Happy Thanksgiving-y’all-(See the Duke Gardens Pictures below this post)
“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.” (Psalms 105:1,2)
“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 107:2)
Thanksgiving has got to be one of my favorite holidays. It seems overshadowed and almost forgotten in all the Christmas advertising, but I love it that the title of the holiday implies the admonition to all to give thanks unto the Lord for his love and “his mercy (which) endureth forever.”
The Bernhisel concept of celebrating Thanksgiving is a little different. Instead of the pressed table clothes; the seldomly seen silverware and the formal dinner, we would camp out in tents by the beach in Florida and enjoy deep fried turkey along with our smores by the campfire. It is our marvelous way to enjoy family and enjoy the beautiful creations that the Lord has blessed us with and give thanks for the simple things of life.
Now, I am not suggesting that the Bernhisel Thanksgiving is the only way to celebrate and to give thanks (and moms who read this, don’t give up on your homemade rolls and apple pies, which sound great right now), but that we should daily, multiple times daily, pause and thank the Lord for the tender mercies which we have been given.
Thomas S. Monson has said “Do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.” (Ensign Nov 2010, 87) We find an example of giving thanks with the Lord Jesus Christ as “he took the seven loaves and the fishes and gave thanks.” Observe how He rendered thanks and then a miracle followed as 4,000 were fed and “that was left [was] seven baskets full.” (see Matthew 15:32-38). Miracles happen by “unlock[ing] the doors of heaven” as we give thanks and in the process, it “helps us feel God’s love.” What a blessing for us by simply recognizing the hand of the Lord in all the things we see and do. President Monson in the Ensign article quoted the English author Aldous Huxley-“Most human beings have almost an infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” We certainly should not take the things given to us by God, for granted.
What about the hard times and challenges we all face?
Deiter F. Uchtdorf “It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer. When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation.” (April ’14 Gen. Conference ‘Grateful in any circumstances’)
Let me bear my testimony from personal experience that this “gentle peace,” “my peace (that) I give unto thee” (John 14:27) from the attitude of gratefulness is so real and so consoling to give one not only peace, but also trust in the Lord’s purpose and confidence in our purpose in this mission of ours and in life.
I love you and never does a day go by that I don’t thank Heavenly Father for you.
Love, Marc Bernhisel