Sunday, November 18, 2012


While we were in Colombia, we received an assignment from the Area Presidency to kneel in prayer with our spouse when we retired for the night and once again when we arose the next morning. Both of us having been in the habit of individual personal prayers in the morning and ‘family prayer’ at night, I remember thinking that it was kind of interesting that one had to break into the inner prayers of the soul in order to participate in these more formal offerings of gratitude and pleadings for help. Since our assignment in Colombia was to care for the safety and welfare of several hundred young men and women, as well as trying to inspire them to be inspired to do the important work they had been called to do, the prayers in my mind, heart and soul were close to being continuous.

As I started to think about the upcoming day which we annually set apart as a day to give thanks, that same feeling of interrupting an activity in order to formally do the activity came over me once again. Somehow on the Thursday next I will need to change from my regular conscious and subliminal thankfulness and move to a formal outward demonstration of the many things I am grateful for. (I am sure, somewhere or somehow, there is some logic in my musings.)

Anyway, since I can't think of how my thankfulness will change this coming Thursday I will just go through a partial list of things which I am grateful for all the days of my life.

I am grateful for the constant but growing witness, which is born to me of the Holy Spirit, that I have loving Heavenly Parents who are concerned with my progress and development during this brief mortal stay.

I am grateful for Jesus the Christ who was willing to pay the price involved with an Infinite Atonement so that The Plan of Happiness, Salvation and Exaltation might be brought to fruition for all who are willing to abide by the required conditions.

I am grateful for the words of Apostles and Prophets, which have been received through revelation and preserved as a guide and direction in instructing us how we should conduct ourselves in our daily walk.

I am grateful for a loving spouse who has spent her life helping me strive to become what I need to become, for freely sustaining and supporting my efforts and for her nurturing and nursing nature.

I am grateful for friends and loved ones who have surrounded me throughout life and given me examples and reminders of the proper ways and principles of meaningful relationships.

I am grateful to have the understanding of the importance that the roles of Father, Mother and Children play in our development and progress as we prepare to live in Infinite Eternal Families.

I am grateful for a body which has eyes to see, ears to hear and limbs which help me fulfill my daily tasks.

I am grateful when I hear of one who was blind who is now able to see, they who were deaf who now can hear, and those who now reach and run who once were unable.

I am grateful for the warmth provided by shelter and clothing.

I am grateful when warmth provided by shelter and clothing is provided for those who want.

I am grateful for the nourishment which comes from the ever flowing cornucopia of the gifts of this fertile globe.
I am grateful when these gifts are shared and bring nourishment to those who hunger.

I am grateful for the technologically advanced age in which I am privileged to live and how it miraculously brings faraway friends, loved ones and places instantly to my senses. (In a strange way this cyber space stuff seems to give me just a small glimpse of what Omnipresence might be like.)

I am grateful for the beautiful variety which blesses this planet and the many ways which we are able to appreciate it. We can circle the globe in a matter of hours. Some even have the privilege of circumnavigating the planet in minutes. In relative comfort we visit places which were either unknown or unimagined by our ancestors.

I am grateful for governments which provide safety and freedom to their citizens so that an atmosphere is provided which allows that people to fulfill the purposes of their existence.

I am grateful for each person whose nature is changed from being contentious, angry and warlike to one which is driven by publishing peace and loving their neighbor.

I am grateful for the understanding that all mankind share a universal kinship, and that the Father of us all has put us here to see if we will relate to one another lovingly or hatefully.

I am grateful for a day being set apart when we can gather with family and friends and be reminded of how grateful we should be every day of our lives.

Just a few of the wonderful parts of a grateful life!


  1. "Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way."
    This phrase has been a treasure to me. But to me, it is also a micro-example of how revelation or God-led inspiration works or is manifested in general. For me it is a gem of illumination in an otherwise ordinary hymn.
    We find gems of wisdom in much of the literature we read. I recently sent some by MLK. Great quotes inspire and elevate us. Sadly, for every yin there appears to be a yang. There is always a shadow (Jung). As I see it, even while the wisdom found in special quotes and insights is delighting us, a dark side may be being evoked, a thing that has led us into danger, and too often in our history the outright destruction of ourselves and others. We tend to identify the virtues or value of the whole with the part, or the part with the whole. As examples: He's an honest man so he's telling the truth. I caught him cheating, so he's dishonest.
    God help us to do what He taught us; He taught us to Winnow.
    Paul Maddox

  2. Muchas gracias por todas estas enseñanzas


    Gilma Preciado Gonzales

  3. Estoy agradecido por vuetra amistad de muchos años y por el privilegio de haber servido en la mision Bogota Colombia Norte.Gracias por sus pensamientos y feliz Thanks giving Day.


    Armando & Chela Gomez

  4. Hola Br. Riley, Muchas gracias por su mensaje.

    I love your list and would add just a bit more:

    I am grateful for the Church Seminary, Institute, and Adult Education programs that have inspired leaders such as you to guide others with tireless devotion.

    May your Thanksgiving Day be especially wonderful.

    Con amor,

    Bonnie Lynn

  5. Pte y hna Riley:

    Cordial saludo:

    Muchas gracias por compartir sus sentimientos.

    Gracias por ese gran tiempo en la misión.

    Saludos de gratitud de mi esposa y mis hijos.

    Con Amor,

    Gonzalo Devia Oviedo.

  6. Loved your thoughts, but what are you doing up so early? We should both learn to sleep.

    Carolyn Hildt

  7. Here in Colombia we don't have Thanksgiving Day ... however, every morning when I wake up... I always have a reason to give thanks to my Heavenly life has been full of challenges and pains which have broken my heart, but I'm here next to the Lord and He takes me in His hand... when I was in my mission, my president advised us to treasure experiences I won't forget it, because if I hadn't done that...I wouldn't have had reasons to continue now ... since I knew the church 27 years ago ... I have strived to endure in spite of the adversity ... and everyday He shows me a reason to continue...
    President Rilley... i don't know you... you don't know me, but I really appreciate you added me to your contacts... i love your messages ... they give me strength of spirit ... Thank you very much ...

    p.d. : My English is not too good, but I'm trying to improve...

    Jenny Henoa

  8. Bill, I really enjoyed this thought. But did you perhaps forget to mention golf.??

    D. Thomas Borgquist

  9. Y Lindsay y yo estamos agradecidos por estos mensajes... Very grateful for your inspired articles.

    Thank you,

    Sariah Crowton

  10. Thanks Bill,
    In a time of much negativity in media and life in general, we do need to "stop and smell the beautiful roses". Thank you For bringing that to mind for me today. You are truly an Inspiration to me...... Still!

    Your brother in Christ,

    John Swapp

  11. So beautiful! Your words bring all things to mind.
    I truly realize, even through the lonely and frustrating times, how blessed I am!
    You and Kathleen are among those many blessings. Thank you again for bringing thoughts and tears of gratitude to me.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and make memories!

    Kathy Brooks

  12. and I am thankful for the priviledge of having associates like you and Kathy, who make us want to be better people.

    Happy Thanks giving

    Patricia Proffit

  13. y yo estoy agradecida por sus inspiradas palabras animo y que se mejore

    isabel moscoso

  14. Thoughts evoked by Riley about thanks-giving.
    Much, no, most of my life I have participated, mindlessly as one reared as a member of a culture is apt to do, in giving thanks for getting during Thanksgiving seasons. Finally, while silently giving thanks after reading an email, it occurred to me that the gift of giving was the greatest gift I had ever received, the one which brought the greatest satisfaction, and one I had tended to overlook in my praise of gifts received during Thanksgivings.

    Paul Maddox

  15. Agradecidos estamos todos aquellos que leemos sus pensamientos para el día de reposo. Porque nos pone a pensar, a meditar sobre el evangelio y la vida.

    Un abrazo... acompañado de los mejores agradecimientos....

    Fidel Castro Agresott

  16. It was wonderful to have seen you and your sweetheart in the Temple!!! You both look great ~~ and it's because you're living the "good life" to the best of your abililty.

    Again, thank you for your "THOUGHTS" ~~ I look forward to reading them!

    Carla Johnson

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