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Millions of people around the world participated in the “Light the World” initiative during the Christmas season. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched the online initiative November 25 on mormon.org to invite people around the world to follow Jesus Christ’s example by serving others.
“We believe the campaign did accomplish what we were hoping — that people would not simply learn more about the Savior, but rather learn about Him by doing what He did,” said Elder David A. Bednar of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“It was simple. It invited people to act in very meaningful ways, and it highlighted the true spirit of Christmas,” said Elder Bednar.
A report released by the Church’s Missionary Department shows the videos, produced in 33 languages, received nearly 83 million views in 194 countries and territories before the campaign ended on January 1, 2017.
The main “Light the World” video captured nearly 41 million views. Videos produced to promote a 25-day advent calendar, “In 25 Ways, Over 25 Days,” picked up more than 38 million views. A preview video posted in November received nearly 3.6 million views.
“I hope we learned through 25 ways in 25 days that service is not restricted to 25 days in December. It should be just as important in June as it is during the Christmas season,” expressed Elder Bednar.
The Spanish versions of the videos were the most popular, with nearly 39 million views, followed by English with 25 million views and more than 18.5 million views in Portuguese.
“This campaign truly was international in its scope and in its reach, and it’s a message that was received all over the earth,” added the Mormon apostle. “It lent itself to being customized in different areas of the world — in Asia, in Africa — to meet the needs of those people.”
“I think people are looking for ways, especially around Christmas, to leave behind some of the commercialism and really get back to why we celebrate the season. And this campaign seemed to resonate that way as well,” said Greg Droubay, media director for the Church’s Missionary Department.
The calendar kicked off with a worldwide day of service on December 1. Simple suggestions on how to emulate Christlike behavior were provided daily leading up to Christmas Day, December 25. On the final day, those joining in were invited to turn some of the “25 Days” ideas into New Year’s resolutions.
Many participants were excited to share videos and their experiences on their social media channels using the hashtag #LIGHTtheWORLD. The initiative reached more than 269 million people on Twitter and nearly 97 million on Facebook. The Church’s “Light the World” posts received more than 2.1 million likes on Facebook.
The “Light the World” website was published in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The Christmas initiative also featured billboards in New York City’s Times Square, South Africa and other locations.
“We learn invaluable lessons with each of these campaigns,” explained Elder Bednar. “We have one each Easter, each Christmas. So what we’ll do is incorporate what we’ve learned going forward. Stay tuned, and keep watching for what’s coming.”