21964_000_003Based on a true incidentJesus took bread and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them, and said, Take it, eat. Behold, this is for you to do in remembrance of my body. (Mark 14:20–21 in the Joseph Smith Translation, page 805, following the Bible Dictionary.)
“What were you assigned to bring?” Melissa asked Clara as they walked to Sister Wilson’s house for their Achievement Day activity.
“Four cups of flour,” Clara answered. “How about you?”
“I wonder what we’re doing today. Hannah is bringing flour, too. Sister Wilson has kept it such a secret.”
“I know,” Melissa agreed. “All she would say was that it’s going to affect many ward members this Sunday.”
Still talking about the mystery, the girls soon came to Sister Wilson’s house. Before Clara could knock, Sister Wilson opened the door and invited them in. Tina, Jenny, and Susan were already sitting on the couch. A tape of Primary songs was playing softly in the background. Just as Clara and Melissa sat down, Hannah arrived. Now all the girls were present, and the mystery project would soon be revealed.
Sister Wilson offered the opening prayer, asking that they might understand the importance of the great sacrifice Jesus Christ made for them. She also prayed that the food they would prepare might be blessed for the sake of all who would eat it.
After the prayer, they made their way to the kitchen with their assigned ingredients. A couple of bowls and a mixer waited on the counter.
“Let’s see,” Sister Wilson began, “who was assigned to bring the yeast?”
“I was.” Melissa stepped forward.
“Good. We’re going to put the yeast into some warm water and let it dissolve. Meanwhile, we’ll put some of the other ingredients into this larger bowl. Who has the flour, sugar, and salt?”
“I do,” Clara, Hannah, and Jenny answered together.
As the girls worked, they visited, laughing and giggling. Amidst the chatter, Clara asked, “What are we making, and how will it affect the ward members?”
“Does anyone have any idea?” Sister Wilson asked.
“Are we making cookies?” Susan asked.
Sister Wilson smiled. “No, we are making the bread that will be used for the sacrament.”
The giggling stopped suddenly, and the girls spoke almost in whispers as a quiet reverence filled the room. They weren’t making bread just to learn how, but for use in a sacred ordinance!
When the yeast was dissolved, Susan poured in the milk she had brought and Tina added her oil. Then the girls combined the liquid and dry ingredients and mixed them together. They took turns kneading the dough on a flour-dusted counter. When it was smooth, the dough was covered with a cloth and allowed to rise. Then it was punched down, divided in half, shaped into loaves, and placed in loaf pans. While the dough rose a second time, they went into the next room for a lesson on the sacrament.
“Can anyone tell me what the bread and water represent?” Sister Wilson asked.
“The flesh and blood of Jesus Christ,” Melissa answered.
“That is right. Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus gathered His Apostles around Him in an upstairs room. He knew that He was going to die, and He wanted the Apostles to always remember Him so that they could be strong and faithful to His teachings. He blessed bread and broke it into pieces. He gave it to His disciples to eat in memory of His body. He blessed wine and gave it to them to drink in memory of His blood.
“When we partake of the sacrament, we renew the covenant we made when we were baptized. Can anyone tell me what we promised to do?”
“I know,” Clara said. “We promised to keep the commandments.”
“We promised to remember Jesus Christ,” Jenny added.
“Very good,” Sister Wilson said. “We also promised to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ. The way we act, the things we do, the words we say should let others know that we are followers of Christ. The Lord promised us that if we keep our covenant, we will always have His Spirit to be with us.
“Is there anything special we should do during the sacrament service?” Sister Wilson continued.
Hannah raised her hand. “My mom always tells us that we should be reverent.”
“She’s right. We should also be prayerful and think of the Atonement. We need to examine our lives, looking for ways to improve ourselves and become more like Christ. And we should think about the promises we are renewing.”
After more discussion about the sacrament, the lesson ended. By then the dough had risen again, and it was time to put the pans into the oven. While the bread baked, the girls planned upcoming activities.
When the loaves were taken from the oven, they were a golden brown. “After they cool, I’ll slice them. Then I’ll give them to Bishop Carmichael. He’ll make sure they are used on Sunday.”
On Sunday, as the girls sat with their families in sacrament meeting, they sang the sacrament hymn reverently. They listened carefully as a priest blessed the bread, and when they said “amen,” they really meant it. Then the deacons passed the bread. When Clara took a piece from the tray, she was suddenly filled with gratitude for all the Savior had done for her. She thought about the Last Supper and what Jesus had taught His disciples about the sacrament. She knew that there were things she could do better to show that she was trying to keep the commandments.
Clara glanced quickly at Melissa out of the corner of her eye. From the look on her friend’s face, she knew that the sacrament had touched her heart, too.
After the meeting, the girls stopped in the foyer to talk a moment before going home. “I’m glad Sister Wilson let us help make the sacrament bread,” Jenny said.
“I thought it made the sacrament extra special,” Tina added.
“It wasn’t just the bread that made it special for me,” Melissa replied thoughtfully. “It was really thinking about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and what the sacrament means in my life.”
Clara smiled. “I felt the same way. It wasn’t the bread that made the difference. It was the Savior.”
When we take the sacrament we promise to
take upon us the name of Jesus Christ,
always remember Him,
keep the commandments.
(See D&C 20:77, 79.)