Add A FifthTo Our Thanksgiving Meal!

Family Praying Before Dinner ca. 2001

TheDiscipleMD

Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday of mine. It usually involves the four “F’s”; family, friends, football, and food. Who could ask for more? Often lost though, is the purpose of the holiday.

The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, to commemorate the harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony after a harsh winter. In that year Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. The colonists celebrated it as a traditional English harvest feast, to which they invited the local Wampanoag Indians.

However, it wasn’t until 1789 that President George Washington declared it an official holiday. But like Christmas, I find myself lost in the traditions and trappings of the celebration, often forgetting its real purpose. I am sure that I will do so again this year.   In the Doctrine and Covenants, section fifty-nine, the Lord says;

“And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances… with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance— Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth; Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards; Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments”, (vs. 15-21).

So while enjoying the four “F’s” this Thanksgiving, let us not disappoint the Lord. Let us take a moment to reflect on our many blessings and remember to add the fifth “F” to our day.  That of giving thanks through prayer to our “Father” above. It is He who makes the other four “F”s possible!

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