Friday, May 10, 2013

A Wonderful Sacrament Meeting Experience: God Bless Truly Humble and Selfless Saints

The following experience happened some time ago, but it came to mind tonight - so I thought I would write a post about it.  I hope it touches someone and is an answer to prayer in some way:

I normally like to arrive at least 30 minutes early when I am visiting a ward or branch as part of my calling, but, due to circumstances I don't need to detail here, I arrived at the branch I was visiting with only about 5 minutes to spare. When I walked in and spoke with the Branch President, he told me that they had just realized as the young men were preparing the sacrament this morning that they were out of cups for the water. They were discussing what to do as a result.

They had decided to shift the sacrament to the end of the meeting, so the Branch President could drive home and bring a bunch of small drinking cups from his house. It would be a bit awkward and difficult to manage, but it was the only solution that came to mind. I suggested they go ahead and follow that plan, but that I would call someone in my home ward (which met at the exact same time as the branch) and see if they had any extra sacrament cups - and ask if anyone in that ward would be willing to miss their own meetings and attend the branch that day in order to allow the branch to use regular cups for the sacrament at the end of their meeting. The Branch President left to go home to get his cups, and I called a few numbers I had on my cell phone until I reached the High Priests Group Leader.

He stepped out of the chapel to take my call just as my ward was singing the opening hymn. He then went back into the chapel, spoke with someone in the Young Men's Presidency, called me back and told me he would bring four sleeves of cups to the branch right away - enough that they could use them again for a couple of weeks if they were unable to get more of their own right away. This good man told his wife and sons what was going on, left Sacrament Meeting before the sacrament was passed, drove 40 minutes to the branch, handed me the cups, then turned around and drove back to his ward without taking the sacrament in the branch - because he had to get back in time to teach the lesson during the last hour to his own high priests.

I took the cups to the priests at the sacrament table in the middle of the final talk, and they finished preparing the trays and the table just as the final special musical number was ending - an absolutely gorgeous solo about the birth of Jesus. They literally were lowering the covering on the sacrament as the final note was ending.

There's something amazing about hearing the sacrament prayer said immediately following a beautiful musical number - when the Spirit is so strong you can feel it almost tangibly. There's also something truly touching about listening to that prayer ("are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son") while picturing the good man who made it all possible driving alone for another 40 minutes back to his own building, having missed participating himself so that he could make it happen for others and still perform the very mundane tasks of his calling.

I know it's a "small thing" in the grand scheme of things, but it certainly brought to my mind the verse:

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

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