Hyerlink in task text pulled from custom field

Hello all - I scrolled through and didn’t see this addressed, so my apologies if it’s been asked. I have spoken with support and was simply told “it was not built that way” and this is an “out-of-the-box platform and cannot do exactly as I want it to”. But I am optimistic there is a work-around and hopefully someone here has found it. My goal is fairly simple and the task pretty straight forward.

A sequence in my campaign creates a task to check if the prospect has connected with me on LinkedIn. Since merge does not list the LinkedIn field as an option, I have created a custom field simply labeled LinkedIn Page , which contains the url to the prospects page. So my task reads:

Confirm that ~Contact.FirstName~ is connected on ~Contact._LinkedInPage~

What should happen is that I get a task telling me to confirm the contacts connection with a hyperlink to their page. What I get is a page of text as long as my arm. I have tried <a href “…”> and still no dice.
Has anyone found a way to merge a live link from a custom field into a task?

And yes - I realize I could just copy/paste the link or click on the contact file, open the general tab and use the “go to” button … but a CRM is about saving time/steps not adding more right?

Any help would be much appreciated.