Thanksgiving: A Day Of Humble Penitence For Our National Perverseness And Disobedience

Last Thanksgiving I wrote about Abraham Lincoln’s powerful proclamation that established Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

It is a shame that our culture concentrates on the story of the Pilgrim’s thanksgiving, when the holiday itself is also rooted firmly in the solemnity, terror, and self-affliction of civil war.

Thanksgiving should epitomize the virtue of being grateful and recognizing the merciful hand of God in our lives, especially amid the worst turmoil and affliction.

Lincoln delcared Thanksgiving a day of “humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience” and “a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

I recommend reading the full text of Lincoln’s proclamation with your family. You can find it in my Thanksgiving post from last year:

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

May God bless all of you this Thanksgiving!

Category: politics
Tagged: , ,
Bookmark: link

2 Responses to Thanksgiving: A Day Of Humble Penitence For Our National Perverseness And Disobedience

  1. President Ezra Taft Benson said:

    Many Americans have lost sight of the truth that righteousness is the one indispensable ingredient to liberty. Perhaps as never before in our history is our nation collectively deserving of the indictment pronounced by Abraham Lincoln in these words:

    “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

    “It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the Offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” (“A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America,” March 30, 1863, as cited in Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Washington, D.C.: United States Congress, 1897, pp. 164-65.)

    Unless we as citizens of this nation forsake our sins, political and otherwise, and return to the fundamental principles of Christianity and of constitutional government, we will lose our political liberties, our free institutions, and will stand in jeopardy before God of losing our exaltation. (Ensign, May 1976, p.91.)

  2. I just discovered your blog and will come back for a longer visit. For today, I just wanted to comment briefly on Lincoln’s proclamation. For some reason, I had never read this, and then one day in Sacrament about 15 years ago, my husband read it in a talk he was giving that morning. I’ll never forget the way I felt when he read that first line, and since that time I have often thought of how we are indeed the recipients of some of the choicest bounties of Heaven. As President Bush often says in closing his remarks, “God bless America.!

Leave a Reply

Be sure you are familiar with the Comment Policy before commenting.

Anyone who wishes to comment here must register for a sixteensmallstones.org login or connect using their Facebook account. Registration is simple and fast.

Once you have activated your account, you must log in to post comments. The first time you comment will still be moderated, but once I have approved your first comment you should be able to continue to add additional comments on any article without further impediment as long as you are logged in.