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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Memorable Sacrament Meetings » Memorable Sacrament Meetings

Memorable Sacrament Meetings

Susan M - August 3, 2006

I’ve been a member of the church for over 17 years, and during that time I’ve lived in about 15 wards. Some wards were awesome. Some, not so much. But looking back over the years, there are a few Sacrament meetings that stand out for me more than others.

When I was still a new member of the church, I attended a fast meeting during which my husband’s young cousin, who was about 8 or 9 years old, went up to bear his testimony. I’d never seen a child do that. He said, very seriously, “Toys aren’t people. They don’t have feelings.” Everyone chuckled and thought he was cute. I thought what he said was rather profound: people are more important than things.

One meeting I don’t think I’ll ever forget is one where this sweet little old lady gave the closing prayer. After listening to her pray for roughly three full minutes, I opened my eyes and looked at my husband. He looked at me, and then set the timer on his watch. Any guesses on how long she went?

Eleven minutes.

My husband was inactive for several years while our kids were toddlers, so I struggled with going to church on my own. My youngest was very rambunctious and hard to keep quiet in Sacrament, and I often ended up in the foyer with him. My older two would not stay in the chapel alone, and they always ended up out there with us. It seemed like every Sunday was spent chasing my two year old down the hall. One time I was exhausted, sitting on the floor with him, and I just decided to pack it in and head home. I couldn’t take it anymore. But just as I stood up, another young mother in the hall with her toddler said to me, “You’re such a good mom,” and that gave me the boost I needed to stick it out.

I don’t remember her name, but I’ve never forgotten that moment.

And I’ve never considered until just now what that moment might have meant to her. She was married to a non-member and coming to church on her own with her one child. I guess I could’ve been an inspiration to her for doing it alone with three. I’ve just always thought she was the inspired one, telling me that just when I needed to hear it most.

Have you ever witnessed a baby blessing during a Sacrament Meeting where the baby cried through the entire thing? My niece did that. Cried and cried. And cried.

Once I saw a woman give a talk on missionary service, and she asked everyone in the ward who had served as a missionary, whether it was as a fulltime missionary or as a ward/stake missionary, to come up to the mic and share where they served. As a convert who never served a mission, I couldn’t believe how many people got up. Almost the entire congregation. It was very moving, to hear one person after another just state where they served, and then sit back down.

When I visited my non-LDS brother in Rochester, NY, I decided I’d attend church at the Palmyra ward. I don’t remember anything about who spoke that day, but I remember what closing hymn was sung—The Spirit of God. The Palmyra ward was not big, but that song, and the spirit it brings, filled that chapel to overflowing. I could’ve sworn there were angels singing with us that day.

My husband went inactive when we were living in an inner-city gang neighborhood. It was a total ghetto. The building our ward met in was the oldest LDS building in Washington State (I’m pretty sure). At one point it had to be renovated, and our ward rented an empty chapel from another church nearby. It was a really old building, the kind where you walk up the steps in front, enter the front door, and you’re in the chapel. Because there wasn’t room for a lot of classes to meet, we only met for 2 hours. One Sunday we’d have Sunday School, then the next we’d have RS/PH/YM/YW/Primary.

This building had no insulation. Very thin walls. And no heat. I’m sure you can see this coming—it was winter. Someone brought in some space heaters, which you really only felt if you stood directly in front of them. So a lot of the children would stand in the back by the heaters. The rest of us bundled up good. We’d wear our thick winter coats and bring blankets to Sacrament Meeting.

The meeting that stands out the most to me was when I was sitting on a pew with my baby all bundled up, and I realized I could see my breath in the air. That day the Bishop sent us all home directly after Sacrament—no sticking around for Sunday School.

It was starting to snow.

What are some Sacrament Meetings that stand out in your memory?

17 Comments »

  1. I have such a lousy memory, I can’t remember any special incidents, but your stories remind me of a woman who had 3 very rambunctious young boys. Her husband was inactive, and week after week she would come and struggle with, and chase, and deal with those boys. As a teen I would roll my eyes and think, why can’t she control her kids? Now, as an adult, going to church on my own with my 2 kids, I look to her in admiration and as my personal role model. I keep meaning to tell her this (now that her kids are grown). You are a great mom, Susan!

    Comment by meems — August 3, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

  2. My first memorable sacrament meeting I don’t remember at all. It was the day of my baby blessing. My dad went up to the front and stood in the circle with the other men, but something didn’t seem right. He forgot the baby. I can just imagine how sheepish he must have felt as he walked back to get the baby.

    Comment by Tom — August 4, 2006 @ 6:51 am

  3. Wow, Susan, those are awesome. I’m like meems, I generally don’t have a memory for that kind of stuff.

    I do remember, however, one incident of one of the priests not being able to read the sacrament prayer right. He literally re-read it maybe 10-15 times. I don’t remember if he succeeded or if one of the other guys did it in the end. I felt bad for him though.

    The other thing I remember was when one of us deacons accidentally slammed the water tray on one of the pews and water went everywhere. That was embarrassing.

    I also remember a couple years ago here in Brooklyn when this crazy guy in our ward sat down next to the bishop’s family the bishop leapt out of his seat (on the stand), flew down the steps and told the guy to not sit there. This was all in the middle of the meeting. Even funnier if you know the crazy guy.

    Good times.

    Comment by Rusty — August 4, 2006 @ 6:57 am

  4. Tom, that is hilarious!

    Comment by Rusty — August 4, 2006 @ 6:58 am

  5. I had just moved into a new ward and first sacrament meeting was a homecoming for a new missionary. As was speaking he fainted and fell. Then a few moments later he JUMPED up and tried to act like nothing happened.

    One time I had to say the prayer, I was wearing 4 inch heals and thought I looked so good…that was till I tripped coming down from the stand and fell.(I didn’t just trip, I fell totally to the floor) I was referred to the one girl that fell from then on. (That can be detrimental in a singles ward.)

    Comment by Jessica Mae — August 4, 2006 @ 9:45 am

  6. In one meeting, the sister giving the closing prayer started singing.

    Why is it that we remember the weird occurances rather than the spiritual ones? That bothered my before, so i keep a record of sacrament meetings in my scripture/spiritual experiences journal.

    Comment by Floyd the Wonderdog — August 4, 2006 @ 9:53 am

  7. I really liked the second story you shared, Susan. That was awesome.

    I have two favourites I think.

    The first was the first Sunday we attended church in our brand new, Church-built-and-funded meetinghouse in Regina. It’s kind of old now, but compared to the hodgepodge building the Regina pioneers put together off Broad Street, to a 12-year-old boy, it was the coolest church building I had ever seen. It even had fans!

    The other was when my companion and I accompanied a high councilman to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to hold sacrament meeting for tourists and LDS employees. The high councilman conducted the meeting, and my companion and I blessed the sacrament. A father and son wearing shorts and sandals passed the sacrament. It was pretty cool.

    I lied. there’s a third. The Sunday I shared experiences from my mission was a favourite. I had some neat experiences and I was glad to share them with everyone.

    Okay, that reminds me of a fourth. My farewell. My sister, who is deathly afraid to perform in public (sing, speak, etc) asked if I could fit her into my programme. I did and she went over. I ended up having only enough time to bear my testimony.

    Comment by Kim Siever — August 4, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

  8. Oh, and one more. Sister Enid Miller was a convert to the Church in Regina. She used to be a baptist. And she was black. She would often clap to hymns. Nice and loud too. She often would bear her testimony on the first Sunday and would sing on her way up there and never used the mike. I wonder if she’s still alive.

    Comment by Kim Siever — August 4, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

  9. These are all awesome. You’re all reminding me of more stories, too.

    Comment by Susan M — August 4, 2006 @ 12:20 pm

  10. My most memorable sacrament meeting is the one wherein, as a twelve year-old, I fell flat on my back as I approached the podium to give my talk.

    Comment by Jack — August 4, 2006 @ 2:34 pm

  11. A few months ago a string of kids lined up to bear their testimonies one Sunday. At the time, I decided to hunch over and close my eyes for a few minutes. “I’d like to bear my testimony and I know this church is true and I’m thankful for…” It was your typical kid testimony, one right after the other.

    Well, one 10-year-old started the same way, but said “I’d like bear my testimony (followed by a long pause)” then he continued “I’m not sure if the church is true.” He talked about how hard it is with everyone saying they “know.” I think it took courage for him to say that he didn’t know and was looking for the truth. He asked his parents and it seems they gave him some direction and flexibility to continue searching. Obviously, they pointed him in the “is true” direction, but they did it in a way that he’d have to find out for himself.

    Comment by Thurbs — August 4, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

  12. I used to get kind of bothered about kids getting up and reciting their testimonies, until I heard a woman speak once who mentioned she actually started gaining a testimony by bearing it as a young woman. Now I realize that it’s the perfect opportunity for a child to really feel the Spirit.

    Comment by Susan M — August 4, 2006 @ 3:01 pm

  13. Like Floyd said, I don’t remember specific things about really spiritual meetings, though I do remember them adn there have been many!! I remember the spirit that was there.

    Oh wait! One I do remember was a great testimony meeting on my mission (rare, I know) in the Inglewood 1st ward (even MORE rare). We had a less active guy there who haflway through handed me a note he wrote saying “The spirit IS here, this IS the true church.”

    Comment by Bret — August 4, 2006 @ 9:02 pm

  14. My most memorable Sacrament meeting was on my mission in Florida. We finally got an investigator to come to church (I never had good luck with this) and it was testimony meeting. Some lady got up and told everyone God told her the time had come, we all needed to go to Utah for the end was near. It went on and on like that. I was nervously watching our investigator and passed him a note saying something about how this was obviously a crazy lady. I was pretty sure this would be his last Sunday. Later he got baptized.

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 9:29 pm

  15. Susan M: What a moving post! Especially the story about the mom giving you words of encouragement: “You’re such a good mom.” How wonderful that a simple comment–one she has undoubtedly forgotten–could mean so much: “I don’t remember her name, but I’ve never forgotten that moment.”

    Comment by BrianJ — August 5, 2006 @ 10:27 pm

  16. One snowbird sister clearly needs her meds upped. She got up again this Fast Sunday and started rambling. She testified that if it’s the last thing she does, she’ll take the weeds off her sister’s grave.

    Last summer, she stood and started pointing in different directions and telling everyone which towns were in which direction. Then she said, “What will we do??? WHAT WILL WE DO???”

    Then there are the three sisters who think that Testimony Meeting is group therapy and start rambling about their problems. They never hit on anything that could even remotely be considered a testimony. They don’t talk about how the gospel helped them with their problems, etc. It’s just how much trouble men and teenagers are. One sister related how she wishes that she had never heard of the gospel, because then she could be happy living the way SHE wanted to.

    Comment by Floyd the Wonderdog — August 6, 2006 @ 10:54 am

  17. At a stake conference once, one of the speakers was talking about the second coming. I was not the only one surprised when he told us the exact date the second coming would occur.

    Comment by Don D — August 8, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

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