I’m not going to lie. Having children makes getting a lot out of sacrament meeting difficult at times. When you have a two and a half year old who loves to run out into the isle or has a temper tantrum right as the sacrament is being blessed, it can be difficult to focus on the savior.
That’s why I appreciated Elder Meurs suggestions for getting more out of the sacrament experience.
In particular, I valued the focus on preparing for the sacrament before church on Sunday. I can do more the day before and throughout the week to be mindful of my imperfections and to focus on how I can improve. I can do more to make sure that I always remember the savior. And that can happen even if kids make it impossible to focus during the passing of the sacrament.
With kids it’s also natural to wonder if anything you are doing makes a difference. Sometimes you wonder if it’s all in vain and if there’s just no point of trying to get them to sit still or to go to church. I therefore loved the story he began with:
“One of my earliest memories is of sacrament meetings held in our home in Warrnambool, Australia. Between 10 and 15 people attended our branch, and my father, one of three priesthood holders, regularly had the opportunity to bless the sacrament. I remember the feelings I had as he humbly and carefully read the words of the sacrament prayers. Often his voice trembled as he felt the Spirit. He sometimes had to pause to control his emotions before completing the prayer.
As a five-year-old, I could not understand the full meaning of what was being said or done; however, I knew something special was occurring. I could feel the calm and reassuring influence of the Holy Ghost as my father contemplated the Savior’s love for us.”
I love the reassurance that if we approach the sacrament with awe and reverence, our children with instinctively know that it is sacred. If we set the example, then in time they will develop the same attitudes towards the ordinance.