Dear Missionary, I started homeschooling in December and have not had time or energy to
write letters - until now. I have thought of you and prayed for your
spiritual experiences. Today I am sending you an article shared on Sugar doodle on Face book. This story stirred my spiritual feelings and
I hope it will mean something to you as well.
five children ping-ponged between our laps, shuffled around for seats,
as my husband and I pulled out books and crayons to settle our noisy
crew for sacrament meeting. It was just before the New Year and
we were visiting a ward in St. George, Utah. A ward that had no primary
youth program because it was composed mostly of retired couples. No
twelve-year-old Deacons bumped elbows on the front row; it was the High
who were preparing to bless and pass the sacrament.
Normally, the ward would have gently
filled the padded seats of the chapel, but on this holiday weekend, the
overflow divider was pushed wide and we, with a number of other families, were
nestled onto metal folding chairs that stretched to the back of the gym.
The meeting progressed as usual and
I watched as a dozen older gentlemen carried trays of bread, then water,
through the bursting rows. They were making great effort to manage the
unusually large crowd. Their faces were kind. Some had rounded shoulders and
bent spines. They whispered directions to each other. One wore cowboy boots.
One winked at the little girl in front of us.
My daughters and I took the last cups
of water on our tray and handed it to my husband, Doug, who passed the empty
tray to the brother standing at the end of our row.
The Bishop stood at the pulpit to
assess the situation. When he asked who had not received the water, a few
pockets of people, including Doug, raised their hands. So the brethren returned
to the sacrament table, offered a second prayer on new water and delivered it
to the waiting members.
Our row was last to receive the
water this time and I noticed that Doug offered the couple next to him the two
remaining cups. The tray was empty and it appeared to me that Doug was the only
one who hadn’t had the water. I wondered what he would do. Would he let it go?
Not worry about it this week?
But when the Bishop asked if anyone
had not received the water, Doug raised his hand. He was, as I suspected, the
only one. He looked at me and we smiled, conscious of the craned necks and
The brethren returned to the table
for a third prayer on the water. And suddenly, as I heard that phrase,
“to sanctify this water to the souls of all those who drink of it…” (Doctrine
& Covenants 20:79), a realization crept into my heart. An understanding so
keen it pried me clear open and God’s spirit swept in. It was a reverence I
hadn’t felt in too long.
They were praying over one cup. For
one person. One soul.
The sacrament mattered. Even for
one. Just as the Atonement mattered. For one.
For every one.
Hundreds of members waited for the
Amen. Dozens watched as the last cup was delivered to my husband, and he put it
to his lips, and drank.
I had to look away my eyes were so
I looked up in time to see these
sweet men in suits cover the trays with white linen. Just as Christ’s body,
broken for us, was covered. Just as His Atonement covers us. All of us.
You and I are indisputably tied to
Christ’s suffering. All our sins, grief, hurts, and losses are held in the
drops of his blood. He said we are “graven upon the palms of [his] hands”
I recalled a similar feeling when
two young boys knelt in our living room to bless a cup of water and piece of
bread for me, alone. We had just brought our tiny, premature twin boys home
from the hospital, one still on oxygen, and for a few months I was unable to
attend church. Every week these shining boys knocked on our door and I knelt
next to them on the hardwood floor. I was humbled they would bring the
sacrament to me. That they would offer those prayers for me. For one.
The next Sunday, while sitting in
our regular ward chapel, children still ping-ponging, I opened the hymn book to
prepare for the sacrament.
These are the words we sang:
Rev’rently and meekly now,
Let thy head most humbly bow.
Think of me, thou ransomed one;
Think what I for thee have done.
With my blood that dripped like rain,
Sweat in agony of pain,
With my body on the tree
I have ransomed even thee.
All the other sacramental hymns are
written in third person, about the Savior, or in letter form, to the Savior.
But this hymn is written in first person, as if the Savior is speaking directly
to us. It is so tender and personal. Well-worth a reading of all four verses.
Once again, I felt the emotion of
watching Doug take the last sacrament cup. Of understanding that our Redeemer,
the Mighty One of Israel, would break not just bread, but body and soul, for
me. For you. As if we were the only ones that mattered