Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sacramental Blunders

Melanie over at The Write Stuff has inspired me today. The stories of cultural horrification. Horrendous but hilarious happenings at cultural events.

While the majority of the comments involved public, secular events (dances, concerts, plays, and the like), it occurred to me that these things happen at sacred events as well.

It put me instantly in mind of a man in our LDS Ward. I am pretty sure that every ward has one of these gentlemen. He is a man who has no grasp of the concept of "volume" where the human voice is involved. He also has issues with common sense courtesy. He is also the one that can be counted on to stand in Sunday School and somehow inevitably bring up topics of questionable doctrinal value and/or truth. "Did Adam have a belly-button" anyone?

You know exactly who I mean, do you not?

Several months ago, just as the first counselor in the Bishopric stood up to begin Sacrament Meeting, and the organist stopped playing the prelude music--in that brief moment of relative silence, a cell phone went off.

Yep. It was this gentleman's phone. He was sitting five rows from the front of the chapel.

He answered the phone and began talking. Not whispering. Talking. The first counselor waited for five or ten seconds for the gentleman to stop talking and hang up.

It quickly became obvious that he was not going to finish his conversation quickly. It was also quickly apparent that it was his absent wife calling him from home. "Yes, we're in Sacrament Meeting." "Yes, I'm in the Chapel." "No, I told them you were sick and they gave me a copy of the lesson." "No, I'll be home when it's over."

After the first ten seconds, the gentleman fell silent and the first counselor figured he could start the meeting. As he worked his way through the announcements, however, he found himself competing with this brother's conversation. "Next week will be a...." "Yes, it looks like I'll have to fly to Florida after all." "Then on the 14th the youth will be...." "No, I'll pack tomorrow morning. It will be OK."

This literally went on for the first three minutes of the meeting.

(Interestingly, Dallin H. Oaks just now made the point in General Conference that Sacrament Meetings were not a place for whispered conversations on cell phones. I would assume that included conversations that were not whispered.)

After competing with this brother for three minutes--even raising his voice to try and be heard over him (and with the Bishop increasing the volume on the microphone), the first counselor finally just stopped. He stopped talking completely. The only sound was this brother's talking.

The pause was pregnant.

Everyone waited; everyone listened; heads were shaking and members were trying not to laugh out loud.

He finally--obliviously--finished up his conversation with a loud, "I love you too." He hung up and the first counselor waited five beats before progressing.

To this day I am convinced that this brother is completely clueless about having stopped Sacrament Meeting cold.

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