One Truth
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One Truth

The Beauty of Home-Based Faith

How moving to Vietnam has made our small double bedroom a sanctuary of faith

One of our family’s three double bedrooms in our homestay: Minh Phat in Hoi An, Vietnam

What makes the Sabbath the Sabbath?

For our family of seven, the Sabbath has always involved getting up in the morning, getting dressed in our Sunday best, and heading to our local church for 2–3 hours of meetings.

This is more than habit or tradition for us. It’s as much a staple in our family’s weekly calendar as our three meals a day.

So what happens when, suddenly, you move to an area where there’s no meetinghouse in which to attend?

For us, it started with tears.

A week ago our family of seven moved to Hoi An, Vietnam, a corner of the world where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was officially recognized less than four years ago.

Our first Sunday my wife was here with our four boys alone while I was stuck back at our previous home. Around mid-morning I received a message:

Three hours later, my wife messaged again with news of more tears:

With coronavirus now affecting many meeting schedules around the world, especially in Asia and Italy, it’s a good time to review the Church’s guidelines for home-based worship.

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that families should request permission for home-based worship services from local leaders, be that the stake, mission, district, or area president as needed.

The overarching guideline for holding a sacrament meeting at home is to keep the meeting simple, reverent, and dignified.

It may consist of:

- Opening hymn

- Opening prayer

- Blessing and passing of the sacrament

- One or more of the following items:

— One or two short talks or testimonies

— Scripture reading and discussion as a family

— A lesson by a family member

- Closing hymn

- Closing prayer

We’ve now held two sacrament meetings in our homestay’s double room, with mixed results on reverence (we do have four young boys, after all) but full marks on participation.

Instead of heading to Church and wondering if they’ll be asked to prepare or bless or pass the sacrament, our three young priesthood holders know their participation is crucial, and they’ve stepped up to the responsibility.

Instead of doodling or fighting during talks, our boys are now standing up and sharing their thoughts and testimonies. Instead of cajoling or bribing our boys to sing the hymns, they’re now selecting and leading the hymns while everyone sings along.

It’s an absolute marvel to watch such a change in sacrament worship from one week to the next.

It is a testimony to me of the revelatory words of our prophet that came with the release of the Church’s home-based curriculum, entitled Come Follow Me:

Holding Church at home isn’t something that can and should always be the case, but we’re grateful for trying circumstances in the world today that allow us to pull together as a family and experience the sacred nature of the sacrament in the sanctuary of our home.

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