Light the World

    “Light the World,” New Era, Dec. 2018, 22–23.

    Light the World

    You don’t need a vending machine to light the world around you.

    Light the World

    Illustration by Kellan Stover

    Last December, Temple Square was packed with visitors during the Christmas season. That wasn’t unusual. But thousands of those visitors were lined up for one reason: vending machines.

    People lined up for hours to buy things like baby wipes, first aid kits, water, food, eyeglasses, and even chickens and goats for people in need. The “purchase” of these items was actually a donation to various charitable organizations. In less than a month, these vending machines generated more than a half-million dollars in donations.

    What did these donations do?

    Eyeglasses! With the support of some of these donations, eye exams and eyeglasses were provided to nearly 2,000 children.

    Goats! Donations bought more than 2,400 of them.

    Chickens! How about 7,800 of them?

    The generosity of Temple Square’s visitors went a long way. But you don’t have to visit Temple Square or wait for a vending machine to appear in order to help others. There are many other things you can do now to help light the world, light the community, light your family, or light your faith that don’t require you to spend a penny.

    Check out some of these ideas:

    Four areas where you can light the world

    No vending machine required

    1. Inside Your Front Door

    Surprise your parents by doing a chore without being asked or expecting a reward. Prepare a meal for your family. Wash some clothes. Clean the bathroom. Help a sibling with homework. There are always service opportunities at home.

    2. Over the Fence

    Neighbors come in all sorts of varieties. Old or young, kind or grouchy. Some don’t speak your language; others don’t share your beliefs. The Savior also served people who didn’t share His beliefs! Do something helpful for your neighbor. Serve in a shelter or soup kitchen. Volunteer at a hospital. Help with an after-school program.

    3. Around the World

    The humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is called LDS Charities. This organization sponsors projects in 189 countries. Visit to learn about different projects you can support.

    4. On the Other Side of the Veil

    Help others receive salvation by doing family history, attending the temple, and preserving memories through interviews. Visit or download the FamilySearch Memories and FamilySearch Tree apps.