Do Mormons Celebrate Thanksgiving?
As a child, I remember looking forward to Thanksgiving each year because it meant Mom would be making pumpkin pie (or at least buying one from the store). I remember wonderful meals and time spent afterwards collapsed on the couch watching a football game or something on TV. Thanksgiving as an adult is an entirely different experience. Rather than a focus on what we’re eating, it’s a time to ponder the blessings I’ve received from God in my life and express gratitude for them, beginning with thanks to God for the sacrifice of His Son. One of the other significant blessings I’ve received in my life is that of my family. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive and understanding family to spend my time with. Having loving relationships in life is certainly a tremendous blessing.
Thanksgiving as a holiday is wonderful, however, it is only a holiday to remind us of a higher way of living. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma shared this insight into thanksgiving.
Alma 34:38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.
Thanksgiving is not just an annual holiday to celebrate, it’s a way of life, to reflect each day on the blessings we’ve received from God. One way to do this is to keep a journal and record each night something that took place during the day where your life was blessed. God is mindful of each of His children on earth and if we watch for His hand in our lives I know he will help us to see how he is blessing us.
So Mormons do celebrate Thanksgiving, but in reality, we ought to be doing it every day (minus the pie).