Tag Archives: Sacrament meeting

Talking in Church This Sunday


I’ve been asked to speak in Sacrament meeting this Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016.  The topic is Christ – The Light of the World.

Speaking in Sacrament meeting is a normal occurrence in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Rather than the bishop (leader of the congregation) giving sermons, he and his counselors ask members of the ward (congregation) to speak, usually assigning them a week or so in advance and giving them the topic to speak on.

Sound scary?

Well, the first thing you do when you are asked to speak (after accepting the invitation) is to pray.  Since this is Christ’s church we want to speak the words He wants us to speak.  In fact, prayer is a great first step for any assignment in the Church (and really in life too).  We ask for guidance on what to prepare, humility to seek His will, and even strength to go through with it and not be too nervous in front of the congregation.  Not that they’re very scary, but it can be hard to get up and speak in front of people, especially when you are concentrating on whether you’ll make a mistake, or not be able to think of what to say, or lose your notes, etc.

But once you concentrate more on gathering your information and thoughts, putting them together in a cohesive manner, and continue to pray for guidance and to say what Heavenly Father would have you say, you start to calm down some and you find that different ideas pop into your mind as well as thoughts on where to look or ask for additional resources.

You also pray for inspiration as to what experiences you’ve had that fit with this topic and what you learned from them.  This can be a real eye-opener as you suddenly see an experience that may have been difficult for you at the time, but now you see it actually helped you in some way.

You look through the scriptures and add a couple to your talk.  It’s amazing the Spirit that you feel as you search the scriptures with real purpose.  You might find an answer or two for yourself that you have been wondering about.

I’m looking forward to speaking about Christ being the light of the world.  That thought permeates so much of life.  Afterall, all good things come from God and Christ.  Talking about good things is always inspirational!

Do you have any thoughts or advice for me as I prepare my talk this week?  🙂

 

 

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Primary Is Fun!


 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit, when the Primary chorister announced that the children were going to sing solos today in Primary, I was worried.

 

He explained further that each child would pick the song they wanted to sing and that their teacher would sing with them!

 

I wondered how it would turn out.  These kids range in age from 3-12.  I am the pianist.

 

We began with the Junior Primary (ages 3-8).  He picked the oldest class first.  The young lady chose “A Child’s Prayer” (an ambitious song with 2 parts and 3 verses).  The kids love this song (as do the adults).  It was the closing song in the Primary Program we did in Sacrament meeting a few weeks ago.  This song always brings the Spirit of God to those who hear it.  🙂

 

She went up to the front of the room along with her teacher.  His wife happened to also be there, so she joined them.  And a young man from the class just younger than them said he would also sing with them!  So the girls sang the child’s part of the song, and the guys sang the adult’s part of the song.  They did all 3 verses.  It was wonderful!  How special.

 

Next came a young man who chose “Snowman”, an activity song that includes stretching up and then getting as small as you can.  His teacher and he did all the actions!  It was fun to watch the adult participating in this simple, little song.  What fun!

 

The next child chose “Popcorn”, another activity song, but not as extreme as the last one.  Again, the teacher did all the actions.  It was great!  The kids loved it!

 

The youngest class went up together.  They chose “Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam“.  This song is also done with some actions.  The kids were so cute singing a little and participating with the actions!

 

There were some kids who had not yet sung.  Oh, I forgot to mention that the chorister had brought some candy along to give everyone who participated.  So all the kids ended up getting up there and singing.

 

Then, the chorister asked the Primary Presidency to come up.  The Primary President, her 2 Counselors, and their Secretary all went up there.  They chose “Heavenly Father Loves Me”.  These 4 women did a wonderful job and the children loved it!  What great sports!

 

In the Senior Primary the oldest class went up first.  They chose “I Am a Child of God“.  There were 3 boys, 1 girl, and their teacher.  They sang the first verse.  The chorister said, “And the next verse!”  So they did.  Then he said, “Do the third verse including the descant!”  The older girls in Primary had learned the descant a few months ago, and had sung it during the Primary Program too.  But there were several girls at that time.  Now there was only 1.  But they sang it and she did a marvelous job!

 

The next class went up and chose “Called To Serve”.  This was all guys and during the chorus the chorister went over and joined them for the 2nd verse.  It was inspirational!

 

The youngest class chose “A Child’s Prayer” (it is a favorite of all of us).  The teacher sang with the only boy in that group, and the girls sang the child’s part.  Again, they did an excellent, beautiful job!

 

And lastly, the chorister asked the Presidency to come back up.  He also asked them to pick a different song than they’d done the last time.  They chose “Mary’s Lullaby”.  Once again, they did such a nice job.  And the kids really enjoyed it.

 

Boy, Primary is fun!  🙂

 

 

 

Primary Program


Last Sunday was the Primary program in sacrament meeting.

That is one of,  if not the best program of the entire year!  It is where the Primary children, ages 3-12, sing songs they’ve been learning all year, and every one of them has a line or 2 (or more for the older ones) to speak in front of the congregation.  They talk about the things they have learned throughout the year.

You find yourself totally delighted and amazed at the young ones climbing up on a little stool to reach the pulpit and yell, whisper, or refuse to give their 5-word line.  You giggle, coo, or just smile.

Then as you watch the older children show their skills you are again delighted and amazed at their abilities.  They give a 2-minute talk, they might even sing a solo, play an instrument, or even lead the music!

And, of course, the program is about their Heavenly Father, about following Jesus Christ, and about how they are “a child of God“.  It is guaranteed to be a spiritual feast.

And Sunday, as they finished their program, sang the song, “A Child’s Prayer” (with yours truly at the piano!), and waited reverently while the closing prayer was said, everyone in the room could feel the Spirit of God.  As we left the pulpit to go to the Primary room, I told them (children and teachers alike) that they did a wonderful job!  And moving through the church to the Primary room, I agreed with young and old alike that the children did a wonderful job.

As I played the prelude in Primary, the room was filled with a dull roar.  Not that any of the children were misbehaving or anything, they were just all very excited with what they had just experienced and sharing their thoughts and feelings with each other.  It really was fun to behold and to be a part of.

After several minutes they finally calmed down.  We let them choose their favorite songs to sing during Singing Time.  And for Sharing Time where they usually will have a small activity/lesson, they watched animated stories of Jesus on TV and had popcorn and water for a snack.

A beautiful ending to a perfect day!  🙂

 

Eventful Days


English: Statue representing Peter, James, and...

English: Statue representing Peter, James, and John conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These last couple days have been quite eventful.

Yesterday morning hubby was feeling the effects of being out 2 hours the day before.  So we had a slow morning getting ready for the day. I was fasting for a child who has seizures a couple times a day – despite all of the medical attempts at getting them to stop.  He’s getting ready for the final step.  Since I found out about him my heart has gone out to him and his loved ones.  I’ve been praying for them, and for his medical team.  So I added fasting to my prayers to invoke greater blessings from our loving Father in Heaven.

And, as I said, things were going a bit slowly.  We got done what we needed to, and it made me about 1/2 hour late for church.  I debated skipping sacrament meeting altogether, staying home a little longer, and just going for Primary.  But I decided to go ahead and go and either slip in late for the meeting, or play some songs on the piano in the Primary room until the kids came.

After I parked and started walking to the building, I suddenly remembered that I had been asked, 2 weeks ago, to give the closing prayer in sacrament meeting!  Oh my.  Well, I knew then where I was going.  I slipped into an empty seat on the back row so as not to cause any commotion going to our usual spot up on the 2nd row.  As the member of the bishopric who was conducting was announcing the closing song and prayer, I was watching him intently.  He was looking around, unsure about saying who was giving the closing prayer.  I guess he didn’t see me come in.  I found myself raising my hand, but he still didn’t notice.  Then I started waving my hand trying to catch his attention.  Luckily, being on the back row I don’t think too many people noticed what I was doing (this is not normal “church” behavior – well, except maybe for the toddlers).  He finally saw me and announced that I’d given him a fright as I was not sitting in my usual spot, and that I was giving the closing prayer.

After church I went home to collect hubby and go to the ward where our new little granddaughter would be given a name and a blessing.  It does a woman proud to witness such special times as this.  Our son took his new little daughter to the front of the chapel.  He was joined by a few men, family and friends who also hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Our son held his daughter and the others stood in a little circle around her placing their right hands under his and their left hands on the shoulder of the man next to him.  Our son then said a prayer, giving her her name and then pronouncing a blessing upon her.

It was such a beautiful moment!  In the circle were my husband, and another son.  This is part of the joy of the true gospel as found in true church!  This is part of the weaving of families together, tying them closer to each other.  It is wonderful to know that children are born innocent and without sin.  They have no need of baptism.  They are baptized at 8 years of age, when they have reached the age of accountability and know right from wrong.  And best of all, to know what happens to children who die before the age of 8: “And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven” (Doctrine and Covenants 137:10).  What a glorious message that is!  And exactly the type of thing you expect from an all-powerful God who loves all of His children!

It was a beautiful and moving service.

Then on to our house to visit and eat.  Children playing together, and learning to get along.  Adults enjoying each others’ company, catching up on our lives, sharing ideas and food.  Poor hubby swallowing wrong or something, and coughing up a storm!  He finally recovered.

Or so we thought.  He had pain on his inside thigh.  Later after taking his night pills and an extra pain pill, the torturous pain was still there, and he could hardly stand up or sit down.  As it looked like we would be making yet another run to the local ED (emergency department), I started worrying about spending all night there, having to take time off work to recover or to be there with him, wondering why these things always happen at night or on weekends, and getting a bit cranky…

Then I realized he certainly can’t help what happened, and there have been many times that we’ve done this type of thing (and survived it), and that I should be looking at it from his side rather than worrying about myself.  So I calmed down, and we went to the hospital.

Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital is a great place.  Things actually moved along at a decent clip, considering we were in an ED.  The doctor who came in remembered hubby from previously!  As he walked in, he asked if we were there for pneumonia again.  We explained why we were there this time.  He ran some test to discover the problem, but it didn’t seem to be a rupture as we’d suspected.  Then he said that hubby’s history is that when he comes to the hospital he is usually admitted.  Therefore, he didn’t want to miss something.  And he ordered additional tests.

Finally he had a pretty good idea what was going on and that some anti-inflammatories and time would help it heal.  He did want to keep hubby there for observation to be sure, and to run a couple more tests.

After getting hubby settled in his room, I left…about 6am.  Heavenly Father was definitely helping me as I drove home.  I went straight to bed and slept a few hours.

It’s a snowy day, so it was a good day to take off work.  I called the family to fill them in, visited with a couple via long-distance, took some time to have a good talk with Heavenly Father, decided it was a good day to bake, so found my wheat grinder and got some of my wheat from my food storage in the basement, ground it into wheat flour, and made a couple loaves of homemade bread!

It has been an eventful couple of days.  And how glad I am to have a kind, loving Father in Heaven Who goes through it all with me – the good and the bad – and rejoices, or mourns, with me.  I am truly blessed to know Him and for inviting Him into my life.  🙂