Who Died?
April 2024

“Who Died?,” Liahona, Apr. 2024.

Latter-day Saint Voices

Who Died?

I had taken the sacrament hundreds of times. Why hadn’t I seen the sweet symbolism?

sacrament table

Illustration by David Green

As ward missionaries, my wife and I fellowshipped a young couple. We loved them and their children. Eventually, they accepted our invitation to come to church.

When we arrived to pick them up one Sunday morning, however, they apologized because they weren’t ready. But their six-year-old son, Keaton, pleaded with his parents to go. So, with their permission, he got dressed and came with us to church.

Arriving late, we slipped in the back of the chapel. Suddenly I felt a tug and turned to find Keaton gripping my suit coat. With an anxious expression and his eyes fixed on the front of the chapel, he asked, “Who died?”

“What?” I responded, following his gaze. “No one died.”

As I pondered Keaton’s question, I looked at the sacrament table. For a boy with little experience in the Church, it would be easy to see what seemed to be a body lying under the cloth covering the sacramental bread and water. Then it hit me: someone had died. The sacred emblems representing Jesus Christ’s body were right in front of us. With so much experience in the Church, why hadn’t I seen the sweet symbolism?

I thanked Keaton for his question and explained that the sacrament cloth covered bread and water and what they mean to us. His simple question had reminded me that the Savior really did die so we could live.

Since that day, Keaton’s question has continued to resonate in my soul. It has helped me approach the sacrament table more focused on the Savior. The emblems of the sacrament have become more vivid, and their meaning lingers with me longer throughout the week. I’ll be forever grateful for Keaton’s innocent question.

President Jeffrey R. Holland, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has said: “As we unite across the globe each week in what we hope is an increasingly sacred acknowledgment of Christ’s majestic atoning gift to all humankind, may we bring to the sacramental altar ‘more tears for his sorrows [and] more pain at his grief.’ And then, as we reflect, pray, and covenant anew, may we take from that sacred moment ‘more patience in suff’ring, … more praise for relief’ [“More Holiness Give Me,” Hymns, no. 131].”1