So, yesterday I was going through my journal, looking for tidbits to use for the BYU series I’m working on, when I came across this entry from my first semester at BYU:
“Sunday, March 4, 2001
I went to the LDS sacrament meeting today. … Today was fast Sunday, and people are allowed to come to the podium and bear their testimonies. So I came forward. I was shaking so badly. When it was my turn to come, I started to talk about how I’d gotten into some bad fights with my dad when I was in ninth grade, and how he’d tell me that no one would love me, that no other parents would want me because I was such a rotten child. But what Dad didn’t understand was that Jesus wanted me, and that He loves me, and He had a plan for me. And I quoted Jeremiah 29:11-13. I was crying so badly.
Afterwards, people said so many nice things about my testimony. Everyone asked me to repeat what verse it was I quoted. [One girl] gave me such a nice note, and even Hales said he was impressed with the fact that God loves us. Several girls said they were thankful for my testimony, and one girl said I was an example to her. [My roommate] Liz told me later on that she didn’t think there was a single person in that room who hadn’t been touched by my testimony. Someone told me that some girls had been talking about how ironic it was that they’d felt the Spirit more during my testimony than anybody else’s; any of the members, that is.”
That was the second time that I’d gotten up in an LDS testimony meeting and spoken, and I’d forgotten all about what a good experience it was and what a positive reaction I got from the LDS students who heard me. See how important journaling is? Without it I’d have completely forgotten all the emotion that came with this experience.
But apart from that, the thought hit me: us evangelicals are always looking for ways to reach out to Mormons. The first Sunday of the month at LDS churches is Fast & Testimony meeting, where your LDS neighbors will allow anyone in the congregation to approach the pulpit and speak to the congregation. So… why don’t we just go to their churches on the first Sunday of the month, walk up to the pulpit and say whatever the hell we want to say?
Now now, I’m not suggesting that you disrupt their services. Don’t say stuff like “I know Joseph Smith was an adulterous pedophile, and I know this church is a foul non-Christian cult” or anything stupid like that. Mention that you’re an evangelical Protestant though, share something God has done in your life which won’t offend them, and let that be enough. Not only is there a good chance someone will be moved by your presence there, they’ll probably be happy you did it and want to talk with you after the service. They’ll probably just want to try to convert you, but there’s a chance you’ll be the one making them think.
I did it again today, and I’m glad I did. I could not hang around afterward since I was busy running my daughter up to the nursery, so I did not get to talk with very many people, but I’m glad I did it. Maybe I’ll do it again in six months to a year.