Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Hands on Spirituality

We were listening!
Hands on Spiritual training.
On Sundays our family regularly attended church.
For three hours.
It was divided into three sections.
Sacrament meeting, the most sacred.
Sunday School.
The 'classroom' portion.
And Relief Society.
The Women class.
The men also had their class, but who paid attention?
Moving on . . .
The class portions of our meetings were usually quite lively.
Sleep was impossible.
But the Sacrament portion, the most sacred meeting, featured speakers taken from the congregation.
Some were fantastic.
Some . . . weren't.
On those occasions, sleep was not only possible, but inevitable.
Distraction was needed.
Oh , nothing that would detract from the sacred spirit or nature of the meeting. Just something that would keep the hands busy, while freeing the mind to concentrate on the speaker.
At least that was the theory.
Some kids looked at picture books featuring the Saviour.
Some had picture books featuring other things, like animals.
Some had dry cereal fed to them.
One cheerio at a time.
Some played quietly with toys.
The operative word there, was 'quietly'.
My brother and I drew.
We took turns.
I would draw something silly.
He would reciprocate.
We kept our giggles to a minimum. Mom had been known to snatch and stash our drawing equipment without warning.
But as long as we were quiet, she was satisfied that we were soaking in what needed to be soaked.
So to speak.
It got us through many a dry meeting.
And I think we still learned a few things . . .
Forward several years.
To my own children.
Who entertained themselves hugely with pencil and paper.
In Sacrament meeting.
They were a bit more creative than my brother and I had been . . .
Caitlin drew fantasy pictures of dragons and unicorns.
Tiana drew episodes of Intiana Jones, a tiny stick figure with a hat and whip.
And Erik reciprocated with installments of Superik.
Supposedly called sup-ERIK, but which his sister-in-law titled SUPER-ik.
I will admit, here, that the stories they created were not as spiritually uplifting as what was being said at the pulpit.
But often more entertaining.
What did they get from those meetings?
Well . . . they still attend.
With pad and pencil in one hand and their child's hand in the other.
But they are attending.
Spiritual training and umm . . . tradition, all in one package.
It's a good thing.

Superik to the rescue!


  1. Well at least they went to church. lol
    Here it was always soccer soccer soccer.Now my son asks why we didn't go to church lol

  2. I always laid down on the bench and sucked my thumb under my coat so nobody could see me... until I was EIGHT years old! :)

  3. I think church is the perfect place to use a pencil and pad! Imagine the creativity and imagination brought to life in a place of worship. And like you say, they're attending! :)

  4. Oh, I LOVE Super-IK! I used to teach a religion class & every Friday I'd read from the tales of Narnia. A few years later, I met one of my pupils who told me he couldn't remember much about school, but he'd always remember those tales!! Sometimes it's what's 'caught', not what's taught that's important!!


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