Give Thanks for Everything

From an October 2008 general conference address.


Thomas S. Monson

Give Thanks for Everything

Many years ago I was touched by the story of Borghild Dahl. She was born in 1890 and from her early years suffered severely impaired vision. Against the advice of educators, who felt her handicap was too great, she attended college. She eventually became the principal of eight schools.

She wrote the following in one of the 17 books she authored: “I had only one eye, and it was so covered with dense scars that I had to do all my seeing through one small opening in the left of the eye. I could see a book only by holding it up close to my face and by straining my one eye as hard as I could to the left.”

When she was over 50 years old a procedure finally restored much of the sight she had been without for so long. A new and exciting world opened up before her. She took great pleasure in small things, such as watching a bird in flight, noticing the light reflected in the bubbles of her dishwater, or observing the phases of the moon each night. She closed one of her books with these words: “Dear … Father in heaven, I thank Thee. I thank Thee.”

Borghild Dahl, both before and after her sight was restored, was filled with gratitude for her blessings.

Two years before she died, at the age of 92 her last book was published. Its title: Happy All My Life. Her attitude of thankfulness enabled her to appreciate her blessings and to live a full and rich life despite her challenges.

In 1 Thessalonians in the New Testament, chapter 5, verse 18, we are told by the Apostle Paul, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God.”

My sincere prayer is that we may express our gratitude always and thus find joy in the journey.

Happy All His Life

Like the woman in the story, President Monson is known as a happy person. Look below to find out some of the things President Monson has enjoyed doing with his children and grandchildren.

various activities(click to view larger)

Roasting marshmallows and telling campfire stories

Mowing the lawn with his grandsons

Playing games with his children

Taking his children out to get ice cream

Spending time at the family cabin

Going fishing in the Provo River

Thankful Hunt

  • See

  • Hear

  • Smell

  • Taste

  • Touch

Go on a “thankful hunt.” Look around your house or yard to find three things in each category that you are thankful for. Write down or draw a picture of each item.

If you do this activity with family members, compare your list with theirs. How many of the items are the same? How many are different?

You could also divide family members into teams and give each team a paper sack. Teams should collect one item from each category in their sack. Then have the team members tell why they are thankful for each item in their sack.

Illustration by Rachel Hoffman-Bayles

Illustration by Richard Hull