Yesterday my wife received her latest Deseret Book promotional broshure. Inside on page 7 was a full-page ad (President Monson’s biography only gets half a page) for a spiral-bound book titled: . . . . . The Testimony Glove. “Use the glove, feel the Spirit, and remember all the lessons of life!” A glove is included with every book.
The cover of the book has a father looking proudly at his daughter as she displays her testimony glove. According to DB:
It is never too early for parents and teachers to help children gain a testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. In The Testimony Glove, young Latter-day Saints learn what a true testimony is and can practice sharing their testimonies by using the enclosed glove and pictures that attach to the end of each finger. There are pictures representing Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith with the Book of Mormon, the temple, and President S. Monson.”
And then, if that isn’t bizarre enough, there is a insert proclaiming proudly that “Royalties from the sale of this book assist in providing testimony gloves to children in developing countries.” (I would suggest a better alternative would be giving the money to LDS Humanitarian Services.)
I’m definitely not in favor of children baring their (or their parents) testimonies in the first place. But providing memory aids to very young children seems so very wrong. Children should be given the chance to develop their faith, not encouraged to perform rote recitations in public.
“The Latter-day Snark” suggests that the gloves gave him a “Michael Jackson flashback moment” and are “cheat sheets for things that are supposed to come from the heart.”
Hopefully, my children’s faith is their own and not something drilled into them by their parents.
Other comments by me about Fast and Testimony Meeting can be found at: https://rogerdhansen.wordpress.com/?s=fast+and+testimony and https://rogerdhansen.wordpress.com/2006/12/04/embracing-spiritual-doubt/