9 Reasons to Rejoice
By Lauren Madsen
Every November I look forward to seeing my social media feeds flooded with #gratitude posts. As I thought about the 2021 holiday season, I recognized that while our lives and experiences can be quite similar to some, they may be wildly different from others. This idea led me on a journey to create a list of reasons to rejoice—blessings we all have in common as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These things are ours to cherish and do not depend on where we live, who we live with, or how much money we make. Here they are, a list of 9 blessings (and I know there are more!) that I hope I never take for granted. I have included quotes and questions to perhaps inspire you to record or even share on social media how these reasons to rejoice bless your life.
- We are beloved children of Heavenly Parents
“We forget that we have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who are even more concerned, probably, than our earthly father and mother, and that influences from beyond are constantly working to try to help us when we do all we can.” —Harold B. Lee
How does understanding your divine heritage give you courage?
- God’s prophet is on the earth
“We live in a time when we are ‘tossed to and fro,’ when spirituality, decency, integrity, and respect are under attack. We have to make choices. We have the voice of the Lord through His prophet to calm our fears and lift our sights.” —Elder Ronald A. Rasband
In what ways has following a prophet of the Lord blessed you?
- We can pray for help, hope, guidance and inspiration anytime, anywhere
“Prayer is a gift from God. We need never feel lost or alone. I testify that every moment of precious prayer can be holy time spent with our Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” —Carol F. McConkie
What experiences have helped build your testimony of prayer?
- We have the gift of repentance because of our Savior Jesus Christ
“The Savior’s infinite Atonement completely changes the way we may view our transgressions and imperfections. Instead of dwelling on them and feeling irredeemable or hopeless, we can learn from them and feel hopeful. The cleansing gift of repentance allows us to leave our sins behind and emerge a new creature.” —Dieter F. Uchtdorf
What does the gift of repentance bring to your life?
- We have ancient scripture written for our day
“The Book of Mormon was written for us today. God is the author of the book. It is a record of a fallen people, compiled by inspired men for our blessing today. Those people never had the book—it was meant for us.” —Ezra Taft Benson
How has the Book of Mormon blessed you?
- We have the Gift of the Holy Ghost to help us navigate life here on earth
We learn this about the Holy Ghost under gospel topics in the gospel library: “[He] can guide us in our decisions and protect us from physical and spiritual danger. Through Him, we can receive gifts of the Spirit for our benefit and for the benefit of those we love and serve. He is the Comforter. As the soothing voice of a loving parent can quiet a crying child, the whisperings of the Spirit can calm our fears, hush the nagging worries of our life, and comfort us when we grieve. The Holy Ghost can fill us ‘with hope and perfect love’ and ‘teach [us] the peaceable things of the kingdom’ (Moroni 8:26; D&C 36:2). Through His power, we are sanctified as we repent, receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, and remain true to our covenants.”
When has the Holy Ghost warned, directed, or comforted you?
- We have the privilege of making covenants with God
“Our Father in Heaven is generous with His power. All men and all women have access to this power for help in our own lives. All who have made sacred covenants with the Lord and who honor those covenants are eligible to receive personal revelation, to be blessed by the ministering of angels, [and] to commune with God.” —M. Russell Ballard
“As we bind ourselves to Him through covenants and ordinances, our lives are filled with confidence, protection, and deep and lasting joy." —Bonnie Cordon
How does making and keeping covenants bless you and those you love?
- We know death is a temporary separation from our deceased loved ones
“I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. … We are closely related to our kindred, to our ancestors … who have preceded us into the spirit world. We can not forget them; we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we can not break. … those who have been faithful, who have gone beyond … can see us better than we can see them; that they know us better than we know them. … We live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever.” —Joseph F. Smith
Do you strengthen your relationship with loved ones on the other side of the veil? If so, in what ways?
- We have been placed exactly when and where we need to be
“Brothers and sisters, by divine appointment, ‘these are [our] days’ (Hel. 7:9), since ‘all things must come to pass in their time’ (D&C 64:32). Moreover, though we live in a failing world, we have not been sent here to fail.” —Neal A. Maxwell
How does knowing that you have been placed on earth at this time for a special purpose help you?
What other reasons do you have to rejoice? Take some time to think about them, record them, and share them! It’s the best way I can think of to show gratitude to a loving and gracious Heavenly Father.