During the week of Thanksgiving I took an invitation from President Russell M. Nelson to give daily expressions of gratitude on social media using the hashtag “givethanks.”

I didn’t take the invitation right away, though. To be honest I was skeptical when I first heard about it. I was worried that the whole thing would be artificial and sappy. I didn’t want to do something that would feel contrived or insincere.

Which I think revealed a cynicism in me, and was an indicator that I really did need something sweet and enriching. As it turned out, seeing everyone else’s posts as part of that campaign created a wonderful sense of community in me. I came to greatly appreciate scrolling down my Facebook feed each day to see what my family and friends were sharing gratitude for. It felt like an advent calendar, where each day was its own happy, little bundle.

And I’m grateful for the discoveries that came to me when I eventually decided to participate. As I came to the end of my week of gratitude I decided I wanted to share those realizations with you, and I will be doing that over the several days.

I’d also be curious to hear what things you have found to be grateful for at the end of our turbulent year. Did you feel sheltered from the worst of the afflictions? Or did you build new strength by being full in the face of adversity? Or maybe you’re still unsure what God’s plan in all this has been for you. Even if that’s the case, what else is there that you will always have gratitude for?

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