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On the sweetness of Mormon life.

I attended a stake conference that was not far away, and by hurrying I was able to get home early enough on Sunday afternoon to have the privilege of attending the sacrament service in our own home ward.

People [were] going to the chapel, some walking down the street, others coming by automobiles and turning into the parking lot. From all around they were gathering—men, women, youth, and children. Many were coming as families.

When we entered the chapel, Bishop Salisbury, in his usual gracious manner, greeted us with a warm handclasp. As we went down the aisle, Brother Doxey, our home teacher, nodded a greeting and we responded similarly—an affectionate greeting in the spirit of a handshake except that distance separated us. And there was Brother Jensen, who was formerly our home teacher, sitting with his wife and daughters. We could also see Sister Nielsen and Sister Whitney, the lovely Relief Society visiting teachers who come to our home and bring a ray of spiritual sunshine to cheer up Sister Hunter. A couple moved over and let us sit by them, and someone on the row behind touched us on the shoulder and whispered that they were glad to see us.

We were among friends. We were among more than friends—we were with both brothers and sisters—literally. The organ was being played softly, and there were a few moments of quiet meditation before the big hand of the clock in the chapel was at the highest point, indicating the time of commencement of a sacred hour.

One of the counselors to the bishop, in a dignified but friendly manner, came to the pulpit and gave a word of greeting and announced the name of the hymn we were to sing.

The priests sat quietly at the sacrament table. I looked at each of them—well-groomed, reverent, serious. Many young men of their age were spending the day in recreation or sports, but they had come to the house of the Lord. Seated in front of them was a row of deacons. They, too, were well groomed and well behaved, taking seriously the responsibility of their first office in the Aaronic Priesthood.

After a hymn and prayer, and while the priests were preparing the sacrament, we were led in singing:

God, our Father, hear us pray;

Send thy grace this holy day;

As we take of emblems blest,

On our Savior’s love we rest.

A priest kneeled over the broken bread and prayed: “That they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments.” (D&C 20:77.) The deacons dispersed throughout the chapel to serve the broken bread. One of them came to our row and held the silver tray while I partook. Then I held the tray so Sister Hunter could partake, and she held it for the person next to her. Thus the tray went down the row, each serving and being served.

I thought of the events that took place on the evening nearly two thousand years ago when Jesus was betrayed.

I was troubled. I asked myself this question: “Do I place God above all other things and keep all of His commandments?” Then came reflection and resolution. To make a covenant with the Lord to always keep His commandments is a serious obligation, and to renew that covenant by partaking of the sacrament is equally serious.

By this time the other priest was kneeling at the table, praying that all who should drink “may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; … that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them.” (D&C 20:79.)

There was quiet meditation, the silence broken only by the voice of a tiny babe whose mother quickly held him close.

The young men concluded serving the sacrament. Then followed words of encouragement and instruction, a closing hymn and prayer; and the sacred moments “unmarred by earthly care” had come to a close.

On the way home we saw several boys playing ball in the street and a family returning in their motor home from a weekend in the mountains.

-thus Elder Howard W. Hunter

Other Posts from the Saturday afternoon session of the April 1977 General Conference

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