Chicago Church

So I’m in Chicago, after a roundabout trip. If you want to see more info on that, check Day 0, Day 1 and Day 2.

So anyways, I went to church at the Plainfield Ward, in Joliet, IL. And there were a few things of note that I felt like blogging about.

A few months ago, we had some people in church get up and complain about sacrament meeting reverence, especially pointing at kids. This annoyed both Carolyn and I, but I’m pretty much over it now.

Anyways, since then, I have been to 2 other LDS meetings. They have been in 2 different states (IL and PA), and 2 different times (9 am and 1 pm) though oddly enough they were both testimony meetings.

And both times, the reverence and general loudness has been insane. If people think our meetings are loud and irreverent, they should try some of these wards! Especially the one today. It was, no joke, 5 to 10 TIMES as loud as our ward.

Don’t get me wrong, I have 4 kids 6 and under, so I’m very well-versed in the sometimes pointlessness of kids and church. It just seemed here though that multiple parents were just not even TRYING. I don’t know – I’m trying not to be (too) gossipy or judging – maybe they were just having a bad day, or some of the kids were special needs or something, but it was just crazy. And it certainly wasn’t all of the families – there were some who I felt were doing a very good job of maintaining reverence.

Still, nearly the entire day later, it just boggles my mind how loud it was. I mean, I think I have a very high tolerance for loudness. And I was nearly to the point of walking up to the pulpit and calling them to repentance.

However, despite that (or maybe because of it!) it was one of the most spiritual meetings I’ve attended in quite some time. I suspect that a lot of it was due to the fact that I didn’t have to worry about maintaining my OWN kids’ reverence. But I really felt uplifted – I was moved by the Spirit 3 or 4 times during the songs or testimonies, occasionally to the point of near tears!

So to those who say that they can’t enjoy Sacrament meeting due to the loudness of other peoples’ kids, I say Nay to you, Nay.

Anyways, so I’m in Priesthood opening exercises, and they are introducing visitors. So they introduce “Sister Smith”‘s father, and he stands up, and it’s totally the dad of one of the guys in our ward from Cincinnati (Joe Chrisman). I have seen him a couple of times at church here in Cincinnati – apparently I just happened to attend church at Joe’s sister’s ward. Not quite as weird as seeing the Derenthals 2000 miles away at the Joseph Smith Memorial building, but still, weird.