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Should I Share My Testimony and Doctrine with a Non-Member Spouse or Just Set a Good Example?

Sometimes when we hear the term “share the gospel”, we might imagine ourselves standing on a soapbox preaching to crowds as the early missionaries did in England. Or perhaps we think we need to approach random strangers and tell them about the Church as many current missionaries do in street contacting. Both of those options can feel quite intimidating. We do not need to do either. 

Elder Uchtdorf addressed us about our mortal journey with the gospel saying, “We talk about our journey with others in normal and natural ways. That’s what friends do—they talk about things that are important to them. Things that are close to their heart and make a difference to them. That’s what you do. You tell your stories and experiences as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sometimes your stories make people laugh. Sometimes they bring them to tears. Sometimes they will help people to continue in patience, resilience, and courage to face another hour, another day and come a little closer to God.”1

What better friend do we have than our spouse? It is natural to discuss the things in your heart with friends. You can share your testimony with your spouse in simple ways. Too often we think it has to be like standing up in fast and testimony meeting using formal words. Not so. Simply sharing how grateful you are for the Lord’s special care or tender mercy during the day is sharing your testimony. When you share your heartfelt feelings of the Savior, without feeling like you need to preach to him or her, your spouse will be able to sense your genuine love and appreciation for the Lord. You will still be an example to him or her just through your daily living, but by sharing your sincerest feelings for your Savior, you will add a sweetness and tenderness to the feeling in your home.

There may be times that certain doctrines are blessing you in wonderful ways. If you desire to describe your experience with your spouse, it is perfectly acceptable to explain your understanding of the doctrine that is acting as a buoy to hold you up. We must choose not to have expectations, however. Sharing your feelings with the intent to convert can be frustrating for both parties and even create an aversion to talking about anything of a spiritual nature.

Sometimes, the Spirit will direct you so strongly that you act in a way you would never ordinarily do. For example, one day there was a strange occurrence in our neighborhood with ambulances, firetrucks, and a “police line” tape across the yard. We were curious about what had happened but did not know anything about the family involved. Our mail carrier pulled up to our mailbox and the Spirit spoke to me so strongly that I obeyed before I could even think about it. It told me, “go and pray with her.”

I met her outside and could see she was shaken. She was acquainted with the family and cared about them but had no information about their welfare either. I asked her if she was a praying woman to which she responded that she was. I then asked her if I could pray with her. She agreed. As I began to call on the power of heaven, I felt the most incredible feeling immediately. It felt like a warm protective bubble surrounded us in a spirit of warmth and love. If I felt it, I knew she would have felt it. Our mail carrier has since moved away but I hope that she will always remember that moment and know that her Father in Heaven was aware of her that day when she was so distraught with worry. I would never have dared to do such a thing on my own, but Heavenly Father knew her well and knew what she needed. The Spirit directed and I obeyed. 

There will be moments in your life when the Spirit directs you as well. Heavenly Father knows your spouse better than you do so trust Him, share your love for the Savior and have peace. 

  1. “Your Great Adventure,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference October 2019

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