Brand-New Deacon

“Brand-New Deacon,” Liahona, Oct. 2013, 62–63

Brand-New Deacon

“And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord” (D&C 84:35).

Passing the sacrament is a big responsibility. What if he messed up?

Brand-New Deacon

Illustration by Adam Koford

Benji stood in front of the mirror, straightening his tie. His white shirt and dark blue pants fit perfectly. His hair was combed. He definitely looked ready to be ordained a deacon. So why did he feel so nervous?

Benji grabbed his scriptures and left the room. He tried not to think about how different things would be at church today. And then there was the new priesthood duty that worried him whenever he thought about it: passing the sacrament. What if he made a mistake his first time next week? He tried to forget that too as he left the house.

Sacrament meeting went the same as always. But afterward, Benji walked with his family to Bishop Salazar’s office. This was definitely different. Normally he’d be in Primary opening exercises right now.

Benji sat down as Dad, the bishop, the Young Men president, and the bishopric counselors laid their hands on his head. Dad gave him the Aaronic Priesthood. During the blessing, the butterflies in Benji’s stomach disappeared. He felt calm and happy.

Benji stood and shook hands with everybody. Then he hugged Mom and his brother, Jay, and his little sister, Mirasol.

Afterward, he went to Sunday School. Even though the new classes weren’t the same as in Primary, they still felt familiar. The lesson was on prayer. He’d had plenty of prayer lessons before in Primary. Benji breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe being a deacon wouldn’t be so hard.

“It will be great,” Jay told Benji after church. “I’ll bless the sacrament, and you can pass it.”

All the butterflies rushed back. “Yeah, great,” he said quietly. Passing the sacrament was what Benji was most worried about!

Later that night Benji found Dad reading on the couch. “What if I miss someone and they don’t get the sacrament?” he asked. “What if I trip?” He could see it clear as day in his mind, the tray clattering to the floor and water cups flying everywhere.

Dad squeezed Benji’s shoulder. “I remember the first time I passed the sacrament. I was probably more nervous than you are right now.”

Benji blinked in surprise. “You? You aren’t afraid of anything!”

Dad laughed. “I’ve been scared plenty of times. Do you know what helped me get over being nervous?”

Benji thought a moment. “Prayer?”

Dad smiled. “That’s right. Prayer. And my father gave me a blessing. Would you like me to give you one?”

Benji nodded quickly. “Yes! I’d like that a lot.”

The family gathered in the living room. Dad put his hands on Benji’s head. As Dad spoke, Benji felt tears begin to form. “Remember,” Dad said in the blessing, “you have received the priesthood through a sacred ordinance. Heavenly Father gave us the priesthood so that we can serve others. If you can do this with full purpose of heart, you will be blessed in this and in all things.”

All week Benji prayed for help. The following Sunday, he joined the deacons at the front of the chapel. He listened closely as Jay said the blessing on the bread.

Suddenly he felt worried all over again. Could he really do this? It was so important! Then he remembered the promises from Dad’s blessing. His worried feelings left as the Spirit settled over him.

He picked up the tray and moved confidently to his assigned rows. Carefully, he handed the tray to a woman in the first row.

She smiled at him. Benji smiled back, knowing that he was serving the Lord.