Sunday, September 16, 2012

40 Days For Life Campaign A Worthy Pro-Life Endeavor For Involvement By Mormons

The life of the average active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints revolves considerably around the local ward. In heavily-Mormon areas such as Utah and Southeast Idaho, this can cause many LDS members to become insular and develop tunnel vision despite their best efforts. Not even a two-year stint in the mission field may necessarily cure this syndrome, since a full-time mission is still "all-Mormon all the time".

Here's an opportunity for Mormons to break out of that insular mode and interact with other people in the community -- all for a worthy political cause. The 40 Days For Life campaign begins nationwide on September 26th and continuing until November 4th. This campaign -- the 11th on record -- will be the largest and longest internationally coordinated pro-life mobilization in history; it will encompass 49 US states, Washington, DC, seven Canadian provinces, Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Uganda. Some of their previous successes include 69 abortion workers quitting their jobs and walking away from the abortion industry, and 24 abortion facilities completely shutting down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns.

The complete list of locations is available HERE. Note that most of the vigils will take place outside of Planned Parenthood facilities.

Although an activist can simply show up at a designated time and place, 40 Days For Life prefers that you register an account like on this vigil calendar so you can sign up for a particular time block. Since some pro-life advocates are under frequent attack by the Southern Poverty Law Center, 40 Days For Life also asks you to certify your agreement with the following pledge:

I testify to the following:

1. I will only pursue peaceful solutions to the violence of abortion when volunteering with the 40 Days for Life campaign

2. I will show compassion and reflect Christ’s love to all abortion facility employees, volunteers, and customers

3. I understand that acting in a violent or harmful manner immediately and completely disassociates me from the 40 Days for Life campaign

4. I am in no way associated with the abortion facility/Planned Parenthood or its affiliates by way of employment, informant, volunteer, client, or otherwise

While standing in the city right of way in front of the abortion facility:

5. I will not obstruct the driveways or sidewalk while standing in the public right of way

6. I will not litter on the public right of way

7. I will closely attend to any children I bring to the prayer vigil

8. I will not threaten, physically contact, or verbally abuse the abortion facility/Planned Parenthood employees, volunteers, or customers

9. I will not vandalize private property

10. I will cooperate with local city authorities

Although the primary purpose in showing up for one of their vigils is to represent THEIR cause, a secondary purpose can be to capitalize upon opportunities to share the fulness of the Gospel as they arise. It's best to wait until asked, but invariably, one of your fellow activists will ask you about your church, and that gives you the opportunity to introduce them to Mormonism. Don't try to spam them with all the missionary discussions at once; answer their questions one at a time. Also be conversant on the official LDS position on abortion, in which abortion is permissible for life or health reasons, and in the case of rape and incest.

Remember, a Roman Catholic's faith is just as sacred to a Catholic as ours is to us.

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