Monday, November 30, 2009

Sabbath Joy

A phone rang in sacrament meeting today.
It happened while a group of young men were passing the bread trays around the congregation. I'm not sure how many people noticed, but I'm certain I wasn't the only one.
But this ringing wasn't from a young woman who forgot to silence her phone during church. It wasn't an overworked father who needed to step out because "I have to take this."
It was the phone in the hallway. And it kept ringing.
Singles Wards are an interesting atmosphere. I've been attending one since I returned from a full-time mission nearly four years ago. And they never fail to impress me.
"But, Single Vegas Mormon, aren't singles wards are all about getting married? I know, because there's that creepy guy who keeps eyeballing me in church."
It's true that some church meetings and lessons revolve around the dreaded m-word and families. But that's no different than a typical family ward.
In case you long-time members haven't noticed, we belong to a church of families. The focus is on the family. Lessons are directed at the family. Everything we do is for the enrichment of the family.
So where do we, as Young Single Adults, fit into that plan?
Ultimately, we should be seeking out our own families. That could include dating and buscando novia, as my Latino friends call it. Or that could involve building up the families to which we currently belong — our parents, siblings, friends, roommates, or even ward families.
But I digress.
The reason I brought up the phone-ringing experience was to point out a phenomenon that seems to exist only in singles wards throughout the world: SILENCE.
I've been to many different wards in my life. And in no other have I felt a greater sense of peace and tranquility during the blessing and passing of the Sacrament than in my singles wards.
That's not to say that family wards et al don't have their advantages. Children bring a unique richness and vivacity to any organization that no amount of young single adults can. And the annual Primary Program held during the second half of Sacrament Meeting is a treat for any spectator, whether they have children or not.
But they don't usually add to the atmosphere of the sacrament, either. Communing with the Lord without the distractions of crying babies, nursing mothers, coloring-book-clad toddlers and small boys running up and down the aisles is a marvel.
I love being able to quietly contemplate my life, focus on the Savior and commune with my Heavenly Father while a group of stalwart men parade around the room passing bread and water. It makes my weekly church meetings worth the 5-10 minute drive to the chapel by the Temple.
So at this time of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the Sacrament. I am thankful for the chance to cast my burdens on the Lord and feel his love for me during that time of meditation and thought that we call a "church block."
And, yes, I am thankful for Singles Wards.

I forgot to post last week, and should have, with it being Thanksgiving and all. But a rare Monday post will have to do for all three of those fans of this blog out there.
I'm grateful for so many things this holiday season. I wasn't able to travel home for Thanksgiving, instead staying home for a dinner of frozen burritos and sweet corn (oh, and a chance to watch the Lions lose ... again!).
But it made me grateful for my family, my testimony and the companionship of the Holy Ghost. There is no better joy than knowing that you have a Father in Heaven who loves you, no matter where you are in the world or in what situation you find yourself.
So enjoy this amazing video from Mormon Messages, the official YouTube channel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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