What's Sunday "Normal" to You?
How would you describe the typical Sunday schedule in your branch or mission? I bet many of you would answer, "Sunday school followed by a preaching service."
Some might add that their Sunday continues with lunch at church and an afternoon service. Others might even continue on with an evening meeting or MBA that night. If I asked for times, what might the answers be? Some start early, some maybe a little later. What about where your service is held? The vast majority would probably say, "the church building," but at least a few might say a hotel, school, or community center — or even someone's living room or garage.
Are any of these "normal?" I guess it's all what we're used to.
For the first 21 years of my life, I had Sunday school at 9:30 a.m., preaching from 11 a.m. to noon, lunch at home (since my dad isn't a member and we lived five minutes away), and then communion service from 1 p.m. to about 2:30 or so and then MBA from 7 to 8 p.m.
Then I started college away from home, and that's when my "normal" got flipped upside down. While at Penn State in the late 90's, to my knowledge, I was the sole member of The Church of Jesus Christ on campus. Needless to say, I wasn't at many "meetings" outside of me praying, reading scripture, or listening to a sermon on tape Sunday morning. The only meetings I had were those I attended when I went home for a weekend — once a month when I was lucky.
After graduation, things went back to how they were, somewhat. Then, when I moved to Texas, there was yet another "normal." The saints who were nearby consisted of a few sisters, none of whose spouses were members, a "traveling" teacher (since he lived with a different daughter throughout the country every few months), and me, also a teacher. We didn't have a building or even a resident elder, but that didn't stop us from meeting as often as we could.
This "normal" has continued for the last 14+ years, the only changes occurring when Brother Jim was taken home, and when some moved in and others moved away. A big difference between then and now is that we have kids today. It's very interesting trying to teach a lesson in a living room when there are just two adults (me included) and three kids ranging from less than a year to 4 going on 5.
What I have found is that it doesn't matter how our "normal" service goes. Moroni 6:9 states, "And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done."
All God wants is our very best effort to follow the Holy Ghost. Whether that is by sitting in a church building with 50 to 100 others singing songs of praise and testifying or by having a lesson with two others in a living room or kitchen, all God wants is our praise and love. It doesn't matter if we sing, pray, preach, or testify. As long as we're following the Holy Ghost, we're pleasing God. That's the normal I always want to experience.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.