The Primary general presidency is inviting Latter-day Saint children worldwide to participate in the Church’s Christmas initiative, “Light the World.”
The month-long campaign encourages members to share the light of Jesus Christ through small, but meaningful acts of service on each of the 25 days before Christmas.
“We are reminding children that Jesus Christ is the light of the world,” said Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president. By participating in the “Light the World” initiative, children can do the things that help them not only come to know, but also emulate, the Savior.
“We love the children,” she said. “We have faith in them to be lights. We see their potential and it is grand.”
Sister Jones and her counselors in the Primary general presidency, Sister Jean B. Bingham and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, met with the Church News to discuss the “Light the World” Christmas initiative.
The campaign, “Light the world. In 25 ways. Over 25 days” — is detailed on Mormon.org/Christmas.
Serving others is “not a burden, but a way of life,” explained Sister Jones, noting that she hopes this campaign will help families realize “we don’t do anything without Him.”
When children share their light, they give a beautiful Christmas gift, said Sister Bingham, first counselor in the Primary general presidency. “You can give a Christmas gift of service — the most powerful gift you can give.”
Sister Cordon said children can be involved in the campaign in simple ways without spending money. As they do, their hearts will change and they will have different expectations of Christmas; instead of wondering what they will get this year they will say, “What are we going to do for someone else today?”
“We need to bring the Savior into our hearts and into our families,” she said.
Sister Jones said the Christmas initiative creates opportunities for children to remember Jesus Christ. “And not just remember Him, but to live His example, to find ways to be His hands this Christmas season.”
“We are all trying to walk the same path that He walked,” added Sister Cordon.
“We are trying to see others the way He sees them,” said Sister Jones.
These things come natural to children, who are so full of love and compassion, said Sister Bingham.
The presidency encouraged families to take time each night and write down a few things they learned each day while trying to live like the Savior. Some families may want to find a place on their Christmas tree for these acts of service and reflection.
Sister Jones said finding ways to light the world will not be hard. “There are so many sad people in the world,” she said.
Children should be allowed to think of their own projects and follow through on them, they said. “Let the children discover the light they want to share,” said Sister Jones. “They don’t have to be told what to do. Their hearts can guide them to simple acts of service.”
“I think children have a light that has not been encumbered by society,” said Sister Cordon. “Think of the power of sharing that light.”
Sister Bingham asked parents to support their children’s ideas. “If a child has a simple idea that is age appropriate, just let them do it.”
Sister Jones said the “important thing is to help children recognize how good they feel when they are serving.”
The Savior did not make service complicated, said Sister Jones. “He kept everything simple. His teachings were full of love and from His heart.”
Every day there is a different focus that can open minds, said Sister Bingham. And by the time families have followed the Savior for 25 days, “it may even have become a habit,” she added.