Mixture of behaviors, beliefs

On a still, sunny Sabbath morning in our tiny California branch, my Sunbeam teacher held her index finger to her lips to signal us to be quiet. She whispered that we should practice being reverent. I learned that reverence meant being quiet in Church.

On another occasion, my mother sat between my sister and me to prevent a quiet yet distracting tickle fight during sacrament meeting. She asked us to listen to the speakers and hear the word of the Lord. She asked us to be reverent and I learned that being reverent meant to be humble and teachable and to listen with both mind and heart to the teachings of the gospel.As a teenager, I viewed the film "The First Vision" regarding the restoration of the gospel through young Joseph Smith. My favorite scene involved Joseph quietly, humbly kneeling in a grove of trees to petition Heavenly Father to answer a prayer of faith. I realized that reverence before the Lord meant to demonstrate faith, purity of heart, and an attitude of respect and unfailing obedience to His commandments.

While I was on a welfare services mission in Paraguay, my companion and I were called to treat a sick infant covered with infected, inflamed sores from head to toe. We labored for hours using all our medical knowledge to care for the painfully ill child. At midnight by the light of a single candle we knelt in the dirt to pray. Two exhausted sisters, two distraught parents and two worried siblings watched as the two elders placed their hands on the sick infant to give her a blessing. Not a sound could be heard except the clear, young voice of the elder reverently asking the Lord for help. The child immediately fell asleep, and by the next day, was almost completely healed of her affliction. I came to know that reverence meant to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all things and to lean not unto our own understanding.

During the birth of my first child, as she was placed in my arms, I gazed upon her beautiful face and saw a glimpse of heaven sparkle in her eyes. I felt an overwhelming gratitude to my Heavenly Father for allowing me such a beautiful gift. It was a moment of great reverence.

Now as I struggle to raise my children and step-children amidst a world of turmoil and sin facing many trials and tribulations, it becomes clear that part of reverence is to submit ourselves with a glad and willing heart to whatever experiences the Lord wishes to give to us. Reverence is a complex mixture of attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that help us to develop our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. Our life experiences continue to shape our understanding of the scope and importance of reverence before the Lord as we strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed