Please join me in a little (righteous) indignation. My parents serve in a BYU ward (this is a position of service in my church) and were asked to pass on a bit of lecturing to the BYU students they work with. This lecture apparently came down from the Prove Temple Presidency (a temple, in my religion, is a very sacred place of worship). Apparently the Provo Temple workers are having a bit of difficulty convincing BYU students that cell phones have no place in the temple. The temple is willing to allow cell phones in the locker rooms (where one can lock up personal and valuable items such as a purse that not needed during one's time in the temple) but would appreciate that they were turned off so that the feelings of reverence and worship are not interrupted even there. The problem is that so many individuals who leave their cell phones in the locker rooms do not turn them off that the locker room sometimes ends up sounding like a telephone exchange center.
Okay, so this far into my mom's retelling of the lecture I was merely annoyed. I mean as far as I am concerned cell phones don't belong in the temple period! But at the very least they should be turned off the entire time you are in the temple. Right? So now is when the righteous indignation will start to kick in. Apparently, Provo temple goers don't merely have problems leaving their cell phones in the locker rooms. They are taking them into endowment sessions (a portion of temple worship)! The lecture cited an increasing problem with cell phones ringing during the endowment sessions and in the celestial room--can you imagine anything less celestial than a cell phone going off--particularly with some of the ring tones that people have these days? And it gets worse! Recently the cell phone of a young lady in the celestial went off, she answered it, and carried on a conversation! Can you imagine?
At this point I was nearly boiling over in my (righteous) indignation and then my mom gave me one last piece of information that caused it to boil over completely. The lecture was given (by my mother) in Relief Society (a women's organization in my church--the same lecture was given Elder's Quorum, a men's organization in my church) and these girls (young 18-19-year-old freshman girls) who are supposed to be this great rising generation didn't understand what the problem was with a cell phone going off in the temple and someone answering it. Really I suppose that by the time we got this far in the retelling my indignation was nearly gone out of complete frustration and replaced by utter disappointment. Instead of indignation I was left to wonder how on earth they had gotten so far in their religious training without any sort of proper understanding of the terms reverent, sacred, holy, etc. I think that perhaps this stands as a bit of a lesson to those of us who have any kind of contact at all with children of all ages (which pretty much means everyone of us) that as technology continues to invade every aspect of our lives we need to spell out the definitions to terms like reverence and sacred as well as what it means to act in a reverent and sacred manner and not merely assume that our youth will understand that it is not necessary to have a cell phone permanently attached to our hands.
I think starting next week I will have to start telling my nursery kids that cell phones are evil--they'll believe me and it will for the most part be true! ;)