November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving is a Celebration of Religious Freedom

Doctrine and Covenants 134:4
4 We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.
While I was explaining Thanksgiving to my children I had a thought... it all boils down to religious freedom. In all the turkey baking, football playing, pie making and listing of thankfulness I wonder if remembering our Religious freedom get lost in the shuffle. The current political climate, to me, seems very unforgiving in the religious freedom department. There have been many questions about our faith and not much understanding. 
The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads,
 "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
It seems to me this time of year is a great time to refocus on the foundation of how we came to be a nation of refuge from religious persecution. As Latter-Day Saints we, as a church, have faced our fair share of religous persecution. I feel a strong connection to the seperatist who fled England to gain the right to worship God how the felt. The struggle and sacrfice was a huge stepping stone for our ability to live in a land where we are free to worship our Savior how we feel. 

I found this quote on "Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke in Boston, Massachusetts, on the subject of religious freedom in June 2010. In an address to the World Congress of Families in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Elder Nelson said that, “Religious liberty is essential if we are to raise up righteous children. Morally responsible families will not marginalize religious liberty, they will nurture and protect it.” I just loved that quote. Our job as parents is to "raise up righteous children." Living in this day and age it is more important the ever to do our best. What better way to teach our children then to let history do to teaching for us.

The History of Thanksgiving is so fun to teach. Our girls are young so we don't go into too much detail. Basicly we told them the highlights. But for more in depth information I have made a link list for mom's with older children to look over this Thanksgiving time.

I hope these links are fun resources for your families. I enjoyed reading them and I am sure you will as well.

This next Monday for Family night we are talking about thankfulness. D&C 78:19 and  1 Thessalonians 5:18 will be the basis of our lesson. I love having a season of thankfulness before a season of giving. Taking time to take stock of all we are blessed with, including religious freedom, puts into perspective for our children what is really a need and what is a want when it comes time to make out those Christmas lists!!

I wish you all the best this Thanksgiving and I hope you have the chance to discuss the blessing of Religious freedom to your kids. I am truly thankful I live in a nation where I can worship my Heavenly Father the way I feel is best. 

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

D&C 78 19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.
I Thessalonians 5: 18- In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

 Leahona is a crunchy mama to 3 adorable little girls and has been married to the most fantastic man ever for 6 wonderful years. She blogs about her family and she also has a helpful hints blog full of recipes, product reviews, and advice. Leahona enjoys playing card games, baking, and homeschooling her cuties.

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