One hundred fifty two years ago Abraham Lincoln issues a proclamation to the nation proclaiming the last Thursday in November as "a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God”. While the concept of a day of thanksgiving, as we know it, dates back to the pilgrims in 1621, President Lincoln formalized the event by proclamation. I find it interesting, but not surprising, that in the midst of such pain and sorrow from the effects of the civil war that had raged for almost four years, that the president would turn to God to give thanks even though the world around him must have been anything but thankful. While the world around us may rage from time to time let us follow President Lincoln’s example and give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the blessings we enjoy.
Wherever you may be, on behalf of the entire Stake Presidency we wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving. May your hearts be filled with the joy that comes from a thank filled heart.
Daniel H. Schoessow
Santa Margarita Stake Presidency
Proclamation 118—Thanksgiving Day, October 20, 1864
It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
XVI President Of The United States 1861 - 1865