Videos of 72-Hour Service Challenge Go Viral

Contributed By Austin Cannon, Church News

  • 4 May 2015

This young man embarked on a 72-hour service spree doing service in every way he could find. 

Article Highlights

  • One young man from California spent 72 hours serving in every way he could find.
  • Two young women in Japan also did the challenge, with equally inspiring results.
  • Service can be found everywhere and doesn’t have to be planned.

72 hours. That’s how long they took to make; that’s how long they took to go viral.

Two new videos highlight the 72-hour service sprees that a few youth embarked on recently. A young man from California and two young women from Japan took a 72-hour service challenge to see how much service they could do in that time span. Hundreds of thousands have since viewed their service.

The effect of these two videos goes beyond just the service rendered in them. Thousands have been inspired from these two videos. The first of the two amassed over 300,000 views on Facebook in the first three days alone. Thousands have liked and shared this video on the LDS Youth Facebook page, making it go viral. The attention the video has received has made it one of the Church’s fastest growing videos, perhaps even the fastest growing without an accompanying promotional campaign.

A young man named Ofa, a member in California, is the subject of the first video. He is walking about and finding any and every way he can serve. The video opens with the scripture “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). He is shown over a weekend helping out at school, around town, and in his Church service. Over the course of these three days, Ofa finds ways to make a difference with even the simplest of gestures—from sending an uplifting text to joining a kid sitting alone. He even finds creative service ideas that can be organized on short notice, such as visiting the elderly and giving food to the homeless.

The video went viral, getting over 300,000 views in the first three days after its initial post. Screenshot from LDS Youth Facebook page.

The poster for the 2015 Mutual theme.

On the other side of the world in Japan, two young women also took the challenge. They set off together to see how much service they could tag-team in the same amount of time. These two youth showed how they can go about “doing good to all men” (Articles of Faith 1:13). They found many ways to help those around them but also showed that service includes less-apparent ventures such as family history and temple work for deceased ancestors. They also helped with the work of salvation—by teaming up with the missionaries contacting in the street and tutoring senior missionaries

This challenge shows that service doesn’t have to be planned. One doesn’t have to wait for a service project or organize a trip to the food bank to serve; service can be found all around. These three youth are great examples of all the good that can be done when someone opens their eyes to the opportunities around them.

Both of these videos fit in with the 2015 Mutual theme, “Embark,” announced late last year, and encourage youth to share their stories using #Embark. The Mutual theme is found in Doctrine and Covenants 4:2: “Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.” The 2015 Mutual Theme page features stories and testimonies of youth all over the world. The Mutual theme music this year was also written and performed by youth.

The youth in these videos show that service can be used to help and uplift others if everyone will open their eyes to find little acts of service all around them. Thousands have seen what can happen, and hopefully thousands more can take the challenge and experience it.