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Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: The Sacrament by John Bytheway

The Sacrament by John Bytheway, Illustrated by Nathan Pinnock, 2014, YR, Hardback, 32p. Rating=5
Source: provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review.

It's understandable that some children appear bored or distracted during sacrament meeting. Many young Latter-day Saints are probably unsure about the true meaning of the sacrament and why we attend. With this in mind, bestselling author John Bytheway has composed a delightful poem (inspired by a short poem by Walter H. Horne) to help Latter-day Saints young and old appreciate the ordinance of the sacrament. In particular, children will learn what they should be thinking about (and not be thinking about) during this sacred time as well as what the sacrament can do for all of us.

Beautifully illustrated by Nathan Pinnock, this thought-provoking story about a young boy and his grandpa is a gentle reminder about the importance of remembering the Lord Jesus Christ, especially during this special meeting meant for Him

This is an excellent teaching tool for children on the sacred meaning of the sacrament. It's easy to get distracted during sacrament meeting, children and adults alike, as this book pointed out. Such wondering of thoughts makes one forget the reason for the ordinance.  This book through verse did the trick for getting across the understanding of who the focus should be on.  It reminds the reader that the reason for reverence is Jesus.

I take my three children to church with me each Sunday and at times I get a heck of a time wrangling them to sit still during sacrament meeting particularly during the actual passing of the bread and water (thanks to those people from time-to-time over the years that extended their helping hands!).  They're a bit older now (11, 7, 5) so they're pretty good about being quiet but I want them to truly grasp the reason for the reverence.  This book powerfully did that.  It did so my accounting a simple story of a young boy on vacation having the time of his life at his grandfather's homestead.  It didn't occur to him that he would have to go to church even on vacation.  So comes church day and bored as can be.  Grandpa noticing his weariness whispered a story to him of an observation he had when he was about the same age.  Grandpa had noticed many people then were distracted as well and lost focus that the hour was a time for worship.  Grandpa recalled wondering, "Yes, I couldn't help but wonder what the Lord Himself would say should He walk into the chapel while His Saints behaved this way; Would His loving eyes be saddened; would His countenance be grim while He there observed and listened to a service meant for Him?" (p14).  Wow, what a wake up call!  Surely inspired the boy to remember Jesus from then on during sacrament ...and me too! ...and my kids! ...and those who read this book!

This book is now on my list of outstanding books for gifting.  I also foresee utilizing this for sharing time when a call for a lesson on sacrament arise.  Absolutely fabulous picture book!

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