Before the announcements and even the opening song were sung at sacrament meeting, our stake president went to the pulpit and (gently) chastised the ward for being irreverent in the chapel. He then told about an experience he'd had the following week with Elder Bednar.
After Elder Bednar's fireside with the single young adults in the Murray area, the congregation formed a line in the chapel to shake hands with an apostle. In a few minutes, the chapel was roaring as friends talked to each other in line. Elder Bednar left his place in line, went to the podium and said, "Brothers and sisters. This is the chapel, and you need to be reverent." The crowd was hushed.
A few minutes later, however, the chapel was just as noisy as it was before. Again, Elder Bednar left the line and reminded the congregation that they were in the chapel and needed to be reverent. But this time, he said that if they were not reverent, he and the other general authorities would leave and that "everything that had been done in that meeting would be undone."
I was completely floored and felt so ashamed. While I wasn't chatting with anyone and I wasn't at Elder Bednar's fireside, I could definitely have been more reverent and reflective in the few minutes before sacrament meeting started. Our stake president then had the organist play the opening hymn for a few minutes until we were reverent and ready to begin the meeting.
I have been thinking about that experience a lot since yesterday. How many times do we enter the chapel and begin talking with friends instead of listening quietly to the prelude music and thinking about our Heavenly Father and His Son? How many times do I sit down on a bench and not even think about the holy place I have just entered?
So here's my goal -- be more reverent in EVERY aspect of my life. I would never want an apostle of the Lord to have to reprimand me twice when I was too distracted to listen and to be quiet. I'm going to make my Sundays more special and make time each day to be more reverent and in tune with the Lord. After all, those are the times when we can receive revelation and guidance from Him.