“Turn the challenge to Light the World one by one every day into a New Year’s resolution”

Can Light the World one by one become a New Year’s resolution?

With my pen in hand hovering over the lined paper, I stared at the entries I’d so carefully written. There were just too many of them. The dozen items on my New Year’s resolutions’ list, sensibly categorized by spiritual, physical, mental, and financial headings, looked the same as previous years.

 “Are they helping me move forward at all?” I questioned. “If my overall goal in life was to draw me closer to the Savior and become like him, how are these resolutions really helping me achieve my purpose?”

So, for the year of 2019, I decided on a new approach. I would select just one resolution from my list. Then a thought came to me. Instead of me choosing one, I would ask the Lord what I needed to focus on, not from my list, but specifically from His list. I was surprised by the answer and how quickly it came.

The desire of trying to be like Jesus shifted my thoughts. Focusing on the Savior’s life and the way He lived the two Great Commandments, to love God and his neighbor, altered my view of New Year’s resolutions. By adding the Lord’s “resolution” specifically for me, upon the foundational gospel principles and practices I have been taught to spiritually fortify me – prayer, fasting, attending church and the temple, reading the scriptures, and so forth – I knew I could come closer to my true goal.

In President Nelson’s October 2019 General Conference address, The Second Great Commandment, he stated, “Giving help to others—making a conscientious effort to care about others as much as or more than we care about ourselves—is our joy. Especially, I might add, when it is not convenient and when it takes us out of our comfort zone. Living that second great commandment is the key to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.”[i]

Light-the-World is such a simple, yet powerful invitation. Daily doable acts of service for another can transform us. This “worldwide movement to touch hearts and change lives by doing the things Jesus did: feeding the hungry, comforting the lonely, visiting the sick and afflicted, and showing kindness to everyone”[ii], can bring the giver and receiver joy.

Can Light the World one by one become a New Year’s resolution? Absolutely! Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. . . Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14, 16).  

So, if you are struggling with New Year’s resolutions, Light-the-world-all-year may be the answer to your dilema. It “is the perfect way to let our light—and His light—shine brightly. . . all year round, for every day is an opportunity to be a little more like Jesus.”[iii]

A Few Ideas:

  1. Calendar – Continue to use and add upon the Light-The-World calendar or create your own with simple ways to serve people.
  2.  Make a List – If you prefer lists, consider creating a list with 31 acts of kindness and repeat it each month. Here are some ideas to help you: 52 Ways to Give Simple, Bite-Sized Service, Youth-Service Ideas List)
  3. Welcome Support and Ask for Help – Remember, sometimes embracing the help of another is part of ministering.
  4. S.M.A.R.T. Goals – A S.M.A.R.T. goal isSpecific-Measurable-Attainable-Realistic-Timely. Consider creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal and place it where you will see it every morning whether on your bathroom mirror, fridge, or as a daily reminder on your phone.  Example: This week I will ask the Lord in daily prayer to guide me to answer the call to minister to the one, confidence to act on the inspiration by promptly recording it, reaching out, and choosing to receive the encouragement and strength I need to follow through.
  5. Focus – Focus on the needs of those around you, your family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, and community.
  6. Family History – For ways to add Family History into your life, check out the Family History Guide’s Index of Activities.  You may also consider checking to see if there a deceased ancestor who needs their work done on Ordinance Ready. If there a neighbor who needs help finding their ancestors or preserving their family history, consider introducing them to FamilySearch.org.
  7. Pray – Every day ask Heavenly Father for greater love toward Him and your neighbor.

“. . .Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.” (Moroni 7:47-48)

[i] Russell M. Nelson, “The Second Great Commandment,” Ensign, Nov 2019, 96.

[ii] ComeUntoChrist.org 2019, Light-the-world, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, https://www.comeuntochrist.org/light-the-world/all-year

[iii] ComeUntoChrist.org 2019, Light-the-world, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, https://www.comeuntochrist.org/light-the-world/all-year