What's new: John Bytheway shares significance, meaning of 'The Sacrament' in picture book

Published: Thursday, May 22 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

"THE SACRAMENT," by John Bytheway, illustrated by Nathan A. Pinnock, Deseret Book, $19.99 (ages 3 and up)

When speaking over the years, John Bytheway has often referenced a Walter Horne poem from a book called "A Pocketbook of LDS Verse." The poem shares a message about the importance of the sacrament.

"Almost every time I do, people ask for a copy," Bytheway said.

This led Bytheway to compose his own poem, which includes a portion of Horne's poem, in a new children's book called "The Sacrament." The book is illustrated by Nathan Pinnock.

The purpose of the book is to help children better understand the meaning and significance of the sacrament and why we attend, Bytheway said.

"Never let the sacrament become routine. The Lord arranged it so that we would take it every week, but that doesn't mean we should take it for granted," Bytheway said. "It's a wonderful statement about his abundant mercy that we are invited to come back each week and renew our baptismal covenant, but with that constant repetition comes the danger that we might not remember how serious and how wonderful it is."

There are two pages at the end of the book that explain the symbols of the sacrament in greater detail.

"It seems I'm getting more positive feedback on those two pages than the rest of the book," Bytheway said.

What set this project apart from many others was the opportunity to work with Pinnock, Bytheway said. The two met as Especially for Youth counselors in the late 1980s.

"We were both really excited about making this story visually beautiful and interesting," Bytheway said. "People will love the facial expressions — some slightly comical and others sincere and emotional."

Bytheway is a best-selling author, speaker and instructor at the BYU Salt Lake Center. Pinnock is an artist, illustrator, sculptor and teacher.

'The Sacrament' by John Bytheway

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