This is a talk I gave in Sacrament meeting today, July 23, 2006.

Last August, Jeff and I had the opportunity to attend church with his family. There were so many of us, that we were unable to all sit together in one pew. At one point during one of the talks, I looked over at Jeff’s brother’s family. His four kids were being very quiet; however, I was especially impressed with the 5-year old, Ian. He was not only quiet as a church mouse, but he was paying attention. He was on the edge of the seat, eyes focused on the speaker. As I watched him, I was gently reminded that reverence is more than just being quiet.

To quote Elder L Tom Perry, “It is not enough to behave reverently; we must feel in our hearts reverence for our Heavenly Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Reverence flows from our admiration and respect for Deity.” [1]

Later on in this same conference address, he shares an experience,

Several years ago, I had the opportunity of traveling with the President of the Church to attend a series of area conferences. I will never forget the contrast between two conferences that were held just a few days apart. The first area conference was held in a large arena, and as we sat on the stand, we noticed continuous movement by the people. We saw individuals throughout the arena leaning over and whispering to family members and friends seated next to them. Giving the members the benefit of the doubt, we attributed the general lack of reverence to the nature of the facility.
A few days later, we were in another country attending another area conference in an arena much like the first. When we entered the arena, however, an immediate hush came over the congregation. As we sat through the two-hour general session, there was very little movement among the people. Everyone listened intently. Great attention and respect was shown all the speakers, and when the prophet spoke, you could hear a pin drop.
After the meeting was over, I asked the priesthood leaders about what they had done to prepare the people for the conference. They told me their preparation had been simple. They had asked priesthood holders to explain to the members of their families, and also the families they home taught, that at an area conference they would have the privilege of hearing the words of the prophet and the Apostles. The priesthood leaders explained that the reverence their people felt for God and His servants was the basis for their reverent behavior at the conference.[2]

In the book, True to the Faith, reverence is defined as "profound respect and love. When you have a reverent attitude toward God, you honor Him, express your gratitude to Him, and obey His commandments. You should be reverent in your behavior as well as your attitude. Reverent behavior includes prayer, scripture study, fasting, and payment of tithes and offerings. It includes wearing modest clothing and using clean, wholesome language. The depth of your reverence is evident in your choice of music and other entertainment, in the way you speak of sacred subjects, and in the way you dress and act when you attend church and the temple. You show your reverence for the Lord when you serve other people and treat them with kindness and respect." [3]

There is a lot of good stuff in those two short paragraphs. Reverence goes beyond being quiet on Sundays at church. It is something very personal. I would suggest that it is something that we need to prepare for each day.

Let me repeat one line, “Reverent behavior includes prayer, scripture study, fasting and payment of tithes and offerings.”[4] I would like to touch on each of these briefly.

Reverent behavior includes prayer.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ taught us how to pray. In Matthew 6:9, He says, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name.” Do we remember this part of the instruction on prayer in our own personal prayers or do we quickly move on to our requests? Howard W Hunter, in a General Conference talk, in October 1977, said, “Jesus was careful to place the petition “Hallowed be thy name” at the very forefront of his prayer. Unless that reverent, prayerful, honorable attitude toward God is uppermost in our hearts, we are not fully prepared to pray. If our first thought is of ourselves and not of God, we are not praying as Jesus taught.”[5]

In Doctrine & Covenants 63:61-62, it reads, “Wherefore, let all men beware how they take my name in their lips— For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority.”

In our prayers, we can also show reverence by using appropriate language. We are cautioned not to overuse His name; we should address our Heavenly Father humbly and respectfully using the words Thou, Thee, Thy and Thine.

Reverent behavior includes scripture study.

In the scriptures, we learn of God and His plan for us. We learn of the creation. We learn of heaven. We learn of our Savior. Next to the Holy Ghost, the scriptures are the greatest gift that we have received from our Father in Heaven. What do we do with this wonderful gift? Do we idly read our scriptures, or do we take the time to seriously ponder and study them out in our hearts and minds? Do we pray for greater understanding? If we truly have a reverent attitude toward God, we will express our love and respect for Him by not only studying our scriptures, but by also taking good care of them and carrying them with us to our meetings.

Reverent behavior includes fasting.

Fasting allows us to truly put our trust in the Lord. Going without food and water can be quite challenging. Fasting gives us the opportunity to truly “feast upon the word.” In fasting, we will be spiritually fed. One Sunday each month is set aside as fast Sunday. In True to the Faith, it says, “Proper observance of fast Sunday includes going without food and drink for two consecutive meals, attending fast and testimony meeting, and giving a fast offering to help care for those in need,”[6] which brings us to the last behavior that I’d like to talk about.

Reverent behavior includes payment of tithes and offerings.

If having a reverent attitude means showing gratitude to the Lord, then we must realize the importance of paying our tithing and fast offerings. Every increase that we receive, we owe to Him. It is for this purpose that we offer up tithes and offerings unto Him.

Let me read once more the first paragraph on reverence in True to the Faith.

Reverence is profound respect and love. When you have a reverent attitude toward God, you honor Him, express your gratitude to Him, and obey His commandments.[7]

We show reverence by being obedient—not just in the things that I have mentioned today, but in striving to keep all of the commandments.

So far, I have been discussing reverence to God, but there is also a degree of reverence that we ought to show at home and at church.

Reverence begins at home. As I mentioned earlier, reverence is very personal; it is something that we develop and strengthen at home.

Referring once again to Elder L Tom Perry’s conference address, he says,

The home is the key to reverent attitudes, as it is to every other godlike virtue. It is during personal and family prayer that the little ones learn how to bow their heads, fold their arms, and close their eyes while our Father in Heaven is being addressed. It is a mother taking time to be certain that during each day there is a quiet period where the hustle and bustle of daily activities are divorced from the house, where just parents and children have time together in quiet solitude for reflection and teaching, to set the example of having reverence in the home. It is during family home evenings, which are a part of our home life, where children are taught that there are special times, not only in church but also at home, when we learn of our Heavenly Father and when everyone needs to be on his best behavior. Behavior learned at home determines behavior in church meetings. A child who has learned to pray at home understands that he must be quiet and still during prayers in worship services.[8]

In the Proclamation to the Family, we are counseled that “parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.”[9] Teaching our children all of these things, will ultimately, teach them reverence.

Because our homes are the place of sacred learning, it is a good idea to also show respect and reverence. We can do this by inviting the spirit into our homes with appropriate music and entertainment. We can do this by displaying pictures of the temples and the prophets. We can do this by keeping our homes clean and orderly.

In D&C 88:119, it says, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;"

This house refers both to our homes and to our meetinghouses.

Each Sunday, we attend church to renew our covenants and to worship the Lord; however, for our worship to be genuine and meaningful, we must do it with a reverent attitude.

Leviticus 26:2 says, “Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD."

When I was in the singles ward in Minneapolis, when the 2nd counselor was conducting, he would often say, “And now we move on to the 10 most important minutes of our week, the sacrament.” Do we have that same attitude? Is the sacrament the most important part of our week, something for us to look forward to?

I’d like to read an experience that Elder Keith L Smith had in his youth:

I remember with a smile an incident from my youth when my father demonstrated his belief [that priesthood holders who participate in this sacred ordinance should be especially mindful of the need to be reverent]. I was a priest at the sacrament table, and my brother Marvin, a deacon, was sitting on the front row directly in front of me. As the bishop began the meeting by sharing the announcements, Marvin and another deacon continued to carry on an intense conversation. Suddenly, my father rose from his bench in the middle of the chapel, made his way to the aisle, and strode toward the front of the chapel. Poor Bishop Powell stopped speaking as my father walked to the front row and firmly took hold of my brother’s arm, stood him up, and escorted him back to the bench where our family was sitting. The bishop then continued with the announcements. I remember a very quiet congregation after that—particularly the row of deacons in front of me. From that time forth, my brother sat quietly in sacrament meeting and was especially reverent when performing his sacramental responsibilities.[10]

Of course, being reverent at church should continue throughout all our meetings and extend beyond the chapel. Howard W Hunter said, “Occasionally we visit too loudly, enter and leave meetings too disrespectfully in what should be an hour of prayer and purifying worship. Reverence is the atmosphere of heaven. Prayer is the utterance of the soul to God the Father. We do well to become more like our Father by looking up to him, by remembering him always, and by caring greatly about his world and his work.”[11]

President David O McKay said, “When you enter a church building, you are coming into the presence of our Father in heaven; and that thought should be sufficient incentive for you to prepare your hearts, your minds, and even your attire, that you might appropriately and properly sit in his presence.”[12]

In closing, I’d like to share one last story from Elder L Tom Perry.

One Sunday, my granddaughter Diana, who is four years old, was sitting next to her father at church. Diana sat reverently, enjoying the comfort of her father’s arm holding her close to him. However, when the bishop stood up and announced the sacrament hymn, Diana gently lifted her father’s arm from off her shoulder and placed it in his lap. Then she sat up straight and folded her arms. She looked over at her father and encouraged him to do the same. Diana’s message to her father was perfectly clear. She was telling him to turn his complete and total attention to the Savior. This is the message a reverent attitude always conveys, and when reverent attitudes abound, reverent behavior will always flourish. I pray that, like Diana, we may all strive to develop reverent attitudes so that we may serve God reverently and with godly fear.[13]

Reverence begins with us. It is a personal attitude that we develop at home and cultivate at church. It is not only a personal feeling, it is a personal responsibility. We have a responsibility to pray, study our scriptures, fast and pay our tithing…these behaviors will help us develop more strongly our reverent attitudes. We must be good examples to our children and all those around us by always exuding a reverent attitude.

In the words of David O McKay, “If there were more reverence in human hearts, there would be less room for sin and sorrow and more increased capacity for joy and gladness. To make more cherished, more adaptable, more attractive, this gem among brilliant virtues is a project worthy of the most united and prayerful efforts of every officer, every parent, and every member of the church.”[14]

Remember, reverence is profound respect and love. It is my prayer that we will do all that we can to create in ourselves a reverent attitude and that our attitude will show forth in our actions.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

[1] L. Tom Perry, “Serve God Acceptably with Reverence and Godly Fear,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 70
[2] L. Tom Perry, “Serve God Acceptably with Reverence and Godly Fear,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 70
[3] 36863, True to the Faith, Reverence, 145
[4] 36863, True to the Faith, Reverence, 145
[5] Howard W. Hunter, “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” Ensign, Nov. 1977, 52
[6] 36863, True to the Faith, Fasting and Fast Offerings, 66
[7] 36863, True to the Faith, Reverence, 145
[8] L. Tom Perry, “Serve God Acceptably with Reverence and Godly Fear,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 70
[9] “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102
[10] Keith L. Smith, “Reverence,” Ensign, July 2003, 60
[11] Howard W. Hunter, “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” Ensign, Nov. 1977, 52
[12] 36492, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, 4: Elements of Worship, Introduction, 29
[13] L. Tom Perry, “Serve God Acceptably with Reverence and Godly Fear,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 70
[14] 36492, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, 4: Elements of Worship, Introduction, 29

More Hardy!

Friday was my last day as the manager of the Augsburg Fortress bookstore at Union Theological Seminary. It was also my last day to see Hardy! I'm certainly going to miss this little boy. He is so smart and so cute!

His dad was telling us how he had helped make pancakes that morning. He was listing off items that Hardy got for the recipe: flour, sugar, eggs. Then Hardy said, "Baking soda." It's amazing the vocabulary that he already has.

Since it was my last day, I let the new manager run things, and I took a few minutes to play with this little guy; we read a couple of little books.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I had some bananas in our freezer that I needed to use before our move. Individual snacks move much more quickly in our home, so I found this recipe for banana oatmeal cookies. These turned out wonderfully; although, I did need to decrease the cooking time to around 9-10 min. If you have overripe bananas, this is an excellent recipe!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies III

Submitted by: JoAnn Bork Rated: 4 out of 5 by 12 members
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes Yields: 36 servings

"These are delicious moist cookies which freeze very well and a great way to use those overripe bananas."

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in shortening until almost no lumps remain. Stir in the egg and bananas; mix well. Finally, stir in the oats and walnuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are browned. Remove from pans immediately to cool on wire racks.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2005 Allrecipes.com
Printed from Allrecipes.com 7/23/2006


Chocolate cake...Yummy!!

If you know me, you know I love to cook/bake for gatherings. Jeff and I had dinner with some friends the other night, and I offered to make dessert.

I wanted something cool and summery and found this recipe on All Recipes. It turned out delicious.

The recipe is below. It yields a 9x13 cake, but I didn't need one that large. I divided the cake batter into a round cake, and 12 cupcakes. Also, I used strawberry gelatin. I needed to modify the frosting a bit because my grocery store didn't have the whipped topping mix. Instead, I used frozen whipped topping i.e. Cool Whip (R). I mixed it with the chocolate pudding and added some milk to help with the consistency.

Chocolate Cake IV
Submitted by: REB Rated: 4 out of 5 by 2 members
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes Yields: 12 servings
"Use any flavor of gelatin to compliment this refreshing chocolate version of the poke cake. Serve it straight from the freezer."
1 (18.25 ounce) package
chocolate cake mix
1 (3 ounce) package fruit
flavored gelatin mix
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water

2 (3.9 ounce) packages instant
chocolate pudding mix
2 (1.3 ounce) envelopes
whipped topping mix
3 cups cold milk
Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan. Poke holes in cake while still hot with a fork. Make gelatin with 1 cup of boiling water, then stir in cold water. Slowly pour liquid gelatin over hot cake. Cool cake completely in the freezer before frosting.
To make the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat together the instant pudding, whipped topping and milk until thickened. Pour over completely cooled cake. Keep cake in freezer until ready to serve.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2005 Allrecipes.com
Printed from Allrecipes.com 7/10/2006



When I think back on my time at Union managing the bookstore, I will always fondly remember my little pal, Hardy. He is quite an icon of the seminary. He has his rounds each day where he goes and says hello. He always stops in the bookstore—pointing to the sign, “O…open” (or “C…closed” during those sad times when he comes before the store is open or after it has closed).

He enjoys doing Google searches on the computer for pictures of his favorite animals. Usually he just comes to me and says, “Crinda…horseys.” I don’t really get the fascination, since every day Google finds the same old boring pictures, but he is entranced. Anyway, it’s fun to have him climb on my lap and look at the computer. Makes me even feel a little motherly. Someday, I’m sure I’ll have my own kids wanting to look at the same old boring things (pictures, stories, etc).

This kid is full of energy and very talkative. It’s always a joy when he pops in for a visit. He will be 2 in August and already has quite the vocabulary!


Book Review: Lick Creek

Very enjoyable book! Lick Creek by Brad Kessler takes place is the small coal mining community of (surprise, surprise) Lick Creek, WV, during the late 1920s.

It tells the story of young girl (teenage), Emily Jenkins, who lives on a family farm. Her father, brother, and first love die is a coal mine explosion. Her mother goes into severe depression dealing with such a loss and at times doesn't even bother to get dressed. Emily is forced to become quite resourceful in order to provide for her and her mother. She takes to gathering berries, mushrooms and making goat cheese, and then traveling to the city of White Sulfur to sell these items to the fancy hotel.

During this time period, electricity is booming. Many electric lines are being installed--some right near Lick Creek. One of the lineman falls from a pole during a thunderstorm, and his crew brings him to the Jenkins home. Having this injured man in the house, breathes life back into Ada Jenkins, Emily's mother. She nurses him back to health. During his time at the Jenkins, he develops a strong relationship with Emily.

One of the things that really intrigued me about this book was how different things were back then. Would any of us know what to do if a man came to our homes with a dislocated shoulder, a broken leg, a gash to the head and a concussion? There were no phones (or at least the Jenkins didn't have one), and the nearest doctor was far enough away that he wouldn't be able to come until at least the next day. I was impressed that Ada knew just what to do! First aid was just second nature to her.

Just a warning...there are a few bad words in this book. Also, Emily does fall in love a few times, so there are a few scenes that are descriptive of this. I'd say it was nothing too explicit and it is very tastefully written, but just a warning that it is there.


Book Review: Neighbors

The next book I read was Neighbors by Thomas Berger. If you can avoid this book, I definitely would not read it again! Maybe the cover should've been a clue to me. The entire time I was reading this book, I kept thinking that the ending would redeem it for me...make it worth my time.

Unfortunately, this was not the case.

The story is about a family who lives on a dead end street. New neighbors move into the only other house on the street, and all sorts of trouble ensues. The husband and wife want to have the new couple over for dinner, but before they can even extend the invitation, the new couple, Harry and Ramona, stops by and sort of invites themselves. The entire book chronicles the rest of the evening and the next day. It is full of misunderstandings and complete and total misbehavior on the part of the new neighbors.

I felt that I didn't really understand the motivation of any of the characters. The situations that the characters got into were difficult for me to read--not because they were crude or inappropriate, but simply because they made me uncomfortable.

I kept thinking (hoping) that it would end with the main character, Earl, awaking from a dream. These situations were just too absurd for me to believe that they would be a reality. Instead the book ends (here's the spoiler), with Earl having a heartache and dying. It turns out that it was all real and that the stress of the entire situation kills him.

It was such a disappointment!


Book Review: Devil in the White City

I've decided that I need to read more. I thought it would be fun to write up reviews of books that I read. I have a goal to read at least 1 book each week. Check back often to read reviews of the recent books I've read.

The first book is Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it! Click on the title's link to find it on Amazon, where you can search the book plus read excerpts and reviews

This is not my usual choice of a book, but it was recommended by a friend. It is a non-fiction book. I usually only stick to fiction; however, this book really reads like fiction. Maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much.

This book takes place in the late-1890s during the planning and construction of Chicago's World's Fair. The story revolves around two men--an architect and a serial killer. These two men most likely never met, but their stories are both linked to the World's fair.

I thought that this was very cleverly written. Larson, chapter by chapter, describes the events surrounding both of these men alternating one with the other. This helps to create a lot of suspense and desire to continue reading. You will be very intrigued by the happenings of one man, and then suddenly, you will begin a new chapter about the other man, become very intrigued only to be shifted back to the first again. At times this was a little frustrating, but I thought it really did add to the enjoyment of the book.

I also enjoyed this book, because I never really knew just how influential the World's Fair in Chicago was. Many of the products and appliances that we rely on today find their roots at this fair. It is fascinating. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a work of non-fiction. There are pages and pages of notes in the back of the book. Most of Larson's sources were from newspapers of the day. It amazes me just how much research he must have put into this book. I can't help but wonder just how long the research took him.

If you're looking for something to read this summer, I'd definitely recommend adding this book to your list.


Chop, chop, chop

It has been SO hot here lately!!!

My hair was so hot and heavy on my neck that I decided I'd had enough. I was tired of having to putting it up in a ponytail each and every day. I thought, hey, we'll be moving soon...why not go for something a little more drastic? So, I decided I'd cut my hair.

Friday night, I did a little research online, looked through a few hair style photos, grabbed a mirror and some scissors and went off to the bathroom.

Snip, snip, snip...

And voila...a cute little bob.

Here are some before and after shots.



This was the 2nd time that I cut my own hair. Both experiences turned out to be quite satisfying! :-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails