Bobby Marion shared his experience (“My Anguish Turned to Gratitude”, April, 2023 in Liahona Magazine)
“In September 2021, our youngest son, Joey, passed away after living for only about two months. Despite prayers, fasting, priesthood blessings, and the monumental efforts of some of the best doctors in the world, little Joey’s body would not allow him to live. During Joey’s last moments of life, my wife and I held him. As I watched him take his last breath, everything inside me broke. In desperation and deep anguish, I cried out to the Lord. In His mercy, He responded. Immediately my anguish was replaced with an intense feeling of gratitude that is hard for me to describe with words. I felt overwhelmed with thanks that the Lord had given me a wonderful wife, four beautiful children, and covenants that bound them to me forever. I felt like Alma the Younger when he experienced joy as exquisite as the pain he had previously felt. (see Alma 36:20 in the Book of Mormon)
As I basked in gratitude to the Lord, I received a profound spiritual impression. The anguish I felt for the death of my son helped me appreciate the anguish Heavenly Father must have felt when His Son died for me, and for the rest of God’s children, two thousand years ago. Because Jesus Christ died for us, I know I will see my son again”.
Sherri Wrights Relates Her Experience
“Dorothy knew the end was coming. Every day she lost something more—not tangible things, but abilities. The ability to shower herself. The ability to fix her own meals. The ability to walk to the bathroom without falling. The ability to unlock the back door and pick up the paper. The ability to write a note to a loved one.
Some things she hadn’t lost yet, though. Her spunk. Her wit. Her gratitude. Because of that, being with Dorothy brought joy. Her home seemed to welcome guests from both sides of the veil.
One night, I was the ward Relief Society guest staying with her—supposedly helping her. A spring storm arose, and the power went off about 11:00 p.m. We discovered the power was out when I tried to turn the lights on so I could help her to the bathroom. I flipped the switch, but nothing happened. Dorothy was prepared, however. She pulled a tiny flashlight from a pocket on her walker, and somehow with that meager light we managed to stumble down the hall. After the slow walk back to her chair, she smiled and said, “Do you know how grateful I am?”
The same night, about 12:30 a.m., something woke me. I heard the prompting: ‘Dorothy needs her portable oxygen.’ I noticed that the bubbling of Dorothy’s regular oxygen machine had stopped. The power was still off. I hurried to get her portable oxygen. I put it on her, trying not to wake her. As I placed the tubes around her face, she looked up and again said, ‘Do you know how grateful I am?’
Fortunately, at 1:30 a.m., trucks arrived and men began restoring electricity to Dorothy’s home. When she awoke at 2:30 a.m. to make another slow, flashlight-guided walk to the bathroom, she looked through the kitchen windows. She saw all the workers and said, ‘I hope they know how grateful I am.’
The workers left at 5:30 that morning, just as the battery ran out on her portable oxygen. But the lights were back on. Then she whispered once again, “Do you know how grateful I am?”.
I left Dorothy’s home at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. As I sat in my car, tears started to form. I felt such love for Dorothy, such thankfulness for the tender moments I had spent with her.
I found myself offering a prayer of thanks as her words came tumbling from my heart: ‘Heavenly Father, do You know how grateful I am?’
Even though Dorothy was advanced in age and in need of assistance, her simple example of gratitude blessed me that night. And it continues to bless me. Though she has passed on, I often find myself thinking, “Do people know how grateful I am?” And whenever I do, I try to express that gratitude.” (Sherri Wright “Do You Know How Grateful I Am?” Liahona Magazine, October, 2021_
For What Can We Give Thanks
“We can give thanks for the gift of life, for our amazing bodies and minds that allow us to grow and learn. We can give thanks for art, literature, and music that nurture our souls. We can give thanks for the opportunity to repent, start over, make amends, and build character. We can give thanks for our families, friends, and loved ones. We can give thanks for the opportunity to help, cherish, and serve one another, which makes life so much more meaningful. We can even give thanks for our trials, from which we learn things we would not know otherwise. Most of all, we can give thanks unto God, the Father of our spirits, which makes us all brothers and sisters—one great global family. (Russell M. Nelson, “Healing Power of Gratitude” www.churchofjesuschrist.org)