Since the consolidated meeting schedule has made more Sunday time available, we have devised a family game called “Mormon Bowl.” The goal is to answer as many questions as possible from sacrament meeting talks and songs. Its rules are simple:
1. Each family member writes a question and its answer on a slip of paper.
2. The questions are put into a bowl of your choice. (We used Grandma’s blue willow bowl.)
3. The most reverent family member at church gets to draw and ask the questions. (If you have a very small child, a reading adult helps.)
4. To keep score, one point is awarded for each question answered correctly. In case of duplicate questions, the youngest children get to answer.
It sounds simple; but try to remember what the name of the opening hymn was, or what special person was mentioned in the opening prayer. Perhaps a new officer or teacher was sustained: who was he, and what is his new position? The questions asked can also be doctrinal, based on information given in the sacrament meeting talks.
Within a few weeks after we began playing this game, our family’s reverence at sacrament meeting had improved dramatically. And it didn’t take long for new sensitivities to develop, along with a new kind of listening.
Question: What did Brother Smith say our ward needed?
Answer: More members. (This happened to be a missionary sacrament meeting.) Elsie, our fifteen-year-old daughter said, “That’s the answer, but just what are we doing about it?” We found ourselves planning a nonmember fireside.
Question: How much food should a family have stored to sustain itself?
Answer: At least one year’s supply. “Dad,” our oldest child asked, “do we have that much?” Again, a time for reevaluation.
Question: What was Alma’s greatest challenge?
Answer: To help a son who had lost the way. My husband and I looked at each other, remembering the times we had prayed over our children as they struggled to make their testimonies secure. How well I remember the tears that came to one son’s eyes as he looked at his brothers and sisters, then said quietly, “That’s what dad and mom did for me.” He bore his testimony to the family, and at that moment our hearts were full.
Improved reverence, knowledge, enjoyment, and spirituality have been rewards for our Sunday evenings. Indeed, we look forward each week to our “Mormon Bowl,” enjoying again the spirit of sacrament meeting.