Too Old to Pass the Sacrament


What’s the difference between an assignment and a privilege? Understanding.

He knew they would be looking for him, so David scrunched down in his seat on the bench behind Brother Johnson. He figured the deacons quorum adviser wouldn’t be able to see him way back there even though the chapel wasn’t very crowded and it would be difficult to remain unseen. He knew if they found him he would be asked to pass the sacrament, and he didn’t want to. He was a priest now and a six-foot player on the high school basketball team. It was embarrassing to stand at the front of the chapel with those little 12-year-old deacons.

His father had been watching him from the stand, and David felt his disapproval. Much to his surprise, however, he wasn’t asked to assist the deacons. Before they could ask him, Brother Hensley volunteered.

Brother Hensley was a new member of the Church, not much older than David, and newly ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. Everyone had been excited when they learned he was taking the missionary discussions. He had been very popular in high school just two years before and was now attending college.

He stood tall alongside the deacons. He walked proudly and passed the sacred emblems with dignity.

A group of members were talking in the lobby after the meeting. David couldn’t help but overhear their conversation, especially when he moved closer so he could hear better.

“Thanks for helping us out today,” someone was saying. “I hope it didn’t bother you to work with the young deacons.”

“Not at all,” David was surprised to hear him say. “I consider it a great honor. You know who the first person to ever pass the sacrament was, don’t you?” Then answering his own question, he continued. “It was Jesus Christ when he passed the sacrament of the Last Supper to his Apostles. It is my understanding that our Apostles and prophets today administer and pass the sacrament to one another just as we did today. I guess if they can consider this a privilege, well, so can I.”

David moved on quietly as he reflected upon what he had just heard. The following Sunday, he decided he would sit in plain sight. He would sit where they could find him.

[illustration] Painting The Last Supper by Carl Bloch. Original at the Chapel of Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark. Used by permission of the Frederiksborgmuseum.