The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it is once again inviting everyone to “Light the World” this holiday season through service, but this year the program is organized a little differently.
Instead of following a 25-day advent calendar throughout December, the 2018 “Light the World” campaign breaks December into four weeks and suggests focusing on serving a specific group during those weeks. The change, according to the press release, helps follow Church President Russell M. Nelson’s invitation to members to minister to each other in a “new, holier way” by turning our focus from “how can I serve?” to “whom can I serve?”
This year’s theme, “Give as He Gave,” once again invites people to follow the example of the Savior Jesus Christ, who is “the light of the world” (John 8:12). The official launch for the campaign is on Dec. 1 with a worldwide day of service, in which people can participate with simple acts of service.
The themes are broken down for the four weeks in December.
“Give as Jesus Gave”
The first week of the Light the World campaign, participants are encouraged to serve those in need around the world with the theme, “Give as Jesus Gave.”
“Light Your Community”
In the second week, the theme is “Light Your Community.” During this week, participants are invited to focus on serving in their communities by helping their neighbors. Depending on where you live, JustServe.org will show a variety of opportunities in your community when you enter your city or zip code.
“Light Your Family”
On the third week, participants are to turn their attention to their homes and families. “Participants are invited to show their appreciation to loved ones by calling their parents, having a family prayer, spending one-on-one time with children or other activities,” the Church said in a press release.
“Light Your Faith”
During the final week of the “Light the World” campaign, participants are invited to serve themselves by increasing their faith in Jesus Christ through prayer, scripture study, visiting a temple or other religious site or attending a special Christmas worship service. On Sunday, Dec. 23, the Latter-day Saints are extending a special invitation to the local community members to attend a Christ-centered one-hour service at one of the Church’s meetinghouses.
As part of the “Light the World” campaign, the Church has brought back vending machines — which has predesignated items such as water filters or eyeglasses — for the second year. “One hundred percent of all donations go directly to partner charities for the purchased item or for items or services of greater need based on their discretion,” the Church said in a press release. Vending machines will be located at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square; Manila, Philippines; New York City; Gilbert, Arizona; and London, England.
During December, the Church will release four videos in 29 languages to promote the weekly themes. Participants can download a calendar featuring service ideas at lighttheworld.org/download. To participate in the online discussion or share service activities, use the hashtag #LightTheWorld. For more information, visit LightTheWorld.org.