Sacrament talks over the years have somewhat become a source of frustration to myself and many others that I’ve talked to over the years. It’s no mystery that talks often go way off course, aren’t focused on the Savior, and cause missionaries worldwide to cringe at the thought.
But yesterday, I was blessed to have the stars align and have President Nelson visit our ward to speak. (I had an incredible experience with an answer to an important prayer that you can read about here if you’re interested.)
When the prophet began to speak, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I’m used to General Conference talks from the prophet. Not sacrament talks. He could have just stood up and given some niceties, closed with a blessing, and everyone would have been happy about it.
How To Give A Sacrament Talk – President Nelson’s Example
But when President Nelson stood up, he gave us a blueprint for how a sacrament talk should be given. He didn’t waste an opportunity to teach, uplift, and to bring people closer to the Savior. Here’s how he did it:
He Smiled Big
The first thing he did when he stood up was to smile. He gave everyone a big smile, and you could tell that even at 94 years old and having a packed schedule, he was so happy to be there with an opportunity to bless others.
Whatever aches, pains, worries, or issues he had going on, he made us, in the congregation his primary focus and blocked everything else out. It was us and him… and he was going to invite the Savior to dwell in our midst.
Started With Gratitude
The next thing President Nelson did was to show thanks to everyone he was with. He started with gratitude, and he ended with gratitude. He thanked the members for their generosity in helping the victims of the hurricanes on the East Coast and had some specific numbers to back it up. He helped us to see in exact detail, down to the last truck of supplies, what our contributions as a stake were doing to help those in need in the Carolinas.
Used Personal Stories, Stuck To The Scriptures, and Combined The Two
Next, he moved straight into the scriptures. He dove into Isaiah. Isaiah 29 to be exact and then wove the scriptures he was referencing into a personal story to illustrate his point. He combined storytelling with true accounts with true doctrine in order to make a perfect blend of spiritual enlightenment. All of this was calculated to build trust in the Book of Mormon and bring us closer to Christ.
As he worked through the meat of his message, namely, that the Book of Mormon was true and that a marvelous work and a wonder had taken place and is still taking place, he backed it up with both scholarly research and fervent personal testimony. He appealed to both mind and heart, knowing that the marriage of the two provided the most solid spiritual results.
Gave A Genuine Testimony
When he bore testimony of these things, he didn’t do so awkwardly or in a way that seemed contrived or over-emphatic. It was genuine and humble.
Then he left a blessing on each of us… which I don’t recommend doing unless you’re an apostle or key holder with specific direction to do so. 🔑🗝
Watchful Of The Time and Courteous of Others
Lastly, and maybe the most impressive, was that fact that he was ever so cognizant of the time. Needless to say, he’s the prophet, and no one would have had an issue if he went over time. But there he was, glancing at the clock, not trying to take advantage of his position, being courteous and thoughtful toward those that had prepared lessons. He ended 3 minutes before the sacrament ends in order to give time for a hymn and prayer.
He was thoughtful, precise, concise, and prepared. Oh, how you could tell he was prepared!
That is our prophet, and this to me was a blueprint that I should implement and follow for any sacrament talk that I might give in the future.