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Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Significance of the Scrament

Taught by Terry S.
(Sorry this is a bit long but all the comments were great and we wanted to share them.)

Joseph Smith said, "In my judgment the sacrament meeting is the most sacred, the most holy, of all the meetings of the Church.  When I reflect upon the gathering of the Savior and his apostles on that memorable night when he introduced the sacrament; when I think of that solemn occasion, my heart is filled with wonderment and my feelings are touched. I consider that gathering one of the most solemn and wonderful since the beginning of time." 

I heard an interview on the Mormon Channel and the girl being interviewed said she attended the Pentecostal Church with her father and the LDS Church with her mother. She said she preferred the Pentecostal Church because it was quite entertaining and she felt that the LDS Church was quite boring. She was probably a teen at the time. The Pentecostal Church had live music etc.  Sometimes I think that we become so routine that we forget to remember the sacredness and importance of the Sacrament and why we are taking it. I wondered what some of you do to help remind yourself about the sacrament. 

Comment #1: In our Sunday school class we have talked about how living the Gospel isn't always so hard, but focusing on the Gospel takes more effort. We have decided as a class to try to always take the 20 minutes during the quiet time of the Sacrament to thoughtfully focus on the Gospel. 

Comment #2: Our Home Teacher's gave us a slip of paper with three things on it to think about during the sacrament. I keep this paper in my scriptures to pull out as a reminder to think about them when the sacrament is being passed.  
The questions are: 
  • What have I done this week that has pleased God?
  • What do I need to repent of or ask forgiveness for?
  • Whom would God like me to serve? 

Comment #3: I don't do this very often but when I do it is amazing; it is almost too late if you wait until the sacrament starts, but, when I prepare ahead, and it doesn't take very much, just consciously thinking about it ahead of time, on your way to Church even, just think, I would like to feel closer to my Savior today, I would like to feel the spirit. It brings a conscience awareness to you that helps you be more receptive during the whole sacrament meeting especially during the sacrament.

One of the things that Joseph Fielding Smith talks about a lot in this lesson is the Last Supper. He talks about imagining himself being there. I am sure that would give us a more urgent sense of how important the sacrament is if we had been there. I wonder if the apostles realized how important it was. There are only a few short scriptures that have much to do with the sacrament so it really has to be something that comes from within. 


Joseph Fielding Smith also said, "I have seen two members of the congregation start a conversation, stop long enough for the blessing to be ask on the water or the bread, then start again on their conversation. This is shocking to me and I'm sure it is to the Lord." 

Comment #4: I remember President Kimball said that he was in a Sacrament  Meeting and there was a bird out the open window and he was drawn to watch it. When they brought the sacrament he said he didn't feel like he was worthy to take it because he had been focused on the bird and not the sacrament. That really brought to me to how we should not be casually taking the sacrament.

It is our duty to carefully and thoughtfully consider the nature of the sacrament prayers when we hear them offered in our meetings. There are four very important things we covenant to do each time we partake of these emblems, and in partaking, there is the token that we subscribe fully to the obligations, and thus they become binding upon us. 
These are as follows:
1. We eat in remembrance of the body of Jesus Christ, promising that we will always remember His wounded body slain upon the cross.

2. Wee drink in remembrance of the blood which was shed for the sins of the world, which atoned for the transgression of Adam, and which frees us from our own sins on condition of our true repentance.

3. We covenant that we will be willing to take upon us the name of the Son and always remember Him. In keeping this covenant we promise that we will be called by His name and never do anything that would bring shame or reproach upon that name.

4. We covenant that we will keep His commandments which He has given us; not one commandment, but that we will be willing to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God."

If we will do these things then we are promised the continual guidance of the Holy Ghost, and if we will not do these things we will not have that guidance.

Comment #5Sometimes I think we feel like the prayers on the bread and water are the same because we get so used to hearing them but if you look at them they are very different. The promises are different and the things we promise are different.

Comment #6: When I was a young mom struggling to get through sacrament meeting with my children, I was sitting next to an older women who's children were grown and I was gripping a little about my situation. She said her children were not making the best choices and she would give anything to have them there with her on the bench at Sacrament Meeting. That really made me change my perspective on what I was doing.  

We do have a hard time when we have children, if we can simply focus on why we are doing it and that we are setting an example and teaching our children. They will get used to, "This is what we do on Sunday". 

*What can parents do to help their children be reverent during the sacrament.

Comment #7I remember practicing being reverent at home so we could do it when we went to church. We would practice sitting and looking at a book while being quite. I also made sure it was more fun inside the chapel than out!

*How do you teach your children about why we take the sacrament?  

Comment #8: I think talking about those three questions mentioned to think about during the sacrament is a good place to start with your children.

*How do the covenants that you make during the sacrament help influence your life. 

Comment #9: If we are thinking about those three questions it would definitely help me think about how I am behaving and living the Gospel. 

Comment #10: My daughter taught me to read the words to the sacrament songs because it really tells us about it and what we should be doing.

Comment #11: Something I have had to do is pray to think of Jesus throughout the day, or if it is a weakness that I need to be working on that I make a promise and ask for help during the sacrament.

Comment #12: There was a Visiting Teaching message about a women who wanted to give up the habit of gossip, so for years during the sacrament she would review if she had done that. Many years later she overheard some people saying they had never heard a harsh word about anyone come out of her mouth, by then she had almost forgotten that she had even had to work on that. If we are working on getting rid of, or trying to develop something, the sacrament is a good time to reflect on it and commit to do it again to become more like the Savior. 

I remember a story about a member that couldn't take the sacrament for a period of time because they had been dis-fellowshiped and when the day came that they could take it again, the Bishop watched from the stand as they took the sacrament. He said, as they partook of the sacrament the tears just began to flow. It meant so much to them. They no longer took it for granted as many of us do. 

Joseph Fielding Smith said of the Last Supper, "There the Savior taught them (the apostles) of his coming sacrifice, which in their bewilderment they could not understand. He plainly told them of his death and that his blood should be shed, and this was said in the very hour of his agony for the sins of the world. It was a very solemn occasion; there the sacrament was instituted, and the disciples were commanded to meet together often and commemorate the death and sufferings of Jesus Christ, for his sacrifice was for the redemption of the world."


Let us remember to be mindful of observing the sacrament and our opportunity to become closer to our Savior; thinking of his sacrifice for us and repenting and making promises with him of things we want to improve on.

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