Passing It By

Name Withheld

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What would my parents think of me? My little brother and sister? I was supposed to be their example.

As I watched the shiny tray come down my aisle, I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. This would be the first time in my life that I hadn’t been worthy to take the sacrament. The tray was quickly coming closer to me, and I was drowning in all my feelings. What would my parents think when I didn’t take the sacrament? My little brother and sister? I was supposed to be their example.

As the tray came to me, I quickly passed it on, bowing my head. I felt as if everyone in the whole chapel was looking at me.

The week before, I had talked to my bishop. As I entered his office, I started crying in shame even before I sat down. As I told him everything I had done, I thought he would be angry with me or say I had no hope of being forgiven. Instead, I noticed he was crying too. He let me know he was very pleased I had come to him. It felt so good to know he wanted to help with my problems and that I had someone to talk to.

When I finally stood up to leave, my bishop told me he loved me and assured me, “I am going to help you as much as I can to overcome all of your problems.” At that moment I knew everything would eventually be all right.

My first time not taking the sacrament was hard, but I have to relive the experience every Sunday as I pass the tray on. I am grateful to have the blessing of repentance in my life. I know that when I have completed the repentance process, I will be clean again. And because of this experience and the struggles I am going through, I never want to be unworthy again. Not taking the sacrament is hard. But it has helped me more fully appreciate my Savior’s sacrifice for me.

A Most Sacred Ordinance

Elder David B. Haight

“The weekly opportunity of partaking of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is one of the most sacred ordinances of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is further indication of His love for all of us. Associated with the partaking of the sacrament are principles that are fundamental to man’s advancement and exaltation in the kingdom of God and the shaping of one’s spiritual character. We should reflect in our own weekday conduct the spiritual renewal and commitments made on Sunday.

“We may fail to recognize the deep spiritual significance this ordinance offers to each of us personally. Is it possible that a casual attitude on our part of routine formality of this sacred occasion might deaden our opportunity for spiritual growth?

“We all have regrets for words or deeds or thoughts from Sabbath to Sabbath that we would like to erase from our souls. Perhaps we have erred against someone or injured them; or, if there is ill feeling in our heart, we should repent, obtain forgiveness from those affected or transgressed against, then humbly, with a contrite spirit, prepare ourselves to be worthy to partake of the sacrament. If we have sincerely repented, we can be forgiven, and spiritual healing can come to our souls. You and I have felt it” (Ensign, May 1983, 14).
—Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve

Illustrated by Sam Lawlor