Elder Kevin Scott Hamilton of the Seventy recounted story about his grandfather, who one Sunday decided not to attend sacrament meeting and, instead, went for a drive with his family, and eventually left the Church.
"That Sunday afternoon ride in the country was probably an enjoyable family activity, but that small decision became the start of a new direction, which ultimately lead his family away from the Church with its safety, security and blessings and onto a different path," he said.
Elder Hamilton explained the prophet Lehi's dream from the Book of Mormon and the different groups of people; those that were lost and never made it to the tree of life, those who partook of its and were ashamed and those that partook of the fruit and did not fall away.
"Those of us who are members of God's church today have made covenants to follow Jesus Christ and to obey God's commandments," he said.
Elder Hamilton taught of the importance of partaking of the sacrament each week and attending Church meetings.
"Sacrament meeting provides the opportunity to participate in the ordinance of the sacrament," he said.
"Our family has committed to always attend all of our Sunday meetings. We have found that this strengthens our faith and deepens our understanding of the gospel," Elder Hamilton said.
Elder Hamilton spoke about the importance of making the effort to attend all Church meetings.
"Continually holding fast to the rod means that we attend all of our Sunday meetings: sacrament meeting, Sunday school and Priesthood or Relief Society meetings. We should never pick or choose which meetings we attend," he said.
In addition to attending meetings, Elder Hamilton explained that members must also keep the commandments.Comment on this story
"Continually holding fast to the rod (the word of God) means that we strive to keep all of God's commandments, to have daily personal and family prayer, and to study the scriptures daily."
Elder Hamilton explained that members are covenant people and will receive blessings if they hold to the rod and keep the commandments.
Elder Hamilton cautioned, "Our every day decisions will impact our lives in significant ways. A seemingly small decision such as whether or not to attend a sacrament meeting can have far-reaching, even eternal consequences."
"May we choose to be diligent and gain the great blessings and protections that come from gathering together and keeping covenants," he said.