Reverence is more than folding arms and sitting quietly

When we ask children to be reverent, we usually see them sit up straight, fold their arms and close their mouths. They know that reverence is being quiet, but it is much more than that: It is a feeling of worship, love and respect for our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.

Reverence is the feeling I have in the temple, or in the presence of an apostle who recently visited our stake, or when the Spirit teaches me through the scriptures or an inspired teacher. It's also a feeling I have as I listen to or sing inspirational music.I learned a memorable lesson about reverence when I was involved in a stake youth trip to Palmyra, N.Y., several years ago. Some time prior to the trip, my husband and I had gone ahead to arrange details. There were very few other visitors at the many Church history sites in the area during that time of year, and we greatly enjoyed visiting them.

The place we most enjoyed and most strongly felt the Spirit was in the Sacred Grove. We were alone and were able to take our time to reflect on the events that took place there in the spring of 1820. I did not expect we could have the same experience when we returned in July with three bus loads of teenagers.

During the subsequent trip, our young people were normal, bubbly, talkative and sometimes loud teenagers. But something profound happened as they walked into the Sacred Grove. It was almost as if we had entered a temple. I felt the same reverence with those wonderful youth that I had felt when my husband and I had been there alone.

I saw some of our young men and young women walk off by themselves to be alone in that sacred place. I saw some quietly kneeling in prayer without concern for what others might think. I felt the Spirit again and also had a realization that the youth of the Church are sensitive to the Spirit and to deep feelings of reverence.

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