Friday, December 14, 2012

The Sacrament, A Sacred Memory

This Do in Remembrance of Me

I have always equated the sacrament with a sacred memory. "This do in remembrance of me," is what the Lord has told us to do. When we attend Sacrament meeting, we should do so wearing a broken heart and a contrite spirit. As we do so consistently, we will receive His image in our countenances. We commemorate the Lord's Last Supper and His Atonement in our behalf. We also commemorate our baptism and renew our covenants with Him, and we promise to "always remember Him." In exchange, He promises that we shall always have His Spirit to be with us, and if we continue faithful to the end, we will obtain Eternal Life.  One of the most important words in the scriptures is "remember." Another one is "hearken." Let us hearken unto the counsel of the prophets, and let us always remember who we are and what God expects us to do. Also, let us remember Jesus and never forsake Him.

Please read Elder Oak's talk: 

This small article addresses so many simple ways that we can prepare. Following are my ideas paraphrased from what I have read and what I understand: 

I. Because the sacrament is so important, there is absolutely no other meeting in the church which is more  important. All the details of the meeting should be planned in order to preserve the dignity of the sacrament.

II. There needs to be personal preparation for the sacrament to have efficacy in our lives. Our day-to-day thoughts and actions should reflect that we remember Him; we should come with a broken heart and a contrite spirit: meaning we should feel sorrow for our short-comings and feel humble enough to ask the Lord's help yet again; we also should feel sorrow for the trials and sufferings of others; and we should ever be aware of the Lord's sacrifice, atonement, and resurrection on our behalf, that can make us at one again with Him and with our Heavenly Father. We should arrive to the meeting early and be seated and relaxed and prepared to worship. 

III. Our attitude, our dress, and our personal choice to be reverent are important. These things can aid in our concentration or distract from it; they can also provide an atmosphere that helps other people feel either worshipful or distracted.Our focus should be on the Savior during the sacrament, and we should remain attentive, reverent, and respectful throughout the meeting, not giving way to things that would distract us from our purpose--to worship and to be edified by the Spirit.

IV. The Sacrament is important. We must learn that it is. We must remember that it is. The Sacrament is about our sacred memories: memories of the Lord's sacrifice; memories of our covenants and the Lord's promises; memories that because of Jesus, there is no other sacrifice necessary, except for us to remember Him and present our will to Him so that He can help us return to our Father. If we take the sacrament worthily, we will be built upon Christ's firm foundation and be able to withstand the wiles of the devil. Also, Jesus will forgive us and baptize us with fire and the Holy Ghost.

V. The Bishop or the Presiding Priesthood Authority oversees the administration of the sacrament. Members must maintain a level of righteousness that is compatible with participating in the sacrament. Young men who prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament must remain clean and worthy to do so.

I will ever be thankful to the young men of the Aaronic Priesthood for their diligence in being clean in these trying time. I witnessed a most beautiful scene. When my sister was undergoing cancer treatment and could not be to church, I was with her at her home when she had returned from the hospital from an intense round of chemotherapy. Two priests, under the direction of the Bishop, came to her house to offer her the sacrament. They did so most graciously. After which, Kathy took the time to thank them, and she also taught them. She told them that they came to her home in the Savior's place to offer her his Sacrament. Her sincerity and clarity, even in her weakened condition, touched the hearts of those young men deeply, and I would not be surprised if they remember it always. 

I also remember that after being bed-bound for six weeks in a pregnancy, I was delighted to return and take the sacrament. Even though our little one only lived 2 1/2 hours, I had missed taking the sacrament, and it was a necessary part of my healing. I do not think that most people know that the sacrament not only helps us recover from sin, but also from sorrow, misunderstandings, and deep hurts and scars. 

I know that my comments do not compare to that of an Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am thankful for Elder Oaks teaching and testimony. I am also thankful that I have been blessed through the sacrament for as long as I can remember. I am not nearly reverent or gracious enough, but I am striving to be. As I have written before, "The Lord's sacrifice for all of us is beyond comprehension. He loves us all so much. For me, Sacrament meeting is about honoring His sacrifice and seeking to align myself to do His will. It is a time when we are to seek edification and fellowship." I hope that I will do better at showing my love for Heavenly Father and for His Son Jesus Christ through preparing more fully before taking the sacrament. I also hope that I will be a member that contributes to the reverence of the chapel and one who helps others to invite and feel the Spirit in their lives.

This I say, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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