Last week in this space, I wrote about what Latter-day Saints can learn from the Roman Catholic Mass. I did in an effort to 1) Show that we can learn from other faiths, which some Latter-day Saints vehemently disagree with 2) Talk about some of the shortcomings of our sacrament meetings
In my writing I engaged in a bit of hyperbole;exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. I said things like such as “I personally have never in my 6 years of church membership received revelation in a Sacrament Meeting because I have been waiting for it to end.” This is a large over exaggeration; I have received meaningful revelation in Sacrament Meetings. One such instance was while I was on my mission. A brother was called to become the bishop of a newly created ward, and I received my own confirmation that this man was who the Lord wanted to be the bishop of that ward. This was meaningful to me because I had been very skeptical of process of how leaders were called in the church, and thought that for the most part it was pure politics.
The point of my last article was not so much about the Catholic Mass as it was about the spirit of reverence. Reverence leads to revelation; therefore the more reverent a service is, the more likely it is that revelation can come to individuals during that meeting.
Reverence is something that all faiths struggle with, but it is something that Mormons struggle with. Too often in Sacrament Meetings and in the Temple, the atmosphere is one of noise and conversation not focused on the particulars of the faith, but of secular and frivolous things. This is an area where all, myself included, must improve in order to be more reverent.
Elder Carlos E. Asay, a former member of the Presidency of the Seventy who died during his service as president of the Salt Lake Temple, often expressed his desire that the temple would become a quiet place that was a model of reverence. As a current ordinance worker in the aforementioned temple, I can say that the reverence there is the best I have observed, but it too has much room for improvement.
In the future, I hope that my readers realize that my cultural criticism is not for the sake of criticizing; rather as the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche observed, it is to create something greater than what we currently have.