There is a commandment I didn’t know about. I found it in Malachi and 3 Nephi. I think the reason I never paid attention to it is because it starts in the verse after the commandment to pay tithing, and paying tithing is powerful and emotional. The next commandment is about the words we speak, which may not seem so powerful or emotional. Both commandments follow the same pattern and are stated as conversations with the Lord.


Lord: “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me.
Person: “Wherein have we robbed thee?
Lord: “In tithes and offerings” (Malachi 3:8, 3 Nephi 24:13).


Lord: “Your words have been stout against me.” (Stout in scripture language means obstinate and uncompromising.)
Person: “What have we spoken so much against thee” (Malachi 3:13)?
Lord: “Ye have said: It is vain to serve God. What doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts? We call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered” (Malachi 3:14-15; 3 24:14-15).

Did you already know that speaking of the Lord was a commandment? I did not. I thought it was a good thing to do, but not that it was a commandment and certainly not a commandment that comes with glorious promises.

Speaking stoutly against the Lord includes taking the Lord’s name in vain, criticizing His appointed leaders, speaking lightly of the sacred, and speaking ill to or about His children (our brothers and sisters). President Nelson gave examples of “your words have been stout against me” in his April 2023 conference talk, “Peacemakers Needed.” A few of the many he mentioned are: belittling, bullying, condemning, contending, controlling with anger, defaming, finding fault, and insulting. (

I know of a multi-talented woman whose gifts she freely used to bless others. In one multi-stake performance, she played two different instruments and sang. In all three of her parts, something went wrong. She felt terrible because she hadn’t performed as well as she normally did. She felt even worse when a man said to her, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Insulting a child of God is insulting God.

Perhaps the two most common ways to speak for the Lord is doing missionary work and sharing testimony. But speaking for the Lord can be part of everyday life. In the same talk, President Nelson listed examples. Here are a few: being compassionate, encouraging, respectful, building others up, burying weapons of war, being in tune with the Spirit, being civil, decent, dignified, and long-suffering.

I know a man, Edward, who was called to be the ward activities leader. He felt overwhelmed at the call because the previous ward activity leader had extraordinary gifts. He could transform the cultural hall into a scene from a movie. The linger longers he hosted were like buffets at a five-star hotel. So with trepidation, Edward and his wife got the committee together. One committee member volunteered to bring meats and cheeses, another the fruit, another veggies, another brownies. On that Sunday, each committee member brought a dinner-size plate of whatever they had volunteered to bring. There was not nearly enough food for an entire ward. Edward and his wife panicked and raced home to see what they could find in their refrigerator and cupboards. (Because they don’t shop on Sundays, going to the store was not an option.) Among the things they took back to the ward were potato chips, grapes, and graham crackers. When most everyone was gone the previous activity leader came to Edward, patted him on the back and said, “Good job. I never thought of graham crackers.” Praising a child of God is praising God.

After I became aware of this commandment, I searched the scriptures and found it repeated over and over again. Prophets are commanded to open their mouths and speak of the Lord. Enos, the son of the prophet Jacob, went to hunt beasts in the forest and remembered: “The words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart” (Enos 1:3, italics added). Moroni describing the order of the church said: “The church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls” (Moroni 6:5, italics added). The Apostle Paul said to the Romans: “To all that be in Rome…, I thank my God through Jesus Christ… that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:7-8, italics added).

There are many reasons to speak of the Lord:

To bring unity

  • “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and thatthere be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
  • “We speak before God in Christ…. lestthere be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults (2 Corinthians 12:19-20).
  • “Sanctifythe Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you…. Having a good conscience that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ “(1 Peter 3:15-16).

To testify

  • “Speak concerning the doctrine of Christ” (2 Nephi 31:2).
  • “Speak of the atonement of Christ” (Jacob 4:12).
  • “Take upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:21).
  • “There is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ… whereby man can be saved…. And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:20, 26).
  • After you receive the Holy Ghost “you can speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel” (2 Nephi 31:13).
  • “If any man speak, let him speakas the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth” (1 Peter 4:11).

The commandment also tells us how frequently we should speak of the Lord. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another” (Malachi 3:16 and 3 Nephi 24:16, italics added). Everyone with the Internet and a little tech-savviness can speak of the Lord often by sharing a spiritual thought, quote, or link to a podcast. A friend in our ward sends daily emails with uplifting quotes or scripture to her family and friends.

Come, Follow Me is an opportunity to speak of the Lord often as individuals, families, and in Sunday School and Primary classes. Every lesson in the manual suggests we respond to questions and share feelings: A statement in Come, Follow Me, 2024, page 73 reads: “Make sure your discussions focus on the foundational doctrine in the scriptures. You can do this by reading scriptures together and then sharing with each other the truths you find, as well as experiences with living these truths.” As my husband and I have asked each other the questions, we have learned more about each other’s feelings and testimonies.

You can speak of the Lord often to the person next to you on a plane. You can speak to fellow employees in a natural manner about your Church calling or what you discussed in Sunday School. You can give a Book of Mormon to a neighbor. You can speak of the Lord often as you drive carpool.

A missionary leaving from our ward spoke about a carpool he was in for years. The driver was the ward music director. She always had a stack of hymnbooks in her van and frequently asked the children to sing a hymn with her. I recently read an article about a woman who was receiving hospice care. One of her friends called and asked what she could do to help. She answered: Come over and let’s talk about Jesus.”

The command not to speak stoutly against the Lord includes thinking about Him as well. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another… and… thought upon his name.” The promises to those who think and speak of the Lord often in love and reverence are promised:

  • The Lord will hearken and hear your words
  • Your name will be written in a book of remembrance as one who feared the Lord and thought upon his name
  • The Lord of Hosts will say: “They shall bemine in that day when I make up my jewels.” (This promise is repeated in Doctrine and Covenants 102:3: “I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.)
  • “I will sparethem, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
  • “Then shall ye… discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:16-18; 3 Nephi 24:16-18).

Most assuredly, these are blessings to be desired. I want the Lord to hear and answer my prayers; I pray my name will be in the Lord’s book of remembrance; I hope to be one of His jewels. And, is there anything more important than having the gift of discernment to help protect us from evil people, places, and ideas. May we speak for Him and of Him freely and fervently, openly and often, all the while pondering His magnificent ways.

For more Book of Mormon insights from Marilynne, get your copy of her book, Resurrecting the Book of Mormon: 65 Days of Miracles.