Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Are You Counting Your Blessings for Thanksgiving?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day set aside in the United States to express gratitude. According to an editorial in the Deseret News, the fourth Thursday in November was designated as “a day of thanksgiving” by President Georg Washington, but American colonists had designated days for giving thanks and for spiritual reflection. Washington’s first thanksgiving proclamation stated, “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor….” 

Other U.S. presidents have also made Thanksgiving proclamations. During some of the darkest days of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln listed many of the nation’s blessings and then added, “They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people.”

In 2020 as people dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued an invitation to all people to express gratitude on social media and engage in daily prayer for the week prior to Thanksgiving.

Over my nine-and-a-half decades of life, I have concluded that counting our blessings is far better than recounting our problems. No matter our situation, showing gratitude for our privileges is a fast-acting and long-lasting spiritual prescription.

            I accepted President Nelson’s invitation and made a gratitude post each day. This activity helped me to look for the blessings in my life and acknowledge that they come from a Source outside myself. Many years ago, a friend mentioned that she always listed three things in her daily journal for which she was grateful that day. I began that practice. I started by listing three things and realized that I had many more blessings.

            Now I list five things each day. On days that I am extra grateful for blessings, I list five groups of blessings. This practice of expressing daily gratitude has helped me to stay positive in difficult times. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

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