In the joint Relief Society/Priesthood meeting today, we had a lesson on reverence. Who knew that this would be a topic that could arouse contention in the people present? Some were incensed that there were others who whispered or even talked during Sacrament Meeting, some were peeved at those of us with children. Not babies, but 3-6 year olds who still didn’t know how to keep quiet or just hold it for a whole hour without having to take a trip to the bathroom. They were also mad that the parents would interrupt the meeting by getting up with said children, to remove them to said bathroom.

I was amazed at how quickly the discussion devolved from having respect and awe for a higher power, to keeping yourself and your family silent during a meeting. In my opinion, it was a case of getting the topic for the lesson, reading the title, and inferring that the intent was to teach what we tell the 5 year old reverence is, rather that teaching the principle of respect and awe. I think I was just redundant.

The funniest part, however, was when someone read a quote that had been distributed by the teacher. I wish I had been paying attention to who they were quoting, but I was busy fuming that the lesson was still going on 5 minutes after 2:00, when we had been admonished earlier in the same meeting to pick up our crazy kids from the primary before doing any other business, because our kids are more important than any other business that could possibly go on, and to respect those poor primary and nursery workers who have just had them for two hours. Nevertheless, on goes the meeting.

So the quote was about practicing reverence and teaching it in the family. It said something about how there are certainly emergencies when a child needs to be taken out of Sacrament meeting, “but it should be the Father that escorts the child out.”

The father? Why the heck should it be the father? That seems to fly in the face of all the reassurance we keep getting that we’re supposed to be a team. If it’s the father who is teaching reverence, why is the mother the one who’s supposed to stay home doing the nurturing, instead of joining the workforce? Are there really different ideas or character traits that each parent should be teaching? I’m not explaining this well, because I’m typing as fast as I can to get this done in the next 5 minutes.

I just don’t understand the reason for this comment. It just seems to hearken back to the more sexist and less logical ideas that the father is the one to do all the punishing, to be the bad guy.

I asked my husband why it should be the father, and he replied, “Oh, it’s so we can take them to the Father’s Room. That’s where they keep a bunch of belts and whips.”

Once again, I married the perfect man.


~ by woundedhart on October 1, 2007.

3 Responses to “Reverence/Discipline”

  1. Yay! I like waking up Monday morning to a new post…

    My kids are the LOUDEST ever. Last week during the Sacrament, I took my 2-year old out and she screamed “I WANT MY DADDY!” Later, the speaker commented on the kid who screamed during the sacrament and how her dad should feel like a hero.

    The gender stereo-typing thing is just weird. In our last ward, there was a nursing room for the women, but there was no place for the Dads to change a diaper in their bathroom. I found an old changing table and brought it in. It miraculously stayed, and I know that at least my hubby was able to use it! It was like making a silent statement.

    To me, it’s pretty easy to blow off a lesson like that and chalk it up to the fact that the teacher didn’t really understand the material. But… it is so hard to go to church when I feel it doesn’t apply to me. I don’t feel like I learn anything and usually leave frustrated or bored. It would be nice to leave having felt uplifted, as if I’d had the chance to really worship.

  2. I found you from FMH, and I think that you and I are on the same page about a lot of things. It seems so silly that someone would actually say it should be the father who takes the child out. I find the ideas about reverence in this church so strange. They expect children to sit through three hours perfectly? My daughter will never do it, I can tell already.

  3. Hey Maren! Thanks for coming. It’s for sure not just the ideas about reverence that are strange in the church. 😉 My oldest is almost 6, and he still talks all the way through, fights with his brother, hits his sister, has to go to the bathroom, whines, yells, talks about his penis, all during sacrament meeting. He hates Primary because it’s “too long and boring.” I know they’re good people, and trying pretty hard to make it fun for the kids, but it just isn’t. How old is your daughter?

    Sattva, that hero comment is pretty funny. Did that guy not think you were a hero too, for taking such good care of a kid, or was it just one of those cheeky “your kids love you even though you’re the dad” comments?

    I bet people were surprised when that changing table appeared in the men’s room. Surprised that they never knew they needed one before. I bet it even made a couple of men think in their heads, “What the heck is that doing there? Men never change diapers. Do they? Ohhhh! Am I the only backwards idiot that makes my wife change all the diapers?” My husband has always done it at home, but given me the poopy kids at church because there’s nowhere in the men’s room to do it. Good for you!

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