Sunday, June 6, 2021

President David O. McKay on the blessings of the sacrament

President McKay (1873-1970) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1906.  He served as a counselor in the First Presidency to Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith beginning in 1945, then then as the president of the Church from 1951 to his death in 1970 at age 96.
"I believe in meetings. I desire to say this morning that I feel impressed to emphasize what the Lord has designated as the most important meeting in the Church, and that is the sacrament meeting.... 
"We meet in the brotherhood of Christ, all on the same level, each expressing confidence in the other and all in one another. Oh, the strength of brotherhood! Sin divides us. Righteousness unites. 
"The partaking of the sacrament indicates also how communion with Christ may be secured. It cannot be obtained by Sunday righteousness and weekday indulgence. It implies that we will remember Christ always. 'If we show the Lord's death at communion we must show the Lord's life in the world.' 
"And [a final] great significance is the promise that it is a means of receiving divine guidance. If a friend is one who summons us to our best, then is not Jesus Christ our best friend and should we not think of the communion as one of the chief appeals to us to be our best? The Lord's Supper looks not back to our past with a critical eye, but to our future with a helpful one." 
- David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1929, pp. 11-13; see TDOM p. 262
President McKay, who was such a gentle, wise man, shares a wonderful vision of the importance of Sabbath-day meetings, and in particular of the sacred sacrament.

There is indeed a great power in feeling the "unity of the Saints" as we assemble with our brothers and sisters. What a blessing even that simple act of coming together can be, when viewed in the proper spirit, and when supported and reinforced during the week by lives of Christian service and unity.

But that's just the beginning.  The real power in the meeting is in the partaking of the sacrament, teaching us "how communion with Christ may be secured" by remembering Him and following His teachings throughout the week. I love the unattributed quotation President McKay uses: 'If we show the Lord's death at communion we must show the Lord's life in the world.'

And so we don't just review our past; we look ahead to the invitation of a blessed future with Divine assistance. What a wonderful vision for true Sabbath worship!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
January 25, 2015

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