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Video: Light the World takes over Times Square this week

‘The lights of Times Square shared the light of Jesus Christ this Christmas,’ say words printed on the video

SHARE Video: Light the World takes over Times Square this week
A massive billboard in Times Square displays a video from the Light the World initiative in New York City on Nov. 27, 2023.

A massive billboard in Times Square displays a video from the Light the World initiative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New York City on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The massive video billboards in Times Square wiped to black on Monday, then lit back up with a blazing display of a silver-star-filled night sky dominated by a single star shining brighter than all the rest.

How the Christmas scene unfolded across the huge digital billboards, and how Times Square quieted as pedestrians stopped to watch the 30-minute display, is captured in a short new video released Friday morning by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“The lights of Times Square shared the light of Jesus Christ this Christmas,” say words printed on the video.

After the previous messages on the video boards all over Times Square were momentarily wiped away to darkness, the screens suddenly lit up again with the words “Silent night! Holy night!” in multiple languages.

The display played across massive horizontal screens set on top of Times Square shops and restaurants as well as thin, but steeply tall, vertical screens above thousands of pedestrians and the streams of New York taxi cabs in traffic.

Starry gold scenes then took over the video billboards, set against the blue and silver-starred night:

  • The walls of Jerusalem.
  • Joseph walking next to Mary riding a donkey.
  • Mary holding the baby Jesus.
  • Shepherds in the field seeing a new star.
  • Angels in brilliant white appearing to the shepherds.
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People look over the Light The World Giving Machines unveiling on the billboards in Times Square in New York City on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

  • Wise men traveling on camels.
  • Baby Jesus in swaddling clothes with the words, “Christ, the Savior, is born.”
  • The nativity scene with Mary and Joseph kneeling by the Christ child.

Finally, the screens are taken over by short phrases spelled out in silvery words:

“I am the light of the world. — Jesus Christ, John 8:12.”

Then the word light changes into different languages:

Spanish: “I am the Luz of the world.”

French: “I am the Lumière of the world.”

Tagalog: “I am the Liwanag of the world.”

Times Square shoppers on the streets then saw the words, “This Christmas, share His light by letting your light shine.”

The video billboards then showed the Light the World logo followed by the Christus logo of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Light the World initiative is designed to encourage people to share their light and the light of Jesus Christ with others by helping to lift them.

For example, those who want to participate can text the word “Light” to 71234, according to the Light the World website.

  • With each text, you’ll receive one of eight character roles from the Nativity story, along with ideas for sharing your light.
  • Play each role by using the suggestions to help you lift others.
  • When you’re done with one role, text back for another.

The billboard takeover on Monday also followed the separate global launch of the 2023 Light the World Giving Machines campaign.

Giving Machines allow people to donate to charities that benefit their own community or to global charities that provide humanitarian aid worldwide. The Giving Machines raised roughly $6 million last year and have collected about $22 million since 2017.

“I invite you to make room in your heart for those around you who may be struggling to see the light of the Savior and to feel his love,” President Russell M. Nelson has said about Light the World. “No gifts will mean as much as acts of pure love you offer to the lonely, the worn down and the weary. These are gifts that remind us and them of the true reason for the season, the gift of God’s son, Jesus Christ, who was born to cast out all fear and bring everlasting light and joy to all that follow him.”