Church members around the world responded to the call to “Light the World” this holiday season through acts of service—in small and large ways.
As of December 19, videos on Mormon.org associated with the campaign have been viewed more than 68.8 million times by more than 3.7 million visitors to the site and have been shared via social media platforms hundreds of thousands of times. The daily advent calendar provides opportunities during the first 25 days of December to share the Spirit of Christ through service and provides ideas for individuals, families, and groups.
Many have provided acts of service privately while others have reported online—both acts of service they performed and others showing how they have been served—by using the hashtag #LightTheWorld.
For many, joining together with other Church members around the world has brought a feeling of unity with Church members—especially those who live in remote parts of the world or areas with smaller congregations.
All who have reported their involvement—no matter how great or small—have mentioned the incredible spirit they have felt as they have focused on the Savior at Christmas time.
Ken Orth receives a visit from his home teacher, Sean Donnelly, and Rusty the dog, who are members in South Africa.
“I don’t know how many accepted the invitation to participate in the advent calendar, but I can tell you those that did have had a profound improvement of their worship of the Savior at this time of the year,” said Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy and First Counselor in the Pacific Area of the Church. “It has had a profound influence on me and on [my wife] Wendy. We have concentrated on trying to ‘Light the World’ in our areas of influence. There is no question about our faith having been strengthened as we have done this.”
Sitting atop a tall building in La Paz, Bolivia, is a reminder of the Church's “Light the world” media campaign.
“He is the self-proclaimed ‘Light of the World’ but yet, in the Sermon on the Mount, He teaches a very profound doctrine,” said Elder Nielsen. “Ye are the light of the world. He is asking us to be like Him—I believe, to share His light to everyone we come in contact with. The Savior was the perfect example. His small acts of service became profound and magnificent events in the lives of those He touched. … We have a chance to share this light with others all the time, just by who we are and whose we are.”
Sean Donnelly, the area director of Public Affairs in the Africa Southeast Area, said “the wave of love and service that is going on with this Christmas campaign” is spreading throughout the area.
“Every Church meeting, sacrament talk, devotional I go to, I mean every one, is mentioned by way of testimony,” he said. “Mothers and their children doing amazing things, members having service opportunities and missionary ones, too. We have had a far-reaching multi-pronged approach with leaders and public affairs councils sharing and communicating so that there is no stone unturned.”
Young adults have grouped together to provide service at a home for the elderly. Families worked together to think of ideas of ways to help their neighbors, friends, and members of the community. He has received dozens of accounts of people serving.
“Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning for many; the living Christ has entered their world,” Brother Donnelly said. “I am most impressed with how far this has gone.”
The invitation for December 25 on the daily advent calendar is “Jesus's Disciples Followed Him and so Can We.”
Although the dedicated 25 days of service will be over, the invitation to follow the Savior is one that goes beyond the initiative.
It says, “When the Savior was born, a new light appeared in the heavens. He is the Light of the World—not just on Christmas Day, but every day. Follow Him and never walk in darkness again.”