SACRAMENT MEETING REVERENCE
Some may respond by saying reverence is a private feeling or something we can feel no matter what events are taking place around us. Besides, members of Christ’s church are friendly, aren’t they? They work together, too, and they try to accomplish much in a short time.
While I believe such characteristics are good and represent our love for each other and our dedication to God’s service, and while I also believe we can feel our love for Him even as we are chatting or “catching that person we just have to talk to before we leave the room,” I can’t help wondering. . .
Last summer, I toured a Buddhist temple in
I had these same feelings a year earlier when I entered the Sistine Chapel in
Another thought. The same year I toured
The chapel doors seem to say to me, “Sh, be still.”
For this is a reverent place to be, “Sh, be still.”
We gather here on the Sabbath day,
To learn of Jesus, to sing and pray.
So when we come through the chapel doors, “Sh, be still.”
Similarly, Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone in the September, 1976 Friend, described reverence in this way:
“Reverence during meetings is a very important part of the responsibility we have as members of His true church. We are all impressed with the reverence shown by children in Primary who enter the chapel quietly with arms folded. Their reverence is an example that all members of the Church should appreciate and remember when attending any meetings in the chapel.
“However, reverence is not shown only in the chapel. Boys and girls who have learned how to be reverent do not run up and down the halls or yell and talk loudly inside the church. Reverent people also do not offend or hurt people’s feelings or make fun of others’ clothing or appearance. They try to be kind to everyone they meet.
“At Sunday School and sacrament meeting we have an opportunity to show our Savior how much we love Him by being reverent. It is not reverent to walk in and out of a sacrament meeting while it is in progress. We should get a drink of water and go to the rest room before the meeting begins. It is very disturbing to a speaker when someone leaves. The attention of other members in the congregation is also distracted.
“Determine to be reverent in sacrament meeting by never speaking out loud. Speak in a whisper and then only when it is absolutely necessary. Sing the hymns with your parents. Children have beautiful voices and it adds much to the meeting when they sing. It is appropriate to take the sacrament with your right hand. And during the administration and passing of the sacrament, we should try to think of the Savior.
“Boys and girls who have smaller brothers and sisters should not tease them. They should not keep asking their mothers or fathers to let them take these little ones out. Your brothers and sisters and often older people can learn how to be reverent by watching your behavior.”
I welcome Elder Featherstone’s depiction of reverence. It’s not only simple, but it also teaches us exactly how we should behave without ignoring the fact that reverence is a feeling. However, what I appreciate most about it is it gives me hope that we Latter-day Saints can follow the Austrians’ example and leave our outside cares in the entry way before we walk through those sacred doors. That way, we, too, can see and hear and feel reverence; we can more fully worship the True and Living God.
Another Helpful Article:
“How We Improved Reverence”