News Release

The Power of Gratitude — A Habit of Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, Canadian Latter-day Saints invite all to experience the healing power of gratitude. On November 20, 2020, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invited the world to #GiveThanks in a video message. He stated that in his 96 years of life, he has seen almost everything — a Great Depression, a world war, the death of his spouse and other loved ones, a global pandemic and many other challenges and disappointments. He proposed one remedy to heal the spiritual and mental turmoil we all face: gratitude.

“Practicing gratitude may not prevent us from experiencing sorrow, anger or pain, but it can help us look forward with hope. We can give thanks for our loved ones, for our bodies and minds, for music and literature, for the beauty of the natural world,” said President Nelson. “By counting our blessings, we can more fully appreciate and enjoy our lives as we work toward greater unity, kindness, honesty and tolerance” (“President Nelson Recommends the Healing Power of Gratitude,” Tabernacle Choir Blog, November 25, 2020).

The video resonated globally with over 65 million people who heard the #GiveThanks message. Many responded on social media, noting that this reminder to give thanks had a positive effect on them. “Gratitude provides us with a greater perspective on the very purpose and joy of life,” said President Nelson.

The Canadian Newsroom team celebrates Canada’s Thanksgiving weekend by inviting all to experience the power of gratitude. Join us and share what you are thankful for. #GiveThanks

Reflections on Gratitude from Canada’s Newsroom Team

Michèle Hynynen, Canada Newsroom editor, said, “I am grateful for modern-day temples of God, in which I can establish eternal family relationships, give service, feel peace, receive strength, learn of God’s plan for me and better understand that I am a daughter of Heavenly Parents. Jean A. Stevens, a former counsellor in the Primary general presidency, said, ‘It is in the temple that we remember who we really are and see with clarity who we really can become’ (‘Primary Leaders Encourage Families to Focus on the Savior,’ 2013 BYU Women’s Conference).”

Pascale Cormier, Canada Newsroom French translation manager and editor, said, “Gratitude is a state of mind and a proof of love. Gratitude brings me closer to Heavenly Father and to Jesus Christ and builds my faith. Recognizing God’s hand in my life replaces sorrow with real joy, anxiety with profound peace, and despair with hope. It’s my healing tool.”

Georges Bourget, Canada Newsroom French webmaster, said, “I am most grateful for our Heavenly Father and for His Beloved Son. I am grateful for the restored gospel in my life. I am also grateful for my wife, Huguette, and for our daughters. Being grateful to our Father every day keeps in my heart the memory of all the blessings He continues to pour out upon us.”

Karen Shirley, Canada Communication Council channels co-ordinator, said, “I could make a huge, long list every day of the things I’m grateful for, and I would still end every list the exact same way: I’m grateful for my life. I’m a survivor of two different types of very serious cancers. Every day to me is like a brand-new gift. Marcus Tullius Cicero stated that ‘gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others’ (‘Gratitude, the Parent of All Virtues’) because it encourages people to feel other qualities of goodness, like patience, humility, wisdom, prudence and charity. Recognizing all that I must be thankful for in my life — even during tough times — helps me to be stronger and more flexible overall.”

Catherine Jarvis, Canada Newsroom manager and content co-ordinator, gives thanks for the many people working in health care. She said, “I am grateful for medical advances and knowledge shared to help me and others navigate this pandemic. I’m thankful for information about the importance of wearing masks, for the power of vaccinations to decrease viral spread and for the many health care providers in Canada and beyond.”

Valerie Sommerfeldt, national manager of, is grateful for her membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She expressed, “It has provided guidance and direction throughout each phase of my life. I have learned so many skills and have had many opportunities for growth, which has profoundly influenced the direction of my life. It has anchored me and given meaning to my life. Expressing gratitude is a source of resilience that helps me with life’s challenges.”

Sandra Pallin, Canada Communication Council national director, said, “I have been intrigued by the priority latter-day prophets have given to the topic of gratitude. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said, ‘When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives’ (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 250).”

During the pandemic, President Nelson admonished, “No matter our situation, showing gratitude for our privileges is a fast-acting and long-lasting spiritual prescription” (#GiveThanks message, November 2020).

Pallin concludes, “It seems that gratitude is the spiritual antidote for the challenges of our time.”

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