Since our meeting schedule changed for the new year, getting the six of us ready for a 9:00 a.m. sacrament meeting has presented a few challenges. But this morning we actually had a few minutes to spare. The kids looked awfully sharp, so I snapped a picture. I wanted to remember that today was Tyler's first day wearing his new (hand-me-down) suit, and Lexi's first day with a ponytail.
As you might imagine, our bunch struggles to stay reverent and respectful during sacrament meeting, which is a family affair. Today the kids were especially unruly, and their tired parents kind of limped through the first hour. Garry and I were happy to send the three oldest kids along to their age-appropriate classes for the next two hours while we attended our adult meetings.
In spite of our often-frazzled church experiences, today I am also remembering that we don't go to church because it is easy or because we always enjoy reverent worship with our kids in tow. We go because it is the right thing to do. We go because we fervently believe in the doctrine and principles being taught. We go because we are nurturing our young family in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love this quote from Elder Russell M. Nelson, an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
"Each member of the Church bears responsibility for the spiritual enrichment that can come from a sacrament meeting. Each should sing with a grateful heart and respond with an audible “amen” at the conclusion of a prayer or a testimony. We personally ponder the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We reflect upon the significance of His suffering at Gethsemane and His Crucifixion on Calvary. At this time, each of us is to “examine himself” (1 Cor. 11:28) and reflect upon personal covenants made with the Lord. At this time, we meditate upon the sacred things of God.
Gratefully, I thank the Lord for the sacrament meeting and all that it has meant in my life. It has repeatedly rekindled my faith and allowed me to renew my covenants from week to week, helping Sister Nelson and me to live and rear our family in the glorious light of the gospel."
So at the end of another Sabbath Day, I'll say "amen" to Elder Nelson's words (full text here). And next week, when our kids are a little too wiggly on noisy on our bench, I'll try to remember them!