To help light the world this Christmas season, the Church is encouraging people to think of someone they can help or invite and minister to every day. The aim is to serve others as Jesus Christ did—one by one.
The 2019 Light the World: One by One effort officially kicks off December 1, 2019. To help individuals and families prepare to participate, several resources and opportunities are available:
- A LighttheWorld.org website, which includes a way to sign up to receive daily service prompts.
- A new inspirational video called “The Christ Child.”
- A return of the popular vending-machine-like Giving Machines.
- Missionary opportunities, including inviting friends to participate in #LighttheWorld and attend a special Christ-centered Sunday Service on December 22, 2019.
The website LighttheWorld.org, which launches November 14, 2019 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.
- Sign up to receive daily service prompts via text messages or emails beginning December 1, 2019 (for North America only).
According to Tom Pratt, who oversees Light the World, the daily prompts, “are to help you focus not on how can I help, but who can I help.” Suggestions are as simple as “Eat lunch with someone new,” “Assist an elderly person,” and “Share a note of encouragement.”
“The Christ Child” Video
The Church’s new Nativity video, “The Christ Child,” will be available to watch, download, and share with family and friends of other faiths beginning November 24, 2019 on LighttheWorld.org.
Pratt explains that this 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. This was a real event that happened to real people.”
The Legacy Theater in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building at Temple Square will show “The Christ Child” from November 24 and throughout December 2019. It will also be available on Gospel Media, the Gospel Library app, and YouTube.
This year the Church has doubled the number of locations of the red vending-machine-like Giving Machines, from 5 to 10.
Giving Machines make it easy to purchase and donate items ranging in price from $2 to $320, such as clothing, eyeglasses, medicine, hygiene supplies, wheelchairs, sporting equipment, and even livestock. Items are automatically donated to global charities such as UNICEF, Church World Service, WaterAid, Water For People, and, in London, International Medical Corp., as well as local charities.
Elder Brent H. Nielson, a General Authority Seventy, said, “This unique way to give not only blesses the life of the giver but also lifts the receiver in locations all around the world.”
Last year, Giving Machines in five locations collected more than $2 million in donations in 38 days. (See related story.)
“These Giving Machines are an example of the big things that can happen when many people give just a little,” said Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President. “That is what it means to light the world one by one—when we each give what we can offer, our little light adds to a brightness of hope.”
One hundred percent of the contribution goes to the organization, and the Church covers the credit card fees, said Pratt.
This year you can find multiple machines until New Year’s Day in the following locations: Manila, Philippines; Las Vegas, Nevada; Laie, Oahu, Hawaii; Gilbert, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah; Orem, Utah; Denver, Colorado; San Jose, California; New York, New York; and London, England.
Don’t Live Near a Giving Machine?
If you don’t live in a location with a Giving Machine, visit LighttheWorld.org beginning November 14, 2019 to see charities involved near you, learn how you can donate directly, or find other service suggestions through a link to JustServe.org.
The Light the World initiative provides opportunities for members to invite friends to come and see Church activities such as choirs, social gatherings, seasonal events, and Sabbath worship services, and come and help by participating in #LighttheWorld.
Speaking of this year’s Light the World efforts, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “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” (“Your Christmas Mission: Light the World One by One,” Ensign or Liahona, Dec. 2019, 58).
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 December 22, 2019. 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 December 22, 2019, to “come and worship,” and “come and stay.” A link will be provided so interested parties may find a meetinghouse and service near them.