Thanksgiving Quotes from Prophets, Ranked

One of my favorite things to do during Thanksgiving is revisit some of the choice words from modern prophets and apostles about this great holiday!

As always, these rankings are authoritative.

  1. “There are some who apparently feel that the fight against Green Bean Casserole is separate from the Gospel. They express it in several ways, but it generally boils down to this: Just live the gospel; there’s no need to get involved in trying to save Thanksgiving or stop communism…. Should we counsel the people, ‘Just live your religion – there’s no need to get involved in the fight against disgusting foodstuffs?’ No we should not, because our stand against Green Bean Casserole is a most basic part of our religion.” – Ezra Taft Benson
  2. “The difference between God and the Devil, is that God creates and organizes, while the whole study of the Devil is to convince children that light meat tastes good. – Brigham Young
  3. “There is one thing which we should have exceedingly clear in our minds. Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, nor the united voice of the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever condone the use of ReddiWhip on pie.” – Joseph Fielding Smith
  4. “It was Joseph Smith who taught me how to prize the endearing relationships of father and mother, husband and wife; of brother and sister, son and daughter, mashed potatoes and gravy.” – Parley P. Pratt
  5. “The Church of God could not live twenty four hours without Rhodes rolls at Thanksgiving.” – Wilford Woodruff
  6. “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is dark meat.” – Joseph Smith Jr.
  7. “We must lengthen our stride and must do it now because we over ate and feel fat.” -Spencer W. Kimball
  8. “The heaviest burden that one has to bear in this life is the burden of delaying too long before putting the fruit in the Jell-O so it’s too firm and the chunks just sit on top.” – Harold B. Lee
  9. “There is no Latter day Saint who dies after having lived a faithful life who will lose anything because of having failed to do certain things when opportunities were not furnished him or her. In other words, if a young man or a young woman has no opportunity of getting married, and they live faithful lives up to the time of their death, they will have all the blessings, exaltation, and glory that any man or woman will have who had this opportunity and improved it. But if they think marshmallows and sweet potatoes are delicious, they’re going to burn. That is sure and positive.” –Lorenzo Snow
  10. “Pumpkin pie sucks.” – Thomas S. Monson


  1. Forgot one:

    “We strive to make bad stuffing good, and good stuffing better.” Gordon B Hinckley, obviously.

  2. “No other condiment can compensate for failure in the home-made mashed potatoes.”

  3. And there is also a relevant verse in D&C 89:]

    “That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.

    “And, behold, this should be sparkling cider, yea, pure cider of the apple of the tree, of Martinelli’s make.”

  4. A Turtle Named Mack says:

    “Prepare every needful thing. Harvest against the time of need and remember that you will never enough mashed potatoes, or too many rolls. If you must leave to prepare more rolls, the bridegroom will pass by. The five wise virgins will not share their rolls, and I will say ‘I never knew you’. ” – Christ

  5. Did you know there’s such a thing as canned apple pie filling?

    Apparently, neither do the prophets and apostles. Otherwise, surely they would have spoken out against such evil.

  6. A Thanksgiving that does not require the consumption of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the tryptophan-induced stupor necessary unto life and salvation.

  7. You speak the truth, Sam. I can only imagine the wrath of Eyring, should he ever discover such an abomination.

  8. Dark meat is delicious, and pumpkin pie does suck.

  9. Obviously Joseph Fielding Smith was speaking as a man and not a prophet, because ReddiWhip is the only thing that can make pumpkin pie bearable.

  10. Ahem. Not if you follow the Test Kitchen Tip “Pumping Up Pumpkin Pie” (process canned pumping to remove fiber, cook with spices and sugar to remove unpleasant canned smell, add warm filling to partially baked crust).

  11. liz johnson says:

    I’m sure that if the General RS/YW/Primary Presidencies were consulted for this list (which they clearly weren’t, ahem), there would’ve been a Top 3 quote about the proper and righteous wearing of maternity pants on Thanksgiving.

  12. I prefer older authorities in matters of this gravity: “Choose ye this day what ye shall serve, but as for me and my house, we will have pumpkin pie.”

  13. We believe that through the Thanksgiving feast, all mankind may be served, by obedience to certain recipes and carefully monitored cooking temperatures.

    We believe in the same Thanksgiving that existed in the first pilgrim’s feast, namely, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin apple and/or cherry pie, and so forth.

    We believe in the literal gathering of families, with exceptions made for missionaries skyping in, and also possibly that creepy uncle we “forgot” to invite.

    We claim the privilege of preparing the turkey by roasting, smoking, or even deep frying, and allow all men the same privilege, so long as its never boiled, overcooked, or dry.

  14. J. Stapley says:

    Ardis, that was the work of those crafty Deuteronomists.

  15. You crack me up, Stapley. It takes a special kind of person to land a Deuteronomist joke.

  16. Also, buried deep in the Kabbalah is the divine secret of turkey confit, and true initiates are then permitted to partake of the monte cristo sandwiches made with the leftovers.

  17. Jello at Thanksgiving?? No, never! Why? Why would this be necessary??

    “There are altogether too many people in the world who are willing to accept as true so-called foods containing canned mushroom soup or evaporated milk.”
    – Apostle Hugh B. Brown

  18. “From Moses we know that our first parents,Adam and Eve, prepared the perfect thanksgiving feast, the likes of which we will not see until this world is returned to its celestial state. Unfortunately, Satan, ruined the whole thing when he showed up with Ambrosia salad made with the forbidden fruit. Thus the fall of man. Yes brothers and sisters, ambrosia salad was the cause of the fall. Any member of the church found bringing ambrosia salad should be cast out from among you” – Orson Pratt

  19. “The Idaho Russet is the only true and living mashed potato upon the face of this earth.”
    —Boyd K. Packer

  20. Left Field says:

    I LOVE you, Brother Brigham!
    I LOVE you, Brother Joseph!

    Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Consume dark meat, and not light! Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead turkeys and ducks and chickens speak forth anthems of eternal praise to myoglobin, which hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to be redeemed out of the prison of breast meat; for the prisoners shall go free! Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of dark avian flesh! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the thighs and drumsticks; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare slow-twitch muscle forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the dark meat we take from the poultry, proclaiming in our mouths, glory, and salivation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!

  21. Everything Jesus had to say about white meat:

  22. I’m with Ardis: “Choose ye this day what ye shall serve, but as for me and my house, we will have pumpkin pie.” The Doctrine and Covenants is clear on this, and I think also settles the Cool Whip controversy in Section 76, speaking of the terrestrial kingdom:

    72 Behold, these are they who died without law, using Cool Whip upon their baked goods against all righteousness;
    73 And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh;
    74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.
    75 These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men, even unto putting sugar and vanilla into whipped cream.
    76 These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fullness. Their fullness shall be the fullness of hydrogenated vegetable oil and polysorbate 80.

    We are also counseled clearly about the turkey: “Whosoever looketh upon the white meat to lust after it hath committed foodultery in his heart, for verily it is fit only to be cast out, or to be ground up with pickles and a dash of Durkee’s dressing for sandwiches during Friday’s college football games.”

  23. As God is my witness, until three days ago, I had never heard of marshmallows on sweet potatoes. Never seen it, never eaten it, never heard of it. Then just this Sunday, I heard this:

    So, after going 55 Thanksgivings without knowing of this marshmallow-sweet potato thing, suddenly I hear it twice in two days. Gee, thanks a lot, Brother Lorenzo and NPR, for bringing this to my attention.

  24. “My dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your sprouts” – Dieter

  25. Another quote from President Uchtdorf:

    “There have been times when leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine. Like, for example, President Monson’s quote that pumpkin pie sucks. He was speaking as a man, people.”

  26. “At Thanksgiving, all things are redeemed by heavy cream of bounteous dairy fat, either an added ingredient, a garnish or dressing. It is delicious to the taste, and very desirable when sweetened and flavored with highest quality vanilla extract, and magnifies every festive dish, even jello “salads,” sweet potato “casseroles,” and especially pumpkin pie.”
    – Unnamed woman

  27. Barefoot in the Kitchen says:

    Hear, hear, Unnamed woman!

    Women do most of the cooking. Let our voices be heard.

    (Yes, pumpkin pie. No dark meat.)

  28. Also from President Monson: “Cranberries were sauced, olives were put on children’s fingers, gluttony was committed.”

  29. Just read these out loud to the gathered family, making people guess the author. A good time was had by all.

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