Another noisy Sunday

Sunday for me is always a noisy proposition at best. I hate to say that, but it is the truth. Sacrament meeting is not always a fun thing for me. I find myself getting mad and irritated a lot. I totally understand what everyone is going through. I do. I have been there and done that. I just get irritated that no one else seems to take the preventative measures that help solve the problem. I am so grateful to my parents for all that they taught us growing up with regard to reverence in the chapel. I know we weren’t always perfect, but I appreciate your efforts now as I try to teach my own kids a very important lesson.

I don’t say any of this to point fingers or call out names. I won’t. I simply know that we are all in need of some work in this department to some degree or another. Some of us have a longer way to go than others. I don’t think there is any level of work that is an insurmountable task.

Let me clarify that I don’t expect absolute silence. I don’t. I do expect to be able to hear all of the speakers. I do expect to be able to have some sort of quiet while the sacrament is being passed. I do expect to be able to feel the spirit and have that calming that comes with the “day of rest.”

For us, reverence is not expected…it is required. Expected leaves some sort of leeway there. I don’t want any. If you can’t be reverent, you’re out of there! Period. That is what the hall is for. Maybe in our ward it would be best served to leave the final overflow area for a cry room to contain the sheer number of criers and fussers and wigglers and leave the chapel for those of us who do expect reverence in the chapel. I, however, fear that this wouldn’t work either. It was just a thought. We just have so many children…so many babies…so much noise…so much fussing…so much wiggling…so many melt downs, etc. It really does detract from the meeting. It really does make it difficult.

I’m not trying to be preachy. That’s not the point. The point is that when my 11 year old niece turns to me in sacrament meeting and says, “it is sad that you have 6 kids all by yourself under control, but everyone else is having problems controlling their 2 or 3 kids.” That was not needled or prompted. She observed and drew that conclusion her self in just a couple of months of being with us this summer. Yes, that’s right folks an 11 year old recognized the lack of reverence in sacrament meeting. Maybe we should all take note and take actions to help find a solution for this.

I know for myself, it isn’t always perfect. I do know that Lance can and will sit through sacrament meeting now at just shy of his 5th birthday so there is HOPE that it will happen. He’s been sitting through sacrament meeting without incident for a few months now. Do I still occasionally have to take him out? Yes! He’s 4, I expect that. I do know that by 12 they can and do sit still, but wouldn’t it be nice if they could do it long before then?

I know that I would be hard pressed to get my parents to attend sacrament meeting with us again any time soon. They did that on Easter Sunday. Their observations were no different than my 11 year old niece’s observation of the lack of reverence. How sad is it when my parents don’t want to attend church with their grandchildren on an occasional basis when they are close enough to do so? I don’t think that’s fair to them or the grand children. How do you think they feel when they see others with their extended families gathered around and the sheer thought of doing it themselves brings tinges of frustration?

I know sacrament meeting isn’t about how we feel about others, but maybe it is something that we should consider. We want visitors to feel the spirit. We especially want those who are investigating to feel it. We want the non-member family members visiting with their families to feel the spirit. We truly want those that are inactive and trying to make a come back to feel the spirit. Yes, noise levels during sacrament meeting do impact all of the above. If they are overwhelmed by the noisy, wiggling children…it is a turn off.

So Sunday when you pack your bags full of entertainment, pause and think. If it rattles, maybe it shouldn’t go in the bag. If it squeaks. If it encourages the wrong noise level. If you have 3 kids and they all like that 1 particular style of paper, pack enough for all 3 even if it means 3 tablets of paper. Yes, I’ve had to give pause to some of the really entertaining “quiet” things that go in our bag because Lance will scream out sounds to animate characters and what not. This has been a learning and growing experience trying to keep 6 kids entertained and reverent during sacrament meeting.

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