The author lives in Scania, Sweden.
Going to church has always been one of the highlights of my week. I loved getting together with friends and family and setting aside the worries of the world as we worshipped together.
Then everything started changing because of the pandemic. At the time, we didn’t have many cases of the coronavirus in Sweden, and school was still going on as usual, so I didn’t really understand why Church leaders felt the need to suspend meetings. With how crazy everything was internationally, I was eager to meet up with my friends on Sunday. But then I learned that Church meetings were temporarily suspended and that we would be worshipping at home. I was both sad and a bit frustrated.
When Sunday came around, I put on my dress and makeup, ate breakfast, and sat down with my parents. I saw that my father had carefully prepared the sacrament with a white cloth over the bread and water and had opened his scriptures to the sacrament prayers.
Soon the time came to sing the sacrament hymn. When my father began breaking the bread, I felt the Spirit so strongly. It seemed like He was telling me that the Atonement of Jesus Christ was specifically for me. I started to cry, and when I looked over at my mother, I saw that she was also crying and smiling at me—she could feel the Spirit too.
Although I was skeptical at first, I now know that taking the sacrament at home is an intimate and beautiful opportunity. Over the recent weeks, I’ve felt more gratitude for the priesthood and for the restored gospel, which offers us comfort and peace during troubling times. I’ve also felt the love that our Heavenly Father has for all of His children. And I have felt especially grateful for the prophet, who helps us know what to do, even when we don’t understand why.
Since we got the initial instructions to have church at home, COVID-19 has spread to thousands of people in Sweden and continues to affect almost every country on earth. And while I do love the intimacy of holding church at home with a few loved ones, I have also realized that it’s not the same as going to church and worshipping together as a ward or a branch. Being uplifted by each other at sacrament meeting and other meetings is irreplaceable.
As Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “A major reason the Lord has a church is to create a community of Saints that will sustain one another in the ‘strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life’ [2 Nephi 31:18].”1
I’ve realized that church is about much more than just getting together with friends each week. It’s about taking the sacrament, feeling a sense of belonging, supporting each other, and building a community of faith in the kingdom of God. I will always be grateful for the blessing of being able to have church at home during this time of COVID-19 and for the new insights I have received about the importance of meeting together. Sacrament meeting will feel even more special when we are able to meet together again.