“It’s in the Bag,” Ensign, June 2005, 68
When my husband was called to the bishopric, I faced the seemingly insurmountable task of caring for my three young children alone during sacrament meeting. My first few attempts didn’t go well, but over time I began to succeed. One of my key discoveries was taking a well-prepared bag of only the essentials. By packing it each Sunday after Church meetings, I always had it ready for the next week. This advance preparation allowed me to carefully select a book and one or two toys for each child. If I selected too many toys, we experienced chaos the following sacrament meeting. The same was true for snacks. In fact, I could usually eliminate them altogether if I fed my children an hour before church. Because times of meetings vary, some parents may need to pack a few snacks, but I recommend keeping it simple.
With my bag in hand each Sunday and children in tow, we began arriving 15 minutes early thanks to effective Saturday-evening clothing and bath preparations. Though arriving early was difficult at first, the extra time allowed us to listen reverently to the prelude music, thus setting a peaceful precedent we had rarely experienced before.
Initially, I thought I would be alone in my endeavors to care for my children at church. But other gracious ward members have helped. Together we encourage my children to stay in one place during the meeting—no wandering. With a little preparation, I have been able to help even my youngest child to sense the sacredness of sacrament meeting.
Kim Durfey, Colorado Springs 17th Military Ward, Fountain Colorado Stake