This fast Sunday, we invite Latter-day Saints everywhere to take advantage of the opportunity to share their testimony of the sanctity of life.
Are you the one who shares their testimony every Sunday (and maybe talks a little too long)?
Or are you the one who slides deeper down into the pew and waits for someone else to break the awkward silence each time?
Well, no matter who you are, this challenge is for you.
“We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.” — “The Family: A Proclamation to the World
The value of each human life, the gift of each baby, and the responsibility of parents and citizens to invite and embrace children into the world is pure doctrine.
(If you’re not sure if this is really doctrine, check out our library of over 300 sources from general conference, Church documents, and scripture that affirm the truth of the sanctity of life.)
Is this okay?
Isn’t this just weaponizing the pulpit for your own right-wing political ideals?
Not at all. Not if you’re purely testifying of true doctrine.
In fact, it’s not just okay; it’s our responsibility.
“What is our responsibility as peaceful disciples of Jesus Christ? Let us live God’s commandments, teach them to our children, and share them with others who are willing to listen.” —Elder Neil L. Andersen, “The Personal Journey of a Child”, April 2021 General Conference
How do I do it?
Here are some helpful dos and don'ts to keep in mind when sharing your testimony about the sanctity of life.
Pray for the Spirit to guide your words.
Strengthen your own testimony of the sanctity of life through prayer, study of God’s word, and/or service.
What to say:
Make a statement of truth. (E.g., “Every human life is sacred”, “Children are a blessing from God.”)
Say “I know…” (E.g., “I know that we lived before this life and that each of us chose to come to earth and gain a body.”)
Say “I testify…” (E.g.,“I testify of the Plan of Salvation and of the importance of coming to earth to gain a body and be born.”)
Say “I believe…” (E.g., “I believe that God wants us to bring children into this world and protect the children He sends.”)
Keep it simple. Testimonies in Church should be short and respectful of others’ time, allowing others to share their testimonies.
Have faith and boldness in declaring true doctrine.
Be loving and mindful of the audience.
Share your brief experience of gaining a testimony of the sanctity of life.
Don’t overshare about highly personal, graphic, or frightening details.
Don’t dwell on sin, fear, or darkness.
Don’t prepare and/or give an unscheduled talk.
Don’t dive into politics.
Don’t fear man more than God.
Maybe the idea of talking about this hot-button topic makes you nervous. (Maybe the idea of giving your testimony in church at all makes you nervous.)
Have faith. If you pray to have the Spirit, the Lord will guide your words. Your job is simply to testify. The Spirit will confirm your words. And how others may react is their choice.
Take courage from this passage from Elder Gene R. Cook:
“First, you can stand up for the truth wherever you are, at all times, and in all places. Sometimes our members are fearful to speak up for the truth in clubs, associations, or even, at times, among members of the Church. As the Lord has said, it should be done with boldness but not overbearance. Speak out for the Lord and for his prophet on the vital issues of the day.
“For example, I know of a woman, a good woman, who found herself in a very challenging situation. She was at a luncheon with a number of members of the Church; some were active and some inactive; and also a few nonmembers were present. The subject turned to abortion and birth control, and one of the nonmembers voiced for about five minutes some very strong feelings concerning these issues. She indicated, erroneously, that she felt that there is nothing wrong with an abortion, and that there should never be any kind of restriction placed on a man or a woman concerning birth control itself. This good sister in the Church was faced with a difficult challenge of whether to talk about the weather or some other noncontroversial subject, or whether to really speak out and state the truth. This choice woman chose to do the latter. After explaining what the Lord had said concerning both of those issues, she bore her testimony as to her personal feelings. As you might expect, the luncheon concluded rather abruptly. However, afterwards one of the inactive women came over to this good sister and explained that she had never before understood the Lord’s view on those issues and had felt the truth being spoken on that day.
“Feel free, when prompted, my brothers and sisters, to bear your testimony of those principles that you know to be true. Sincere feelings conveyed from heart to heart by means of testimony convert people to the truth where weak, wishy-washy, argumentative statements will not.”
Are you in?
Do you accept the challenge? Let us know! And we’d love to hear your experience afterward. Email us at email@example.com.