Monday, March 23, 2020

At-Home Church

I snapped this picture a while back after Benson asked Sam to say a prayer with him. The image of them kneeling down together with Benson's little hands clasped together was just about more than I could handle!

Our "at-home church" went pretty well last week,
but this week we were better prepared and our Bishop had authorized us to have the Sacrament in our home,
so the meeting was just beautiful to me.

Benson, as sweet as he is, creates a LOT of chaos during any attempted organized meetings.
When someone is trying to teach, he climbs up on the chair next to them and shouts his own discourse over the top of them, waving his hands and speaking adamantly while throwing in words like, "Testimony!" and repeating random words the other person is trying to say.
If I try to accompany songs on the piano, he quickly climbs up beside me and starts banging on the keys.
When we sing without the piano, he climbs on the table to dance.
Sam and I are kept so busy trying to contain and silence Benson that our teaching is significantly reduced.
So this week we made the brilliant decision to wait until we put him down for his nap to start church.
Sorry, baby boy...

So after Benson was settled and lunch was cleaned up, I had the boys gather in the living room and instructed them each to grab a Friend or Ensign magazine while I played some hymn arrangements on the piano to provide some prelude music. They all sat quietly on the couches while they listened to the music and read their magazines as Sam prepared the Sacrament.
We pulled the coffee table to the side of the room and covered it with a white cloth and he prepared bread and water.
We started our meeting by singing "He is Risen," and the boys all enthusiastically sang the song with such conviction I was nearly brought to tears. We had an opening prayer, after which we sang "As Now we Take the Sacrament," and Sam blessed and passed the Sacrament to us.
Then each of the boys gave their talks. Sam had assigned them topics and given them a basic template to follow. He helped Lincoln a lot, but Wesley and Talmage did their own thing entirely and shared some poignant thoughts. Even Maxwell wanted to give a talk, so Talmage helped him share his testimony.
Sam then wrapped up the meeting with a talk of his own,
and we finished by singing "Come, Follow Me" and had a closing prayer.

I took charge of the second half of our meeting, and we started with Singing Time and played singing Jenga. We then a had a Primary lesson about the allegory of the olive tree and talked about the different symbols and watched a short film about the care of olive trees. We discussed our role in the Savior's plan to gather Israel, did some coloring sheets, and closed with a final prayer.

I was so happy with how the meeting went and, although I would change the circumstances if I could, I am so grateful for this chance to be even more involved and intentional as we teach our children the Gospel and bring these sacred experiences into our home.

Also--my sister told me about these books, and they are incredible! Mine just arrived in the mail a couple of days ago, and I am so excited to do lots of activities related to olive trees this week!

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