The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a “Light the World” video message on Friday morning, Dec. 1, encouraging all to share the light of Jesus Christ this Christmas season.
The message in “A Silent Night Surprise in Times Square” invites all to “Let Your Light Shine.”
The video was recorded in New York City on Monday, Nov. 27, in Times Square as part of the Church’s annual “Light the World” initiative. During one 30-minute period, the iconic digital billboards in Times Square featured images of stars, angels, shepherds, the Nativity, and Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The billboards also proclaimed that Jesus is “the light of the world,” and shared a global invitation for all to light the world: “This Christmas share His light by letting your light shine.”
Set to the music of Silent Night, the digital billboards — and the new video — direct all to visit LightTheWorld.org.
“What an awe-inspiring sight it was to be right in the heart of Times Square in New York City during the special Christmas display and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ,” he wrote. “It was a wonderful kick-off to the Christmas season to look up and witness scenes of the Nativity, images of the Savior, displays of the Giving Machines, and the #LightTheWorld logo on the digital billboards in this iconic location.
“We are grateful for the many interfaith leaders and charities who are working with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help those in need.
“We want the world to know of the peace that comes from following Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Let us follow Him as we try to light the world and share the light of Christ in our own small ways this Christmas season.”
The Times Square takeover followed the global launch of the 2023 Giving Machines campaign on Monday, also in Times Square. The red Giving Machines are located this season in 41 U.S. cities — up from 22 in 2022 — and 14 international locations.
One can take place in the annual Light the World campaign in many ways:
- Share the Light the World videos on social media.
- Get service ideas from the new “service shuffler” at LightTheWorld.org.
- Pick an option from the list of “50 ways to let your light shine,” by downloading the PDF at LightTheWorld.org.
- Text “light” to 71234 to get service ideas that emulate the people in the Nativity story (available in the U.S. and Canada).
- Get service ideas through WhatsApp by signing up on the Spanish, Portuguese and French Light the World websites.
- Join The Official Light the World Facebook group.
- Go with friends or family to donate at a Giving Machine or find other ways to donate at GivingMachine.org.
When the Light the World video was recorded on Times Square, the crowds took note. Nasario Martin, an evangelical Christian from Guatemala, could not believe his eyes. He took out his cellphone and started recording.
“I have never seen Jesus Christ in such a place before,” he said.