The Most Important Part


(Based on a true story)
Thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day (D&C 59:9).

“Hurry up, kids!” Dad called. “I found a sacrament meeting that starts in an hour.”

We had driven all the way to California for a week of going to the beach, sleeping late, eating lots of ice cream, and visiting amusement parks. But today was Sunday, and Dad had been on the phone looking for a ward for us to attend.

“It’s hard to get ready for church on vacation,” I thought. My dress was wrinkled, and my brother Mike had left his Sunday shoes at home. My little sister Ruthie kept turning on the TV and opening every drawer and closet in our small hotel room. Finally we were ready.

The drive to church was longer than we expected, and by the time we arrived, the deacons had just finished passing the sacrament. We quietly slipped into a back row and listened to the rest of the meeting. Even though we didn’t know any of the people there, it felt just like home. We sang “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” and one of the speakers told a story I had heard in Primary the week before.

After the meeting, Dad disappeared for a minute. When he came back, he said, “I just talked to the bishop. Another sacrament meeting starts in 15 minutes. You can stay cozy right here.”

“What? Why? We just went to sacrament meeting!” Mike protested.

“Yes, but we missed the sacrament,” Dad explained.

“But we heard all the talks and songs. Dad, we’re on vacation,” I whined.

Dad thought for a minute. “Michelle, you remember your baptism, don’t you?”

“Yes.” I had been baptized a few months before.

“Well, you remember that Mom and the bishop gave talks, Mike played the piano, and Sister Tueller led the opening and closing songs?”

“Yes.”

“What was the most important part of your baptism? What were we all there for?” Dad asked.

“My baptism, of course!”

“Right. And taking the sacrament is the reason we come to sacrament meeting.”

I thought about how silly it would be to attend your baptism and leave before getting baptized. I realized that the sacrament must be even more important than I thought.

“Taking the sacrament is the most important thing we’ll do all week,” Dad said.

“More important than going to the beach?” Ruthie asked.

Dad smiled and pulled Ruthie onto his lap. “Even more important than going to the beach.”

We all chuckled. After all, we were on vacation.

[Sacred Ordinance]

Elder L. Tom Perry

“The sacrament is one of the most sacred ordinances in the Church. Partaking of the sacrament worthily gives us an opportunity for spiritual growth.” Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “As Now We Take the Sacrament,” Ensign, May 2006, 41.

[illustration] Illustration by Brad Clark