Monday, March 17, 2014

Boredom and Sacrament Meeting

I had a good friend who struggled to feel the Spirit in her ward.  We were talking one day, and she asked the following question:

So, if you're bored in the speaker portion of Sacrament meeting, does this simply mean you're not spiritual enough?

My response to her, knowing her as well as I do, was:

Not necessarily. It often means that the meetings aren't spiritual enough - and that can be for a number of reasons. Maybe the speaker just didn't prepare diligently and seek the guidance of the Spirit.  Maybe the speaker tried but doesn't have any good public speaking skills and the delivery simply was awkward and hard to follow.  Maybe the topic of the talk was not "worshipful" in nature and, therefore, would have been hard even for an experienced speaker to present in an uplifting, spiritual way. 

Having said that, if you are bored on a regular basis, you might need to focus on your own spirituality in some way.  If you are bored during a sincere attempt by a non-professional congregant to share his or her heart in a talk that was prepared with fear and trembling and who simply suffers from anxiety, lack of experience and/or poor public speaking skills - I'd say, maybe, you aren't charitable enough.

In practice, it usually is a two-way street, especially over the long haul.

Having said all of that, I have said that the single biggest detriment to spirituality in the Church often is non-spiritual Sacrament Meetings and non-educational Sunday School lessons - things that could stretch our understanding and enlarge our souls, but that can dull us if they stagnate for long stretches of time.  Making our meetings more spiritual, enlightening and satisfying is the best antidote for boredom - and it is much more constructive than blaming the congregation for feeling bored during meetings that don't live up to their purpose and potential.  

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