Church launches 2020 ‘Light the World’ initiative

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is inviting members and nonmembers alike to “light the world” in hopes of ending 2020 better than it started. 

“2,000 years ago, people found hope in a star. This Christmas, let’s help each other find hope in a text or a tag or a not-so-random act of Christlike kindness,” states a new video titled “Hope Shines Bright” on the website. 

“Light the World” is a global service initiative led annually by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

But this year is going to look a little different. 

“I’m sure it’s gonna be different, just like everything else in our lives has been different,” said Church member Austin Rustand. 

Typically, the Church installs red vending machines in locations around the world, which raised $6.2 million last year. 

Due to COVID-19, no “Giving Machines” will be used this year, but the Church still encourages members to donate to charities, if possible, and offers other ways to get involved. 

“It’s been a pretty gloomy year so far and we definitely need a little bit of light, a little bit of joy, and Light the World is a great way to do that,” Rustand said. 

Two other Church members shared how they are planning to “light the world” during this COVID Christmas. 

Meg Bentley recently started a YouTube channel, “Eggs with Meg,” to share her beliefs with others. 

“I’m excited to use Light the World on my channel to share with my viewers different ways each week that they can focus on a specific prompt that the Church gives,” she said. 

It’s easy to get involved — all you need is a phone. Just text the word “light” to 71234, and throughout the month of December, you’ll receive daily texts with service prompts, like dropping off treats to a friend or sharing an inspirational message on social media. 

“It will be really nice to have those prompts everyday when sometimes I’m at a loss of ‘What can I do to reach out to someone?’” said Church member Caroline Richards. “The Church is still giving me a way to ‘light the world,’ even during a time where I think it’s a little bit scary for people to wanna help, but this is when we all need it the most.”

Aside from texts, you can also visit the website to download a daily service calendar, watch videos and find volunteer opportunities. 

“Just share this! Share it with members and share it with nonmembers and just share it with everyone, because maybe not everyone is a member of our Church, but everyone needs Christ,” Bentley said. “Just light the world!” 

For more information on how you can serve throughout this Christmas season, you can visit LightTheWorld.org.

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