Why We Still Play the Thankful Game

Last night, for family night, we played the Thankful Game. This is a game we have played in our family for many years. We first played it when our oldest daughter was two years old. She is now married and has three children.

Do you want to know how to play it? It is about as simple of a game as you can imagine.

You sit on the living room floor and roll a ball back and forth between family members, in no particular order. Each time the ball comes your way, you say something you are grateful for.

Last night we played with three, my wife and I and our 16 year old daughter. I am so happy to have a daughter who is such a good sport—willing to play what some would consider a “little kid’s game.” 

I think one of the reasons why we are so eager to say thanks is how good we feel when we express genuine gratitude, especially to each other. And we play it long enough so we can be fairly thorough.

In recent years, I have gained appreciation for what I once thought were the difficult things in life. Illness, financial difficulty, suffering, trials.

And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more. (D&C 78:19.)

When you face these difficulties with faith in God, trials take on tremendous value. You learn so many things from them. Suffering sanctifies. Trials teach. Financial trouble yields faith and fortitude (and ingenuity that you didn’t know you had). Illness teaches compassion and patience like nothing else can.

I believe that I only have trials that I need, that they are ordained for my eternal education. Most of them I bring on myself, through ignorance or pride. Then God repackages them and turns them into learning experiences, and blesses me with them.

Trials are gifts. The wrapping paper is not very appealing, but the gifts inside are the most precious I have ever received. So, with all my heart I say, I am thankful for my trials.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18.)

Happy Thanksgiving to every one of you. May you be blessed this holiday with peace of mind and a grateful heart.

P.S. I am so excited that I actually get to take off two days this week and spend time with my family. Hurray!

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