My oldest son turned sixteen a couple of weeks ago. This is the age that young men can be ordained as Priests in the Aaronic Priesthood. This carries with it the authority to baptize, but more frequently the opportunity to bless the sacrament in our weekly worship services. I was pleased to be able to ordain him to that office.
We live in a small and spread out ward in southern Michigan. And we frequently will need to scramble to find people to help with the sacrament. Sometimes we have enough young men, sometimes we don’t. My son thought that the chances of him being asked to bless the sacrament were pretty high. Because of this, he read over the sacrament prayers several times during the week.
Sure enough, on his first Sunday as a priest, there were no other priests on time for church. And he was asked if he would handle the blessing of the sacrament. He looked as white as a ghost and said that he was not ready. I offered to go up with him, and we could bless the sacrament as father and son. He cautiously agreed.
While we were sitting behind the sacrament table, and the announcements were being given, I began explaining how things were usually done in the blessing of the sacrament. And I pointed out where the cards were that contained the sacrament prayers. I explained that these prayers need to be word-for-word. I suggested that he read really slow, and to read every word. He then asked me what I found a profound question. He asked, “How am I supposed to read it with my eyes shut?”
This explains why he was so nervous. He thought that he had to have these prayers memorized perfectly, and that if he didn’t get it right he would have to try it over and over again in front of everybody.
This also explains my oldest boy. He is a blindly obedient young man. He has been told that you close your eyes during the prayer, and he does that, every time, without exception.
I am not sure how ‘heroic’ this all is, but when I consider his mindset going into this experience, and his willingness to go up there in spite of this, I am quite proud of him. Well done, son.