On the sweetness of Mormon life.
It was Scout Sunday today, and our ward tends to celebrate this in a big way. The young men were all encouraged to wear their uniforms to church, but since that’s not proper dress for administering the sacrament, the Melchizedek Priesthood got called on to take their place.
Hence, the annual sacramental comedy of errors.
I got asked to help by my High Priests group leader. (Sith, like patriarchs and emeritus seventy, meet with the High Priests.) I accepted the assignment, though it’s a bit problematic: Fitting four middle-aged derrierres on a pew that is just large enough for four young men is hard enough even when one of them doesn’t belong to an armor-clad 7-foot wheezing giant. But we managed.
We didn’t really know where we were going. We struggled not to trip over each other. We didn’t quite have it clear how we were supposed to pass the sacrament to each other after we had passed it to the congregation. We had to do a lot of clumsy improvisation. But the work of the Lord got done. Kind of a microcosm of the whole Church, actually.
There was an additional lesson in the whole business. The fact we were substituting for the young men in the first place is significant. We can depart from usual practice by having Melchizedek Priesthood adminster the sacrament, so the young men can wear their Scout uniforms. On other Sundays, we can provide white shirts and ties to young men without so they can carry out their assignments. (Not in my present ward, which is fairly well off, but it’s been done in other units I’ve been a member of.) But we won’t waive the dress requirement and let young men administer the sacrament other than in white shirts and ties.
(If you were wondering: Yes, I hung up my cloak and put on an oversized white shirt, that ugly purple tie, and a giant dress sweater to do my duty.)
White shirt and tie is mentioned nowhere in Scripture. It’s a cultural thing. Specifically, it’s part of the unwritten order of things President Packer has been mocked mercilessly for endorsing. But, you know something? I think it’s an important lesson for the young men:
We do not always know why we are asked to do things a certain way in the Church.
When we are asked to do things a certain way, the Church will bend over backwards to help us do it that certain way.
If there is some other worthy thing we need to be doing, we will be honorably excused … but someone will still be doing the certain thing the certain way.
The many applications of this lesson I leave as an exercise for the Padawan.