Holy Are The Hallways

Holy Are The Hallways April 13, 2023

Since becoming a mom, I have spent most of my Sundays in the hallways rather than sitting in the chapel. From fussy newborns to chasing down a preschooler with ADHD, it’s a rare occasion that I actually get to sit in the pew. During one of these frequent outings in the hallway, the phrase “holy are the hallways” stuck in my mind. As we continually end up outside the chapel, I have thought about this phrase and what it means to take young children to church. It has also made me think about what makes a place holy.

These are teaching moments

We get frustrated when our kids can’t sit still and be reverent during Sacrament meeting, but maybe they need more. My young children aren’t going to learn very much from the talks during Sacrament meeting. They learn the most from one-on-one engagement and from discussing simple principles. I have felt the presence of the Holy Ghost as I point to the paintings of Jesus and testify of him while walking down the halls. In ways my kids can understand, I talk to them about his identity as their Savior, how much He loves them, and that we come to church to learn about Him. I may not be proclaiming my words from the pulpit, but that makes them more powerful to the little ears that have a hard time focusing.

They are learning from your example of coming to church 

It’s okay if your little ones don’t seem to be getting very much out of Sacrament meeting. They are learning the importance of attending church and worshiping, just by watching your example. By going to church each week, you are showing your kids that church attendance is important to you. Consistently seeing you go to church, even when it’s hard, will have an impact on them.They may not receive any profound revelation from the Sacrament talks, but they will feel your love for Christ.

They will feel the Spirit in the unexpected moments 

You never know when your child may feel the Spirit. While they don’t receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until they’re baptized, the Holy Ghost can still testify to them of Christ. Even when you feel overwhelmed and about to lose your patience, just looking at the paintings of Christ helps your child feel the Spirit. Even while battling the chaos outside the chapel, you and your children can still feel those tender promptings. I’ve had many spiritual experiences and moments where I’ve been taught by the Holy Ghost while outside the chapel. I have also seen a light in my kids’ eyes and known that they were also feeling the Spirit. Sometimes I feel frustrated to be missing out on feasting in the chapel, and I forget I can have my own spiritual feast with my child in the hallway.

You are not alone

Think about all the mothers currently managing their wild children, and all the ones that came before. I like to imagine the unmentioned children and mothers behind the scripture stories. I picture Nephite children spilling snacks across tent floor as mothers quieted them while listening to King Benjamin’s address. Imagine little voices talking in the background as King Mosiah, Alma, and Helaman taught their people. Most importantly, I see Jesus smiling lovingly at mothers rocking babies and trying to entertain their small children as taught. Maybe that’s why he said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” so that their parents would understand that their children weren’t distractions or hindrances to the Spirit at all. Jesus wanted those tired mothers to know that He was glad that they were there and that He loved them.

Holy are the hallways where mothers pace with their crying babies. Down these halls, parents chase after energetic toddlers and share their testimonies of Jesus in reverent whispers. Holy are the hallways where little testimonies of Him are born, the most sacred place in any church building.

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