J. Reuben Clark Law Society
Editing Content
Revert to History:

What Can You Do?

"Be an active participant, not a silent observer."

Elder Quentin L. Cook

There are many things that you can do individually as well as with others to help defend and protect religious freedom.

What Can You Do As An Individual?

Become Educated

  • Study the teachings of living prophets and Apostles regarding religious freedom
  • Notice religious freedom connections in your personal scripture study:
    • Old Testament: Esther (Haman hanged on his own gallows), Daniel, Paul, etc.
    • Book of Mormon: Ammon, Moroni, etc.
    • D&C and Pearl of Great Price: petitions toward government, Joseph Smith story
  • Sign up for free daily law and religion headline emails from BYU's International Center for Law and Religion Studies.
  • Subscribe to podcasts dealing with religious liberty issues.
  • Study websites regarding religious freedom.
  • Become acquainted with different advocacy groups which promote religious liberty
  • Study Supreme Court decisions impacting the free exercise of religion.
  • Read or listen to books addressing religious liberty.
  • Watch a movie on religious liberty.
  • Attend an event or meeting held by another religion to obtain a greater appreciation and understanding of that faith.
  • Determine the area of religious freedom that interests you and focus your efforts in that area. Possibilities include:
    • International issues, including:
      • International human rights
      • International trends in restrictions and social hostility against organized religion
  • Domestic Issues
  • Abuse or erosion of historical protections
  • Legislative, judicial, or administrative aspects
  • Specific subject or practice areas of interest, including:
    • Freedom of expression/freedom of conscience/freedom of speech
    • Educational issues
    • Employment-related issues
    • Tax regulations
    • Zoning restrictions

Inform Others

  • Use Facebook or other social media to "Like" items on the web which promote religious freedom.
  • Use social media to share what religious freedom means to you and why it benefits society.
    • Share articles or videos regarding religious freedom on Facebook or other social networking sites.
    • "Like" an organization that furthers the cause of religious freedom such as the Becket Fund or the LDS Church's "Support Religious Freedom" Facebook page.
    • "Like" news stories addressing religious freedom.
    • "Like" proposed legislation which you feel is beneficial to society.
    • Create a blog or Facebook page that explains concepts of religious freedom or demonstrates why religious freedom is important to you.
    • Post a comment on social media about how religion has made you a better person.
    • Create or join a religious freedom group on Facebook.
    • Create a YouTube video on religious freedom.
  • Comment on blog and news stories regarding religious freedom.
  • Write blog posts, op-eds, articles, or books regarding religious freedom issues.
  • Contribute to the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s Religious Freedom webpage.
  • Talk to friends and family about the importance of religious liberty and the increasing threats to it.
  • Speak out whenever the opportunity arises.

Get Involved in Your Community

Work with others

  • Identify members of your own faith who are concerned about and want to promote religious liberty. Discuss with them things you can do together.
  • Join or attend meetings of other groups dedicated to promoting religious liberty.
  • Volunteer and participate in initiatives sponsored by other faith-based organizations.
  • Build relationships with people of influence. Attend local zoning decisions, city council meetings, and other local meetings even when those meeting may not directly address issues involving religious freedom. Being proactive and building relationships in the community now will be helpful if a religious freedom issue arises later.

Increase Awareness of Religious Freedom in Your Local Community

  • Encourage joint activities between different churches and faiths in your community where people of faith from the different sects may begin to know one another better.
  • Volunteer and participate in initiatives sponsored by other faith-based organizations.
  • Speak out at PTA, school, and church meetings.
  • Sponsor a religious freedom run or other event, and use the proceeds to support an organization that promotes religious freedom.
  • Sponsor a religious freedom festival where people from different religious faiths share an important religious custom, belief, or food.

Political Participation

  • Run for public office or hold others accountable for attitudes about religious freedom.
  • Write your congressperson or senator about legislation that affects religious freedom.
  • Ask your senator or congressperson how he or she plans to defend religious freedom.
  • Lobby for legislation that protects religious freedom.
  • Work to create religious liberty commissions in state and local governments.
  • Donate to candidates or organizations which actively seek to promote religious liberty.
  • Insist that ideas motivated by religious beliefs must not be excluded from the "public square."

Foster Principles of Religious Freedom within the Religious Community

  • Volunteer and participate in initiatives sponsored by other faith-based organizations.
  • Serve a public affairs or Office of General Counsel mission.
  • Teach religious freedom from the scriptures.
  • Hold a family home evening on religious freedom.
  • Write a talk about religious freedom.
  • Teach youth and other individuals about religious freedom in your church activities and programs such as Mutual, Priesthood, and Relief Society.
  • Write an article for the Ensign or Church News about religious freedom.

What Can We Do As Lawyers?

  • Become educated on current legal protections for religious liberty.
  • Present at or help sponsor CLE courses on religious freedom.
  • Serve on (or help create) bar groups which deal with law and religious freedom.
  • Participate in J. Reuben Clark Law Society initiatives.
  • Support NGOs such as the International Center for Law and Religion Studies that promote religious values or ideals.
    • Volunteer to help with conferences on religious freedom.
    • Monitor and report for www.iclrs.org.
    • Provide analysis of cases for websites.
  • Volunteer to help other groups that promote civil liberties locally and abroad.
  • Form your own organization to promote religious liberty.
  • Write articles for bar journals or other publications on interfaith efforts to promote religious freedom.
  • Take a pro bono case or volunteer with an organization that litigates religious freedom cases.

What Can JRCLS Chapters Do?

Is it Worth Your Effort?

  "You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand...only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our 'houses' left unto us 'desolate'-desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations." Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Cost-and Blessings-of Discipleship," Ensign, May 2014 (p.7).

  Remember, there will always be opposition, but your efforts can open (or will help keep open) the door for current and future generations. Consider the following:

  • How would your life be different if William Tyndale had not sought to translate the Bible to English?
  • How would your life be different if people had not immigrated to the American continent in search of a place where they could freely live their religion?
  • How would your life be different if the American Revolutionary War had not been fought and the Constitution and Bill of Rights were not adopted?
  • How would your life have been different if your ancestors as well as others had not been permitted to freely exercise their religion?

  Frequently we cannot see the end result of our efforts. They are important. They can have the effect of helping countless people.