Church Members Encouraged to Continue to “Light the World”

Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer

  • 1 February 2017

For the past few years the Church has provided a Christmas initiative to share a message about Christ with the world. This year, the challenge was to “light the world” through serving others and becoming more like the Savior.

Article Highlights

  • Thousands respond to the Church’s “Light the World” campaign.
  • Members are encouraged to continue to find ways to serve.

“I would hope that what we’ve learned through this initiative as we’ve responded and learned about His example that we will be as engaged in serving in June as we are in December.” —Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

When given the charge to “Light the World” in the month of December, members of the Church around the world quickly responded to the call to serve.

“This initiative resonated with so many people all over the earth because it was so simple,” said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a video on MormonNewsroom.org recapping the campaign. “It didn’t complicate the season, and it was focused on Him as the truth.”

For the past few years the Church has provided initiatives for Church members to participate in around Easter and Christmas. This past Christmas, the challenge was to “light the world” through serving others and becoming more like the Savior.

“It was focused on the Savior of the World, who is the truth, and I think people all over the world resonated with that truth,” said Elder Bednar.

A report from the Church’s Missionary Department shows the videos used in the campaign were viewed nearly 83 million times in countries and territories around the globe. The initiative’s main video alone received nearly 41 million views.

The videos were produced in 33 languages and seen in 194 countries and territories. Views categorized by language show videos were most viewed in Spanish with 38.6 million views, followed by English with 25 million views, and then Portuguese with more than 18.5 million views. Fourth on the list was Samoan with more than 26,000 views.

“We believe the campaign did accomplish what we were hoping—that people would not simply learn more about the Savior, but rather learn about Him by doing what He did,” Elder Bednar said.

Using the campaign’s hashtag #LightTheWorld, participants took to social media to share what they were doing to follow the Savior’s example and serve others. Looking at the number of times a Mormon.org or other Church channel #LightTheWorld post appeared on social media sites, the Missionary Department reported more than 269 million mentions on Twitter and more than 96.8 million mentions on Facebook.

“The central focus of this campaign was to share the light and the love of the Savior in simple, meaningful ways with those who are immediately around us,” Elder Bednar said. “Our hope was that people would not simply learn more about the Savior, but that they’d learn about Him by doing what He did—25 ways in 25 days. If people responded to that invitation, they learned about Him.”

Although the big push for “25 ways in 25 days” was for the month of December, the initiative’s last challenge, “Jesus’s Disciples Followed Him and So Can We,” invited participants to continue to serve like the Savior did even after the initiative was over.

“I would hope that what we’ve learned through this initiative as we’ve responded and learned about His example that we will be as engaged in serving in June as we are in December,” said Elder Bednar.

A quick search online shows—although not nearly the quantity as in December during the campaign—Church members continue to share experiences that “light the world.”

“We learn invaluable lessons with each of these campaigns,” explained Elder Bednar. “We have one each Easter, each Christmas. So what we’ll do is incorporate what we’ve learned going forward. Stay tuned, and keep watching for what’s coming.”

For the past few years the Church has provided a Christmas initiative to share a message about Christ with the world. This year, the challenge was to “light the world” through serving others and becoming more like the Savior.