These devotional reflections from the heart of Truman Madsen can help bring you face to face with yourself as you prepare to meet Christ at the sacrament table each week. Each page explores a separate idea pertaining to the sacrament and gives insights into the events surrounding the Last Supper, the Atonement, and the Crucifixion.
There is a feast awaiting the honest guest who accepts the Lord’s invitation to bring to the altar a “broken heart and a contrite spirit.” Alma promises it will “begin to be delicious” (Alma 32:28) and that “ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled” (Alma 32:42). Brother Madsen helps us to access these blessings.
Find new meaning in the sacrament and new resolve as you reflect upon and participate in this sacred ordinance.
As many of you know, I have had a chronic illness for almost a decade. Due to my illness, I have been unable to attend church for the last several years. It has been an ongoing challenge to me to grow my testimony and feed my spirit without the weekly support of fellow church members.
One great blessing to me is that each week, the young Aaronic Priesthood holders come to my house and administer the Sacrament to me. It gives me the opportunity to renew my covenants and to reflect on the atonement of Jesus Christ.
However, I’ve noticed that the moment tends to be fleeting. My family is home with me when the young men arrive. They pause what they are doing while the Sacrament is blessed and passed, and then they go on with their activities. Unlike at church, there is no hymn or quiet time for introspection. I felt like I wasn’t preparing myself sufficiently for the most sacred moment in my week.
Sacramental Reflections has given me the opportunity to “feast at the Lord’s table” rather than just nibbling. While my family is at church, I now read a few sections in the book. I allow myself time to ponder the messages and identify how I can apply them to my life. When the young men arrive, I feel more in tune to the Spirit. I listen better to the Sacrament prayers. I think about what I’ve just read, and the prayers take on a deeper, more personal meaning.
I think this is an excellent book for anyone who would like to get more out of the Sacrament. Each reflection is only a single page in length, and there are pages in the back of the book to record your own personal thoughts. Taking a moment each week to read just one reflection and to ponder its message would help bring greater significance, meaning, and understanding to this sacred ordinance.
About the Author:
TRUMAN G. MADSEN received graduate degrees in philosophy and the philosophy of religion from the University of Utah and Harvard. He served as the director of the Judeo-Christian Studies Center at BYU and as director of the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. He is widely recognized as an expert on the life and teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Brother Madsen, who passed away in the summer of 2009, was a prolific author who is also known for his memorable audio and video presentations on a variety of gospel subjects.