Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spiritual Sundays: Chester the Church Mouse

"Reverence is more than just quietly sitting..."

Yeah, but quietly sitting is an awfully good start, don't you think? We have been having some serious problems with quietly sitting at church, and so I decided that a Family Home Evening lesson on reverence was in order.

I searched the internet looking for ideas that might help with my reverence topic. One of the first sites I found was from The Family Home Evening Spot. It was there that I found this poem:

“What If … ?,” by DaLee C. James, Friend, Sep 1996, 22

If a mouse would ride to church
In your pocket on this day,
What might he tell his family
That he heard you do or say?
Would he tell them you were reverent,
And you listened to your teacher?
Or would he say he’d never seen
Such a noisy creature?
Would he tell them how he loved the songs
You sang so sweet and clear?
Or would he groan from all the talking
That entered in his ear?
Could he take a little snooze
As you walked nice and tall?
Or would he scream with panic
As you galloped down the hall?
Would the little mouse get seasick
From the tipping of your chair?
Or would he feel safe and cozy
As you quietly sat there?
Would the chapel be a reverent place?
The sacrament the same?
Now tell me, would the little mouse
Be really glad he came?
If a mouse would ride to church
In your pocket on this day,
What might he tell his family
That he heard you do or say?

I LOVED this little poem, and I knew that my kids would love it, so I decided to actually make a little mouse and call him Chester the Church Mouse. I created him in about 5 minutes using an old baby sock, a rubber band, some felt, googly eyes, my hot glue gun, and a permanent marker.

After reading the poem to the kids, I picked the child who was being the most reverent while listening and I told them where Chester was hiding. The child brought Chester in to Family Home Evening and I explained to them that Chester was going to come to church with us on Sunday. During Sacrament Meeting (when we are all in the chapel/sanctuary together) he would sit with whichever child was being the most reverent. He did not like to be around loud noises or wiggly children, so the person would have to be very quiet and still, or else Chester would want to go somewhere else.

Well, Chester made the journey to church with us today and he had two very reverent children to sit with. When one of them would start to get a little wiggly or noisy, I would *help* Chester move over to the other one who was being quiet. On occasion, the children would forget about Chester even being there and start to get a little rambunxious, but once they saw me move Chester, they would remember and get very quiet and still again. And they were very pleased to have him come back and sit with them.

I'm sure Chester probably won't be with us forever, but the goal is to have him be the reminder and to get the kids into the habit of being quiet and reverent at church. It was such a relaxing experience for me to actually be able to sit and listen without constantly saying, "SHH!", breaking up arguments, and trying to keep them from kicking the backs of the seats!

Here's to Chester the Church Mouse.

Anyone else have any tips or tricks for reverence, or any other FHE ideas that have worked well for your family? Leave a comment and share!

To learn more about what I believe as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visit

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous idea! Our kids don't regularly sit in church with us, but there are occasional situations that require them to sit quietly. I am going to remember this idea. Thanks so much!


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