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FHE: Reverence

Shauna Gibby - December 20, 2009

Respect for others and reverence for God are close cousins.

Conference Talk: For more information on this topic read "Respect and Reverence," by Margaret S. Lifferth, Ensign, May 2009, 11-13.

Thought: Respect for others and reverence for God are close cousins. I believe the promises of a prophet. I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father and that His Son, Jesus Christ, is my Savior. I pray that our increased reverence will reflect our deepest love for Them.

(Margaret S. Lifferth, "Respect and Reverence," Ensign, May 2009, 11-13.)

Song: "Reverence is Love," Children's Songbook, p. 31.

Scripture: And when thy people transgress, any of them, they may speedily repent and return unto thee, and find favor in thy sight, and be restored to the blessings which thou hast ordained to be poured out upon those who shall reverence thee in thy house.

(Doctrine and Covenants 109:21)

Object Lesson: Materials needed: A pot, a large serving spoon, a delicate goblet or glass, and a small teaspoon.

Application: Take the large spoon and bang the pot loudly several times. Then use the teaspoon to carefully tap the glass, producing a delicate ringing sound.

Compare this to irreverent/reverent behaviors and attitudes. Irreverent actions can distract and interfere with the feelings of the Spirit. Reverent actions create an atmosphere that invites the Spirit.

(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, Building Blocks for Better Lessons , [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1998], p. 56.)

Story: (Shane Dixon)

It was fast and testimony meeting. I sat underneath our bench in the North Hollywood Spanish Branch, admiring collected pieces of dried gum that had been stuck to the bottoms of the pews. I suppose, looking back on it all, lying on my back and staring at gum during church service was rather irreverent. But at church my mother handled the workload of controlling three boys all by herself, while my father, who had been called as second counselor in the branch presidency, sat on the stand. Further, it wasn’t easy for my brothers and me to listen to the meeting because it was conducted in Spanish, a language my parents knew well but with which my brothers and I were unfamiliar. So sometimes out of boredom, I would slip underneath the pews and look at the multicolored undersides of the benches. This time, however, I grew too disruptive, and my mother motioned for me to sit next to her. Looking back, it certainly is a lucky thing that my mother pulled me into my seat, because what happened next has affected my entire life.

Once seated correctly, I listened with curiosity as a man bore a tearful testimony in Spanish. Even though the words were unfamiliar, I believed I understood what he was saying, and the words touched me. With a resolution that came without warning, I tugged on my mother’s dress and told her I wanted to go up to the pulpit. She gave me a serious look (I believe all moms do this), as if she were gauging my sincerity. When she was satisfied I was serious, she led me up to the pulpit.

Once there, standing in front of some two hundred people, I proceeded to “freak out.” I began my testimony with a series of strained phrases and long pauses. My testimony, mostly a series of “ums” was hardly coherent, let alone eloquent.

But then again, complete comprehension is seldom achieved in sacrament meeting. Perhaps this is because we are grappling with some of the deepest feelings of our hearts. Even if we don’t make sense, most of the time people seem to understand what we are trying to say.

What was it that I wanted to say? I knew that often a testimony lists things the bearer loves. So I stood there wondering what it was that I loved. What had the kids before me said? Maybe I could use one of those lines.

“C’mon,” my brain encouraged, “just say you love your Primary teacher and sit down!”

The women in the congregation were shifting uncomfortably in their seats. A bad sign. Men took on an air of understanding, but their eyes betrayed them. I wanted to say something, but I simply couldn’t find any words. My eyes watered.

But then a feeling came. Although it was new to me then, it was a feeling on which I would reflect again and again. Even now, more than twenty years later, I often look back and feel the strength of that impression. It was there at that pulpit, speaking English to Spanish speakers, that I first said, “I know that Jesus loves me.”

I paused just before I mentioned the Savior. As I attempted to express this impression that had come to me, I became engulfed in emotion, and a knot formed in my throat. I’d never experienced this before, and I was a little scared. But a warm feeling reassured me, and I finished my testimony, although the knot made speaking the words laborious. I knew then, as I said my final words, that the Savior truly did love me.

No angels came down, nor did the heavens open to my view. But the feelings I felt as I bore a new testimony of the Savior were electrifying to me then and remain nourishing to me now. It is remarkable to me that the love of our Savior can be felt by everyone, even by a five-year-old kid who picks at the gum underneath the church seats. I know that the Savior loves me. And I love him for that.

(Sunshine from the Latter-day Saint Child’s Soul, [Salt Lake City: Eagle Gate, 2001], p.82.)

Activity: Practice reverence by playing quiet music (such as Primary songs or hymns). Have each person draw a picture inspired by the music. Share your pictures with one another.

Refreshment Honey Taffy Popcorn

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light honey
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 quarts popped corn, lightly salted and buttered
Combine sugar, honey, and cream in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Adjust temperature to maintain a steady boil and cook to 269 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda, stirring until bubbles subside (syrup will turn a light golden color); add vanilla. Pour over popped corn, stirring until coated. Cool and break into chunks. Makes 12 servings.

(Lion House Christmas, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2006], p. 134.)

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