Saying Thank You


(Adapted from an April 1987 conference address. See Ensign, May 1987, page 62.)
We will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord (D&C 136:4).

A lovely young lady told the following story at a stake conference. She said, “I am a convert from upstate New York. My parents wanted their children to have eternal marriages. There were no Latter-day Saint members to marry in our little branch, so our family moved to Utah.

“Eventually I found myself a husband. He was the president of the local motorcycle club and wore a black leather jacket and motorcycle boots. We rode on motorcycles together—perhaps not what my mother had hoped, but by that time I had wandered from the Church.

“We moved into a house. Often our friends would gather there. I’m afraid our neighbors were quite uncomfortable with us. At least one neighbor took her children into her house when we were roaming about.

“But do you know what our neighbors did? They mowed our lawn because we didn’t have a mower. They brought flowers when one of us was sick, and quite often they brought food and fixed things up. Our little daughter was included in the activities of the other children in the neighborhood and was even given a party on her birthday. When we tried to thank our neighbors, they just said, ‘Well, we all like to help each other.’ They made us feel welcome there.

“About ten months later, we traded our black leather jackets and motorcycle boots for the white clothing and slippers of the temple. As we knelt across the altar from each other and looked around that room, there were our neighbors, those who had been mowing our lawn and making things better for us.”

A remarkable business leader and teacher of Christianity in New York City has said many wonderful things about our members. He observed, “One of the most remarkable characteristics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that you … concentrate upon doing that which you believe Jesus wants you to do.”

How do we do what Jesus wants us to do? How do we say thank you for the Atonement? How do we state gratitude for His teachings and for the ordinances and covenants of the temple? We do it by loving God, by loving our neighbor, and by living the commandments.

[illustration] Illustrated by Larry Winborg/Calligraphy by James Fedor