At the BYU-Idaho Devotional on August 9, 2016, Vaughn Stephenson spoke about what it means to be reverent. Stephenson is a BYU-Idaho faculty member in the Humanities and Philosophy Department.
Stephenson talked about the first thing he ever learned about reverence as a child, that it was to be quiet. However, he has since learned it is much more. He taught it doesn't have to be quiet, like when a temple is dedicated and those present participate in the Hosanna Shout. He said it is also a feeling of respect, "I think with very little effort we can realize that respect is a key, central component to reverence. A reverent person is a respectful person."
He also talked about those who show reverence, have a sense of wonder or awe. "I’m not saying we shouldn’t be quiet in church," he said. "If anything we should be more attentive. I am saying that we need to ponder and understand more about all around us so that we can more fully experience the profound respect mingled with awe that is at the heart of a reverent life."
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio Stephenson expounded on this sense of awe, "A definition I found that President Kimball used, that reverence is profound respect mingled with awe," he said. "And I think that's, well that's what I think really got me reflecting was this concept of awe. Do we really find wonder and amazement in things, or is everything just so common place that we really don't give it it's due?"
Listen to the full interview by clicking here.
Listen to the full devotional address below or click here for the transcript and video.