We recently had a Family Home Evening that I’ve been meaning to write about, not because it was remarkable, but because I want to remember what we talked about and have a place to keep each of our goals written down.
Three separate talks prompted the lesson we shared with our kids – Elder Russell M. Nelson’s talk from April General Conference entitled “The Sabbath Is a Delight”, a talk given by our Stake President Guy Hicks at regional conference about showing more reverence during Sacrament Meeting, and a talk given by a woman in Texas which I heard while visiting Ronalin a few weeks ago about choosing to get more out of the Sacrament Meeting hour at church.
We started out with an object lesson to get the kids’ attention (especially Oliver). I had three items on the table – a gallon of water, a small cup and a large bucket. I asked them to imagine they had gone all week without water. They would probably be pretty thirsty. Then I told them on the seventh day, I would bring them water. They had to decide which vessel they would choose to receive their water in: the cup or the bucket. Of course they all wanted the bucket. I poured the cup full and gave it to one child. Then I filled the bucket with the rest of the water and gave it to another.
Analogy time! I explained to the kids that each week we go six days without the concentrated worship of Sacrament Meeting. On the seventh day, when we come to that meeting, the Lord is ready to fill our buckets with living water (John 7:38, John 4:10) if we come with the right mindset and attitude. But when we only show up with a small cup to receive it, we certainly won’t quench our spiritual thirst. We have to decide each week if we’re going to bring a cup or a bucket.
As a family we set goals to help us get more out of our Sacrament Meeting worship. Some of the goals are:
- Prepare on Saturday with prayer to be ready to receive the Lord’s instruction and will the next day.
- Don’t overwork or stay up too late on Saturday, thus making ourselves too tired to be fully present on Sunday.
- Be in our seats, listening quietly to the prelude music at least five minutes before the meeting begins.
- Use the restroom and get a drink before the meeting begins (Oliver).
- Take notes in a journal on the talks given or testimonies borne.
- Sing each hymn with worshipful intent.
- Do not touch our siblings.
- Do not use technology in the Chapel.
- Have conversations with other ward members in the foyer instead of the Chapel to help maintain reverence.
The idea that what we get out of our worship service is a personal choice we make really resonates with me. I have spent a long time wrangling small children in church. They are all grown to a point now where they can listen and so can I. I am excited for this new stage in our Sunday worship. I’ll write more about the Sabbath part of this FHE on Monday.
[Picture is the most recent family photo we have. Taken a month ago when saying goodbye to the remarkable Elder Seal]