The Canadian Season of Gratitude

News Story

In the coming days, Canadians, including members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will celebrate Thanksgiving. A long-standing tradition among Canadians, Thanksgiving celebrates the harvest and blessings of the past year.

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada dates as far back as 1578, when British explorer Martin Frobisher and his crew held a “thanks giving” feast in Newfoundland after a failed attempt at charting a Northwest passage. Though they had not charted the passage, the trip proved harrowing, and they were grateful to be alive. From the early 1600s on, Samuel de Champlain and the early colonists followed the tradition of the Indigenous people by celebrating the harvest each year.

Although Thanksgiving traditions vary, many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participate in local Thanksgiving food drives. These food drives are geared towards stocking food bank shelves for needy individuals and families before a long winter sets in.

This year Thanksgiving holds particular meaning for Latter-day Saints as it falls on the same weekend as the Church’s semi-annual general conference, a weekend during which members watch a publicly streamed broadcast of modern-day prophets, apostles and leaders speak on a variety of topics and issues, as they feel inspired and instructed by God.

Given the deep and abiding faith of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, viewing general conference provides an opportunity to practice faith with an act of thanksgiving: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

Contributed by Samantha Smith-Bird

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.