Thanksgiving Day stands out as one of the most sacred and significant celebrations of the year. In God’s prophetic history of this earth there are certain events which have been key to His work and which have been shown repeatedly to his prophets in vision. The advent of the Pilgrims and Puritans to this land as part of the righteous colonization of America is one of those events. Thanksgiving calls our remembrance to God’s Providence among our forebears, and gives us the opportunity to reflect on His superintending care in our own lives.
It is perhaps for this reason that the sacred meaning of Thanksgiving has been diminished in our modern culture. For some, the theme of reliance on God is something difficult to grasp or relate to. It is incumbent on those who know true history to teach and promote an accurate understanding of the colonization of America. The foundations of America hold the key to the former success of this nation and the hope of its continuation. Here are some free resources to assist in that study.
For Our Day: Covenant on the Land details the leading of Israel to the Promised Land in both the Book of Mormon and latter-day history. The colonization of America by righteous individuals fleeing religious persecution is another principal sign of the times in the latter days. Among these groups of covenant people were the Pilgrims and Puritans of Massachusetts, the Quakers of Pennsylvania, Roger Williams of Rhode Island, as well as the Huguenots and later Scottish Covenanters throughout the colonies. By carefully studying the dealings of the Lord with these modern persecuted Christians the similarities with the Lehites in the Book of Mormon are stunning. Watch free clips! Order your own DVD
- The Puritans have largely been maligned and criticized by modern historians. Learn the true history, including the Lord’s feelings regarding these early founders. http://www.josephsmithacademy.org/wiki/puritans/
- John Winthrop, known as the father of New England and elected more than ten times as the governour of Boston is an example of true Puritan justice, law and mercy. http://www.josephsmithacademy.org/wiki/john-winthrop/
- The Separatist Pilgrims article contains their history as well as several faith-promoting miracles few have heard. http://www.josephsmithacademy.org/wiki/separatist-pilgrims/
Books & Audio
- Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure (2012)
- The Courageous Mr. Penn
- Timothy Ballard on the American Covenant
- John Wesley (Movie on the life of John Wesley, one of the eminent spirits who appeared to Wilford Woodruff in the St. George Temple)
- Of Plymouth Plantation - Free ebooks and audio download.
“Few people realize that America was founded because a devout band of non-conformist Christians lived and breathed the covenant promises of Jesus Christ. Though the Pilgrims left England because of religious persecution, they actually left Holland to protect their children from ungodly influences. These parents risked everything to protect their young. Bradford boldly proclaimed that these families were willing to sacrifice their lives, if necessary, "even though they [the Pilgrims] be but stepping stones" for future generations of Christians they would never meet. It is the true story of 50 "average" people who changed the world because they shared a multi-generational vision.” (Summary by Vision Forum)
- Mayflower Compact
- Thanksgiving Proclamations
- John Robinson's Farewell Counsel: http://www.josephsmithforum.org/doc/john-robinsons-farewell-counsel/
John Robinson was the pastor of the "Pilgrim Fathers" before they left on the Mayflower. Unable to accompany them, he gave this farewell counsel to those who migrated to America.
Studying the Reformation is also an important part of the American colonization.
Foxe’s Book of Martyrs contains historical accounts of the many martyrs throughout the Dark Ages and up until the time of the Pilgrims and beyond. When Edward Stevenson, later a member of the Seventy, was a young boy, the Prophet Joseph Smith borrowed a copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs:
“During the Prophet's visit, he came to our house. . . . While looking over our copy of a large English Book of Martyrs, he expressed sympathy for the Christian martyrs and a hope for their salvation. He asked to borrow the book, promising to return it when he should meet us again in Missouri. On returning it he said, "I have, by [vision] the aid of the Urim and Thummim [Seer Stone?], seen those martyrs. They were honest, devoted followers of Christ, according to the light they possessed. They will be saved." (Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, comps., They Knew the Prophet [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974], 86.)
Read or listen to "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" free today!
- God’s Outlaw
- “A God-seeking man, William Tyndale became one of the most wanted men in England and all of Europe. Constantly pursued, he darted across Europe to avoid capture -- always pushing to complete the task that set before him. That task was translating the Bible into English and publishing it for his fellow countrymen -- Englishmen who lived in a country where the Bible and even prayers in English were outlawed by a harsh and rigid religious establishment. The tale of how he lived and died as "God's Outlaw" is a compelling and moving encouragement as we remember the Heroes of the Reformation.” (Original summary by Vision Video, edited by Joseph Smith Foundation)
His prophetic words, “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture, than he doust.” were realized in the Prophet Joseph Smith.
- Torchlighters: The William Tyndale Story
- Do you want your children to hear the stories of the Reformation? These animated videos tell the stories of martyrs and missionaries for Christ throughout the history of the world.
- The Radicals - The story of the Anabaptists
- Martin Luther - Motion picture on the life of Martin Luther, one of the eminent spirits who appeared to Wilford Woodruff in the St. George Temple
- Flame in the Wind: “Flame in the Wind is set in the splendor and terror of the Spanish Inquisition and is a gripping drama of heroic Christian faith. Carlos, an earnest young nobleman, faces a choice: the church system offers safety, protection, and respectability; but the Scriptures offer Christ and salvation from sin and with these, torture and death. This film vividly portrays the conflict between following the Bible and following religious tradition.” (Summary by Bob Jones University)
- John Wycliffe: The Morning Star of the Reformation
- John Hus