Reverence Is More Than Just Quietly Sitting
Reading: “Respect and Reverence,” Sister Margaret S. Lifferth, First Counselor in Primary General Presidency, April 2009 General Conference, Saturday Morning Session
One of my favorite primary songs is “Reverence is Love.” In the song we sing:
Rev’rence is more than just quietly sitting:
It’s thinking of Father above,
A feeling I get when I think of his blessings.
I’m rev’rent, for rev’rence is love.
I love this song because it teaches that love and respect means much more than being quiet: it is a heartfelt appreciation for the gospel and the Savior. Sometimes I think it is easy to become fixated on sitting still and being quiet in such a way that we actually kill the spirit of reverence that should be in our hearts.
In this talk Sister Lifferth also shares with us the importance of teaching our children reverence:
However, reverent behavior is not a natural tendency for most children. It is a quality that is taught by parents and leaders through example and training. But remember, if reverence is rooted in love, so is the teaching of it. Harshness in our training begets resentment, not reverence. So begin early and have reasonable expectations. A toddler can learn to fold his arms and get ready for prayer. But it takes time, patience, and consistency.
My daughter is only 14 months old, so she does not yet understand the importance of being reverent. Like many toddlers, she has a very hard time sitting still for a full hour or more. Sometimes I get so worried about her disrupting others that it destroys my own reverence for the meeting. Reading this talk has helped me realize that I need to focus more on what reverence really means if I want to teach my children true reverence and respect, rather than just to be quiet in meetings.
Today I am going to discuss the things I read with my husband and come up with ideas on how to handle our toddler’s disruptions in a better way. If we are both on the same page we will be able to present a much more united message to our daughter.
How do you maintain reverence during church meeting? How did you parents teach you to be reverent? How do you teach your own children to be reverent?