Light the World with Christmas spirit
Teaching his children the true meaning of Christmas has always been important to missionary David Moss.
For more than two decades his family would go carolling, handing out cookies baked especially for their neighbours during the holiday season.
“It was wonderful and a real family affair,” he said. “It was an opportunity for me to go outside of myself to help them see the joy of doing things for others, and helping them feel the Christmas spirit.
“It was also an opportunity for us to reach out to old acquaintances who we may have lost touch with throughout the year. I feel the holidays are a good time to visit, talk with friends and reconnect. We also made every effort to get our children involved so they could see that Christmas isn't just about getting, but rather the giving of their time and gifts to others.”
Mr Moss and his wife Cindy moved to the island in autumn to serve with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were immediately excited by, and jumped on board with, Light The World, a church initiative running throughout the month.
“Light The World began on December 1 with a worldwide day of service in which all church members were invited to perform acts of service,” Mr Moss explained. “The focus of the first week was to ‘light the world' — because Jesus' love knew no bounds, we were to discover ways to help someone in another part of the world.
“Week two's focus was to light our communities, because needs exist all around us; we start in our own communities to make the world a better place.
“The focus for week three is to light our families. During this busiest time of the year, we are encouraged to fill our homes with light by serving those closest to us. Then finally, week four's focus will be to light our faith, by following the light of the world our faith in Jesus Christ will grow brighter and brighter. Throughout the Christmas season we are encouraged to serve as He served; to love as He loved; to give as He gave.”
As Christians learn through the Bible, Jesus devoted much of His ministry to caring for others. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging people to follow His example and find ways to share their time, love, and resources with those in need, Mr Moss said.
The church started the worldwide initiative several years ago.
This year local members amped-up efforts by creating a Facebook page, ‘Light Bermuda', to better spread the word about the scheme.
The hope is to inspire additional acts of service and encourage people living here to share their light with others.
“Over the course of the month local missionaries have been showing Light The World videos to people on the street and in their homes,” Mr Moss said. “This helps them to open up and sparks their interest to learn more about Jesus Christ. It is also a way to use media to reach out to more people. The videos really touch people's hearts and frequently move people to tears.”
Many of the local missionaries and church elders report the initiative has touched their lives and deepened their own faith, claiming it reminds them to truly give as Jesus Christ gave.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partnered this month with Keep Bermuda Beautiful, the environmental charity, to clean plastics, trash and other debris from a beach. Members also sang Christmas carols at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital to bring holiday cheer to patients.
People have also been doing individual acts of service, contributing to a food drive for the needy and carving time out to learn more about God's word.
• Join members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 15 Wilkinson Avenue, Hamilton Parish for a Christmas programme and dinner at 5pm tonight. Bring your favourite Christmas dish to share. For more information visit lighttheworld.org or look for Light Bermuda on Facebook