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LDS Church initiative encourages people of all faiths to serve others this Christmas

Posted 5:00 p.m. Wednesday

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched its Christmas initiative with the video "LIGHTtheWORLD." The initiative begins Dec. 1 with a worldwide day of service and encourages people everywhere to give service daily in the 25 days leading to Christmas. YouTubers like Stuart Edge, What’s Inside and Shonduras will all join in on the campaign by releasing videos in conjunction with the initiative.

The video released November 25 explores the juxtaposition of two scriptures in the New Testament. In John 8:12, Christ says that, "I am the light of the world." However, in Matthew 5:14 we read, "Ye are the light of the world." The goal of the initiative is encourage all to follow Christ’s example and spread his light and love during the Christmas season. Illustrating this idea, the video shows clips of the Savior sharing light during his earthly ministry immediately followed by clips of modern day examples of serving in the same way the Savior did.

"These are very simple things that the Savior has provided the example," Elder David A. Bednar, an LDS apostle, explained in an introduction of the initiative. "And we, in a very appropriate, simple way during this Christmas season, can do the same things that He did. He healed the blind. We can help the blind to see. We might, for example, read a story to someone in a nursing home who cannot see. Doesn't take a lot of time, but a small, simple act of service that exemplifies the Light of Christ."

A service advent calendar was released with the video. For each day leading up to Christmas, one of the ways the Savior served during his mortal life is listed with ideas of how to emulate him in a daily act of service. These small acts range from posting a favorite scripture on social media to donating items to the local food bank.

The video will be published in 33 languages and is available with the service calendar on Mormon.org.

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