EP 504 – Smothering the World in Gratitude

#GiveThanks is awesome, and we have plenty to talk about, including some folks who don't love to, uh, give thanks? Devin Thorpe is here.

Happy Thanksgiving to our American listeners! We hope you have a good, safe holiday. Take precautions. It’s just a meal!

Devin Thorpe, fresh from his quixotic campaign to unseat a Republican in a very Republican U.S. House district, is with us, and he is liberated! Liberated! Non-candidate Devin seems to be a happier Devin.

In case you somehow missed it, President Nelson shared a message of “hope and healing” last Friday, November 20, in which he challenged us to have a more positive perspective despite what has been, by most accounts, a pretty rough year.

We’ve been challenged to #GiveThanks and focus on our blessings. Doing so won’t make COVID disappear, but it will help us feel happier. That’s the challenge!

What’s been fascinating has been watching some of the blowback to such a request. Why would we be upset about a challenge to demonstrate gratitude? Indeed, some individuals feel the effort rings hollow. Some argue—erroneously, at that—President Nelson is missing the mark and alleging giving thanks will solve the pandemic. After all, why weren’t we giving thanks before? And do we run the risk of turning our personal demonstrations of gratitude into subtle humble brags? Maybe.

Also, some people don’t like jokes.

But the #GiveThanks effort isn’t about those things, or at least isn’t supposed to be. It’s a good opportunity to reorient ourselves, particularly as we go into the holiday season. We hope you’ll share your posts with us. You could even leave us a message and tell us what you’re thankful for!

Leave Us A Message!

Otherwise, it’s something of a grab bag of news. We learn that Devin is a Real Housewives of Salt Lake City fan, which is utterly shameful! But we also learn many Latter-day Saint influencers are getting flak for publishing sponsored content related to the show, given how much the program runs completely contra to what we stand for as a people.

Utah is the most generous state in the country, largely due to tithing submissions, according to WalletHub. However, the state does not have a diversity of charities, with almost all efforts centering around Latter-day Saint Charities. But Utah also leads in volunteering, a metric that cannot be undone if you were to remove tithing payments from the equation. Great job, Utah!

Also in charity news, the “Black 14″—University of Wyoming players who in 1969 were removed from the team for wishing to protest the Church’s racial policies—have now partnered with the Church to deliver meal kits to the needy.

We’ll just hit you with the other stuff in a sweet listicle:

  • The Church wants to build an eight-story apartment building on South Temple in Salt Lake City.
  • The First Presidency Christmas Devotional will be broadcast on Dec. 6, but the format will be similar to recent General Conferences because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A major accident involving two semi-trucks in east Salt Lake City resulted in the toppling of a Parley P. Pratt statue.
  • BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library has started closing sections of the library used for more socializing because of a failure to comply with COVID restrictions.
  • The Tabernacle Choir has been ranked by the BBC (essentially) as one of the top 10 choirs in the world!
  • Unfortunately, the famed Giving Machines will not be a thing this Christmas.
  • Devin tries to convince Geoff that Robert Kirby is a good dude based on a recent piece.

Intro Music: “Blessed Time” by Ketsa
Outro Music: “Inspirational Outlook” by Scott Holmes

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