“Sharing Time: Reverence in Holy Places,” Tambuli, Oct. 1992, 10
Long ago there lived a man named Moses. One day, while he was taking a flock of sheep to a mountain to graze, he saw a bush that was on fire. To his surprise, the bush did not burn up. When Moses walked over to see this great sight, the voice of Jesus Christ called to him, saying, “Moses, Moses. … Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground” (Ex. 3:4–5). When Moses had done this, Jesus told Moses that he wanted him to go to Egypt and lead the children of Israel out of captivity and into the promised land. Moses was promised that as he did this difficult thing, the Lord would be there to help him.
Moses must have felt very reverent knowing that he was in the presence of Jesus Christ. When Jesus told Moses to take off his shoes, he was teaching Moses that when we are in holy places we must show reverence.
Our meetinghouses belong to Heavenly Father, and they, too, are holy places. We are not asked to take off our shoes to show reverence when we go into a meetinghouse, but we should dress nicely to show our respect. We should also sing and pray reverently, think of Jesus Christ when we take the sacrament, and listen quietly to our teachers and the speakers. If we behave irreverently—running, talking loudly, littering, or distracting others—we cannot hear and feel what Jesus Christ wants the Holy Ghost to tell us. We will also keep others from feeling his Spirit.
When we are reverent at church, the Holy Ghost will help us know and feel the things that Jesus Christ wants to teach us. Jesus Christ has told us that we should “be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
Cut out the meetinghouse and the wordstrips. Mount them on heavy paper or lightweight cardboard. Color the meetinghouse.
Fold the meetinghouse on the dotted lines and glue the tabs to the inside of the back wall, so that it makes a box. (There is no roof.)
Cut apart the wordstrips and place them inside the box. Each Sunday take one of the wordstrips out of the box. At church that day, work on doing what the wordstrip says. Notice how you feel when you behave reverently. Does being reverent make it easier for you to learn what Jesus Christ wants you to know?
Try to remember one of the stories you hear in your Primary class or during sacrament meeting. Tell the story to someone after church.
Notice the ways special words, like thee and thou, are used when the prayers are given.
If someone bothers you or talks to you during Church meetings, quietly and kindly tell him or her that you are trying to be reverent.
Fold your arms, bow your head, and close your eyes during the prayers.
Pick up any litter you may see in the meetinghouse.
Sing every song. If you do not know the words, hum.
Think of Jesus during the sacrament. How many stories about him can you remember?
Say a quiet prayer during the sacrament, thanking Heavenly Father for your blessings.
Say a quiet prayer during the sacrament, asking Heavenly Father to help you feel his Spirit.
Think about something kind you can do for someone during the coming week.
Smile at others in the chapel when they look at you, but do not talk.
Walk quietly in the meetinghouse. Do not run or push other children.
Shake hands with someone at church.
If you need to talk, remember to whisper.
Have the children take turns role-playing church behavior, demonstrating irreverent behavior first, then reverent behavior. Ask the other children to guess what kind of feelings or thoughts the actors are experiencing. Discuss how our inward feelings affect our outward behavior.
Hold up a picture of a sacred place—for example, the Sacred Grove, a temple, Garden of Gethsemane, or the burning bush. (1) Discuss what happened in this place. (2) Ask the children how they would feel in this place. (3) Ask them how they would behave there. Have the children draw a picture of their meetinghouse and discuss the same three points.
Take the younger children on a tour of the meetinghouse. Have them think of ways they can show reverence for the building. For example: putting litter in the wastebasket, taking good care of the grounds, opening and shutting classroom doors quietly, whispering in the chapel when they need to talk, and walking (not running) in the halls.