“Find happiness in ordinary things, and keep your sense of humor.” – President Boyd K. Packer
Are you in a position of leadership in your ward? Been newly called to the bishopric and now need to learn how to conduct a meeting? Or maybe you’re just a member of a congregation and you want to know how to play your part better at church functions? Never fear. If you are new to putting on an LDS meeting there are many resources available to you. You can look up the exact procedures of conducting in the Church handbooks. These are valuable resources and if you follow their guidelines you’ll do fairly well. But there’s more to conducting a Mormon meeting than what you’ll find in the book. Lucky for you, I am here to help. Here are some insider tips and pointers to make your next Mormon meeting a success.
#1: Conducting Music
No Mormon meeting is complete without music, and every song must have a conductor. It doesn’t matter if it’s a well-rehearsed choir number or a song in junior primary, you must have someone up front directing the singers. Those in the congregation may mistakenly believe that they can sing the song without direction because they have sung it two hundred times before. But such a belief is false doctrine. All songs require a conductor, always, all the time.
When selecting your conductor for smaller meetings like Sunday school, don’t worry about whether the candidate actually knows how to lead music. Odds are the pianist will be facing the opposite direction anyway, happily plunking away, heedless of the “conducting” going on behind him. That’s okay. Just make sure someone is up front waving their hand and mouthing words and everything will go fine.
There are important things to know about singing time for those in the congregation, as well. When you’ve got a full chapel, odds are there won’t be enough hymnbooks to go around. That means some folks will have to share. Mormons have a very specific form of hymnal-sharing etiquette that must be observed to make the meeting run smoothly. Taking into account Alma’s charge to “bear one another’s burdens,” all good Mormons know that if you are sharing a hymnbook with someone next to you, it is your job to hold the half of the hymnbook closest to you with one hand.
No one knows why this is observed so strictly. The green songbooks tucked behind our pews are rarely so heavy that one needs help from a neighbor to lift it. Perhaps it just gives a feeling of closeness to the two people holding the hymnal. Regardless of the reason, this is a rule essential to any Mormon meeting.