A Most Appropriate Thanksgiving Message for This Day: President Nelson on the Power of Gratitude

I just listened to President Nelson’s short message delivered at noon (Central Time) via Youtube. I always enjoy listening to this kind, wise man, but he greatly exceeded my expectations. I feel it was the most appropriate and beautiful message that could be delivered as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, a message that can our minds away from political strike, anger, and division and instead fill us with the gratitude that can heal us and bring us closer to God. What an inspired message! And he gave us an inspired challenge to spend the next week sharing thoughts of gratitude each day on social media, using the hashtag #GiveThanks, to be a force for good across the globe. Truly inspired!



I’ll start with one of the miracles that I ponder almost daily, certainly weekly, that fills me with wonder and delight at the handiwork of God. Can you guess what I’m talking about? Yes, ATP synthase! The amazing complex of proteins that acts like a finely tuned motor with a rotor that spins around 200 times a second cranking out energized reactants as enzyme structures open and close endlessly, turning the oxygen we breathe into the chemical energy that runs every cell and organ of our body. Fiendishly clever is the wrong word, and diabolically clever is worse! We need better words for cleverness. Divinely clever might work, but few use that expression. Why not? Satan’s cleverness is a dead end while the Lord’s gives us everything, including the breath of life and the motorized enzymes that give us life from each breath we take. 

Here are a couple of videos explaining what go on in mitochondria and show some different animations of the incredible whirling motors that catalyze formation of ATP to give our bodies energy:


These whirling motors of ATP synthase would quickly stall if they were not given the “fuel” of hydrogen ions (protons) atoms pumped into one portion of the mitochondria by another stunning mechanism, a complex of proteins that are precisely tuned to pump protons “uphill” across the membrane into the hydrogen-rich zone that drives the rotors. Check out the electron transport chain:

These wonders are just the beginning of the brilliant molecular machinery that makes life on this planet possible — and even joyous. We should life our voices in praise of God’s Creation every day. I’m so grateful that it’s possible to be alive, thanks in part to the miraculous chemical engines in our mitochondria. What a marvel life is!

Author: Jeff Lindsay

15 thoughts on “A Most Appropriate Thanksgiving Message for This Day: President Nelson on the Power of Gratitude

  1. Paraphrasing something I read on a different Momron blog:

    If God's spokesman comes up with the same message you could get from Oprah, what's the point?

    1. I hear ya, Anon 2:29. When I think of all the struggle and sacrifice that took place to restore the gospel and the priesthood — from Nephi putting up with his obnoxious brothers and wandering for years around the desert and building that big ol' ship without the aid of so much as a screwdriver, to all the wars and persecutions and earthquakes, to poor Moroni shagging those heavy gold plates from Central America all the way to New York state, to poor Joseph getting tarred and feathered and busted in the barn with the maid and eventually shot to death — when I think of the fact that all that bother has eventuated in a succession of superannuated prophets who can do no more than utter the most commonplace of banalities, I do start to wonder.

      — OK

  2. As He injects His Glory into all of creation, I'd call it "Gloriosly clever." Although "clever" seems under qualified as an adjective to describe the Creator of the universe!

  3. OK, you would have been totally in your element back in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. If we could just send you through a time warp and give you a crash course in Aramaic, you could toss out such zingers as, "The Creator of the universe, an omniscient being, comes among men and has nothing more to teach us than repeating ancient scriptures and telling us to be nice? Not even a basic explanation of germ theory?" You'd fit in well with the mob then, in spite of your accent.

    When we accept and act on the small things the Lord asks us to do, we prepare ourselves to receive the bigger answers and blessings that await or may already be there. Listen to what President Nelson has been teaching for years and give it a try, and then you may have the privilege of seeing how much more there is to the Gospel than the shallow banalities you insist on seeing. Yes, that requires faith, but it is through faith that genuine miracles come.

  4. OK, Jeff, it's a benign if platitudinous message. No harm done. In a different time It would be so predictable it wouldn't make much of a ripple. But in times when the country is stalled and destabilized in the face of a quarter million deaths that are only escalating, food distribution lines that are only growing nationwide, and a Chief of State who shows every intention of subverting a valid election we need to hear more if Nelson is, indeed, a Living Prophet. …much less a Living Prophet sitting on $100billion that could be doing something of far more import than adding to the real estate collection.

    Dismiss this awkward fact if you care to but there are people in the world who are watching. Some are Mormons who may be, like you, inclined to insist on an alternate reality. Some are Mormons whose eyes are beginning to open. Some are young missionaries who are being sent out into the viral contagion and, being stalled in their work, have time to ask what the point is. Some are potential converts the dwindling church could have used.

    BTW, what was that "special" message anyway? Spread and reinforce the delusion?

  5. Really, Jeff, the mob turned against Jesus because of his banality? Have you even read the New Testament?

    No one will ever see in Russell M. Nelson the kind of danger the Roman and Jewish authorities saw in Jesus. Russell M. Nelson will never speak truth to power the way genuine prophets like Jesus did.

    Can one even imagine Russell M. Nelson overturning the tables of the money-changers at the temple? More likely he would have told the poor to be grateful to the local business community for providing the opportunity to exchange their Roman coinage for shekels, then had an amiable lunch meeting with the pigeon sellers, and then met with Caiaphas to discuss investment opportunities.

    — OK

  6. Just a little correction: the electron transport chain doesn't pump hydrogen atoms, it pumps protons. In one case you said protons, but elsewhere you said hydrogen atoms. It's a subtle but important distinction. Also they aren't pumped into the interior of the mitochondria- they're pumped FROM the interior (the matrix) into a space between the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes. Then they flow back into the matrix through ATP synthase, which churns out ATP molecules.

  7. OK 11:06 – Awesome rejoinder. Jeff deceitfully tried to compare you to biblical stories of prophet rejection. Thank you for not letting Jeff get away with the sleight of hand. Those prophets were criticized for being radical, not banal. Looking forward to Jeff's response.

  8. "Listen to what President Nelson has been teaching for years and give it a try, and then you may have the privilege of seeing how much more there is to the Gospel than the shallow banalities you insist on seeing. Yes, that requires faith, but it is through faith that genuine miracles come."

    Millions have done just that and testified that depression was their reward.

  9. I didn't find Pres. Nelson reminding us to express gratitude platitudinous. It wasn't a dull or commonplace remark, but a powerful one.

    I also wish to express thanks to Jeff for continually speaking truth to power.

    Indeed, power structures have dramatically shifted over the past decade so that speaking truth to power has a different meaning than it used to have, not too long ago. Before it meant advocating for changes — some good some bad — to those in power, who weren't acting with as much corruption as we experience at this time. Now speaking truth to power is an attempt to get corrupt leaders, encrusted with evil, to return to foundational governing principles.

  10. You do understand that even nearly 30 percent of Democrat voters think the election was stolen from Trump.

    Here is one way to characterize the incoming president: a doddering, plagiarizing, gropy, unquestionably corrupt swamp creature who hid in the basement throughout the campaign and has difficulty stringing a sentence together, even when a teleprompter is directing him.

  11. It's so great that everyone on here is making coherent arguments instead of resorting to childish insults and stuff.

    1. I agree. On another subject I loved President Nelson message of gratitude. And in that spirit I am thankful for Jeff and this blog. 😇

  12. I agree! On another subject I loved President Nelson's message on gratitude. So in that spirit thank you to Jeff and this well written blog

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