Prescribing gratitude and prayer as a remedy for healing for spiritual and societal concerns, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Friday asked people around the world to flood social media for next week with “a wave of gratitude” and to thank God in daily prayer.
President Russell M. Nelson, who helped develop open heart surgery before retiring to heal hearts full-time as an apostle, made the appeal six days before Thanksgiving in an 11-minute video posted to his Facebook and Instagram accounts and the principal of the church Youtube channel. At the end of his message, he offered a prayer in which he asked God to bless the world with a healing spirit of unity.
The 96-year-old shared the message of hope and healing after speaking about his personal experiences with the Great Depression, World War II, the rise of terrorism and the deaths of his first wife and two of his daughters .
“In my nine and a half decades of life, I have concluded that counting our blessings is much better than telling our problems,” he said. “Whatever our circumstances, showing gratitude for our privileges is a quick and lasting spiritual prescription. “
President Nelson directly addressed the pandemic, once again expressing sorrow for the lives lost.
“As a man of faith, however, I view the current pandemic as one of the many evils plaguing our world, including hatred, civil unrest, racism, violence, dishonesty and disrespect for civility.” , said President Nelson.
He called gratitude a therapy for these problems that has been validated by scientists and believers. As a doctor, he said he would prescribe two activities to help anyone experience the healing power of gratitude.
“First of all, I urge you – just for the next seven days – to turn social media into your own personal gratitude journal,” he said. “Post what you’re grateful for, who you’re grateful for, and why you’re grateful for every day. After seven days, see if you feel happier and more at peace. Use the hashtag #GiveThanks. By working together, we can flood social media with a wave of gratitude reaching all corners of the earth. “
Second, he asked people to unite in thanking God daily through prayer and said he hoped they would be inspired to follow suit, “pouring your heart out in gratitude for the countless blessings that God has given you. given and begging him to heal our hearts, our families, our societies and the world in general.
“Do you want to bless us with a spirit of healing that unites us despite our differences,” he asked in his prayer. “Will You also help us to repent of selfishness, wickedness, pride and prejudice of all kinds so that we can better serve and love one another as brothers and sisters and as Your grateful children. “
Friday’s video builds on a cohesive thread of reassuring messages President Nelson has shared since the start of the pandemic.
The church has increased the reach of messages shared by President Nelson, whom members consider a prophet to the world. Before the pandemic, he had visited six continents in his first two years as president of the church.
Friday’s video was viewed over 1.1 million times in the first hour. Nearly 270,000 people were waiting on the church’s YouTube channel to watch it before it was published. Thousands of them registered with comments to say they were watching from UAE, Fiji, Ghana and other countries around the world.
Tens of thousands of people immediately started posting using #GiveThanks on Twitter and Instagram. Some of these messages were captured on a new web page launched by the church, PowerofGratitude.org.
President Nelson’s constant pace of optimism and empathy during the pandemic began in March, when he said in a short video that “These unique challenges will pass over time. I remain optimistic for the future. He also called for a worldwide fast to pray for relief from the physical, emotional, and economic effects of the pandemic. During the church’s general conference in April, he blessed the listeners with peace and the following month posted a video message in which he said, “I love you dear brothers and sisters and assure you that wonderful days are ahead.”
In August, President Nelson wrote on Facebook that “The road ahead may be bumpy, but our destination is serene and secure. So buckle up, hang in the bumps, and do the right thing.
In October general conference, he said he hoped people would take advantage of “this unique time to grow spiritually” and asked people to turn to Jesus Christ.
During this time, he led the church’s pandemic relief efforts, which became the largest humanitarian project in the history of the church, with 961 projects in 151 countries.
The full prayer offered on Friday by President Nelson:
“Our Heavenly Father, as fellow travelers on your planet earth, we humbly pray to you. We thank You for life and all that sustains life. We thank You for the beauties of the earth, for the order in the universe, the planets, the stars, and all things of eternal importance. We thank You for Your laws that protect and guide us. We thank you for your mercy and loving care. We thank you for our families and loved ones who fill our lives with joy.
“We are grateful to everyone fighting the COVID pandemic. Please bless them with protection and inspiration. Do you want to help us put an end to this virus which has plagued so many of your children. We thank You for the leaders of nations and others who are striving to lift us up. We pray for the relief of political conflicts. Will You bless us with a spirit of healing that unites us despite our differences? Will You also help us to repent of selfishness, wickedness, pride and prejudice of all kinds so that we can better serve and love one another as brothers and sisters and in as Your grateful children. We love you, our dear Father, and pray that your blessings be upon us in the name of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, amen.