Facebook used to be a place where I would go to mingle with friends, read funny things, and post stuff for others to see. A few months ago that changed. Even recently I found myself ignoring social media almost entirely, checking in a couple of times a week and rarely posting.
Why? Too much of my feed was just full of contention. It seemed that most of my feed consisted of people fighting about politics, or COVID. It just became a downer. I have always considered Facebook to be a playground, but it became more of a war zone, so I found myself staying away more and more.
On Friday, President Nelson shared a “Message of Hope.” It was very timely, powerful and inspiring. (I have included the video at the bottom of this post, if you haven’t seen it yet.)
To make it even better, he extended a challenge to those of us on social media. He asked us to post something we are grateful for everyday until Thanksgiving. He asked us to use the hashtag #GiveThanks. A small thing. An easy thing.
It was miraculous.
Within hours, my Facebook feed was filled with the most wonderful posts of gratitude and thanksgiving. People giving thanks for their husbands, wives, children, friends, jobs, and countless other good things.
The positive voices completely overwhelmed the drone of the negative, and Facebook suddenly became enjoyable to me, again. A tiny miracle indeed.
This happened because of two things:
- We have an inspired prophet who was prompted to reach out and give us that specific challenge.
- I am surrounded by valiant people – in real life and digitally – who RESPOND to the call of the prophet. As of this morning, the #GiveThanks hashtag has been used over 1.5 MILLION times on Facebook. I”m sure Instagram is similar. Not so sure about MySpace.
It is wonderful to have a living prophet. Even more wonderful when we listen to him, and act on his counsel.
If you are not participating, jump in. Share what you are grateful for. It is easy. It will bless you and the people around you. It can elevate our vision, which has been too busy looking at the mud lately.
If you can’t find something to be grateful for, dig deeper, You can find something. I feel like my Facebook friends and I have an advantage in this, because for years we have been doing a “Sunday Night Check-in” where we mention what our best thing was that day. It forces us to look at our Sabbath and find something good. (It is every Sunday night at 8pm AZ time on my Facebook page – join us!)
If you still can’t find things to be thankful for, here is a blog post I wrote over eight years ago that highlights 10 things I’m thankful for. (It is probably out-dated, but you’ll get the idea.) LINK
Also, here is a link to a post from last year about being thankful for everything – even aardvarks.
I am thankful for a living prophet. I am thankful for valiant saints. I am thankful for technology – in the right hands, and I am thankful to you, my loyal, attractive, brilliant readers.
President Nelson’s message:
A surprising quote from one of my friends during the last few days: “Having an incurable, degenerative disease was not what I planned. I am grateful for the things I have learned. I am grateful for the change of direction it forced me to make.”
I have always known and believed that “Light draws Light” and this just shows you how listening and following our dear prophet can change ours and so many others’ lives!
I have been amazed and delighted as I have posted, now just for the first 3 days, how posting, and how reading so many other posts, my whole vision and attitude has brightened. Truly, through this small and simple thing, we can personally be lifted and be part of flooding the earth with the blessing and contagion of gratitude.
I am an assistant stake director of communications in my stake, and the work in preparation for this Facebook broadcast and challenge from President Nelson, the prophet of the Lord, has been remarkable. More remarkable has been measurable response. You noted the 1.5 million uses of the hashtag. Also, as of just Saturday, #GiveThanks has been the #1 trending hashtag in the USA, and #3 trending in the world. I understand that within the first hour after the broadcast, there were over 150,000 posts to Facebook using the #GiveThanks hashtag. Those are remarkable numbers, but they reflect 1) the response of members to the challenge of the prophet, 2) the remarkable power of small and simple things, 3) the power of gratitude on individuals to be lifted themselves and to lift others around them. Truly this message is flooding the earth!
I personally have invited other friends and associates who perhaps would not have seen President Nelson’s FB Live post, to join in the #GiveThanks challenge, and I have been delighted to see numerous non-member posts already using the hashtag. What a worldwide blessing, beginning with a 12 minute video from our beloved prophet. I am so grateful!
Cool data. Thanks!
War zone is right. I would have avoided FB completely these last several months except that I use it for marketing, and I was also trying to bring a little light back to it. But I’d started doing it sorta hit and run style. Now that people are responding to the prophet, I’m no longer afraid to read other people’s posts. I’m so grateful for his wisdom.
(And your blog)
I’m thankful for you!!
Thank you, Brad! Just what I needed this morning. You’re awesome and we love you! 🙂