Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Talk for Non-Members

In Elder Joaquin A. Costa's General Conference talk, To the Friends and Investigators of the Church, he shared his conversion story and some advice he has for investigators, including to "read the Book of Mormon and ask the Lord if it is true, and [to] experience repentance and be baptized." The funny thing was that most of his audience had already followed this advice. This was a General Conference talk. Most of the people who listen to General Conference talks are already Mormon. But Elder Costa knew that his fellow Latter-Day Saints weren't the only people who would hear his words. He knew that missionaries had brought investigators. He knew that individuals and families had brought family members and friends. And he knew that there was at least a small chance that some non-member had stumbled upon the satellite or radio broadcast and had felt impressed to listen in. Elder Costa knew that, out of an audience of millions, there were bound to be at least a few hundred non-members, and he addressed his remarks to them.

Now, not many of us get the opportunity to speak for an audience of millions, but we regularly get opportunities to speak for audiences of hundreds, including some non-members and members whose faith could use strengthening. When we speak in Sacrament Meeting, whether we're giving a talk or sharing our testimony, we sometimes forget that there is probably at least one person within the sound of our voice who doesn't yet have as strong a testimony as we have. Perhaps, every so often, we should address our remarks to them.

There are those among us who haven't grown up in the church, whose earliest childhood memories don't include singing Primary songs, who may not even know what "Primary" is. They need our love and support just as much as the rest of the congregation, if not more so. And, more importantly, they need to hear the "Primary/Seminary/Sunday School Answers" that we have all come to know by heart. Those principles have helped us gain the testimonies we have, and they may help others gain testimonies as well. May we, occasionally, follow Elder Costa's example by sharing faith-building advice with those among us who are not yet of our faith.

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