On the first Sunday of each month, Mormons typically hold "Fast & Testimony Meeting" during their communion service (called Sacrament Meeting). F&T meeting is an open-mike event: after the opening announcements, prayer, song, and communion, people are free to stand up and "bear their testimony" about anything, with emphasis generally on Jesus, Joseph Smith, Thomas Monson (current church president), the Book of Mormon, etc. (Mormons will be fasting today to try to push God into helping pass Prop 8, just so you know.)

If you're a No on 8 Mormon in California (or in AZ or FL), go to church today and please "bear your testimony" about the harm Prop 8 and similar propositions will cause. I can GUARANTEE that the bulk of testimonies borne today will have to do with "saving marriage" by voting for Prop h8.

I'm really sorry I didn't realize what day it is until now; but as I'm 9 hours ahead of California here in France, hopefully some of you will see this in time to act!

Check local listings for locations and times of services. You can also go to LDS.org and use their "find a meetinghouse" interactive map feature, which includes meeting times. (Usually the "worship service" referred to is Sacrament/Fast & Testimony meeting.) A couple of related points:

  1. Remember that Daylight Saving Time ended overnight! (It ended in Europe last week.)
  1. Mormon chapels typically house at least two congregations, sometimes as many as four. So if you miss the early service (whether going inside if you're a Mormon, or peacefully demonstrating outside if you're not), don't worry, there will be more!

Please note that I am NOT encouraging non-members to crash the meeting. Such a tactic would likely backfire, and given the volatility of the issue, I can well imagine that local Mormon leaders will be on the lookout today for ringers and may in fact prevent people they don't recognize from speaking. Some congregations may opt not to have a normal Fast & Testimony meeting today but devote the entire time to pro-8 propagandizing. (Such blatant politicizing from the pulpit often turns off people who are supportive of whatever the church is pushing... they expect to hear the gospel when they come to church.--But I digress.)

If you are a member of the church, even if you haven't been there in years, you have a right to be there, and a right to bear your testimony about the harm that Prop 8 will be inflicting on you, your neighbors, your family members... and even on the church itself.

For No on 8 non-Mormons, I suggest (weather permitting) that you hold your own "testimony meeting" outside every LDS meetinghouse but as close as you can legally get. Bring a sound system if you can. Further, just for a touch of irony, here -- I encourage you to DRESS LIKE THE MORMONS do when they go to church: conservative attire (men in white shirts & ties, women in dresses). Tell your stories in measured tones. Have your meeting interspersed with songs (or better yet, good old liberation hymns). Make this parody of what's going on inside as obvious as you can.

And be prepared to engage the Mormons when they leave their meetings to go home. In California, this means most will be driving. (I do not know what the rules are for putting flyers on cars in Mormon parking lots, but remember that it's private property, and yes, I fully expect they will have people guarding the parking lot against just such a possibility.) There will be some people on foot, and depending on the location of the building entrances/exits, your signs will be seen and you will be heard (however briefly).

If you keep ON MESSAGE with your signs and your "testimonies" -- if you focus on the negative impact of this discriminatory, horrible proposition in the lives of REAL PEOPLE, rather than calling the Mormons bigots or making fun of their weird beliefs, you WILL have success with some of them. They may have to make a show of support in church, but they'll be alone in the voting booth. (And while I agree that it would be far better for Mormons who are against this measure to speak up publicly and openly, for some of them this would be too hard to do for a number of reasons.)

Make your presence felt and don't give them any stupid reasons not to pay attention to you (e.g., avoid profanity and vulgarity). Do not give them any reason to be afraid of you! And especially, make sure you emphasize that you are ANTI-PROP 8 and NOT anti-Mormon (even if you are the latter).

May the Force be with you, and may equality for all prevail in California and elsewhere.

PS: No on Prop 4 as well!

Originally posted to mofembot on Sun Nov 02, 2008 at 01:46 AM PDT.

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