So I’m sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday when I feel a sharp elbow to my ribs. I looked up from the book I was reading just in time to hear the words: “Sacrament meeting is not a time for reading books or magazines.” It turns out the speaker had been asked to summarize a conference address by Elder Oaks on the subject of sacrament meetings. I smiled at the irony, listened for a moment to see whether the speaker actually had a thought or story of his own to share that I hadn’t already read on the subject, and concluding that he did not I slipped back into reading the book I had brought from home.
I always bring a book to Church; it is my way of surviving the experience. Usually it is a church book, although I confess that yesterday it was not. I keep my ears attuned to personal stories or other material I’m not already familiar with, and put the book down for that. But if someone is saying the same formulaic thing I’ve heard over that pulpit a hundred times before, the book I bring with me is my salvation.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you read at church, or do you manage to avoid it? Does your significant other give you grief about it if you do read during the three-hour block? What are your preferences for Church reading material? Or do you prefer to use your phone to surf the web or use some other technology to avoid terminal boredom?