Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles introduced The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Christmas initiative in a press release and video posted by Mormon Newsroom on Wednesday. The initiative, which is set to begin on Nov. 25 and will run through Jan. 1, 2017, invites all to share the light of Jesus Christ.
“It’s the Christmas season,” Elder Bednar said. “We have lights — all kinds of lights on our houses, on our trees, on our dining tables. So if we link those wonderful traditions with the source of truth, even Christ as the source of light, it just made great sense to all of us that that would be the theme we would employ this year.”
Elder Bednar explained that the initiative is inspired by two scriptures from the New Testament, as well as a quote by President Thomas S. Monson. In the first scripture found in John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” However, in Matthew 5:14, during the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior told his disciples, “Ye are the light of the world.” The initiative will invite people everywhere to share the light of Christ by doing the simple things the Savior did during his earthly ministry.
“As we follow the example of the Savior and live as he lived and as he taught, that light will burn within us and will light the way for others,” President Thomas S. Monson said in his October 2015 general conference address.
A downloadable advent calendar, “In 25 Ways. Over 25 days,” will provide ideas for ways to serve as the Savior did, while 25 short videos offering daily ideas for service will be shared on social media throughout the initiative.
“The whole purpose of this initiative is to celebrate and share the light of Christ,” Elder Bednar said. “What we hope people will do is not simply think about the Savior during this Christmas season, or even just learn more about him. What we hope is that they will come to know him by doing what he did.”
A video introducing the initiative will be released on Nov. 25. It will be released in 33 languages. Additionally, the initiative will be advertised in New York City’s Times Square; Salt Lake City; Los Angeles; Johannesburg, South Africa; Philippines and Mexico.
Releasing holiday initiatives has become a tradition for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and something that its members look forward to each year.
“The church’s Missionary Department has been sponsoring Christmas and Easter initiatives for the past several years to reach broader audiences with the church’s message that Jesus Christ was born, lived, died and was resurrected to save all mankind,” a press release on Mormon Newsroom said.
Last year’s Christmas initiative video was viewed more than 50 million times, according to the press release.