The Lobby

I was a little disappointed on Sunday as I sat out in the lobby during Sacrament. I sat there with my family and waited with others as the bread was blessed. Afterwards, I expected a Deacon to come out the Church doors to pass Sacrament to us.

It never happened!

Usually when I am waiting for Sacrament, I have a feeling of peace and relief. It turned to horror as they began to bless the water. They forgot us! My family and three others. Even worse, a Deacon finally came out with the water tray. Everyone just took the water, except one or two people the Deacon missed again. I am just disappointed. It seemed that no one wanted to say anything for the sake of reverence. For the rest of the hour I was sad and disappointed…and little angry that I things were overlooked.

When I was passing sacrament over a month ago, I was taught how important the Sacrament Ordinance is and how we should make sure everyone has a chance take it and to be mindful and observant. I wasn’t sure what to do, to let the Bishop know we were missed or to seek out the President of the Deacons or the President of the Priests? To the readers – what are your opinions on this?

When the Deacon came around with the water tray, we took from him. My wife asked me “Does it still count?” My answer. “Yes.” But I am really not sure – I know that Sacrament is supposed to be done a certain way and we did not partake of the bread, but our intentions in being there would have to be enough. I finally found peace when a thought came to my mind – I can wait until next week. It will actually be three weeks without Sacrament since there was a Stake Conference last Sunday. It will be a very, very long week.

On another note, since I have children my wife is very helpful for tending to them during Sacrament meeting, sometimes I am guilty of letting her bear the entire burden of them. I don’t know what I would do without her, she makes things run much easier in the family. I feel I need to do better in helping and taking turns with the kids so she can get more out of Church. Maybe I am a little selfish, but I look forward to the three hours on Sunday and try to learn as much as I can in that time period.

The talks today were on repentance and I tried my best to listen to it. I couldn’t hear half the time. There were about six children in the lobby, not including my three, and some other members and the place sounded like a cafeteria with all the screaming, singing and chattering going on. The single speaker in the lobby ceiling was easily overpowered. I was annoyed at this. I try to keep it mellow when I have my kids in the lobby, if the baby starts to act up, I will actually leave the building until he calms down – as to not disturb anyone else in the lobby. It seemed no one was going to do this today.

A few months ago the Bishop talked to us about reverence and the importance of it and even more I now realize the magnitude of it. We should stay respectful of the people at Church. Sometimes people need Church more than others. At times I feel like I need Church more than another week. This time I felt I needed it more than ever. I needed time for self-reflection, learning, comfort and peace. The first hour made me feel like I was robbed from it between having half a sacrament and missing the talks.

I realize people aren’t perfect and things go wrong sometimes and forgiveness is all I can do. I did forget first hour and enjoy the second and third. I am looking forward to next week to start anew: renew that covenant, listen to those talks and avoid the lobby if I can help it.

5 Replies to “The Lobby”

  1. You probably did the right thing letting it go. If you were in the Chapel you could have raised your hand to let the Bishop know you were missed, outside there is little you can do. God knows you were there and it wasn’t your fault that you didn’t get the sacrament. Therefore, you were blessed the same as if you had taken it.

    My wife and I had a similar though slightly different experience. It happened on Sunday were our kids were being especially difficult and we arrived late. We missed the prayer for the sacrament, but it was still being passed in the lobby. The Deacon passing the sacrament made a snide remark about our tardiness and refused to give us the sacrament. When the water was passed he made no attempt to give it to us, but passed us by.

    Now I’m not sure about the protocol for receiving the sacrament if you miss the prayer, but I am sure that the attitude this young man showed was highly inappropriate (people have gone inactive for less). It even made my wife upset and that’s not easily done. I ended up just ignoring it because, after all, he just an immature teenager. I probably did the same stupid, judgmental stuff when I was his age (although I would have given the sacrament to us:).

    As for the lobby noise, those who have grown up LDS knows there is nothing you can do about that. Especially when there are other wards in the building. The lobby is a place to meet and converse. You also have the people that take their kids out of sacrament because they are being too loud there and parents that just don’t want to be confined to a pew with their kids. So its just not the place you want to be if you really are into sacrament. The best thing to do if your late is to just go in after the sacrament has been passed. If you are afraid there will not be a seat I’ll give you a hint one how to find one; no one ever fills the front row☺

  2. Thanks for the assurance, Jay. I was thinking that our intentions for Sacrament would be good enough.

    I know the Lobby is a different atmosphere than inside where Sacrament is taking place, but besides the two lobbys I wish there were more areas. I guess this is the price for having kids, in any case I’m sure if I really needed to hear the talk, then I would have heard it.

    And you’re right about the front rows 🙂

  3. I can certainly empathize with you for I too have been in the lobby many times and have received no Sacrament or half of it. However, every single time it happens, I KNOW the reason for it. You’re not going to like this, but it’s because I’m late. And guess what? I really have no excuse. My children are grown, and my husband is not a member so I’m usually alone. Yet still, here I am driving up in the parking lot after 9:00. When my children were little, I was always there early. Go figure??!

    Anyway, I want to share a story with you. One of the mothers in our ward has seven children, and she and her husband often arrive separately, and he has some children with him and she brings the others. One day during F & T meeting she shared this story. She had been late that morning, and as the elders blocked the door,one of them said in a whisper, “Too late.” She said the entire time she was in the lobby all she could think about was how her whole family was inside in a reverent quiet setting…all apart from her. Her mind wrapped around that thought and just wouldn’t let go. She compared it to the amends people mean to make to their daily lives, but they procrastinate until it’s too late,and they are forever cut off from their families.

    When she spoke, it was like she was speaking to me, and every single time I’m late, I think about how I’m cut off from the others in my ward family. They’re inside, and I’m out where it’s a little less reverent and a lot lonelier. I think about how my three children who are now adults are in other wards at that very moment partaking of the Sacrament and about how I don’t want to be cut off from them. Not only do I want to spend eternity with them, but I also want to be having the same Sunday morning experience of the Sacrament with them (although we are separated geographically).

    I hope this makes sense. I’m writing quickly because it’s time to go to work.

  4. Marla Jayne,

    It is a difficult adjustment for our three young boys to sit still and quiet for all of Sacrament meeting. It is still a foreign experience for them since we started attending six months ago. Sometimes we’ll make it until almost the very end. Sometimes we’ll make it to the middle of the first hymn.

    Thank you for sharing that story, it is very insightful into the importance of being on time and doing things today as opposed to tomorrow. What you are saying completely makes sense. “Too late” and procrastination are things that we must all be mindful of.

  5. I’ve been where you are and can empathize. There were countless Sundays when my children were younger that I spent more time in the hallways and lobby than I did in any of the meetings. Then were the years in nursery when I felt almost completely shut off from the fellowship on the other side of the prison (oops, I mean nursery). However, things got better, and all those hours “on the outside” paid off

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *