1. The Thanksgiving holiday in my family is simple – we have a turkey bowl, dinner, and other traditions, but for the most part it’s just an opportunity to spend time with each other and share the things we are thankful for.2. Thanksgiving is way less stressful when I don’t have to plan around the schedule of my wife’s parents and extended family – just my own.3. The Church teaches that we need to love everyone, in every lesson, every talk, and every manual. There’s no better pla1. The Thanksgiving holiday in my family is simple – we have a turkey bowl, dinner, and other traditions, but for the most part it’s just an opportunity to spend time with each other and share the things we are thankful for.
2. Thanksgiving is way less stressful when I don’t have to plan around the schedule of my wife’s parents and extended family – just my own.
3. The Church teaches that we need to love everyone, in every lesson, every talk, and every manual. There’s no better place to find myself.
4. The people in the Church are horribly imperfect. I can see examples on both sides of the scale – from people with obvious pride and superiority complexes, to people with hidden pride and addiction, and know that I’m just one of many striving to get better.
5. The Book of Mormon gives me peace whenever I need it, and even when I don’t think I do.
6. God reminds me that I need to read the Book of Mormon each day, even if it’s 2:00 in the morning when I’ve slowed down enough to be listening.
7. I can always find people in the Church who will love me unconditionally. Sometimes it takes prayer and work, but I can find them.
8. Through priesthood power, my family can be together forever.
9. The gospel gives perspective and peace to the otherwise irreconcilable events of the world.
10-100. A personal relationship with God, promises in my patriarchal blessing, silent words of encouragement in the temple, and messages hidden in the mundane events of everyday remind me that all of my hundreds of righteous dreams and the promises that God has made to me will all come true… in the Lord’s time and in His way.
101. I have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and I can claim it as my own. Who doesn’t love MoTab?
102. I somehow landed in a unique, uncovetable spot in the political world – experiences that preserve me from the overwhelming pressures of both sides of the field, and at the same time make me an interesting anomaly for both.
103. The perspective of the gospel opens my heart to people, and gives me the ability to know what I need to do to help them heal their hearts and save their souls.
104-118. I have a living prophet, and apostles, who care about me and plead with the Lord in my behalf… and teach me what I can do to be a better disciple and friend.
119-300. Church music. I have real, honest, good Church music that inspires emotion in me – bringing tears, opening my heart, inspiring change, pushing me to repentance, compelling me to action, overcoming depression, drawing me closer to God… And that music seems to follow me and play accompaniment to the events of my life.
301-1040. I had the blessing to serve for two years as a missionary, standing as a witness of God at all times and in all places, and learning what it meant to literally take the name of Christ upon me and act in His name… fall in love with people and language, and come closer to God as I worked to help others make changes in their lives.
1041-5000. All the people that I’ve met throughout the world – members of the Church who all faithfully sacrifice to come closer to God and live His commandments. Somehow, I’ve been blessed to meet many, many people… and to somehow break through the initial veneer to hear about their lives and hopes and dreams. Knowing them, personally, has blessed my life and made me a better man.
5001-9999. The people I’ve never met in person, but who have touched my life through the Church and its union with technology – from members of the Seventy who speak in Conference to anonymous commenters here on (G)MG from Thailand, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. Thousands of people who continue to touch and change my life.
10000+. Ten thousand more people to meet, ten thousand more promises to see to fruition, a hundred million blessings from heaven, and at least that many more steps in getting a little bit closer to perfect. The gospel has no ceiling to progression. And the LOrd never tires in helping me grow.