Latter-day Saints and their friends around the world are encouraging the public to participate in service opportunities during the Christmas season to celebrate the life of Jesus Christ. The “Light the World” Christmas initiative will reach worldwide audiences beginning Friday, November 24, 2017, and will run through Christmas Day, December 25.
The “Light the World” Christmas initiative, now in its second year, focuses on celebrating and sharing the light of Jesus Christ, the “light of the world” (John 8:12). The Savior declared, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
“Building on last year’s #LIGHTtheWORLD Christmas initiative, this year’s effort continues the invitation to serve others as the Savior did,” said Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy, executive director of the Church’s Missionary Department.
“As we follow the example of the Savior and live as He lived and as He taught, that light will burn within us and will light the way for others,” said President Thomas S. Monson in a general conference address in October 2015.
Sharable online content is available at mormon.org, including a new inspirational video in 33 languages and a service advent calendar, “In 25 Ways, Over 25 Days,” to encourage the public to follow Christ’s teachings during the Christmas season. Each day, mormon.org will feature teachings of the Savior with a brief video and service ideas. The website is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. A web landing page also provides links to resources in 29 languages.
“By visiting mormon.org daily, those who wish to get involved with the initiative can learn new ways to participate,” explained Elder Nielson.
A playable/downloadable version of the main video is also available on the Church’s Gospel Library app.
The shareable content is being posted on the social media pages of mormon.org, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Those on social media are encouraged to share their experiences by using the hashtag #LIGHTtheWORLD.
In addition, “Light the World” displays can be found at visitors’ centers in cities around the world, including Mexico City and Paris. Billboards can be seen in New York City’s Times Square, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Mexico City.
Posters and pass-along cards are also available online for members and missionaries to encourage others to participate in the campaign.
As part of the campaign, there will be a series of concerts performed by “Light the World” brand ambassadors who have a significant social media following, including a performance featuring The Piano Guys at YouTube’s New York studio on December 12 and a concert in Lima, Peru, performed by singer David Archuleta.
More than 90 events to feed the hungry in the United States and Canada, ranging from large collections to individual acts of service, are scheduled. The campaign will also support 28 local service events globally. Projects will include making Christmas packages for orphanages in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus and food, clothing and cleaning supply drives in Florida, Nova Scotia and other locations.
Visitors to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City will notice “Light the World” vending machines in the lobby that can be used to buy donated items for some of the Church’s charity partners, including CARE, Utah Food Bank, Eye Care 4 Kids, WaterAid, Water For Peopleand JustServe. Items for purchase will even include vouchers for live chickens and goats for the needy in developing countries.
The Church’s Missionary Department has sponsored online campaigns during the Christmas and Easter seasons for the past several years. Last year’s “Light the World” effort featured videos and a 25-day advent calendar with service ideas for the Christmas season.
“Last year, tens of thousands participated in #LIGHTtheWORLD service activities around the world. It was an inspiring thing to witness,” said Elder Nielson. “We hope this year, thousands more will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by following His teachings and sharing His light and love with those around them.”
Last spring’s Easter initiative included a shareable video in 33 languages illustrating the role of Jesus Christ as “Prince of Peace.”
In December 2015, the “A Savior Is Born” Christmas initiative reached millions of people around the world. Millions were also reached with the “Follow Him” Easter initiative in 2016.
The Church launched its first Easter initiative in 2014 with a weeklong social media campaign titled “Because of Him.” In December 2014, a month-long Christmas initiative, “He Is the Gift,”was shared with global audiences.
For more information, visit mormon.org.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.