Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Soaking in the Spirituality


We were listening!

Hands on Spiritual training.
Really.
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.
Pictures.
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 childrens' 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!

23 comments:

  1. I know what you mean Diane... there are some speakers that are not as riveting as others... I let both my children read or draw... There is nothing wrong with that...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I should have tried that method in the endless, mindless, boring meetings I attended at work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doodling. Makes the time go by. Keeps the doodler awake!

      Delete
  3. Church isn't a place I have spent much time. I was christened in a church, married in a church and I've been there for a couple of weddings and a funeral. That's it for me.
    As kids, we did go to Sunday School for a few weeks mid year, that ensured our invitations to the Sunday School picnic, but after a few years we gave up on that too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And see all of the arts and crafts time you missed?! :)

      Delete
    2. There wasn't any arts and crafts apart from pasting that week's text onto little bits of cardboard. The really little kids got to colour in pictures, but we older kids just read from bible themed story books. I found it incredibly boring.

      Delete
  4. Love it. I wish I could get my kids to draw unicorns or Superik instead of the ruckus we usually have.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey! I also drew other animals!
    And elves and fairies! Don't forget them!

    Believe it or not, the doodling actually helped me listen. Doodling requires exactly zero brain power...

    I'll stop here before I get myself in trouble...

    ReplyDelete
  6. We were given Juicy Fruit. :-) To chew quietly.

    I can still smell that gum and think I'm in church.

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Juicy Fruit! Genius! Of course you chewed quietly. And didn't stick it to your brother or glue the pages of the hymn book together or anything like that . . .

      Delete
  7. I don't think I could write/receive notes without giving myself away laughing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a challenge. There was lots of sniggering going on.

      Delete
  8. Oh, the great memories of sitting in church together when we were young...er!
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heehee! Why is it that I remember George's chrysler-morphing-into-a-tank picture, but can't remember what the person up at the pulpit was saying?

      Delete
  9. Our parents sent us to Sunday School from kindergarten on. It was half way to our elementary school, so it's not like we didn't know the way. We were big enough to go to church somewhere around age nine or ten, or earlier if so inclined. I could manage the sermon for all the rest, and actually I really liked our minister and his wife, who presided all my early years, until I was 17.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're way ahead of me! Isn't it amazing how some people just know how to speak. And make it interesting?!

      Delete
  10. ya it's good to listen. Something stays behind. They will hear so many things in life so why not about God and goodness.
    They say that once you skip a generation or two people don't know God or have any use for him. but he is still there and it is nicer when you do know him.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I hope the "tradition" of spiritual training continues even further down the generations!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, so do I. I've noticed several of my grandchildren sitting in church with pencils and notebooks. I think we're on the way . . .

    ReplyDelete

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