To help light the world this Christmas season, the Church is encouraging people to every day think of someone they can help or invite, and minister to them as the Savior did, one by one.
The 2019 #Light the World: One by One effort officially kicks off Dec. 1. To help you prepare to participate, several resources will be made available throughout November, including a LightTheWorld.org website, a way to sign up to receive daily service prompts, a return of the popular vending-like Giving Machines, and a new inspirational video called The Christ Child. In addition, members are encouraged to invite others to attend a special Christ-centered Sunday service at a nearby Latter-day Saint meetinghouse on Dec. 22.
The website LightTheWorld.org, which launched Nov. 14, is where you can learn more about Giving Machine locations and charity partners, download shareable images and videos, download and print a 25-day service calendar, and for North America, you can sign up to receive for daily service prompts via text messages or emails beginning Dec. 1.
According to Tom Pratt, who oversees Light the World, the daily prompts help you think about a person you can help that day. “These prompts are to help you focus not on how can I help, but who can I help,” he said. Suggestions are as simple as “eat lunch with someone new,” “assist an elderly person,” and “share a note of encouragement.” “Of course, people can always seek inspiration for the best way to reach out to an individual,” he said.
The Christ Child Video
The Church’s new nativity video will be available to watch, download, and share with family and friends of other faiths beginning Nov. 24 on LightTheWorld.org. The 18-minute video is a “compelling, personal, and engaging” version of the nativity story that helps you experience and share the events of the Savior’s birth through the eyes of firsthand witnesses, Pratt said.
“This was a real event that happened to real people.”
The Legacy Theater in the Joseph Smith Building at Temple Square will show The Christ Child from Nov. 24 and throughout Christmas December and it will also be available on Gospel Media, Gospel Library, YouTube.
This year the Church has doubled the number of locations of the red, vending-like Giving Machines from five to ten. Giving Machines make it easy to purchase and donate items such as clothing, eyeglasses, medicine, hygiene supplies, wheelchairs, sporting equipment, and even livestock which are automatically donated to global charities such as UNICEF, Church World Service, WaterAid, Water for People, and in London, International Medical Corp., and as well as local charities.
Last year Giving Machines collected more than $2 million in donations in 38 days. One hundred percent of the contribution goes to the organization and the Church covers the credit card fees. This year you can find multiple machines until New Year’s Day in the following locations:
- Gilbert, Arizona, at the Water Tower Plaza, beginning Nov. 20
- Denver, Colorado, at Writer’s Square (1512 Larimer St #300), beginning Nov. 26
- Laie, Hawaii, at the Polynesian Cultural Center, beginning Nov. 19
- Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Summerlin Mall, beginning Nov. 14
- London, England, on Exhibition Road, beginning Dec. 3
- Manila, Philippines, at the TriNoma Mall, beginning Nov. 8
- New York City, New York, on the site of the Manhattan New York Temple, beginning Dec. 3
- Orem, Utah, at University Place Mall, beginning Nov. 26
- Salt Lake City at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, beginning Nov. 26
- San Jose, California, at Christmas in the Park, beginning Nov. 29
Don’t Live Near a Giving Machine?
If you don’t live in a location with a Giving Machine, visit LightTheWorld.org beginning Nov. 14 to see which charities are involved near you, learn how you can donate directly, or find other service suggestions through a link to JustServe.org.
Special Sunday Service
Wards and branches throughout the Church have been asked to hold a special Sabbath Day Christ-Centered and visitor-friendly sacrament meeting on Dec. 22. Members are encouraged to invite friends and acquaintances not of our faith to come and worship with us that day.
Throughout December, the Church will share a series of social media videos and posts that invite people to “take an hour” to attend a Christmas worship service on Dec. 22, to “come and worship,” and “come and stay.” A link will be provided so interested parties may find a meeting house and service near them.
The Light the World initiative provides opportunities for members to invite friends to come and see church activities such as choirs, social gathers, seasonal events, and sabbath worship services, and come and help by participating in #LightTheWorld.
According to Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Light the World presents marvelous opportunities to invite friends and neighbors to church and to your homes to learn with you about the Savior. In whatever ways seem natural and normal to you, share with people why Jesus Christ and His church are important to you. Share with them the suggested ways in which they might serve others one by one. Invite them to come and help. God will do His saving work, and they will come and stay.”