Area Leadership Message


I truly believe the Lord loves grateful people and we will be even more blessed with what we need, because we are grateful.

A family looking out over a beautiful lake surrounded by a forrest
Elder Kyrylo Pokhylko
Elder Kyrylo Pokhylko, Latvia Europe North Area Seventy

Our life will be filled with the influence of the Holy Ghost when we are more and better focused on our Savior Jesus Christ. It will happen when we find time to study His life, be familiar with His doctrine and actually do what He did, by developing Christlike attributes during our lifetime.

There are several accounts and different descriptions of when bread and fish were given to the multitude and people were nourished. I particularly like this story, as it is described in the book of John chapter 6:5-14. There were over 5,000 people, and five barley loaves and 2 fishes were given to the Savior. He gave thanks for what they had, blessed the food and His disciples passed it out to everyone, and “they were filled”(1). Among four different authors who described the event we learn only from John that the Savior “had given thanks”(2) for what they had, even though they did not have much for the multitude. He had only 5 barley loaves and 2 fishes, but it was made to be sufficient and enough for all of them to be filled. To me, it is a great example of what can happen in our lives when we are grateful, when we give thanks for what we have. We might not have a lot, but when we are grateful for what we have, it will be sufficient, and enough for our need. Gratitude is a great and fundamental Christlike attribute which we need to develop in order to have more joy in our lives and to be able to see the hand of the Lord more often.

Christ feeding the 5000

President Nelson taught the following when he spoke about the healing power of gratitude:

“We can all give thanks for the beauties of the earth and the majesty of the heavens that give us an inkling of the vastness of eternity. 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”(3).

Two sisters hugging

I truly believe the Lord loves grateful people and we will be even more blessed with what we need, because we are grateful, because we know and recognize the source of all the blessings we have.

I want to conclude with the words of Alma in, when he taught his people: “And he commanded them that they should observe the sabbath day, and keep it holy, and also every day they should give thanks to the Lord their God”(4). We are invited to give thanks to the Lord individually and as families. Our lives will change as we focus daily on the blessings we receive from the Lord, seeing His hand in our lives and expressing our gratitude for them in our prayers at the end of each day. The Book of Mormon is full of many witnesses that grateful people are joyful people.

I am grateful for our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, and the leading guidance of the Holy Ghost and I testify that They are real.

  1. John 6:12
  2. John 6:11
  3. “The Healing Power of Gratitude”
  4. Mosiah 18:23