Monday, July 9, 2012

Coming to Ourselves

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service, by Robert D. Hales
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

I had a hard time in sacrament meeting yesterday. The beginning of the end was when the bread tray arrived.

I tried to help my three-yr-old prepare for the sacrament by reminding him to touch only one piece of bread, and to eat the one he touched. You see, he frequently chooses a piece of bread, starts to pick it up, sees another piece he wants, drops the first to grab the second, etc. (repeating any number of times until he finds just the right piece—likely the biggest).

NOTE: consider the following two things in his defense: 1.) the bread pieces are torn larger than usual, and 2.) our ward uses homemade bread that tastes amazing! It's easy to understand why a small child would fall into habits described above.

Well, this time, I withdrew the bread tray and took the first piece he had touched for him. As I passed the tray along, my son refused to eat the bread and even threw it into the aisle.

I don't remember exploding; I think I calmly tried to get him to be reasonable (from my perspective). Regardless, the rest of the meeting seemed to be out of my control.

Elder Hales' talk is titled, "Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service." In it, he advises on how to, like the prodigal son, come to ourselves through enjoying the blessings of the gospel. As I read his words today, I remembered my failed attempt of meaningful sacrament worship yesterday. In fact, I wanted to argue that in order to reach the desired result, the talk shouldn't be "Coming to Ourselves," but "Coming by Ourselves!"

What parent isn't sometimes caught dreaming of having enough time alone to pursue meaningful self-indulgent progress? (At least I hope other parents are sometimes as selfish as I too-often am!)

I've thought about what I can do to have more meaningful sacrament [and other] experiences, and I note that I have room for improvement. But when I'm discouraged and feel like a failure—even a small failure—I wonder if I'm even on the right path!

Here's what Elder Hales had to say about that:

We are on the right path when we can say, "I worthily partake of the sacrament each week, I am worthy to hold a temple recommend and go to the temple, and I sacrifice to serve and bless others."

Having read that, I'm happy to report "I'm trying!"

If I keep trying, before long we might have more peaceful—and quiet—sacrament experiences as a family.

Perhaps then someone will purposely sit behind us on Sunday...

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