It was just an ordinary sacrament meeting. At that moment, Latter-day Saints were sitting in sacrament meetings in thousands of chapels all over the world. But then something happened to make this particular sacrament meeting special.
After the sacrament had been passed, I sat looking around as the bishop got up to speak. There sat the Spillman family. Jane was facing the bishop, but her arm rested across her husband’s back. Her husband, Richard, was holding their new son, Tommy. He looked into the baby’s face as he fed him with a bottle. That’s what drew my attention to Joel, who was ever-so-gently stroking his baby brother’s head.
Spiritual experiences come in many ways. As I looked at the Spillmans, I felt a sense of peace in the room. I began to look around, and I noticed some wonderful things.
Four-year-old Ashley Anderson, who had been sitting with her mother on the front row, came down the aisle to the back row to sit on Brother Deloy Nielsen’s knee. Countless hours of helping in the nursery had made him a “borrowed grandpa” to many little children who loved him.
Testimony bearing started. An elderly couple, whom I had never seen before, sat in the middle of the chapel. He had his arm around her, and their silver heads were bent close together.
A young man got up and quietly showed a young child the way out. It was Gary—Mindy and David’s son. A sweet spirit filled the room as family after family drew close and touched one another spiritually.
Dallas’s little girl sat on his lap. She reached over and hugged him. Toddler Donelle took turns going from Jackie to Wayne for hugs and loves. The chapel, at that moment, was a special place, with a special spirit.
Recently baptized Jared, Kim’s young son, bore his testimony and then sat close to his dad. As more testimonies were shared, members continued to partake of the spirit.
As I sat there, I thought again about the Saints gathered in rooms, rented halls, and chapels all over the world, enjoying the same spirit I was enjoying. Even members like me, sitting alone because loved ones lived elsewhere or had passed away, were not really alone. We were all together for this special time, on an ordinary Sunday, in an ordinary ward, in an ordinary stake of Zion.
Just another sacrament meeting? It all depends on how you look at it.