Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Informal Church

Ben got himself ready for church.
We made it home! There's more snow in Everette, Washington, than there is in Utah! Even though we were snowed in and didn't get to do the things we'd planned, we had a wonderful time. Especially touching for me was having our own church service. We sang, we prayed, and each one of us gave a short talk. It was wonderful to hear my young grandchildren bear testimony of Jesus Christ and of the restoration of the gospel. It was exiting to learn from them. And that reminded me of something I'd read from Elder Henry B. Eyring many years before that I looked up again this morning.

In his book To Draw Closer to God, Elder Eyring tells about how we can learn from anyone in any situation and then he relates the story of a time when he was young and found himself bored during a Sacrament meeting. But as he looked at his father, a highly intelligent academic and a master of the scriptures, he was amazed to see him deeply engrossed in the talk.

When walking home from church with his father, Elder Eyring took the opportunity to ask his father what he thought about the meeting and his father said it was wonderful. Puzzled, Elder Eyring tried to summon the courage to ask how it was wonderful when his father, as if reading his mind, started to laugh. "Hal, let me tell you something. Since I was a very young man, I have taught myself to do something in a church meeting. When the speaker begins, I listen carefully and ask myself what it is he is trying to say. Then, once I think I know what he is trying to accomplish, I give myself a sermon on that subject."  They walked on in silence for a moment and then his father said, "Hal, since then I have never been to a bad meeting."

Since I read that, I've come to realize that I have a responsibility to learn and that no matter who is teaching I can learn if I have the spirit with me. Sunday, in a very informal meeting, I learned from a five year old and a nine year old more about what it means to be a child of God.

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