On behalf of the Illinois Family Institute — and my own family — I want to wish a very happy Thanksgiving to you all.
As we all prepare to gather together with relatives, friends and neighbors to thank God for His many blessings, we want to thank you so much for your prayers and support over the years.
Our national Thanksgiving holiday dates to 1789, when Congress unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming a National Day of Thanksgiving, “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God…”
It is good and right to pause from business as usual to give God honor, worship and our sincere gratitude for His many blessings in our lives and for His blessings of family, friends, and freedom.
We wish you and your family a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving weekend. As we reflect on the abundance of blessings we have in America at this time, it is good to remember the true, Christian origin of Thanksgiving Day.
In the first year of their arrival in New England, the Pilgrims braved a harsh winter filled with starvation and sickness. But with the following spring season the Lord provided an abundant harvest. The Pilgrims declared a three-day feast in early December to celebrate all that the Lord had given them. This is a quote from Pilgrim Edward Winslow on that first Thanksgiving festival:
“Although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us,
yet by the goodness of God, we are far from want.”
To read the full story of this Christian holiday, click HERE. Below I’ve also included Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation from October 3rd, 1863. It may be something you would like to share with your family as you gather together.
With grateful acknowledgement to God for His provision and for your generosity, we continue to do the hard work of advancing the truth in Illinois, no matter how “politically incorrect.” May God continue to bless you and your family as you celebrate God’s goodness with family, food, and football!
David E. Smith
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.
Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.