SALT LAKE CITY — In a special video message shared to a worldwide audience, President Russell M. Nelson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked for a “wave of gratitude” to flood social media over the next week.
Before President Nelson’s role in leadership positions of The Church of Jesus Christ, he was a heart surgeon who helped develop the very first heart-lung machine used by doctors in open-heart operations. He was also the very first surgeon to complete an open heart surgery in Utah in 1955.
Drawing on his medical background, President Nelson said he knows the value of good therapy and prescribed two measures to aid in healing and unifying a world filled with the ills of not only a global pandemic, but also the plagues of hatred and incivility.
“As a man of science and as a man of faith, the current worldwide pandemic has been of great concern to me, he said.
“As a man of science, I appreciate the critical need to prevent the spread of infection. I also honor the devoted service of healthcare professions and grieve for the many whose lives have been upended by COVID-19,” he continued.
“As a man of faith, however, I view the current pandemic as only one of many ills that plague our world. Including hate, civil unrest, racism, violence, dishonesty, and lack of civility.
“Skilled scientists and researchers are laboring diligently to develop and distribute a vaccine against the coronavirus. But there is no medication or operation that can fix the many spiritual woes and maladies that we face.”
President Nelson said the remedy is gratitude.
“First, I invite you — just for the next seven days — to turn social media into your own personal gratitude journal,” he said. “Post every day about what you are grateful for, whom you are grateful for and why you are grateful. At the end of seven days, see if you feel happier and more at peace. Use the hashtag #GiveThanks. Working together, we can flood social media with a wave of gratitude that reaches the four corners of the earth.”
Secondly, he asked all to unite in thanking God through daily prayer.
“Prayer brings forth miracles in that spirit…I hope you will feel inspired to do the same. Pouring out your heart and gratitude for the countless blessings God has given you and petitioning him to heal our hearts, our families, our societies, and the world at large.”
In closing his message, President Nelson offered his own prayer.
The full prayer offered Friday by President Nelson is below:
Our Father in Heaven, as fellow passengers on Thy planet earth, we humbly pray unto Thee. We thank Thee for life and all that sustains life. We thank Thee for the beauties of the earth, for order in the universe, the planets, stars and all things of eternal significance. We thank Thee for Thy laws that protect and guide us. We thank Thee for Thy mercy and loving watchcare. We thank Thee for our families and loved ones who fill our lives with joy.
We are grateful for all who are striving to combat the COVID pandemic. Please bless them with protection and inspiration. Wilt Thou help us end this virus that has plagued so many of Thy children. We thank Thee for the leaders of nations and others who strive to lift us. We pray for relief from political strife. Wilt Thou bless us with a healing spirit that unites us despite our differences. Wilt Thou also help us repent from selfishness, unkindness, pride, and prejudice of any kind so that we can better serve and love one another as brothers and sisters and as Thy grateful children. We love Thee, our dear Father, and pray for Thy blessings upon us in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, amen.
Related to President Nelson: A message of hope and healing:
How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus
COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
- Wear a mask.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
- If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
- Get a flu shot.
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
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