Valerie Steimle, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon” woman) has been writing as a family advocate for the past 20 years. She is the mother of nine children living in southern Alabama and is the author of four books and a weekly newspaper column, Thoughts from the Heart.

Do Mormons Celebrate Thanksgiving? Reflections on Gratitude

As the season of Thanksgiving is upon us, contemplating Thanksgiving causes me to reflect on what I am thankful for in my life. As I ponder the Thanksgiving season, these thoughts help me to be more thankful.  Thanksgiving helps me remember to be thankful for living in a country with hard fought freedoms including the freedom to express ourselves in the written word, on radio or television. I am thankful for the opportunity to choose where I live and what church I attend.  My choice of church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths, the “Mormon Church”) and part of our belief system is that we need to be thankful for the lives we live.

Mormons celebrate ThanksgivingA thought on thankfulness from President Thomas S. Monson who is President, and Mormon prophet, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints says: “We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.” (October 2010)

Do Mormons Celebrate Thanksgiving? Being Grateful For Others

An attitude of gratitude as President Monson says permeates our lives to include others who have touched our hearts or helped us in some way. Most people do not live their lives alone so we should be thankful for the people who we associate.

Alfred North Whitehead, an English Mathematician and philosopher, once said: “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.”   We are all dependent upon each other for successes in our careers, hobbies and pursuits. How ungrateful we would be if we didn’t feel truly thankful for those people who have helped us get to where we are today.

Do Mormons Celebrate Thanksgiving? Gratitude Really Makes a Difference

Those who refuse to be grateful about everything are not taking the time to ponder about the blessings received over the last year: health, family, a place of residence, the food we eat and the careers we have created.  What helps me to remember to be grateful is when I think of others living in other parts of the world who don’t have their health, family, a home, food or a job to go to. We live in a great country and whatever short term trials we live through, we can remember thoughts of our own life as a whole and realize these trials will soon be over. It’s too bad we don’t have Thanksgiving more than once a year because as a people, we only seem to be thankful when we are reminded; it’s easy to take for granted.

Those who do not stop to be thankful for their life fall victim to a life of discontent in any culture or belief system. How can we be truly happy if we are not content with the life we lead now? How can we appreciate our families if we do not remember to be grateful?  Reminding ourselves to be grateful often leads to a happier life.

So whether you need motivation for a better life or are living a life of contentment, we should remember to be thankful for what we already have and tell others in our life how we feel about them.

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