Light the World encourages people to spread light and service this Christmas season

Orem’s University Mall has Light the World Giving Machines. There are Giving Machines in 61 locations around the world. (Audrey Hill)

Light the World, a campaign from ​​The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that began on Dec. 1 and will run through Christmas, encourages people to spread light this Christmas season, according to the Church.

Light the World began as an initiative in 2016 and included shareable online content, a video featuring acts of service following Christ’s example and other ideas to share the light of Christ, according to Church Newsroom. The hashtag #LIGHTtheWORLD was also introduced in 2016, along with a calendar to light the world in 25 ways over 25 days. In 2018, Light the World focused on service by encouraging participants to donate to charities or serve those in need. 

Light the World continued to inspire service in 2019 by encouraging participants to minister “One by One.” “The Christ Child: A Nativity Story” video was also released in 2019. In 2020 and continuing through 2022, Light the World continued to motivate participants to light the world every day through participation in Sunday worship services, the Giving Machines and daily service suggestions.

In 2023, Light the World continues to encourage service and spreading light through videos, a list of fifty ideas to share light and the Giving Machines.

“One of my favorite scriptures is John 13:34-35 when the commandment is given to love everyone,” freshman Ella Paligo said. “We are called to be radically empathetic and compassionate to each of our neighbors. Light the World allows us to unite to spread that empathy and make the world brighter for those who may be struggling.”

Paligo said she plans on following the Light the World list of 50 ways to “light the world” this December, especially through forgiving others and practicing self-care. 

“Oftentimes we can light the world by the ways we minister to others and ourselves through kind thoughts and actions,” Paligo said.

Another feature of Light the World this year is the ability to text a number to receive a character role from the Nativity for more ideas to light the world. Residents of the United States and Canada can text the word “LIGHT” to 71234 to receive a character role from the Nativity story with ideas specific to that character to share light.

One such role is the star, which encourages participants to “Think of a talent you have, whether big or small, inspiring or silly, and share it with someone who might enjoy it.” After completing one role, participants can text the number again to receive a different role and different ideas to share light. 

Light the World also includes the Giving Machines. 

The Giving Machines, first launched in 2017, have raised more than $22 million U.S. dollars, with 100% of the collected funds going to participating nonprofits, according to the Church. Participants can visit a Giving Machine found in 61 locations in seven different countries. Giving Machines donate items to more than 250 local and global nonprofits and include items such as livestock, groceries, clothing and other needed items.

Clara Pitts, a freshman from Taylorsville, said the Light the World Giving Machines allowed her to connect with her family as they decided to buy a goat for those in need from the Giving Machines as a gift to her grandparents, rather than buying them a physical present. 

“We decided since my grandma loves charity that we would do charity on her behalf,” Pitts said.

Pitts and her family made a video of their experience traveling to Temple Square and buying the goat at the Giving Machine to share with Pitts’ grandparents. Pitts described her experience with the Giving Machines as a bonding experience for her family, and her grandparents were happy with their gift of a donation. 

“I think it was probably one of the best gifts that we’ve given them, especially because it helps a lot of other people,” Pitts said.

Giving Machine locations can be found on the Church’s website. More information about this year’s Light the World campaign can be found here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email