An American holiday, the first Thanksgiving was observed by the pilgrims in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, joining together 90 Native Americans and 53 pilgrims who celebrated a bountiful harvest with gratitude and giving thanks.
Today, the long-held tradition continues in many homes across America on November 26, as loved ones gather and reflect on their blessings with a grateful heart. More than 15 countries around the world celebrate their own version of Thanksgiving, too.
The late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, co-founder of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), exemplified Thanksgiving by living a life of great service and gratitude to God. He and his wife Mother of Peace and FFWPU co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon have spoken of God’s deep-rooted love for humanity, and God’s fervent desire for a peaceful world as one global family.
Let us follow Rev. and Dr. Moon’s example today—and every day—by living a life for the sake of others and sharing our deepest gratitude to God with the rest of the world.
Below is an excerpt from Rev. Moon’s speech, “I Shall Follow With Gratitude and Obedience,” given on January 25, 1987 at Belvedere estate in Tarrytown, New York.
“You should be thankful and grateful. I have always been grateful to God, no matter what happened. You are here as a result of your ancestors’ dedication. This is the culmination of history. Millions of people have lived on earth and are now in the spirit world. You should live gratefully, with no complaint. A complaining attitude does not work in the spirit world. You will have to settle accounts for everything done in this world.
Time is flying. Like an arrow that is shot from a bow, time goes out and disappears. You cannot stop its passing. Many ministers, priests, and theologians have spent all their lives learning the Bible. They know Christian history thoroughly and they understand the situation of Christianity, but they don’t understand the Divine Principle. This is the best tool for building the ideal world. You cannot find such a teaching anywhere else. My whole lifetime has been spent on it. This knowledge brings power—spiritual power. So be brave! Go everywhere.
God’s world is absolute, not complicated by many concepts, so you have to be obedient. You find obedience difficult because you analyze things too much. When you continually analyze things, you eventually come up with a different way. The way of obedience is less complicated and easier.
Strive for gratitude, and develop the attitude that any task is possible, not impossible.
Think about the courses of Noah, Abraham, John the Baptist, Jesus, and me. You have to surpass all of them. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do it because I have shown you the way. You should try harder, work harder, and accomplish more. Harmony, not conflict, characterizes the spirit world. Its guiding principles are balance, gratitude, love, and harmony. The reason we undergo such tremendous hardship here is so that we can live in harmony with heaven.
You need to round off your rough edges here. You should learn to appreciate things. Thus your ears must be trained to recognize great sounds; and your eyes need to cherish Godly beauty, not worldly beauty. There are many things you need to learn to value. If you are willing to take on this task, I won’t have to worry about your gratitude. If you resolve to be obedient, I won’t have to worry about obedience. The world will admire you if you do that. Have absolute obedience and absolute gratitude to God.” —Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon
A happy and safe Thanksgiving, to you and your family!
You can read Rev. Moon’s full speech here.
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