In the wake of the elections, we will find ourselves in conversations – political, cultural, economic – with people of opposing viewpoints.  Consider them opportunities to mention the Church.

Spirited discussions gravitate to the micro – the deep dig to find that unassailable piece of evidence that triumphantly wins the day.  Finding ourselves in such a discussion, we should, rather, move toward the macro – take a step back, introduce a broader picture, a new perspective.

Provide the why more than the what of your point of view.

I suggest a statement such as, “The reason for my position comes from my belief that this life is Act Two of a Three-Act play.” 

You are now on a different plane and have the chance to describe why you came to believe as you do – not to win an argument, but simply to explain.  You can then springboard to related Church doctrine as appropriate. 

Our Heavenly Father reserved some of His choicest spirits to come to earth in these latter days.  Not all of them can be born into families who are already members.  But somehow, deep inside, they will resonate to what they were taught before coming to the earth.  They may not articulate it, but the spirit inside them is looking for a home for what they already believe.

Our opportunity is to expose them to those beliefs.

A national study a few years ago found that 28% of all Americans believe they lived with God in heaven before coming to the earth.  We members constitute two of those 28 points.  In other words, for every one of us who believes in the pre-earthly existence, there are 13 others who also believe but have not found a home for it. 

What an opportunity!  And there are many others like it.  But we will not activate such buried beliefs by arguing.  While the world organizes posses, let’s show off the bicycle.  (You older folks can explain that one to your kids.)   

Let’s take the higher road and view the current strife and tension as opportunities to help the Church come out of obscurity.    

We help people most by planting ideas.

Gary Lawrence is a political pollster and the author of “The Magnificent Gift of Agency; To Act and Not Be Acted Upon” available in Deseret Book stores and at