Here’s a real problem I face every Sunday morning, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one: What do I bring to church to read during Sacrament Meeting? There are some ground rules I have developed to guide my choice of books. Perhaps you have your own suggestions.
First, it has to be a thin book. I was considering bringing my copy of Rough Stone Rolling along last week but decided it was just too visible. A good rule of thumb is it shouldn’t be any thicker than your Triple Combination. Also, a pleasantly subdued cover is a must. No bright orange covers to call attention to the non-conforming book by your side.
Second, no paperbacks. I mean the small trade paperbacks you read on BART or airplanes. Wrong size, plus reading Tom Clancy or some sci-fi novel in church (even an OSC novel) is just not kosher. Not quite as bad as playing a video game on your cell phone, but close. I think there’s a “some redeeming religious value” test that any book read by an adult during the meeting must pass.
Third, not too orthodox. This one is tricky. If you are reading a book by Boyd K. Packer in Sacrament Meeting, for example, you face the potential criticism that Elder Packer would not want you reading his book during Sacrament Meeting. It is more comfortable to read something by an author who likely wouldn’t mind you reading her book during the meeting. Any historian should do the trick. GAs who have passed on to the spirit world are also fair game, for some reason.
Following these guidelines, you may find your Sunday meeting reading to be the best part of your day. No distractions — the phone won’t ring and there’s no fridge to beckon. I ended up with Widstoe’s Rational Theology last week, which met all three of my guidelines. And what did you read last Sunday?