I conducted my first Sacrament meeting today. Like most first timers, it was a bit awkward. One of the things you don’t realize is just how much procedure is involved in something like this. Some of that “procedure” is simply tradition while other is stuff I’m supposed to do a certain way. I really have no problem getting up in front of people — in fact, I find it a bit fun in a really nerdy and weird kind of way. Perhaps it’s two years as a missionary, many talks given in church, plus 8 years in a career that has forced me to speak to large groups that allow me to be not as freaked out when I’m in front of a group.
Our bishop wasn’t here today so the 1st counselor and I were on our own. We were busy leading up to Sacrament. I was in meetings from 7am until 10:50am when I walked into the chapel. Sitting there, unexpectedly, was our stake president. Great. My first time conducting, I’m a bit scatter brained today, and here is the ecclesiastical leader over this entire stake of 6 wards and 3,000+ members. No pressure.
So I screwed up. I announced a few changes in church responsibilities for some individuals. Then I announced the people who would be taking on those newly vacated positions. As is custom, I asked for a sustaining vote from the congregation for each of these people and their new responsibilities. Sweet. Then I sat down and we sang a hymn. The stake president leaned over and said, “Next time, don’t forget to ask for any opposing vote.” Duh. I knew that! But my mind didn’t when I was supposed to actually be doing it. Other than that, things were pretty benign and without additional problems.
In other news: we’re going to Mackay, Idaho on Sunday, July 3! We’re excited to see this part of Idaho for the first time and also to spend a few days with my cousin, his wife, and their three kids. Also, Jen’s brother and his wife had a baby — their fourth girl — recently and named her Penny Mae. Jen, ever enamored by new babies, relishes any chance to hold her. Her brother, anxious to have a son, relishes any chance to hold our 6-month-old Austin.