Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday ponderings -- the importance of the sacrament

During our road trip a few weeks ago, the girls and I had a long driving day one of the Sundays.  

We had looked up a church en route to where we were going that we planned to attend, but when we got there, all bundled up in kind of funny make-shift Sunday "travel" clothes, there were no cars.  It must have been a multi-congregation gathering somewhere that day or maybe we just got the information wrong.  

So we kept driving and had our own little "church meeting" in the car, just those girls and me.  That afternoon, after lots of driving, we decided to try one more church.  We just really wanted to at least be able to take the sacrament.  To me as a Mormon that's the most important part of the Sabbath...a time to renew our covenants with God, to ponder ways to always remember Christ and work the understanding of the Atonement more fully into our lives.  

When we pulled up in the parking lot at least there were cars, good sign.  But as we walked in we realized there weren't many people there.  We asked a lady sitting there in the foyer about timing and she confirmed that yes, darn it, church was over.

So we headed back to the car, glad we at least tried.
But right as we were getting into the car a man called out to us and said, "hey, did you guys want to take the sacrament?"  I told him yes, but we knew they were done and we were fine.  With a twinkle in his eye he told us to come back in and he'd see if he could help us out.  Again I protested, telling him I'm sure he was busy and that it was really no big deal.  But he looked at me right in the eye and with so much kindness told me it was a big deal, it was the sacrament after all, and that he wanted to help.

So before we knew it we were whisked in to meet the good-as-gold Bishop who talked to those girls of mine for a minute about how wonderful it was that they had the desire to take the sacrament even on a road trip.  Then the two other men brought the four of us into this little classroom and blessed the sacrament and passed it to us with so much love.

It was honestly such a beautiful experience.

After we were through they proceeded to tell the girls that when they were their ages they had no church.  They were both converts to the church later in life and they spilled out parts of their stories.  

And those stories included amazing missionaries and friends, which of course let me to think of Max out there helping plant seeds in the hearts of people like these men who were brought so much joy because of the gospel in their lives.

Honestly the best Sunday School we've ever had.

And one we will surely all remember.

I wonder if these men will understand what lights they were for us that day.  That taking those few minutes to show us some great love and helping us partake of the sacrament, they planted seeds in all our hearts to reach out more, to be better, to take the sacrament even more seriously, to contemplate more fully the wonder of our Savior and all He has done for us.
(Yes, we went to church dressed like that...it had been a long day :)

I hope they felt at least a little part of our gratitude, and how they helped us magnify the importance of the sacrament in that tiny room in that chapel smack-dab in the middle of our route back home that day.

13 comments:

  1. Shawni, your post brought tears to my eyes. As I read, I felt your testimony through your words. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. I really love this story! It reminds me of the story told in conference by Elder Renlund (April 2016).

    We've gone to church similarly dressed before; we were also on a road trip. We were coming home from my husband's grandpa's funeral and had stopped at the Sacramento Temple grounds (I like to visit temple grounds while traveling!). Those temple grounds are adjacent to a meetinghouse and we happened to be there right as a sacrament meeting was starting, so I convinced my family to stay. I think they were a little embarrassed to be dressed the way they were, shorts and holey jeans and sandals and grubby tshirts -- but all I could think was that the Savior excepts us however we are, all our imperfections and all. I was so glad we could partake of the sacrament that Sunday.

    Thanks for sharing your testimony. <3

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  3. My daughter finished doing a homework assignment this evening on a Ted Talk assignment for her Sage reading class. It was titled "Understanding Leadership". Part of it was about how big accomplishments are always celebrated, but small, everyday acts of kindness and caring for others aren't always celebrated in the same way, even though those small acts of kindness may have changed someone's life in a big way, and for the better, just like the people in the church you stopped at on your road trip. I hope they know how much they impacted your family in a good way... one that you'll remember forever. Loved your story! :)

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  4. This was a beautiful thing to read first thing on a Monday morning. Thank you.

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  5. Thank you for sharing. You were right, they were probably pretty busy. But what a great example of ministering in the way Christ would. He always served the one. What a great example of Christlike love and compassion they showed. Thank you for sharing!

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  6. I love these sunday posts. Thank you! One of my favorite things to do on vacation is go to different wards to take the sacrament. Its soul filling to me. I love how the ritual is the same everywhere evem if the people performong it are so very different. Realliferealjoy.com

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  7. I know the man on the left in the picture. He is such a kind soul and this sounds very much like something he would do!

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  8. This post had me in tears. Thanks for taking the time to write this out so that we could share in the touching story. My favorite time taking the sacrament was the day after a really large wind storm in Utah. Trees all over the city had fallen down in the wind gusts. Church was canceled so that we could help assist our neighbors in cleaning up their trees. After a grueling day of work, they held a brief sacrament at 6 P.M. Everyone was able to come as they were (sweaty & dirty) and take the sacrament. The feeling in that room was a testimony builder for me!

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  9. You've posted A LOT of wonderful things, but this might be one of my favorites. Thank you for helping me feel the Spirit this afternoon while I sit eating popcorn in my kitchen. :)

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  10. Tears! I felt the Spirit so strongly as you shared your experience of the brethren inviting you to come and partake of the sacrament. What an example of the Savior's love. -Lisa

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  11. This is beautiful and such a testimony builder...not only for those wonderful men who made that act take place but for you and your daughters taking the time to stop and search out for the sacrament. Thank you for sharing

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