S. Monson, Until We Meet Again
“I want to thank each and every member of the Church throughout the world for your faithfulness despite temptations; for your love; for your dedication to the principles and doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ; for your willingness to follow the living prophet in making the wards and branches grow; for your sacrifices in giving of your time and energy and your emotional, spiritual, and temporal substance. Thank you for paying an honest tithing and not neglecting the poor and the lonely. I have seen the face of Christ in your faces, in your deeds, and in your exemplary lives. You are a modern miracle.” —President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The Opportunity to Testify
“My beloved brethren and sisters, thank you for your sustaining influence, not only by your uplifted hand but also by your uplifting service at home, in the Church, and in your communities. We love to be with you and see you among your families and friends. Wherever you live, we observe your efforts to make this world a better place. We sustain you! We love you! As you pray for us, so we pray for you!” —President Russell M. Nelson, Face the Future with Faith
“My dear brothers and sisters across the world, my knees are weak and my emotions close to the surface. I express my love for you and profoundly thank you for your sustaining vote. In so many dimensions, I feel inadequate and humbled.” —Elder Neil L. Andersen, Come unto Him
“My heart swells with love and admiration for the faithful and obedient members of this Church from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. As I travel the earth, I learn about your hopes and dreams, your varied living conditions and circumstances, and your struggles. I have attended Church meetings with you and visited in some of your homes. Your faith strengthens my faith. Your devotion makes me more devoted. And your goodness and willing obedience to the law of tithing inspires me to be a better man, husband, father, and Church leader. I remember and think of you each time I participate in the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes. Thank you for your goodness and faithfulness as you honor your covenants.” —Elder David A. Bednar, The Windows of Heaven
“What a privilege it is to serve in the kingdom of God. In this work it is the Spirit that counts—wherever we serve. I know I must rely on the Spirit. Let us obtain that Spirit and be faithful members of the Church, devoted children and parents, effective home teachers, edifying instructors, inspired ward and stake leaders. God bless you all for your noble labors in building the kingdom.” —President Ezra Taft Bensen, A Sacred Responsibility
“These are the many members I see, admire, and am grateful for. They are not seeking position, prominence, or fame, but each is earning a place in our Father’s kingdom by taking care of the business of everyday living. They are consistently doing the unnoticed, the unspectacular, but humbly and righteously doing the important.” — Bishop Richard C. Edgley, The Empowerment of Humility
“I cast this net of gratitude to numerous extended family, friends, missionaries, leaders, and teachers along the way.” —Elder Gary E. Stevenson, Plain and Precious Truths
“My dear brothers and sisters, thank you for sustaining me yesterday as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It is hard to express how much that means to me.” —Elder Dale G. Renlund, Through God’s Eyes
“Having young children is not easy. Many days are just difficult. A young mother got on a bus with seven children. The bus driver asked, ‘Are these all yours, lady? Or is it a picnic?’
“‘They’re all mine,’ she replied. ‘And it’s no picnic!’
“As the world increasingly asks, ‘Are these all yours?’ we thank you for creating within the Church a sanctuary for families, where we honor and help mothers with children.” —Elder Neil L. Andersen, Children
“I am grateful for the Church’s army of teachers, officers, advisers, and clerks, to say nothing of people who are forever setting up tables and taking down chairs. I am grateful for ordained patriarchs, musicians, family historians, and osteoporotic couples who trundle off to the temple at 5:00 in the morning with little suitcases now almost bigger than they are. I am grateful for selfless parents who—perhaps for a lifetime—care for a challenged child, sometimes with more than one challenge and sometimes with more than one child. I am grateful for children who close ranks later in life to give back to ill or aging parents.” —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Because of Your Faith