Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

One of the deacons in my quorum is so disruptive that it is nearly impossible to learn anything from the lessons or enjoy quorum activities. He never settles down. How can I help him?

New Era

  • Be an example. Don’t join in his jokes when it isn’t appropriate.

  • Talk to him in private.

  • Be kind as you try to help him understand the importance of being reverent and respectful.

  • Try to love him even though you dislike his actions.

  • If you are in a leadership position, bring up the topic of reverence during a leadership meeting.

  • As a quorum, decide on a set of rules for behavior during quorum meetings and activities.

When someone else’s behavior is keeping you from learning or making it difficult for you to enjoy an activity, it can be extremely frustrating. What’s even more frustrating is when the person causing the problems is one of your peers.

There is a time when joking around is appropriate, but when someone can’t figure out when that time is, it is annoying.

Irreverent behavior takes away the Spirit and makes it difficult to learn anything. “The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer,” said President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve. “Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit” (Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22).

Many people who act up are doing it to get attention. This could be the motivation of your quorum member. Or it could be that he doesn’t realize his behavior has gotten to the point where he is annoying others. He might just think he’s being funny.

Be an example. It’s important that you be on your best behavior so the young man acting up has a model to look up to. Don’t join in his jokes when it isn’t appropriate.

Talk to him in private. Don’t make a big deal about it during class. Be kind as you try to help him understand the importance of being reverent and respectful. Remember to try to love him even though you dislike his actions.

Talk to your quorum leaders or advisers. Ask them if they have any ideas or if they would be willing to talk to the entire quorum or teach a lesson on reverence.

If you are in a leadership position, bring up the topic of reverence during one of your leadership meetings to see if anyone else has ideas.

We go to church to worship. But sometimes the time spent in church can turn into more of a social occasion. President Gordon B. Hinckley has talked about the Church as a “great social organization” but reminds us that we need to be reverent and respectful during church services. “We are friends. We love one another. In fact, we love one another so much that we can’t be very reverent in sacrament meeting. We are always talking to one another in sacrament meeting. It’s all right to talk with one another out in the foyer, but when we are in the chapel we ought to be quiet, reverent, and respectful and not irreverent” (Ensign, Sept. 1998, 76).

Although President Hinckley is talking about sacrament meeting, the same principles of reverence apply to all church meetings, especially those held in the chapel.

As you work to help your friend learn when reverence is appropriate, don’t forget to pray for guidance and to show love and kindness.

President Spencer W. Kimball

“True reverence is a vital quality, but one that is fast disappearing in the world as the forces of evil broaden their influences. We cannot fully comprehend the power for good we can wield if the millions of members of Christ’s true church will serve as models of reverent behavior” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 224). —President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)

Readers

Approach him privately and tell him the way he is acting is inappropriate behavior for church, and he is driving away the Spirit. Be kind and explain to him the church is the Lord’s house and he must act reverently.

Chris Howell, 17 Petersburg, New Jersey

I have experienced this also with the younger girls moving up to Young Women. You just have to treat them with kindness. Moving from Primary to the deacons quorum or Young Women is a big step, and the younger kids just want to be accepted. Show them they are loved, and eventually they will grow out of it.

Amelia Guffey, 15 Huntersville, North Carolina

I think a great way to calm an obnoxious person down is to ask them the question, “Would you be acting this way if Jesus were here?” Thinking of Christ keeps us focused on His gospel and keeps us from being rowdy.

Jason Farrell, 15 Danville, California

I’ve been in that situation before. If they’re obnoxious and annoying, it might be that they are in need of a friend. Just be kind to him and let him know you care.

Kim Edstrom, 15 Salem, Utah

As a teachers quorum president, if there were a person messing around, I would go up to that person after church and talk with him privately. If the problem continued, I would talk with his leader or parents.

Todd Wise, 15 Claremont, California

[photo] Photography by Jed Clark. Posed by models