I had an epiphany after sitting through sacrament meeting today. We ought to have a suggestions/comments box outside the chapel. Just keep little comment cards next to the tithing envelops or something. Either way, don't you think there ought to be a way to give feedback? Don't you think those participating in the meetings would also appreciate a little feedback, or perhaps simple "thank you notes"? Sometimes I get an idea or suggestion and it's nice just to be heard. Suggestions could range from "we need more hymnals in the back of the chapel so we can all sing back there" to "Loved so and so's talk about _______. The Spirit really pricked my heart!"
And then there are days like today where I would perhaps want to leave anonymous feedback about how the tone of the meeting left something to be desired. The speaker went into lecture mode about how there were certain people who had committed to do a certain project and not a single one did it, and she ended up doing it herself, followed by a lecture about being on time to our meetings. (We just switched to having sacrament last--something that as a father with young kids I do not prefer). She also lectured us about how there was a world-wide satellite broadcast featuring the "new" prophet and "between two wards only 43, I counted, only 43 people showed up". (Another comment card suggestion--Put important announcements in the bulletin!) I don't think I'm the only one who doesn't respond well to negativity. I think it actually tends to have an adverse effect and pushes people further away.
There needs to be true love expressed--not a guilt trip. And I don't mean to dwell on the negative because I don't want to be a hypocrite. But as I left the meeting today I felt a little bit disappointed and sad--not just for me--but for anyone not of our faith who happened to be there today. I think they would have come across with the wrong impression of what we expect our meetings to be: Christ-centered and filled with the Spirit. If a suggestions box doesn't seem practical, perhaps a simple survey from time to time would suffice. "Strongly agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly disagree: I was edified as a result of my experience in this meeting today".
That ought to be the number one question, because the goal is "he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together" (Doctrine & Covenants 50:22).
"The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it."