Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I love holidays. Especially THE holidays. But lately I've noticed more and more that people don't recognize holidays for the purpose intended. Memorial Day is seen by most as a day that we're given off so that we can have a barbeque. Easter is a day for eating chocolate and hunting for eggs. Christmas is a day that a fat man breaks into our homes and leaves toys. I realize that these are hyperbolic generalizations and many people do remember the source of these holidays, but I feel like Thanksgiving is one that's source really isn't remembered. Yes we remember the Pilgrims coming to town and getting together for a big feast with the Indians to celebrate the first harvest, but that isn't the source that I'm after. If that were the source it be would be called Feast Day or Pilgrim Day or something similar. In today's society we make the mistake of calling it Turkey Day altogether too often. But that isn't the name of the holiday. It's name is Thanksgiving.
Let's take a look at the word thanksgiving and break it down. Thanks and giving. The giving of thanks. Thankfulness is important and often people get together and express gratitude. But expressing gratitude and giving thanks are different. The verb to express differs from to give. One can express things alone, to a wall, and the action is complete, but in order to give something there has to be another party involved. So the question is, to whom do we give our thanks? The turkey? Unfortunately the poor bird is lifelessly incapable of the reception of such. I think it is clear what I'm getting at. There is but one source from which all blessings in our lives flow. There is but one fount of all the things in our lives for which we can be grateful. Do we sufficiently think to give Him thanks? Even if we say thankyou is saying it enough? I don't think so.
The holiday which we celebrate this week incites us to give thanks. In Spanish the name of this holiday is Día de Acción de Gracias. The Day of the Action of Thanks. I like that. Thanks as an action, thanks as something that is acted out is a way of thinking about this holiday that I think needs to be more prevalent. So how is this done? How do we, through our actions, give thanks to the Lord? There are many answers to this question. I have a few that are pertinent to me in my life, but I think the answers can be different for everybody and that everybody needs to come to their own conclusion.
Amulek summed things up well when he said, "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."

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