President Russell M. Nelson posted thank-you notes on his social media accounts Sunday, saying he was humbled by the number of people who accepted his invitation to use their own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts as gratitude journals for a week.
He also used the posts to encourage people to end 2020 on a positive note by joining the service and gratitude activities of the Light the World initiative sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City.
“I am grateful and humbled that you would join in thanking God for His countless blessings to each of us,” President Nelson posted on Sunday. “I urge you to make expressing gratitude to God a part of your daily life. An attitude of gratitude gives us better perspective and more peace of mind and heart.”
President Nelson issued the invitation in a video message on Nov. 20 in which he offered a prayer of gratitude and encourage others to do the same.
On November 20, I offered a message and prayer of gratitude for the world and everyone in it. I am grateful and humbled that you would join in thanking God for His countless blessings to each of us. Thank you for your faith. #GiveThanks— Russell M. Nelson (@NelsonRussellM) November 29, 2020
The hashtag #GiveThanks immediately became one of the top trending topics on Twitter in the United States. It also dominated the social media feeds of many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, participated in #GiveThanks, as did NBA executive Danny Ainge and world-famous performers like Lindsey Stirling, Donny Osmond and David Archuleta. So did the church’s apostles and other leaders.
Thousands used President Nelson’s posts on Sunday to comment about their experiences following his invitation.
“Thank you, President Nelson!” Rebecca Andersen wrote on Instagram. “This past week was by far the best week of the year. I feel so much peace and hope and joy. It’s like my brain has been reset to see the good again.”
In his Sunday messages, President Nelson asked people to build on #GiveThanks by joining #LightTheWorld.
As we enter the Christmas season and celebrate the living Christ, one of the most powerful ways we can show our gratitude is by serving His children. Let us follow His example to “Light the World” by loving and serving others, one by one. #LightTheWorld pic.twitter.com/xY8JyUCTyq— Russell M. Nelson (@NelsonRussellM) November 29, 2020
“Now, as we enter the Christmas season and celebrate the living Christ, one of the most powerful ways we can show our gratitude is by serving his children. Let us follow his example to ‘Light the World’ by loving and serving others, one by one. #GiveThanks #LightTheWorld”
On Instagram, Katie Wilson Hughes responded to President Nelson’s post by writing, “#LightTheworld stretches me every season but fills me with so much hope and love I don’t dare NOT do it. So excited and so ready. This year of all years — excited to jump in with a full heart.”
Others responded on Twitter.
I am thankful for you President Nelson! The #givethanks campaign was nothing short of a miracle in my life. As I’m sure the #LightTheWorld will also be again this year.— LaRae Reed (@larae123) November 29, 2020
“I am thankful for you President Nelson!” wrote LaRae Reed. “The #givethanks campaign was nothing short of a miracle in my life. As I’m sure the #LightTheWorld will also be again this year.”
On Facebook, Elena Salazar wrote, “Thank you President Nelson for the prescription to #GiveThanks. What an awesome activity that helped me to really focus on what is important. It also had me writing more things that I’m thankful for that were too personal to share but good to journal. Thank you for your inspiration and leadership of our church during these times. I will look for opportunities to serve my brothers and sisters and help to #LightTheWorld.”