Giving thanks has been a part of America since its beginning. George Washington, the first president, issued the first official Thanksgiving proclamation. In the fall of 1789, President Washington assigned Nov. 26 of that year “To be devoted by the people of these states to the service of that great and glorious being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” He called the citizens to offer “our sincere and humble thanks” to God.

It is recorded that the Pilgrims first abundant Thanksgiving celebration was made possible by help from their Native American neighbors. A previous time of thankfulness is reported by Henry C. Kennet. On this occasion, the Pilgrims in Plymouth staggered at noon being faint from lack of nourishment. By night, with God’s blessing, they enjoyed so much food it seemed like heaven’s windows were opened.

Elder (Rev. Brewster) once sat down to a meal of clams and cold water. Looking up to heaven he gave thanks, “…for the abundance of the sea and the treasure hidden in the sand.”

Regardless of difficulties, the Pilgrims were thankful for what they had.

Even though the past year may have been less than the best, and things do not look promising, there is more to be thankful for than complain about.

Being thankful to God and people is a cure against taking things for granted. Assuming that good things in your life are normal, and to be expected, diminishes the happiness they could bring.

Looking for the good gives “Hope that Helps.”

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