Latter-day Saint Life

The Unexpected Way Thanksgiving Fits Into the Word of Wisdom


MR says: Sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, turkey, gravy--Thanksgiving is a delicious time of year. But how does this holiday entirely centered around food fit in with the Word of Wisdom? The answer may surprise you!

I love thanksgiving. I love giving thanks to God for all His blessings, large and small. Giving thanks is all the more wonderful because God loves it when we are thankful. He even asks us to give thanks: “Give thanks unto God . . . for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with” (D&C 46:32). What a great commandment!

Do you ever think about the fact that giving thanks is a central part of the Word of Wisdom? We are told twice that the foods God ordained for us should be used with “thanksgiving.” First, when describing wholesome plant foods, the Lord tells us, “all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving” (D&C 89:11). Again, in regard to the flesh of animals, God tells us that when this is needed, it too should be used “with thanksgiving” (D&C 89:12).

What does it mean to eat with thanksgiving? For almost a year now, I’ve had sticky notes located strategically around my home and work environment that remind me to “Eat with Thanksgiving,” so I’ve had some time to think about this phrase. I’d like to share some thoughts today.

Eat Mindfully

I’ve wolfed down my food since I was a child. This has always been easy to do because I have a huge appetite and no problems digesting food. But after considering the injunction to use food with thanksgiving, I’ve come to realize that we are missing out on some very important blessings when we eat quickly or mindlessly.

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