The bishop is worried about ward reverence. He should be, truth be told. The sound level in sacrament typically hovers somewhere between distracting hum and dull roar. But we have 6 (soon-to-be-8) nursery classes. Did we really expect all those 2-year-olds would sit there silently listening to the speaker? Apparently yes. Because I just â€œheardâ€ (and freely admit that I might be spreading gossip) that the Stake is concerned about reverence, too. Reverence for the building. They are suggesting that no food be allowed in the chapel. Help! Cheerios were our only hope!
Personally I think reverence cuts both ways. Yes, we want to show our reverence by being quiet and respectful and teaching our children to do the same, and, yes, probably some in the congregation need a bit of prompting in that direction. (Iâ€™ve risked offending a ward member by trapping her child as he was doing laps around the center section of the pews before.) But reverence is a feeling, a state of being that cannot be dependent on someone elseâ€™s sound level or actions. Even if you canâ€™t hear a word the speaker says, you can still revere the Lord in sacrament meeting.
Our married BYU ward met in the Manavu chapel in Provo. It had a glassed-in, two row â€œcry roomâ€ in the back. Whatever happened to that good idea? The Methodist church in my Wyoming hometown had one, too. Of course, given our ward demographics, it might be easier to glass-in the bishopric, speakers and a few front rows and leave the rest for reverence practice.